RBC survey finds homebuying intentions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are holding steady

    A majority are saying "buy now rather than later"

    WINNIPEG, March 6 /CNW/ - An RBC Royal Bank survey reveals the number of
Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents who are "very likely" to buy a home within
the next two years is on par with last year (10 per cent) and in line with the
national average of nine per cent.
    That being so, residents of the region are among the most likely in
Canada (59 per cent) to feel that given current housing prices and economic
conditions, now is the time to buy rather than waiting until next year.
According to RBC's 14th Annual Homeownership Survey, 84 per cent of those who
plan to buy will opt for a resale home and 51 per cent said they will be
looking to purchase a home bigger than their current residence.
    "Homebuying intentions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are in step with what
we're seeing in most other regions of the country," said Don Peard, regional
vice-president, Mortgage Specialists, RBC Royal Bank. "But while there's been
very little change over last year, concern about rising housing prices and
interest rates might partially explain why many believe it's better to buy now
than wait."
    The poll found that 63 per cent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents
expect housing prices will be higher by this time next year and a majority (55
per cent) said they are concerned about interest rate increases in 2007.
Forty-three per cent said they expect to see mortgage rates higher in a year's
    The RBC poll also found that an overwhelming majority of the region's
residents continue to see great value in homeownership, with 87 per cent
saying that buying a house or condominium is a "good" or "very good"
investment. On average, Manitoba and Saskatchewan homeowners estimate the
value of their homes at $154,023, and estimate that the value of their home
has increased 19.5 per cent over the last two years.
    According to the poll, residents of the region are the least likely in
Canada to have a mortgage on their home (52 per cent) - well below the
national average of 63 per cent. Among those that do have mortgages, they have
an average of $73,807 left to pay.
    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between January 18 and 22, 2007. The online survey is based on a randomly
selected representative sample of 2,404 adult Canadians. With a sample of this
size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-2.0 percentage points,
19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian
population been polled. The margin of error for residents of
Manitoba/Saskatchewan is +/-7.5 per cent (N=170) and the margin of error for
Manitoba/Saskatchewan homeowners is +/-9.1 per cent (N=117). The margin of
error will be larger for other sub-groupings of the population. These data
were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex
composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the
2001 Census data.

    SURVEY RESPONSES                     Nat  BC   AB   SK/MB  ON   QC   AT
    Own a home                           61%  62%  68%   66%   63%  52%  66%
    Percentage of homeowners who
     have a mortgage                     63%  65%  58%   52%   65%  64%  57%
    Homeowners who will likely choose
     a fixed rate when they next renew
     their mortgage                      54%  58%  59%   69%   53%  42%  66%
    Are very likely to purchase a home
     in the next two years                9%  11%  12%   10%    9%   6%  10%
    Believe mortgage rates will be
     higher in one year's time           43%  45%  46%   43%   44%  38%  49%
    Believe housing prices will be
     higher in one year's time           59%  65%  68%   63%   62%  47%  58%
    Homeowners who have borrowed
     against the equity in their homes   39%  40%  46%   46%   42%  28%  33%
    Homeowners who have refinanced
     their home in the last 12 months    28%  29%  29%   30%   27%  25%  29%
    Plan to buy a bigger home            48%  49%  43%   51%   47%  59%  37%
    Plan to buy resale home              77%  80%  76%   84%   76%  78%  70%

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Liz Redston, RBC, (204)
988-3516; John Wright, Ipsos Reid, (416) 324-2900; For full tabular results,
please see the Ipsos Reid website at www.ipsos.ca

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