RBC Survey Finds Homebuying Intentions Stable in Ontario

    A majority believe it's better to buy now rather than later

    TORONTO, March 6 /CNW/ - An RBC Royal Bank survey has found that
homebuying intentions in Ontario are holding steady, with nine per cent of
Ontarians saying they are "very likely" to buy a home within the next two
years - virtually unchanged from 10 per cent last year and on par with the
national average.
    That being so, a large majority of Ontario residents (62 per cent) feel
that, given current housing prices and economic conditions, it makes more
sense to buy a home now rather than wait until next year. According to
RBC's14th Annual Homeownership Survey, 76 per cent of those who plan to buy
will opt for a resale home and 47 per cent said they will be looking to
purchase a home bigger than their current residence.
    "The intention to buy is still strong, and we've seen very little change
over last year," said Paul Bimm, vice-president, Builder Markets, RBC Royal
Bank. "Ontarians still seem confident that housing prices are on the rise, and
that's perhaps why they're among the most likely Canadians to say the time to
buy is now."
    The RBC poll found that 62 per cent of Ontario residents expect housing
prices will be higher by this time next year and half (51 per cent) said they
are concerned about interest rate increases in 2007. Forty-four per cent said
they expect to see mortgage rates higher in a year's time.
    The poll also found that an overwhelming majority of Ontario residents
continue to see great value in homeownership, with 92 per cent saying that
buying a house or condominium is a "good" or "very good" investment. On
average, Ontario homeowners estimate the value of their homes at $234,628, and
believe their homes have risen in value by an average of 15 per cent over the
last two years.
    Also according to the poll, Ontarians are among the most likely in Canada
to have a mortgage on their home (65 per cent). Ontario mortgage holders have
an average of $117,683 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 Ontario is
+/-3.4 per cent (N=847) and the margin of error for Ontario homeowners is
+/-4.2 per cent (N=541). 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: Dano Spooner, RBC, (416) 974-0347; 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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