First-time buyers poised to stand tall even as Canadian home purchase intentions fall: RBC Poll

First-time buyers poised to stand tall even as Canadian home purchase 
intentions fall: RBC Poll 
Cautious mood, less urgency among Canadian homebuyers, but majority still 
consider homeownership a good investment 
TORONTO, March 26, 2013 /CNW/ - Four-in-10 Canadians (40 per cent) planning to 
enter the housing market over the next two years will be first-time 
homebuyers, according to the 20(th) Annual RBC Home Ownership Poll. 
The majority of Canadians are taking a wait-and-see approach to home 
purchases, with 15 per cent likely to buy in the next two years, down from 27 
per cent last year. The 12-percentage-point drop is the biggest year-over-year 
fall in overall buying intention as tracked by this annualpoll. 
"The more cautious mood this year is not surprising and is consistent with 
broader economic and industry forecasts. An unseasonably warm spring, low 
rates and anticipation of mortgage rule changes may have led many Canadians to 
move forward their home purchases in the first half of 2012," said Sean 
Amato-Gauci, senior vice-president, Home Equity Financing, RBC. "Our findings 
suggest confidence in the housing market is still high and young Canadians are 
the bright spot as they look to buy their first home and seek the advice to do 
it right." 
A majority of Canadians (84 per cent) believe that a house or condominium is a 
good investment. Just over half of Canadians think that now is the time to get 
into the housing market (52 per cent), while fewer Canadians believe house 
prices will be higher at this time next year (43 per cent, down from 47 per 
cent in 2012). More Canadians in 2013 feel that the current housing market is 
in balance (40 per cent, up from 36 per cent last year). 
What factors are sidelining buyers? 


    --  The RBC poll found that three-quarters (75 per cent) of
        Canadians feel that recent government changes to mortgage rules
        will impact or delay prospective homebuyers from getting into
        the market, but this may be more perception than reality. The
        poll also showed almost six-in-10 recent and prospective
        homebuyers say that a required minimum 5-per cent down payment
        (59 per cent) and a shortened mortgage amortization period to
        25 years from 30 years (56 per cent) had little to no impact.
    --  Nearly half of Canadians (49 per cent) expect mortgage rates
        will be the same at this time next year.
    --  Consistent with consumer trends, almost half (46 per cent) of
        first-time homebuyers cite affordability as a top reason for
        not buying (47 per cent in 2012). Meanwhile saving for a down
        payment (32 per cent, up from 18 per cent a year ago) and job
        security (28 per cent, up from 20 per cent a year ago) have
        taken on increased importance this year.

Given mixed sentiment in the Canadian housing market, the majority of Canadian 
homebuyers seek qualified advice in their home purchases. Three quarters of 
Canadian homebuyers (76 per cent) turn to their banker for mortgage advice and 
four-in-10 (40 per cent) say a bank is their primary source of information for 
advice on financing a home purchase, either by speaking to them directly or 
using their websites and calculators.

"With all the ambiguity in the market, Canadian homebuyers, especially first 
time homebuyers, are looking for trusted advice. Speaking with an industry 
expert, like an RBC mortgage specialist in your area, can alleviate concerns 
to help guide your home financing decisions and they can also provide great 
rates," added Amato-Gauci.

Highlights from across Canada:

Atlantic Canadians (91 per cent) and residents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan 
(89 per cent) are the least likely Canadians to purchase a house in the next 
two years, while British Columbians are the only region where a majority 
describe the current market as a buyer's market (where buyers have the 
advantage because the number of houses available exceeds the number of buyers).

British Columbia: British Columbians are evenly divided on whether it makes 
sense to buy a house now (51 per cent) or wait until next year (49 per cent). 
One-in-five British Columbians (20 per cent) say they are likely to purchase a 
home within the next two years as residents in this province were more likely 
than any other Canadian region to forecast lower housing prices in the next 
year (38 per cent, national: 24 per cent).

Alberta: Nearly nine-in-10 Albertans (89 per cent) surveyed say buying a house 
or condo is a good investment, higher than the national average (84 per cent), 
even as home buying intentions have dropped from a year ago (22 per cent, 
compared with 31 per cent). Almost half of Albertans (49 per cent) feel their 
current housing market is balanced, compared to the national average of 40 per 
cent.

Prairies: The majority of residents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (56 per cent) 
say it makes more sense to wait until next year to buy a home, in contrast to 
the national average that believes it makes sense to buy a home now given 
current housing and economic conditions (52 per cent). Still, 88 per cent say 
buying a house or condo is a good investment.

Ontario: While a majority of Ontarians (86 per cent) do not expect to buy a 
home in the next two years, almost as many (83 per cent) feel that a home or 
condo is a good investment. Given current housing prices and economic 
conditions, more than half of Ontarians (52 per cent) say it makes more sense 
to buy now, while 48 per cent prefer to wait until next year.

Quebec: While a majority of Quebecers (87 per cent) surveyed do not expect to 
buy a home in the next two years, they also believe that a home or condo is a 
good investment (84 per cent).Given current housing prices, Quebecers were 
almost evenly split between saying it makes more sense to buy a house now (49 
per cent) versus waiting until next year (52 per cent).

Atlantic Canada: Given current housing prices and economic conditions, 
Atlantic Canadians are the most likely in the country to say it makes sense to 
buy now (64 per cent), rather than wait until next year (36 per cent). 
Confidence in the investment value of a home remains high in Atlantic Canada 
(81 per cent), just below the overall Canadian sentiment (84 per cent).

About RBC's Home Ownership Advice
Canadians can visit the RBC Advice Centre, an online resource to help 
Canadians understand all facets of homeownership. Through advice videos, 
articles, and online calculators, Canadians can learn about buying their first 
home, planning their next move, or renovating. With more than 1,400 RBC 
mortgage specialists across the country, Canadians have access to free, 
no-obligation professional advice about RBC mortgage products and services.

About the 20(th) Annual RBC Home Ownership Poll
RBC is the largest residential mortgage lender in Canada. As the country's 
number one source of financial advice on homeownership, RBC conducts consumer 
surveys as one way to provide insight to Canadians about the marketplace in 
which they live.

These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between 
Jan. 31 and Feb. 8, 2013. The online survey is based on a randomly selected 
representative sample of 3,005 adult Canadians. With a representative sample 
of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±3.0 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 will be larger within 
regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey 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 2011 Census 
data.

Matt Gierasimczuk, Corporate Communications, 416-974-2124 Ka Yan Ng, Corporate 
Communications, 416-974-1794

SOURCE: RBC

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2013/26/c8135.html

CO: RBC Royal Bank
ST: Ontario
NI: FIN ECOSURV 

-0- Mar/26/2013 09:00 GMT