Prairie residents taking wait-and-see approach to housing market: RBC Poll

Prairie residents taking wait-and-see approach to housing market: RBC Poll 
Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents among the country's most confident 
homeowners, but most will wait another year 
WINNIPEG, March 26, 2013 /CNW/ - There is contrasting consumer sentiment among 
Prairie residents towards confidence and home-buying intentions, with 89 per 
cent of respondents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan saying they do not expect to 
buy a home in the next two years, while 88 per cent say buying a house or 
condo is a good investment, according to the 20(th) Annual RBC Homeownership 
The confidence in the long term value of buying a home is similar to Alberta 
(89 per cent) and above the national average (84 per cent). 
"Saskatchewan and Manitoba experienced one of the most robust periods of 
housing activity in the country recently. It makes sense that residents are 
assessing current conditions and their options, and taking a wait-and-see 
approach compared to other areas in Canada," said Richard Schwan, regional 
vice-president, Mortgage Specialists, RBC. "The good news is that they have 
tremendous confidence in the long term value of their home." 
A 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). 
The poll found that 84 per cent of Prairie respondents say the housing market 
in their community is overpriced and more than half of residents (55 per cent) 
in Manitoba and Saskatchewan say it's a seller's market, more than double the 
national average (25 per cent). One-third (33 per cent) describe the current 
housing market as a balanced market and even fewer would call it a buyer's 
market (12 per cent). 
Key regional highlights: 

    --  Almost 8-in-10 respondents (77 per cent) say recent government
        changes will impact or delay people getting into the market.
    --  More than half of residents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan expect
        mortgage rates to be higher at this time next year (52 per
        cent), while 46 per cent think they will be the same as they
        are today. The region has the lowest percentage of respondents
        who think interest rates will be lower a year from now (2 per
    --  Respondents are in line with national averages in terms of
        where they see home prices at this time next year: 42 per cent
        see higher home prices (national: 43 per cent), 31 per cent
        forecast steady home prices (national: 33 per cent), and 27 per
        cent see lower home prices (national: 24 per cent).

"The poll shows us there are some mixed consumer opinions. That's why it's 
important to get expert advice from a mortgage specialist to create the right 
financial plan and ensure a smooth homebuying experience," added Schwan.

Nationally, four-in-10 Canadians (40 per cent) planning to enter the housing 
market over the next two years will be first-time homebuyers. 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.

Regional highlights for British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and 
Atlantic Canada are also available.

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 

Sandy Kwong, RBC Corporate Communications, 204-988-3511 Ka Yan Ng, RBC 
Corporate Communications, 416-974-1794


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CO: RBC Royal Bank
ST: Manitoba

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

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