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B.C. residents say it's a buyer's market: RBC Poll

British Columbians split on what makes more sense: buying a home now or later 
VANCOUVER, March 26, 2013 /CNW/ - More than half of British Columbians (56 per 
cent) describe their current housing market to be a buyer's market (national: 
35 per cent), in contrast to national sentiment leaning towards a balanced 
market (40 per cent; B.C.: 30 per cent), according to the 20(th) Annual RBC 
Home Ownership Poll. 
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). Last year, the gap 
between the two sentiments was 4 percentage points, when 52 per cent said it 
made more sense to buy now and 48 per cent said they would wait a year. Still, 
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). 
"B.C.'s housing market is catching its breath after a period of historic 
activity and price increases. It makes sense that buyers are taking their time 
to decide if they should buy now or wait," said Inde Sumal, regional 
vice-president, Residential Mortgages, RBC. "Still, confidence in the housing 
market remains very high in the province, demonstrating that residents 
continue to believe in the long-term value of owning a home." 
Key B.C. highlights: 


    --  Eight-in-10 B.C. residents (83 per cent) say a home or condo is
        a good investment, almost matching the national average (84 per
        cent).
    --  British Columbians are narrowly divided on the path of mortgage
        rates: 45 per cent expect higher rates at this time next year,
        while 46 per cent expect them to be the same as they are today.
    --  Almost four-in-10 BC residents (38 per cent) see lower home
        prices at this time next year, while the remainder are divided
        between believing they will inch higher (32 per cent) or remain
        the same (30 per cent).
    --  Eight-in-10 British Columbians (80 per cent) say that the
        housing market in their community is overpriced.
    --  Eight-in-10 B.C. residents (79 per cent) say recent government
        changes will impact or delay people getting into the market.

Nationally, prospective first-time homebuyers across the country say they face 
a number of challenges in the housing market, with affordability (46 per cent) 
topping the list of reasons for not buying (2012: 47 per cent). Saving money 
for a large down payment (32 per cent, up from 18 per cent in 2012) and fear 
of losing their jobs (28 per cent, up from 20 per cent in 2012) have also 
gained in importance among Canadians looking to buy a home in the next two 
years.

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.

"In recent years, the housing industry has experienced a tremendous amount of 
regulatory change, economic uncertainty and swings in local markets. More than 
ever, Canadians need expert advice from mortgage specialists in order to 
navigate the complexities of purchasing a home," said Sumal.

Regional highlights for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 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 
data.

Ian Colvin, RBC Corporate Communications, 604-665-4031 Ka Yan Ng, RBC 
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/c8151.html

CO: RBC Royal Bank
ST: British Columbia
NI: FIN ECOSURV 

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