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The Value of Homeownership is Still Worth the Wait

 Genworth Canada Releases Results of Homeownership Study  TORONTO, April 8, 2014 /CNW/ - According to a national survey commissioned by  Genworth Canada, homebuyers are working harder and longer to save for a down  payment and remain confident in the long-term benefits of buying a home. The  annual poll, completed in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Credit  Counselling Services (CACCS), asked 1,507 Canadians questions about their  financial well-being and preparedness.  "Despite tighter mortgage qualification criteria over recent years, survey  results point towards positive trends in homebuyer behaviour," said Stuart  Levings, Chief Operating Officer of Genworth Canada. "With a stable economy  and real estate market, Canadians appear to have more confidence in the value  of homeownership and see their goals of homeownership and financial well-being  as more achievable."  Highlights  Homebuyers are thinking more about smart home investing            --  17 per cent say now would be a good time to buy a home, with a             slightly higher proportion among First-Time Buyers/Intenders             (19 per cent )         --  Up since 2013, two-thirds of respondents (64 per cent versus 58             per cent) feel that housing prices will increase in the next 12             months         --  Half expect to take 1-2 years to save for their down payment,             with an increasing number (29 per cent versus 21 per cent)             saying it will take 3-4 years         --  53 percent are worried they might miss the perfect house             because they don't have enough saved for the down payment         --  67 per cent say their goal is to pay off their mortgage faster,             up from 62 per cent in 2013  Homeownership is a valuable asset both financially and emotionally         --  Nine out of ten peopleagreed that owning their own home gave             them a greater sense of emotional well-being         --  Nine out of ten people thought homeownership may mean more work             and effort, but would rather own their home than rent  Canadians' financial well-being is strengthening as they become more fiscally  responsible         --  48 per cent of respondents believe they are in good or great             shape, up from 44 per cent in 2013         --  Up slightly from 2013, 38 per cent say they were able to save             money in the past year and 51 per cent say they pay their             credit cards in full each month         --  The proportion of First-Time Buyers/Intenders who say they             don't know what their credit rating is has declined from 32             percent to 23 per cent  Financial literacy attitudes stay consistently strong over the last two years         --  95 per cent agree that children should be taught basic finances             and budgeting in school         --  93 per cent would like to see education provided before people             take out their first loan or credit card  "It is encouraging to see Canadians taking a more proactive stance on managing  debt and savings," said Henrietta Ross, CEO of CACCS. "Credit counseling is a  great way to ensure that your goals are viable and that all potential risks  have been taken into consideration, and being aware of your financial fitness  score is an important first step in that process."  Get Financially Fit, Learn More To help get Canadians thinking about their financial well-being, Genworth and  CACCS are launching a mobile version of the Financial Fitness Score tool.  The  first of its kind when the online version launched in 2011, the tool helps  people determine how well they are managing their finances and provides useful  information that is based on their financial fitness level. The re-launched  version now allows consumers to access the tool from any mobile device or  platform.  To find out your Financial Fitness Score visit  www.financialfitness.ca.  Interviews for the poll were conducted by Environics Research Group using an  online methodology during the week of February 7-14, 2014.  David MacDonald,  Vice President at Environics Research Group, presented the results of the  survey at Genworth Canada's Homeownership Education Week seminar for mortgage  industry professionals on April 8, 2014.  Following the presentation of the  survey results, MacDonald was joined by Henrietta Ross, CEO of CACCS, Stuart  Levings, COO of Genworth Canada, and Laura Leyser of ReMax Canada in a panel  discussion moderated by Tara Perkins, real estate reporter for the Globe &  Mail.  To view a replay of the live video webcast of the seminar, visit  www.genworth.ca.  About Genworth Canada Genworth MI Canada Inc. (TSX: MIC) through its subsidiary, Genworth Financial  Mortgage Insurance Company Canada (Genworth Canada), is the largest private  residential mortgage insurer in Canada. The Company provides mortgage default  insurance to Canadian residential mortgage lenders, making homeownership more  accessible to first-time homebuyers. Genworth Canada differentiates itself  through customer service excellence, innovative processing technology, and a  robust risk management framework. For almost two decades, Genworth Canada has  supported the housing market by providing thought leadership and a focus on  the safety and soundness of the mortgage finance system. As at December 31,  2013, Genworth Canada had $5.7 billion total assets and $3.1 billion  shareholders' equity. Find out more at www.genworth.ca.  About Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services The Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services (CACCS) represents a  Canada-wide network of accredited, not-for-profit agencies and affiliates  offering preventative education and confidential services to clients  experiencing financial difficulties. With a focus on financial counselling  education, accreditation of agencies and certification of Financial  Counsellors, CACCS is also committed to national research and policy  initiatives concerning personal finance and industry advocacy.  To find a certified Credit Counsellor and qualified Financial Coach at an  accredited Member Agency, visit www.caccs.ca for more information.    SOURCE  Genworth Canada  For additional information or to arrange interviews, please contact: Lisa  Azzuolo Genworth Canada 905.287.5520 orLisa.Azzuolo@genworth.com  PDF available at:   http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2014/04/08/20140408_C8908_DOC_EN_38908.pdf  To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL:  http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2014/08/c8908.html  CO: Genworth Canada ST: Ontario NI: ECO ECOSURV REL  
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