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About RBC > Media Newsroom > News Releases > Fix It or List It? RBC Poll Shows Overwhelming Majority of Canadians Would Rather Renovate than Relocate

Fix It or List It? RBC Poll Shows Overwhelming Majority of Canadians Would Rather Renovate than Relocate

  • Three-quarters of Canadians plan to spend less than $10,000 on home upgrades in 2012
  • New financing option RBC MyProject MasterCard combines best features of a credit card and a personal loan

TORONTO, March 21, 2012 — A majority of Canadians (83 per cent) would rather renovate their homes than find a new place to live if their current home needed major work, according to the 19th Annual RBC Homeownership Poll.

Reasons for renovating ranged from wanting to make their home more attractive (66 per cent), increasing the value (46 per cent) and maintaining or repairing their home (39 per cent). Four-in-ten Canadians (39 per cent) said that they want to renovate to increase energy efficiency.

"Canadians are more likely to customize their homes based on their personal preferences rather than buying new. Setting a strict budget can help you stay on track," said Richard Goyder, vice-president of Personal Lending at RBC. "You can live in a home that you love without breaking the bank, as long as you have a prudent plan for financing your project."

The rooms that typically add the most value to a house - bathrooms and kitchens - were the top home improvement projects on the minds of Canadians, tied at 43 per cent, while 33 per cent plan to renovate their basement. Almost half of respondents (46 per cent) plan to do much of the work themselves, compared to 42 per cent who expect to hire a contractor for their renovations (up five percentage points from 37 per cent in 2010).

When asked about their renovation budget, more than three-quarters of Canadians (78 per cent) estimated they would spend less than $10,000 on their renovations. The majority of renovators (71 per cent) said they would mostly finance these projects with cash or savings, while lines of credit (15 per cent), home equity refinancing (13 per cent), credit cards (10 per cent) and personal loans (4 per cent) trailed well behind.

"Your renovation checklist should include talking to a financial expert to assess all of your financing options," advised Goyder. "Consider innovative, flexible financing options, such as financing products that combine the benefits of a credit card and a personal loan, to help you achieve your renovation dreams."

The RBC MyProject MasterCard is a new financing product that is part-credit card, part-personal loan. The first of its kind in Canada, it offers the following features:

  • Built-in budgeting: Up to $40,000 in project financing is available.
  • Convenience: Make all project purchases on one card to simplify finances and keep track of expenses.
  • Money savings: Purchases are interest- and payment-free for the first six months.
  • Pre-determined interest rate and payment plan: After the six-month interest-free period, the card converts to a loan with a structured payment plan.

Goyder also offers the following tips on how to finance and save money during a home renovation project:

  • Plan, plan, plan: Research the cost of materials and obtain quotes from multiple reputable contractors before preparing a detailed budget. Explore financing options and track spending throughout the project, from every nail and can of paint to necessary building permits.
  • Green your home: Make the most of your renovations by improving the energy efficiency of your home, to help save you money in the long run. Also, consider getting an energy audit.
  • Leave some wiggle room: There are always extra costs or unexpected surprises when renovating a home. Leave some breathing room in your budget for unexpected costs to help you stay on track.

To find out more about the RBC MyProject MasterCard, click here.

About RBC and the 19th Annual RBC Homeownership 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 the RBC's 19th Annual Homeownership poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between January 24-30, 2012. The annual online survey tracks Canadians attitudes and behaviours around homebuying and home ownership. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An unweighted probability sample of 2,006 adult Canadians, with 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.

For further information, please contact:

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