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Young Canadians to put their money where their house is: RBC Poll

Toronto, April 10, 2014 -  Young Canadians feel that housing remains a very good investment, according to the 21st Annual RBC Home Ownership Poll. Nearly nine-in-ten (86 per cent) of those aged 25-34 believe that owning a house or condo is a very good investment, up from less than eight-in-ten (78 per cent) in 2013.

This sentiment has echoed into buying intention, as likelihood to purchase has increased in nearly every region in the country. Interest from the 25-34 age group has increased significantly from one-in-four (25 per cent) in 2013 to nearly half (41 per cent) of respondents in 2014. This change in buying intention points to a renewed confidence in young buyers who may have felt that buying wasn’t an option last year.

“The increase in the number of those who feel the housing market is a good investment, as well as the number of those who intend to buy, really highlights that Canadians have no doubt in the strength of the housing market and want to participate more than they have in recent years,” said Erica Nielsen, vice-president, Home Equity Finance, RBC. “These findings, which are uniform across Canada, are the result of a number of factors, including job stability and having saved enough for a down payment.”

While the majority of Canadians (62 per cent) intend to buy a home with their spouse or partner, more than one-in-four (28 per cent) Canadians intend to buy a home by themselves. The top factors considered by those who intend to buy this year include the stability of their job situation and manageable debt levels. Confidence in these areas indicates that Canadians are more mindful of their finances than in 2013, which directly impacts the ability to afford home ownership. Among those likely to buy a home within the next two years, four-in-ten will be first time homebuyers.

“The increase in buying intentions across the country gives the strong signal that there is renewed confidence in the market, but also that Canadians are more prepared this year to take that step into homeownership,” said Rachel Wihby, senior manager, Home Equity Finance, RBC. “We want to make sure that Canadians have access to the advice they need when they are buying a home. Often, there are things that first time home buyers may not think of that can ensure they are more prepared, like budgeting for closing costs or getting a home inspection. We want to help set them up for success.”

Highlights from across Canada:

  • British Columbia: In B.C., the percentage of those who are likely to buy a home has increased slightly, from one-in-five (20 per cent) in 2013 to more than one-in-five (22 per cent) in 2014. With four-in-ten (41 per cent) believing that housing prices will continue to rise next year, it signals that British Columbians want to get in while they feel they can and reinforces the positive investment sentiment.
  • Alberta: Alberta also saw an increase in likelihood of purchasing this year, up from 22 per cent in 2013 to 28 per cent in 2014. Perceived home price increases may also be key for Albertans, as more than half (52 per cent) believe that home prices will continue to rise next year.
  • Prairies: The prairie region saw a significant increase in home purchasing intention, from 12 per cent in 2013 up to 21 per cent in 2014. Nearly half of those (44 per cent) in the region, which continues to see economic strength, signalled that they expect housing prices to continue to rise over the next 12 months.
  • Ontario: Buying intentions in Canada’s most populous region rose from less than one-in-five (14 per cent) in 2013 to nearly one-in-four (24 per cent) in 2014. With almost half of respondents (48 per cent) expecting house prices in the region to continue to climb north, far more people have worked hard to get into the housing market now.
  • Quebec: Buying intentions in Quebec rose from 13 per cent to 23 per cent in 2014. Many respondents (39 per cent) said they believe housing prices will rise over the next year, but more than half (61 per cent) don’t believe that to be true. Despite this divide, with home buying intentions increasing by this much, the majority of Quebecers (87 per cent) still see home ownership as a good investment.
  • Atlantic: Those in Atlantic Canada are also more likely to consider home ownership, with buying intentions rising from 9 per cent in 2013 to 19 per cent in 2014. Almost half of respondents in the region (47 per cent) said they expect housing prices to increase next year, putting the Atlantic region in a great spot for real estate investment in 2014.

About the RBC 21st Annual Home Ownership Poll

RBC is the largest residential mortgage lender in Canada. With over 1,400 mortgage specialists across Canada, RBC has helped thousands of Canadians find a home. As the country’s number one source of financial advice on home ownership, 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 21st Annual Home Ownership poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between February 4 and 14, 2014. The annual online survey tracks Canadians attitudes and behaviours regarding home buying 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 2,591 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.

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For more information, please contact:

Ciaran Dickson, RBC Communications, 647-625-2763
Jill Anzarut, RBC Communications, 647-534-5114