Home-buying intentions steady

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Plans for renovations up slightly

Eric Beauchesne

OTTAWA — Home-buying intentions of Canadians have remained steady despite the financial-market turmoil and cooling of the housing market, according to results of a survey conducted earlier this month.

Overall intentions to purchase a home in the next two years remain steady at 22 per cent and have not changed since January 2008, Royal Bank of Canada said in releasing the results of a survey conducted by polling firm Ipsos Reid.

Meanwhile, a related annual survey conducted for RBC in August, prior to the eruption of the current financial crisis, found that 70 per cent of homeowners planned to renovate or make home improvements in the next two years, up slightly from 66 per cent last year.

“Despite recent economic events, we’ve noted that Canadians still believe a home is a good investment and many are continuing with their home-improvement plans,” said Catherine Adams, RBC’s vice-president of home equity financing.

Given the choice, 75 per cent of Canadian homeowners would opt for hammers and paint brushes, rather than packing tape and cardboard boxes, if their home needed major renovations.

While 55 per cent say they would definitely continue to renovate even if housing prices were to drop, that’s down from 66 per cent in 2007.

The survey also found that most of those planning renovations will spend less than $50,000 and indicate they plan to spend $10,801 on average, up about 10 per cent from $9,850 in 2007.

Looking back, the survey found that 63 per cent of homeowners have renovated in the past two years.

Seven-in-10 had a budget and just more than half stuck to it, the analysis said, adding that more are establishing a realistic renovation budget.

© The Vancouver Sun 2008


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