Home buyer intentions stay firm

Thursday, November 11th, 2010


VIRTUAL TOURS: Three of Canada’s most energy efficient and environmentally friendly houses, all CMHC’s Equilibrium Housing projects, are now open to online virtual tours. Virtual visitors can view the interiors and exteriors of the homes as they navigate through the houses. By clicking on the “hot-spots”, users can also learn about the technologies and practices used in the design and construction of these innovative homes, from Alberta (shown) to Quebec. For the tours, go to www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/popup/vtours. Photo: Eco Terra house.

A new RBC study conducted in October finds overall intentions to purchase a home in the next two years remain steady at 22 per cent and have not changed since January 2008. As well, national renovation intentions are slightly higher than last year as 70 per cent of respondents are planning to renovate or make home improvements in the next two years. “Despite recent economic events, Canadians still believe a home is a good investment and many are continuing with their home improvement plans,” remarked Catherine Adams, RBC Royal Bank’s vice-president, Home Equity Financing. To finance their reno expenditures, Canadians will be less likely to tap into cash or savings than they have in the past. Only 28 per cent would consider using the equity in their home, down from 41 per cent in 2007. When it comes to top mistakes or renovation disasters, Canadians who have completed a renovation in the past two years, blame going over budget (26 per cent); using the wrong contractor or tradespeople (14 per cent); choosing the wrong products (12 per cent) and doing it myself (11 per cent).

Realtors reach agreement on opening up MLS

Members of 101 local real estate boards have ratified an agreement between the federal Competition Bureau and the Canadian Real Estate Association that will mean more choices for consumers and more open access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS.) It would allow consumers to choose what services they want from their real estate agent when selling their homes and pay only for those services. “I am pleased that CREA members have voted in favour of this agreement,” Commissioner of Competition Melanie Aitken said in a release. CREA president Georges Pahud concurred. “We are pleased that after careful consideration and reflection, real estate boards and associations from across Canada have endorsed the agreement,” he said in a release. Under the deal, CREA must eliminate its ability to adopt anti-competitive rules, including those that discriminate against real estate agents who are hired by consumers to offer a “mere posting” service, the bureau said. The Competition Bureau has been pressuring CREA to change its anti-competitive rules on behalf of realtors and consumers who want more flexible services. Earlier this year, the Competition Bureau ruled full-fee agents were monopolizing the CREA’s Multiple Listing Service system, keeping out agents who accept discount commissions or flat fees. The deal was reached after months of negotiations between the competition watchdog and the CREA, which represents about 100,000 realtors across Canada. The agreement is effective immediately and will remain in force for 10 years with penalties for violations.

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