First-time buyers poised to stand tall even
as Canadian home purchase intentions fall: RBC Poll
Cautious mood, less urgency among Canadian homebuyers, but
majority still consider homeownership a good investment
TORONTO, March 26, 2013 Four-in-10 Canadians
(40 per cent) planning to enter the housing market over the
next two years will be first-time homebuyers, according to
the 20th Annual RBC Home Ownership Poll.
The majority of Canadians are taking a wait-and-see approach
to home purchases, with 15 per cent likely
to buy in the next two years, down from 27 per cent last
year. The 12-percentage-point drop is the biggest year-over-year
fall in overall buying intention as tracked by this annual
The more cautious mood this year is not surprising
and is consistent with broader economic and industry forecasts.
An unseasonably warm spring, low rates and anticipation of
mortgage rule changes may have led many Canadians to move
forward their home purchases in the first half of 2012,"
said Sean Amato-Gauci, senior vice-president, Home Equity
Financing, RBC. "Our findings suggest confidence in the
housing market is still high and young Canadians are the bright
spot as they look to buy their first home and seek the advice
to do it right.
A majority of Canadians (84 per cent) believe that a house
or condominium is a good investment. Just over half of Canadians
think that now is the time to get into the housing market
(52 per cent), while fewer Canadians believe house prices
will be higher at this time next year (43 per cent, down from
47 per cent in 2012). More Canadians in 2013 feel that the
current housing market is in balance
(40 per cent, up from 36 per cent last year).
What factors are sidelining buyers?
- The RBC poll found that three-quarters (75 per cent) of
Canadians feel that recent government changes to mortgage
rules will impact or delay prospective homebuyers from getting
into the market, but this may be more perception than reality.
The poll also showed almost six-in-10 recent and prospective
homebuyers say that a required minimum 5-per cent down payment
(59 per cent) and a shortened mortgage amortization period
to 25 years from 30 years (56 per cent) had little to no
- Nearly half of Canadians (49 per cent) expect mortgage
rates will be the same at this time next year.
- Consistent with consumer trends, almost half (46 per cent)
of first-time homebuyers cite affordability as a top reason
for not buying (47 per cent in 2012). Meanwhile saving for
a down payment (32 per cent, up from 18 per cent a year
ago) and job security (28 per cent, up from 20 per cent
a year ago) have taken on increased importance this year.
Given mixed sentiment in the Canadian housing market, the
majority of Canadian homebuyers seek qualified advice in their
home purchases. Three quarters of Canadian homebuyers (76
per cent) turn to their banker for mortgage
advice and four-in-10 (40 per cent) say a bank is their
primary source of information for advice on financing a home
purchase, either by speaking to them directly or using their
websites and calculators.
With all the ambiguity in the market, Canadian homebuyers,
especially first time homebuyers, are looking for trusted
advice. Speaking with an industry expert, like an RBC mortgage
specialist in your area, can alleviate concerns to help guide
your home financing decisions and they can also provide great
rates, added Amato-Gauci.
Highlights from across Canada:
Atlantic Canadians (91 per cent) and residents in Manitoba
and Saskatchewan (89 per cent) are the least likely Canadians
to purchase a house in the next two years, while British Columbians
are the only region where a majority describe the current
market as a buyer's market (where buyers have the advantage
because the number of houses available exceeds the number
British Columbians are evenly divided on whether it makes
sense to buy a house now (51 per cent) or wait until next
year (49 per cent). One-in-five British Columbians (20 per
cent) say they are likely to purchase a home within the next
two years as residents in this province were more likely than
any other Canadian region to forecast lower housing prices
in the next year (38 per cent, national: 24 per cent).
Nearly nine-in-10 Albertans (89 per cent) surveyed say buying
a house or condo is a good investment, higher than the national
average (84 per cent), even as home buying intentions have
dropped from a year ago (22 per cent, compared with 31 per
cent). Almost half of Albertans (49 per cent) feel their current
housing market is balanced, compared to the national average
of 40 per cent.
The majority of residents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (56
per cent) say it makes more sense to wait until next year
to buy a home, in contrast to the national average that believes
it makes sense to buy a home now given current housing and
economic conditions (52 per cent). Still, 88 per cent say
buying a house or condo is a good investment.
While a majority of Ontarians (86 per cent) do not expect
to buy a home in the next two years, almost as many (83 per
cent) feel that a home or condo is a good investment. Given
current housing prices and economic conditions, more than
half of Ontarians (52 per cent) say it makes more sense to
buy now, while 48 per cent prefer to wait until next year.
While a majority of Quebecers (87 per cent) surveyed do not
expect to buy a home in the next two years, they also believe
that a home or condo is a good investment (84 per cent).Given
current housing prices, Quebecers were almost evenly split
between saying it makes more sense to buy a house now (49
per cent) versus waiting until next year (52 per cent).
Given current housing prices and economic conditions, Atlantic
Canadians are the most likely in the country to say it makes
sense to buy now (64 per cent), rather than wait until next
year (36 per cent). Confidence in the investment value of
a home remains high in Atlantic Canada (81 per cent), just
below the overall Canadian sentiment (84 per cent).
About RBCs Home Ownership Advice
Canadians can visit the RBC
Advice Centre, an online resource to help Canadians understand
all facets of homeownership.
Through advice videos, articles, and online calculators, Canadians
can learn about buying
their first home, planning their next move, or renovating.
With more than 1,400 RBC mortgage specialists across the country,
Canadians have access to free, no-obligation professional
advice about RBC mortgage products and services.
About the 20th Annual RBC Home Ownership 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
These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by
Ipsos Reid between Jan. 31 and Feb. 8, 2013. The online survey
is based on a randomly selected representative sample of 3,005
adult Canadians. With a representative sample of this size,
the results are considered accurate to within ±3.0
percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would
have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled.
The margin of error will be larger within regions and for
other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were
statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and
age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population
according to the 2011 Census data.
- 30 -
For more information, please contact:
Corporate Communications, 416-974-2124
Ka Yan Ng, Corporate