Globe and Mail Update, Virginia Galt, March 4, 2009

Confidence appears to be seeping back into the housing market, with a majority of Canadians saying it's a good time to buy, according to the Royal Bank of Canada's annual homeownership survey.

A survey of 2,026 Canadian consumers, conducted in the second week of January, found that 65 per cent of respondents believe it is a buyers' market now, and 27 per cent say they intend to buy a home this year or next.  "Additionally, almost half indicate it makes sense to buy a home now versus waiting until next year."

Young adults and renters are most likely to spark an upsurge in home sales, the Royal Bank said in releasing its survey results.  "In the under-35 group, 48 per cent said they plan to buy, which is up sharply from 36 per cent last year.  Renters also appear to be saying they are tired of paying someone else's mortgage payment, with 38 per cent planning to becom homeowners in the next two years."

Karen Leggett, the Royal Bank's head of home equity financing, citing the results of a poll conducted for the Royal Bank by Ipsos Reid, found that the vast majority of Canadians believe that the purchase of a home is a good investment.  "The current economic environment does not appear to have dampened Canadians' overall confidence in the housing market", she said.


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