â€œCanadians believe in the long-term benefits of owning a home including the value it can provide, both personally and as a long term investment,â€ said Marcia Moffat, RBC head of home equity financing.
â€œLast yearâ€™s survey showed that people were looking to buy ahead of rising costs. This year marks a return to more normal levels of purchase intentions and recent housing data reflects this move to a more balanced market.â€
Interest in purchasing a home over the next two years has declined slightly but remains high overall, as 29% say itâ€™s likely they will buy.
This is down two points from 2010 yet higher than any other year since 2006. Compared to last year, fewer Canadians are saying itâ€™s better to buy now (55%, a drop of 12 points) than wait (45%, up 12 points).
Among those likely to buy, over half (57%) are looking to buy within 18 to 24 months while almost one-quarter (24%) are planning to buy in the next year.
The poll found that 40% of Canadians feel the current housing market is balanced equally between buyers and sellers, a rise of five points over 2010.
Homebuyers list rising home prices (26%) as their number one concern about purchasing a home followed by rising mortgage rates (22%).
Confidence is high when it comes to housing payments, as with 69% saying that the value of their home has increased in the last two years, a rise of five points over last year.
Highlights from across Canada:
* British Columbia: Interest in buying a home has remained steady in B.C. with 29% of residents likely to buy a home in the next two years. B.C. leads the country in looking to buy a new home (30%) rather than resale (70%) and one third (34%) of British Columbians are most concerned with home prices increasing, the most in Canada.
* Alberta: Interest in purchasing a home has declined in Alberta, with one third (33%) saying they are likely to buy in the next two years, down two points from last year (35%). Alberta leads the country in seeing the housing market shifting towards buyers, as 57% say itâ€™s a buyersâ€™ market. Almost one third of home owners in the province (32%) say the value of their home as decreased in the last two years, almost double any other province.
* Prairies: Saskatchewan and Manitoba lead the country in believing that itâ€™s a sellerâ€™s market, over 23% higher than any other province. Purchase intentions have remained steady in the Prairies, with 29% indicating they are likely to purchase a home in the next two years, up slightly from 2010 (28%)
* Ontario: Ontario leads the country in seeing the current housing market as balanced (46%). The majority of Ontarians (72%) say they are not likely to buy a home in the next two years, a rise of six points over 2010. Those intending to buy a home are looking longer term, with four-fifths (80%) planning to purchase in the next one to two years, the highest rate in the country.
* Quebec: Quebec leads Canada in planning to buy a bigger home (59%) and feeling that the value of their home has increased in the last two years (86%). Three-quarters (76%) of homebuyers in Quebec intend to buy in the next one to two years.
* Atlantic Canada: Almost three quarters of Atlantic Canadians (74%) think it makes more sense to buy now than wait until next year, higher than any other province. Interest in purchasing a home has declined over last year, with 24% saying it is likely they will buy in the next two years, down two points from 2010.
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The report also revealed that an overwhelming majority of Canadians (90%) are confident about real estate in Canada as an investment and almost three-quarters of Canadians (73%) believe that they or their family are well-positioned to weather a housing drop.