RBC Financial Group 11th Annual Housing Study

Nine In Ten Homeowners Aware Of Borrowing
One-Quarter Have Done So And Another One-Third Would Be Comfortable Doing So

Toronto, ON – Canadian homeowners my be missing the opportunity to take advantage of the equity in their homes, says an Ipsos-Reid/Royal Bank survey prepared for Royal Bank’s 11th Annual Homeowners Survey.

These are some of the findings of an RBC Financial Group poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid between February 3rd and February 15th, 2004. The telephone survey is based on a randomly selected representative sample of 2,000 adult Canadians. With a representative sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within � 2.2 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 2001 Census data.

Nine In Ten Homeowners Aware Of Borrowing

When asked whether or not they are aware that they could borrow against the equity in their home by increasing the amount of mortgage or by taking out a secured line of credit, nine in ten (90%) Canadian homeowners said �yes�.

Of Those Who Are Aware Of Borrowing Against Home Equity, One-Quarter (23%)Reported That They Had Actually Done So�

Of those homeowners who said they were aware that they could borrow against the equity on their home by increasing the amount of mortgage, or by taking out a secured line of credit, one-quarter (23%) have actually done so. Of those who have never borrowed, one-third (33%) would be comfortable considering it and two-thirds (65%) say they would be uncomfortable borrowing against the equity in their home.

Homeowners living in British Columbia (28%) are the most likely to say they have borrowed against the equity on their home. Residents of Atlantic Canada are the least likely with only 15% saying that they have ever done so.

One-Quarter Will Refinance More…

Even though a relatively small proportion (18%) of all mortgage holders intend to refinance their mortgage in the next 12 months (that would be an increase of four points over those who actually did in the last year) one-quarter (26%) say they will refinance more than their mortgage, on average $50, 847. Only 3% expect to refinance to consolidate debt.

So, What�s The Most Valuable Asset? Home Sweet Home�

Four in five homeowners (81%) consider their home to be their most valuable asset and nine in ten (89%) say that buying a home is a good investment. Additionally, 64% of Canadians expect house prices to be higher next year, which if their predictions are correct could increase the value of their homes even more.