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2010 - Fixed Rate vs. Variable Rate

Updated Monday, March 8, 2010  ::  Views (5523)

Vast majority of Canadians view buying a home as a good investment !
TORONTO, March 8, 2010 — Homebuying momentum in Canada continues to gain steam with the portion of Canadians who are very likely to purchase a home in the next two years rising to 10 per cent from seven per cent two years ago, according to the 17th Annual RBC Homeownership Study. Younger Canadians, aged 18 to 24, will lead the charge this year, with those very likely to buy almost doubling to 15 per cent from eight per cent in 2009.

The RBC study conducted by Ipsos Reid found that 91 per cent of Canadian homeowners believe a home is a good investment, the highest level in 12 years, and one-quarter (26 per cent) expect their home to be their primary source of income when they retire.

"With the Canadian housing market showing continued vigour, it's not surprising that Canadians feel more confident in the long-term value of owning a home," said Robert Hogue, senior economist, RBC. "Exceptionally low mortgage rates and improved affordability have been key reasons for the resurgence in the housing market this past year."

Most Canadians who intend to buy a new home in the next two years are planning to take a fixed rate mortgage (44 per cent). However, combination mortgages had the highest increase in popularity this year, with 40 per cent intending to take both a variable and fixed rate component, up from 32 per cent last year.

For Canadians planning to take a fixed rate or combination mortgage, seven-in-10 intend to take a term of five years or longer. Sixteen per cent said they intend to take a variable rate mortgage, down from 20 per cent in 2009.

"Canadians seem to be opting for more caution this year and may be factoring in potential rate increases down the road," said Marcia Moffat, RBC's head of home equity financing. "Choosing a combination mortgage can take some of the guesswork out of making a decision between whether it is better to lock in to a longer-term or stay in a variable rate."

In the wake of the recent housing rebound, most Canadians (six-in-10) also believe housing prices will rise in 2010, up significantly from 25 per cent in 2009. Similarly, a majority (64 per cent) believe mortgage rates will be higher over the next year, also up from 33 per cent a year ago.

"The expectation of higher mortgage rates on the horizon could be motivating buying intentions this year. But it's important that homeowners - especially first time buyers - get solid advice about what they can afford, not only today, but down the road," added Moffat.

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