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Canadians confident in housing market

OTTAWA — Canadians remain confident about the housing scene despite the prospect of a slowing market, according to survey results released Wednesday.


An annual home-ownership survey from Royal Bank of Canada showed 90 per cent of Canadians are confident in the country's real estate market. Among homeowners, 85 per cent feel they are doing a good or excellent job of paying off their mortgage.


This comes shortly after the Canadian Real Estate Association forecast a 1.6 per cent decline in listed home resales this year, and a slight 1.3 per cent rise in the average price. That compares to average price gains of about seven per cent since 2000.


Almost three-quarters of respondents in the RBC poll said they are well positioned to withstand a decline in the housing market.


"Canadians believe in the long-term benefits of owning a home, including the value it can provide, both personally and as a long-term investment," said Marcia Moffat, RBC's head of home-equity financing.


Twenty-nine per cent of survey respondents said they intended to buy a home within the next two years. That was down two percentage points from the same survey a year earlier, but still the second highest level of intent since 2006.


Among those who own a home, 69 per cent said their home has risen in value over the last two years. That's up five points from responses this last year.


Asked what was their biggest concern about buying a home, 26 per cent cited rising prices and 22 per cent picked increasing mortgage rates.


The survey results were based on Internet surveys of 2,103 people conducted by Ipsos Reid between Jan. 12 and 17. The results are considered representative of the population within 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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