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April 20, 2011

Dream of home ownership alive and well in Ontario

The dream of home ownership is alive and well among Ontario renters, with 70 per cent reporting that they would like to buy at some point in the future, according to a poll released today by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).

However, the poll also revealed that 81 per cent of Ontarians believe it is more difficult to own a home now than it was for their parents, and 89 per cent of Ontarians in general are concerned that home ownership will become even more difficult in the future.

“We have an obligation to protect the affordability of home ownership for future generations,” said Barb Sukkau, President of OREA. “From its impact on job creation to the healthy and stable environment it provides for raising a family, home ownership matters to people, communities and Ontario.

Over half (54 per cent) of renters cited affordability as a key reason for not owning a home and 70 per cent surveyed indicated they would be more willing to consider owning if the government offered more tax breaks and incentives to offset costs for first time buyers.

“Today’s poll is compelling evidence that a majority of Ontarians are concerned about the affordability of home ownership for themselves and future generations,” said John Wright, Senior Vice President of Ipsos Reid.

Home owners also report higher levels of civic engagement. The overwhelming majority (82 per cent) of Ontario home owners have donated to charity in the last two years; home owners are much more likely to say they voted in the last municipal election than renters; and 35 per cent of owners say they have volunteered in their community.

“Support for home ownership means support for strong communities and a better Ontario,” said Sukkau. “We are urging all political parties in the 2011 provincial election to commit to making home ownership more affordable for Ontarians."

OREA is proposing three policy initiatives to strengthen home ownership in Ontario:

  • An improved Land Transfer Tax (LTT) Rebate for first-time home buyers. OREA estimates that an improved LTT rebate would save a first-time buyer of an average resale home almost $1,500.
  • A permanent Ontario Home Renovation Tax Rebate. A renovation tax rebate would create jobs and curb the growth of the underground economy.
  • Reintroduce the Ontario Home Energy Efficiency Retrofit Rebate program. Investments in home energy efficiency will help home owners cope with rising energy costs and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Other survey highlights included:

  • 94 per cent of Ontarians think that owning a home provides a healthy and stable environment for raising a family.
  • 93 per cent of home owners want taxes on buying a home lowered.
  • 95 per cent of home owners think that the government should provide incentives to reduce their energy costs.
  • 94 per cent of homeowners believe that the government should encourage home-renovation through tax credits.
  • 48 per cent of Ontario homeowners believe that home repairs/maintenance are the hardest parts of home ownership.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid for OREA’s Home Ownership Matters campaign. For more information visit www.homeownershipmatters.ca.

OREA represents 50,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 42 real estate boards throughout the province. Members of the association may use the “REALTOR®” trademark, which identifies them as real estate professionals who subscribe to a high standard of ethics and service.

The findings of the Ipsos Reid online poll conducted February 23 to March 2, 2011 among 1,519 Ontario adults can be obtained from Ipsos Reid at http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

To schedule an interview with OREA President Barb Sukkau:
Matthew Thornton
Manager of Government Relations
(416) 442-3408

For comment from Ipsos Reid:
Sean Simpson
Associate Vice President
(416) 572-4474

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