British Columbians Expect Home Prices to Continue Dropping In 2009, But Outlook Is Improving

Four-in-ten (42%) Expect Housing Prices to be Lower in a Year, Down From 57% in November

Seven-in-ten (71%) Say It’s a Good Time to Buy a Home, Up From 60%

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vancouver, BC – According to the recently released Ipsos Reid BC Home Buyers report, four-in-ten (42%) British Columbians expect housing prices to be lower in twelve months, down from 57% in November. Overall, British Columbians are forecasting a 3.0 percent average drop in home prices in their community, an improvement from the end of 2008 when a 6.7 percent decline was projected. Three-in-ten (32%) predict prices will remain the same while two-in-ten (20%) predict prices will be higher.

  • Residents of the Lower Mainland foresee an average decrease of 2.3 percent while those in the rest of BC expect a decrease of 3.8 percent.

Market conditions continue to improve for buyers. Seven-in-ten (71%) of British Columbians say it's a good ("very good" or "somewhat good") time to buy a home, up from 60% in November of 2008. Conversely, eight-in-ten (82%) say it's not a good time to sell a home. According to Hanson Lok, Senior Research Manager for Ipsos Reid in Vancouver, "British Columbians expect prices to keep falling in 2009 but most don't see the trend continuing in 2010."

There seems to be a growing number of home buyers who are sitting on the sidelines, as three-in-ten (32%) of British Columbians say they are considering the purchase of a home in the next two years. This is up from two-in-ten (20%) at the end of 2008.

Hanson Lok adds, "The lowest mortgage rates since 2005 and declining prices have brought out more potential buyers since the end of last year. Many are still concerned about the volatility of prices and the economic recession, so they will wait six months or more before acting. They do however, recognize that market conditions throughout this year will benefit the buyer.

We are seeing a greater number of first time home buyers in particular, looking to take advantage of more affordable homes, incentives from the government and lower costs of borrowing."

First-time home buyers now comprise nearly four-in-ten (38%) of prospective buyers, up significantly from 17% in November.

Look for more results about Home Buyers in Ipsos Reid's BC Home Buyers Report with a special feature on First Time Home Buyers. This comprehensive report is aimed to profile, track and measure the attitudes of recent and upcoming homes buyers in the province, twice a year. Metrics include home purchase criteria/motivators, economic outlook/confidence, demographic and psychographic profiling as well as mortgage measures.

The results of this poll are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual BC population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls because they are based on samples drawn from opt-in online panels, not on random samples that mirror the population within a statistical probability ratio. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. However, an unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/-1.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had the entire adult population in British Columbia been surveyed.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Dave Pierzchala
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Loyalty
778.373.5006
dave.pierzchala@ipsos.com

Karen Beck
Senior Research Manager
Ipsos Reid
778.373.5026
karen.beck@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, health and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, visit www.ipsos.ca.

About Ipsos in North America

Ipsos is one of the fastest growing market research companies in the U.S., market leader in Canada, and among the most trusted research brands in North America. With more than 1,500 professionals and support staff in the U.S. and Canada, Ipsos offers a suite of survey-based services—guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies—in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos companies offer a complete line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services.

In 2007, Ipsos generated 927.2 million euros ($1.27 billion U.S.) in total revenues, of which 31% came from its North American operations. The Paris-based company was founded in 1975 and has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999.

Visit www.ipsos-na.com to learn more about Ipsos' offerings and capabilities.


British Columbians Expect Home Prices to Continue Dropping In 2009, But Outlook Is Improving

Contact

DavePierzchala Dave Pierzchala
SVP, Managing Director
Ipsos Reid
Work+1.778.373.5006

KarenBeck Karen Beck
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid
Work1.778.373.5026