“My home is worth more today:” polls say almost everyone agrees

Almost all Canadian homeowners say their home is worth more now than when they purchased it, according to a CIBC/Decima Mortgage Poll.

But, while homeowners feel values are on the rise, the same poll showed that eight of 10 potential home buyers and existing homeowners think the window of opportunity for taking advantage of low interest rates is closing.

In Manitoba, 78 per cent of poll respondents said they strongly agreed that “my home is worth more today than when I bought it,” and another 13 per cent agreed somewhat.

Thirty-two per cent agreed strongly and 48 per cent agreed somewhat in Manitoba that they had missed the boat when it came to taking advantage of historically low mortgage rates.

On the other hand, 80 per cent also agreed that “mortgage debt isn’t really debt, it’s an investment.” 

Manitobans were less willing to support this statement by a mere one per cent, with 79 per cent saying a mortgage wasn’t really a debt.

The poll results show on average the homes were purchased 13.5 years ago and 94 per cent of the Canadian homeowners claim their home is worth more today.

Figures released by the Winnipeg Real Estate Board confirm that average MLS® house prices have risen substantially over the years.

“In percentage terms, house prices in the Winnipeg MLS® market have increased on average 54 per cent in 10 years and 36 per cent in five years,” according to the WREB (also see article page 11).

“Given the appreciation in value of their homes and financing rates which are cheap by historical standards,” said Paul Mims, vice-president of CIBC Mortgages and Lending, “it is not surprising to see that eight in 10 potential homeowners and potential home buyers view their mortgages as an investment, rather than debt.

According to an earlier CIBC report, Home is Where the Money Is, surging home prices and falling interest rates put $36 billion of extra purchasing power into the hands of mortgage holders.

“Many customers are tapping into the increased value of their home because a secured line of credit or a mortgage are inexpensive financing options,” said Mims.

Mim said because of rising home values, the vast majority of Canadian homeowners and prospective home buyers would rather put their hard-earned cash into their homes than the stock market. Eighty-six per cent across the nation replied that they favoured a home investment rather than a stock market investment.

In Manitoba, the percentage favouring homes over stock equalled the national percentage. Those who strongly agreed in this province stood at 55 per cent.

The random poll of 1,834 Canadian adults (1,694 current homeowners and 140 current renters who are potential home buyers) is considered accurate within plus or minus 2.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.