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First-time Homebuyers Will Drive The Housing Market

Stocks in this article: MIC

TORONTO, April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - First-time homebuyers (FTBs) and people intending to buy a home (ITs) in the next two years lead the pack when it comes to financial fitness and confidence. According to a national survey conducted by Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada (Genworth Canada) in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services (CACCS), 43 per cent of first-time homebuyers say they are in good or great financial shape.

The annual poll asked 1,533 Canadians questions about their financial well-being and revealed that almost one-third of FTBs who purchased a home in the past two years, or future intenders, believe now is a good time to buy, up 25 per cent from last year. FTBs and ITs also lead the pack when it comes to financial planning: 64 per cent say they enjoy planning their financial future and 59 per cent say they managed to save for their down payment within two years or less.

"First-time homebuyers are the engine that will drive the housing market in the next few years," says Brian Hurley, Chairman and CEO of Genworth Canada. "This survey helps us monitor Canadians' attitudes on finances and homeownership so that we can continue to deliver the right tools and resources to educate homebuyers and promote responsible lending practices across the country."

To kick off their third annual Homeownership Education Week on April 9, Genworth Canada has teamed up with CACCS to address financial literacy. Through a series of articles, videos and interactive forums, finance and housing industry experts will provide tips on getting financially fit and ready for homeownership.

"It's easier to achieve homeownership when you have healthy personal finance skills," says Henrietta Ross, CEO of CACCS. "The survey results reaffirm our strong belief that getting your financial house in shape is the first step towards a life of financial fitness and overall well-being."

To find out more about Genworth Canada's Homeownership Education Week, visit Homeownership.ca from April 9 to the 13, 2012.

Homeownership contributes to self-fulfillment: Additional survey results

The survey found there is an increased awareness among first-time homebuyers of the importance of financial responsibility and of the rewards of homeownership:

  • 94 per cent say even though it means more work and effort, they'd rather own a home than rent;
  • 94 per cent say owning their own home provides a greater sense of emotional well-being and security;
  • 60 per cent say they have a long-term financial plan for retirement they are working towards;
  • 58 per cent say their goal is to pay off their mortgage as fast as possible, even if it means scrimping and saving and foregoing a lifestyle and activities that their peers enjoy;
  • 36 per cent say they were able to pay off all their bills and save money in the past year;
  • 72 per cent say they expect their financial situation to improve in the next year, whereas only 54 per cent of Canadians who do not own a home say they are expecting any improvement in their financial fitness in the next 12 months.

The Genworth Canada and CACCS National Financial Fitness Survey is an online survey of 1,533 Canadians across the country. Research took place from February 1-8, 2012 and was conducted by Environics Research Group.

About Genworth Financial Canada:

Genworth Canada is the brand name of Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada, a subsidiary of Genworth MI Canada Inc. (TSX:MIC), and has been the leading Canadian private residential mortgage insurer since 1995. Known as "The Homeownership Company," it provides default mortgage insurance to Canadian residential mortgage lenders that enables low down payment borrowers to own a home more affordably and stay in their homes during difficult financial times. Genworth Canada combines technological and service excellence with risk management expertise to deliver innovation to the mortgage marketplace. As of December 31, 2011, Genworth Canada had $5.4 billion in total assets and $2.7 billion in shareholders' equity. Based in Oakville, Ontario, the Company employs approximately 265 people across Canada. Find out more at genworth.ca.

About Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services:

The Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services (CACCS) represents a Canada-wide network of accredited, not-for-profit agencies and affiliates offering preventative education and confidential services to clients experiencing financial difficulties. With a focus on financial counselling education, accreditation of agencies and certification of Financial Counsellors, CACCS is also committed to national research and policy initiatives concerning personal finance and industry advocacy.

To find a certified Credit Counsellor and qualified Financial Coach at an accredited Member Agency, call the CACCS central referral service at 1-800-263-0260 or visit www.caccs.ca for more information.

SOURCE Genworth Financial Canada

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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