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The Value Of Homeownership Is Still Worth The Wait

Stocks in this article: MIC

Genworth Canada Releases Results of Homeownership Study

TORONTO, April 8, 2014 /CNW/ - According to a national survey commissioned by Genworth Canada, homebuyers are working harder and longer to save for a down payment and remain confident in the long-term benefits of buying a home. The annual poll, completed in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services (CACCS), asked 1,507 Canadians questions about their financial well-being and preparedness.

"Despite tighter mortgage qualification criteria over recent years, survey results point towards positive trends in homebuyer behaviour," said Stuart Levings, Chief Operating Officer of Genworth Canada. "With a stable economy and real estate market, Canadians appear to have more confidence in the value of homeownership and see their goals of homeownership and financial well-being as more achievable."

Highlights

Homebuyers are thinking more about smart home investing

  • 17 per cent say now would be a good time to buy a home, with a slightly higher proportion among First-Time Buyers/Intenders (19 per cent )
  • Up since 2013, two-thirds of respondents (64 per cent versus 58 per cent) feel that housing prices will increase in the next 12 months
  • Half expect to take 1-2 years to save for their down payment, with an increasing number (29 per cent versus 21 per cent) saying it will take 3-4 years
  • 53 percent are worried they might miss the perfect house because they don't have enough saved for the down payment
  • 67 per cent say their goal is to pay off their mortgage faster, up from 62 per cent in 2013

Homeownership is a valuable asset both financially and emotionally

  • Nine out of ten people agreed that owning their own home gave them a greater sense of emotional well-being
  • Nine out of ten people thought homeownership may mean more work and effort, but would rather own their home than rent

Canadians' financial well-being is strengthening as they become more fiscally responsible

  • 48 per cent of respondents believe they are in good or great shape, up from 44 per cent in 2013
  • Up slightly from 2013, 38 per cent say they were able to save money in the past year and 51 per cent say they pay their credit cards in full each month
  • The proportion of First-Time Buyers/Intenders who say they don't know what their credit rating is has declined from 32 percent to 23 per cent

Financial literacy attitudes stay consistently strong over the last two years

  • 95 per cent agree that children should be taught basic finances and budgeting in school
  • 93 per cent would like to see education provided before people take out their first loan or credit card

"It is encouraging to see Canadians taking a more proactive stance on managing debt and savings," said Henrietta Ross, CEO of CACCS. "Credit counseling is a great way to ensure that your goals are viable and that all potential risks have been taken into consideration, and being aware of your financial fitness score is an important first step in that process."

Get Financially Fit, Learn More To help get Canadians thinking about their financial well-being, Genworth and CACCS are launching a mobile version of the Financial Fitness Score tool.  The first of its kind when the online version launched in 2011, the tool helps people determine how well they are managing their finances and provides useful information that is based on their financial fitness level. The re-launched version now allows consumers to access the tool from any mobile device or platform.  To find out your Financial Fitness Score visit www.financialfitness.ca.

Interviews for the poll were conducted by Environics Research Group using an online methodology during the week of February 7-14, 2014.  David MacDonald, Vice President at Environics Research Group, presented the results of the survey at Genworth Canada's Homeownership Education Week seminar for mortgage industry professionals on April 8, 2014.  Following the presentation of the survey results, MacDonald was joined by Henrietta Ross, CEO of CACCS, Stuart Levings, COO of Genworth Canada, and Laura Leyser of ReMax Canada in a panel discussion moderated by Tara Perkins, real estate reporter for the Globe & Mail.  To view a replay of the live video webcast of the seminar, visit www.genworth.ca.

About Genworth Canada Genworth MI Canada Inc. (TSX: MIC) through its subsidiary, Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada (Genworth Canada), is the largest private residential mortgage insurer in Canada. The Company provides mortgage default insurance to Canadian residential mortgage lenders, making homeownership more accessible to first-time homebuyers. Genworth Canada differentiates itself through customer service excellence, innovative processing technology, and a robust risk management framework. For almost two decades, Genworth Canada has supported the housing market by providing thought leadership and a focus on the safety and soundness of the mortgage finance system. As at December 31, 2013, Genworth Canada had $5.7 billion total assets and $3.1 billion shareholders' equity. Find out more at www.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, visit www.caccs.ca for more information.

SOURCE Genworth Canada

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