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- Royal LePage survey finds 25% of women searching for a home are looking for a 'fixer-upper' and plan to do the work themselves

Preparing for Home Ownership

Women are embracing the home buying process and taking charge.  They are readying themselves for bidding wars and willing to take on various types of home renovations. 

Of the women polled who own or rent and intend to purchase a home in the next three years, 56 per cent are willing to participate in bidding wards, in comparison to only 49 per cent of men who are willing to compete.  The frequency of bidding wards tends to very across regions, and also fluctuates among buyer demographics.  For example, in Vancouver, female buyers are used to the all too common bidding wards, according to qualitative research.  In Vancouver, the price of entry is usually attached to a bidding war.  If it is a property they want, women are not deterred from multiple offer situations.

When current female homeowners and renters who intend to purchase in the next three years were asked,  "When searching for your home, which type of home would you be looking for?" 25 per cent said that they are looking for a 'fixer-upper' and plan to do the work themselves, while only nine per cent will hire a contractor.

While the rise in female homebuyers is prevalent in all the major Canadian cities examined, some regional variances were noted.  Based on qualitative research, women in Toronto, Halifax and Regina are more prone to take on home renovations than women in other cities.  In Halifax and Regina younger female purchasers will flirt with more cosmetic home renovations such as painting and flooring to enhance and update their properties.  In contrast, in Toronto, older, more mature women consider larger renovations as a great way to increase their home's equity.

"Single women now plays significant role in the housing market.  Eager to experience the pride of ownership and exercise their independence, we are seeing growing numbers of women buying their first home on their own, trading-up homes as they progress professionally and taking on home renovations," added da Rocha.  "Today's woman is much more financially astute than her counterpart a decade ago, and is well versed in real estate as a solid long-term investment."


More groomzilla than bridezilla?  When it comes to signing on the dotted line, it is a mortgage certificate, not a marriage certificate that women favour.  When asked, "Given the chance, how likely would you be to go without a wedding reception in order to put a larger down payment on your first home?" 34 Per cent of women who will purchase their first home in the next three years said they were very likely to go without a reception, in comparison to 27 per cent of men who gave the same answer.  And it seems both men and women have become less traditional with each passing year.  A Royal LePage survey commissioned in 2004 found that 30 percent of women and 15 per cent of men who were planning to buy their first home were very likely to forgo a wedding reception in order to put a larger down payment on their home.

Additional Poll Findings:

*  Among those who own and rent and intend to purchase a home/condo in the next three years, men and women both rank equally (81%) taking out a mortgage from a bank, however, nine per cent of men said they would rely on their family to pay for their entire home, in comparison to only three per cent of women.

*  Of women who own, who don't intend to purchase in the next three years, when asked, "Which one of the following motivations most influenced your decisions to purchase your home?"  the top three responses included:  it makes more sense than renting (36%), want to put my money into a good investment (22%) and pride of ownership (13%).

*  Among women who are intending to purchase in the next three years,  when asked, "Which methods will you use to educate yourself about home purchasing?"  the top three responses cited were speaking with a real estate agent (83%), speaking with friends and relatives (78%) and using real estate and financial websites (64%).


Women have always played a significant role in Vancouver's housing market, their impact in the past three to five years has become increasingly more profound.  Among first-time homebuyers condominiums in the $300,000 to $400,000. range are typically the most desired: Kitsilano and downtown are two of the more popular areas.  Divoced women and move-up buyers in the city typically gravitate to half-duplex townhouses and detached houses in the price range of $700,000 to $1-million.  In order to provide additional income, there is a growing trend among mature single buyers to purchase properties with rental units.


The report comprises a nationwide research poll of home buyer attitudes and actions of Canadian men and women (conducted by Maritz Reserach) as well as a regional market analysis of trends and activities with respect to female homebuyers.

Maritz Research conducted a telephone survey among a representative, random sample of 1,002 Canadian females and 1,00 males aged 18 years and older.  Within the female and male sample sizes, the results are considered accurate to within +/-3.10%, 19 times out of 20 for both.  Interviewing was conducted between February 15 and February 20, 2007.

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