More than half of B.C. homeowners have refinanced their home or property, a new survey by Mustel Group for the Society of Notaries Public found.
Of those who have refinanced, 49 per cent used the money for renovations; 23 per cent to buy other real estate; 23 per cent for other investments; 10 per cent to purchase a new car; and 8 per cent to consolidate or pay off other debts.
“B.C.’s homeowners have enjoyed a healthy real estate market in most areas of the province,” said John Eastwood, president of the Society of Notaries Public of B.C. and a South Delta notary. “Many homeowners find themselves in the fortunate position where the current value of the house or property has far surpassed the price they initially paid, meaning a significant amount of their equity is tied up in the home. Mortgage refinancing allows them to access this equity without having to sell or downsize.”
Homeowners were split on whether the value of their homes would go up in 2012, with 44 per cent saying they expect an increase and 52 per cent expecting prices to stay the same.
In Metro Vancouver, 54 per cent said they expect prices to go up, with 34 per cent not expecting increases in the next year.
“There’s always a lot of interest in house prices and market forecasts here in B.C.,” said Akash Sablok, a Vancouver notary. “The reality is that most people live in their homes and those homes are their biggest investment and equity holding so it’s important to understand both the implications and opportunities this presents whether you’re looking to buy, sell or refinance.”
– ‘More than half of B.C. homeowners have refinanced: poll’, Vancouver Sun, 30 May 2012
HELOCs are common. They result in increased leverage to the RE market; an increased vulnerability to falling prices.
Note how this poll suggests that 96% of BC owners believe that in 2012 prices will either go up or stay unchanged. Which means only 4% say prices will drop. (Freaks!)
Also, note the universal “homes are an investment” belief.