Friday, March 24, 2006

Retirement income for many based on homes

TORONTO — About 17 per cent of Canadian homeowners say their homes will be their primary source of retirement income, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The survey, by RBC Royal Bank, also found that 32 per cent of respondents 55 and over hold a mortgage, and suggested that Canadians are increasingly comfortable with housing debt following the rise in house prices over the last few years.

‘‘There’s definitely a trend among aging baby boomers that they are very comfortable in holding debt later in their lives, and so I think that a reverse-mortgage, or at least leveraging the equity in their homes, is something they’re comfortable with,’’ Catherine Adams, RBC’s vice president of home equity financing, said in an interview.

Another recent study by the bank found that 48 per cent of Canadians do not believe it’s necessary to retire debt free.

Wednesday’s 13th annual Homeownership Survey also found that 60 per cent of Canadian homeowners currently hold a mortgage, up from 56 per cent in 2005 and from 50 per cent in 2000.

The average amount owing is $95,840.And nearly 40 per cent of mortgage holders have borrowed against the equity in their homes.

By: Tara Perkins

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