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"Location, Location, Location"-BMO Report Shows Safety, Quiet Street and Good Neighbours Are Top Priorities for Home Buyers

- First-time buyers more likely than repeat buyers to consider commute to work, public transit and stores and restaurants when buying a home

- Report reveals differences among regions and major city centres

- BMO and Canadian Real Estate Association offer advice for buyers and sellers



TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 9, 2013) - While there are a number of factors to consider when deciding on the right location to buy a home, Canadians view the safety of a neighbourhood to be the most important (63 per cent) feature of a home's location, according to a new BMO Bank of Montreal survey.

The survey, conducted by Pollara, also found that living on a quiet street (43 per cent), having good neighbours (30 per cent), having a short commute to work (28 per cent) and being near family and friends (25 per cent) rank high on Canadians' list of location priorities when buying a home.

"Everyone has a unique set of personal and financial priorities, so it's important that those particular needs are considered when deciding on the right location to purchase a home," said Laura Parsons, Mortgage Expert, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Taking a practical approach to home buying is the key to preventing yourself from getting 'swept away' by the bells and whistles of a house. Home buyers should make a list of needs versus wants and prioritize them in order of highest to lowest importance."

The poll also revealed that significant differences become apparent when comparing the national averages to first-time home buyers. For instance:

  • Having a short commute to work is more important to first-time buyers than the average buyer (34 per cent versus 28 per cent)
  • Living near public transit (28 per cent versus 19 per cent) is also higher on the priority list for first-timers than repeat buyers
  • However, living on a quiet street (30 per cent versus 43 per cent) and having good neighbours (21 per cent versus 30 per cent) are far less important to first-timers
LOCATION PRIORITIES NATIONAL FIRST-TIME BUYER REGION
ATL QC ON MB/SK AB BC Mon Tor Cal Van
Safe neighbourhood 63% 62% 71% 55% 63% 73% 67% 63% 59% 60% 64% 62%
Quiet street 43% 30% 41% 54% 39% 37% 41% 42% 48% 28% 37% 37%
Good neighbours 30% 21% 38% 25% 31% 32% 30% 28% 21% 25% 23% 23%
Short commute to work 28% 34% 23% 30% 26% 38% 30% 28% 28% 28% 35% 33%
Near friends and family 25% 20% 26% 28% 24% 28% 22% 23% 27% 25% 22% 22%
Near stores and restaurants 23% 28% 28% 20% 23% 24% 23% 26% 22% 24% 26% 32%
Near public transit 19% 28% 9% 20% 21% 11% 15% 21% 28% 31% 20% 29%

Ms. Parsons encourages buyers and sellers to be aware of any changing conditions on the local level. "If planning to buy or sell a property, consider working with an expert who can help you make decisions that are appropriate to the health of your local market, and more importantly, that fit within your particular personal and financial priorities.

"Getting pre-approved financing, choosing a fixed rate and stress-testing mortgage payments in advance of buying a home can provide peace of mind and help home buyers become mortgage-free sooner," added Ms. Parsons.

"REALTORS® are always available to help buyers find the property that's right for them," said Laura Leyser, President of The Canadian Real Estate Association. "And to provide consumers with information to help them through this difficult and emotional process, our Homebuyers' Road Map, developed in collaboration with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, is available online at www.crea.ca/resources."

The BMO Home Buying Report was conducted by Pollara. Survey results cited in this report are from online interviews with a sample of 2,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over, conducted between February 25 and March 5, 2013. As a guideline, a probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Data has been weighted by region, gender, and age, based on the most recent Census figures, so that it is representative of all adult Canadians.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $538 billion as at January 31, 2012, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Media Contacts:
Jessica Park, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
jessica1.park@bmo.com

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
valerie.doucet@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com

Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia