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- Seven in ten bought their home as "a good investment" - 29 is their average age when making their first home purchase - Four in five are single and have no children - Biggest payoffs: financial security, sense of ownership, independence - Biggest headaches: maintenance and repairs TORONTO, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - In a new national poll by TD Canada Trust, a portrait of the individual Canadian woman homeowner has emerged as single, financially savvy and most likely to purchase a condominium. The poll, conducted in the first two weeks of this year by Ipsos-Reid, was among women aged 20 to 45 who have purchased a home as an individual rather than jointly with a spouse or common law partner. Among this group, the average age at which they purchased their first home is 29 years. 82% are single, 80% have no children and 49% have a university degree. The vast majority (86%) still live in the last home they purchased and have made only one home purchase as an individual (81%), "With more and more Canadian women marrying later in life or remaining single, we're seeing the emergence of the young, financially savvy woman who's taking on the commitments, joys and responsibilities of owning a home," says Joan Dal Bianco, Vice President, Real Estate Secured Lending. Respondents indicate their main motivation for buying a home was that it was a good investment (71%), that they didn't want to pay rent anymore (61%) and their desire to get into the housing market (54%). More than three-quarters (77%) say their biggest worry prior to purchase was the affordability/financial commitment, while half (51%) cited having to assume homeowner responsibilities such as maintenance and a homeowners legal liabilities. "For women, independence means, among other things, not having to worry about a roof over your head and having a good retirement plan," says Patricia Lovett-Reid, Senior Vice President of TD Waterhouse. "The beautiful thing about home ownership is that it gives women security in the present while allowing them to build equity for the future." First-time condo buyer Lisa Olsen, a 22-year-old Torontonian, feels a sense of pride in having a place of her own. "I wanted get into the real estate market early and have my money go towards something tangible." The online survey was conducted among 713 women living in major metropolitan areas across Canada and reflects the population of Canadian women in these areas aged 20-45 according to 2006 Census data. The margin of error for the total sample is 3.7%, 19 times out of 20. Overall, condominiums are the most popular option for individual women homeowners (42%), followed by houses (34%), townhouses (13%) and duplexes or triplexes (6%). Vancouver women, at 73%, are most likely to buy a condo, followed by Toronto women (52%). In Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal, condos and houses have the same appeal to individual women buyers. But in Prairie and Atlantic Canadian cities, houses are the top choice for individual women homeowners (64% Prairies, 57% Atlantic). Across all types of homes, cost and location of the neighbourhood emerge as the two top selection criteria by women homeowners. As for condo vs. house, cost is sited as a decision factor significantly more often by condo buyers than house buyers (77% vs. 57%). The same applies to low or no maintenance (50% for condo buyers vs. 8% for homebuyers). Conversely, significantly more house buyers than condo buyers cite wanting a yard (48% vs. 1%) and size (42% vs. 33%) as decision factors. What are the best and worst aspects of owning a home for the individual woman homeowner? While no single best aspect emerges, the three top mentions are financial security and building equity (23%), having a place of one's own (22%) and gaining independence and control (18%). The worst aspect by far is maintenance and repairs (21% of respondents), followed by the cost of maintenance and repairs (6%). Half of respondents (50%) say their main reason for selling would be to trade up. 41% say it would be for more space and 37% say it would be to switch to a different type of home. Only 29% say it would be because they are getting married. "We are witnessing nothing less than a revolution among individual Canadian women," concludes Dal Bianco. "Right across the country, they are investing in themselves and in their futures by becoming homeowners, and in doing so are strongly reinforcing their financial and personal freedom." About TD Bank Financial Group The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group serves more than 14 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 4.5 million on-line customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$422 billion in assets as of October 31, 2007. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges under the symbol "TD", as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For further information: Kelly Hechler, Media Relations, Corporate and Public Affairs, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 982-2469

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