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- TD Canada Trust releases 2010 Quebec Home Buyers Report -

MONTREAL, July 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Quebecers look at the least amount of homes while shopping for their first home, yet they are most likely in the country to live in their first home for their entire lifetime. This is according to the first TD Canada Trust Home Buyers Report which surveyed Quebecers who have purchased their first home in the past 2 years or who intend to purchase a home in the next 2 years.

An average Quebec home buyer spends just over 8 months searching for their first home and views more than 10 homes (versus 13 homes nationally). Once Quebecers buy their home, more than a quarter never plan on selling (26% versus 16% nationally) and another quarter plan on staying in their first home for ten years or more.

For the first home, six-in-ten bought or intend to buy a fully detached home and 81% want a new home, but can they afford it? Eighty-six per cent of first time buyers in Quebec took out or expect to take out a mortgage for their home with only 23% of respondents planning to or having a conventional mortgage. Quebecers are among the most likely in the country to make a down payment of less than 20% (77% versus 70% nationally). Quebecers are the least likely in the country to worry about being able to afford their home if interest rates rise (47% versus 59% nationally).

"It's only natural to want your first home to be the home of your dreams, but it is important to be realistic about what you can afford as a down payment and what that will mean for both the type of home you buy and for your mortgage payments over time," says Christine Marchildon, Senior Vice President, Quebec Region, TD Canada Trust. "I advise first time home owners to consider a larger down payment because a 10% or greater down payment will make a big difference. It may mean that you need to save longer before buying your first home, but it will pay off in the end. Speak with a representative at your bank about setting up an automatic savings plan to help you save."

Type of home and home attributes:

Eighty-one per cent of first time home buyers would prefer a new home over an old home, but they are evenly split on location. Fifty-four per cent would prefer a smaller home closer to work and 46% would prefer a larger home with a longer commute. While the majority prefer detached homes, 23% chose a condo, 17% prefer town homes and 11% seek a semi-detached home.

Not surprisingly all Quebecers say price is the most important factor when considering what kind of home to buy and where. The second and third most popular were features of the home (95%) and layout of the home (92%). Quebecers are the least likely in the country to consider proximity to work as a reason for purchasing a home (76% versus 86% nationally).

Quebec home buyers do their homework:

Quebecers are making informed financial decisions before buying their home. Top activities before buying a home include learning about mortgage options (94%), getting pre-approved (90%) and estimating utility costs (86%). Assuming property taxes and moving costs are the top two costs that Quebec buyers felt unprepared for (48% and 47% respectively).

Home financing:

Three-quarters of Quebecers report putting down as much as they can afford for a down payment and 56% per cent say they saved or plan on saving for more than two years for their home purchase. In fact, Quebecers are most likely in the country to save for 5 or more years for their home purchase (26% versus 20% nationally). Nearly two-thirds say they expected or expect to pay less than the asking price for their home. Only 8% expect to pay more, while 28% expect to pay the asking price.

Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed have or plan to have a fixed-rate mortgage. "Historically you are more likely to save interest costs with a variable rate mortgage, so if they can handle some volatility then I recommend buyers choose a variable rate. If people are adverse to interest rate fluctuations then a fixed-rate is best," says Marchildon.

About the TD Canada Trust Home Buyers Report:

Results for the TD Canada Trust Home Buyers Report were collected through a custom online survey conducted by Environics Research Group. A total of 1,000 completed surveys were collected between June 8-21, 2010 with 240 respondents from Quebec. All participants either purchased their first home within the past 24 months, or intend to purchase their first home within the next 24 months.

About TD Bank Financial Group

The year 2010 marks the 150th anniversary of TD Bank Financial Group in Quebec. TDBFG has built on a long tradition of quality client service and community involvement that dates back to the opening of the first branch in Quebec in 1860. Today, TDBFG's Quebec presence includes over 4,000 employees and 125 offices and points of service, as well as significant investments in community programs.

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 18 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 and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$574 billion in assets on April 30, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

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