Most homeowners borrow for renos

More than half of British Columbia homeowners have refinanced their home or property, a new survey by Mustel Group for the Society of Notaries Public shows.

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 eight 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 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 paid, meaning a significant amount of their equity is in the home.

Mortgage refinancing allows them access to this equity without selling or downsizing."

Homeowners were split on whether the value of their homes would rise 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 of those surveyed per cent expect prices to rise, with 34 per cent not expecting increases in the next year.

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