Toronto, ON – November 26, 2013 – Earlier today, REALTORS® hosted Lucie Tedesco, Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) at a roundtable to discuss Canadian homebuyers’ financial literacy.

Enhancing Canadians’ financial literacy is a priority shared by the federal government and REALTORS®. Today’s roundtable with the Commissioner allowed representatives from The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) to share research and experiences with homebuyers’ financial preparedness with representatives from FCAC.

“The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada is committed to helping Canadians make responsible financial decisions,” stated Lucie Tedesco, Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. “Our collaboration with REALTORS® does just that, by providing information that helps consumers better understand the costs of buying a home.”

A 2012 Nanos Research1 study, commissioned by CREA, found that more than 63% of respondents indicated a “major need” for more information about the financial details of buying a home.  That figure rose to over 70% when considering respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 only. Further, 86% believed that Canadians would benefit from a toolkit that would help them better understand the financial aspects relative to the purchase of a home2.

“Buying a home is an intensely personal – and sometimes emotional – decision.  REALTORS® play a key role bridging the gap between the emotional and the practical financial considerations,” said Laura Leyser, President of CREA. “By providing Canadians with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible home buying decisions, financial literacy contributes to the long-term stability of the housing market”

As a result, FCAC and CREA joined efforts in 2012 to develop and launch the Homebuyers’ Road Map, providing first-time homebuyers the tools needed to make a responsible financial decision about one of the largest purchases they will make in their lifetimes.

“REALTORS® are on the front lines of financial literacy every day, helping potential buyers understand the financial implications of home ownership,” said Phil Dorner, President of the Ontario Real Estate Association. “Canadians, particularly younger buyers, crave information about the financial details of buying a home.”

One year after the official launch of the Homebuyers’ Road Map, representatives from the real estate profession met with FCAC to share feedback from those who work closest with buyers and sellers, in order to amplify the efforts undertaken to date.

“The Homebuyers’ Road Map arms REALTORS® with an educational resource to help Canadians make responsible decisions about one of the largest purchases most will ever make – buying or selling real estate,” shared Dianne Usher, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.

The Homebuyers’ Road Map is available online at http://crea.ca/sites/default/files/Homebuyers_Road_Map_EN.pdf.

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ABOUT CREA: The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 106,000 REALTORS® working through more than 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

ABOUT OREA: The Ontario Real Estate Association represents over 56,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 41 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services. http://www.orea.com/

ABOUT TREB: Greater Toronto REALTORS® are passionate about their work. They are governed by a strict Code of Ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service. Over 37,000 TREB Members serve consumers in the Greater Toronto Area. The Toronto Real Estate Board is Canada’s largest real estate board. www.torontorealestateboard.com

ABOUT FCAC: With educational materials and interactive tools, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides objective information about financial products and services to help Canadians increase their financial knowledge and confidence in managing their personal finances. FCAC informs consumers about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with banks and federally regulated trust, loan and insurance companies. FCAC also makes sure that federally regulated financial institutions, payment card network operators and external complaints bodies comply with legislation and industry commitments intended to protect consumers.

You can reach us through FCAC’s Consumer Services Centre by calling toll-free 1-866-461-3222 (TTY: 613-947-7771 or 1-866-914-6097) or by visiting our website: itpaystoknow.gc.ca.

FOOTNOTES:

1 Survey conducted by Nanos Research and commissioned by The Canadian Real Estate Association. The survey was a random national telephone survey of 1000 Canadians aged 18 and over and is considered accurate ± 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

2 Question: Do you think Canadians would benefit, somewhat benefit, somewhat not benefit or not benefit from a free toolkit which helped Canadians better understand the financial aspects to buying a home? Responses, all of Canada: Benefit 54.6%; Somewhat benefit 31.6% for a total of 86.2%.