Canadians will be more active in their interest in property over the next years, especially first time buyers, according to a new survey.

About one in four Canadians in a survey done by the Royal Bank plan to buy a home over the next two years, some 27 per cent.

That rate is up four points from 2008, when 23 per cent of those surveyed responded that they planned to buy a home over the following two years. New homebuyers are expected to lead the way in sales this year, as 48 per cent of those surveyed under the age of 35 say they plan to buy, sharply up from 36 per cent last year.

Nearly half of all the respondents, some 48 per cent, say it makes sense to buy a home now versus waiting until next year when prices and interest rates might be higher.

“The current economic environment does not appear to have dampened Canadians’ overall confidence in the housing market,” says Karen Leggett, head of home equity financing at RBC Royal Bank.

She says Canadians have held on to the belief that a home will have long-term value.

Some 83 per cent of respondents view homeownership as a good investment, although that’s still down from a high of 90 per cent in 2006.

Breaking it down by regions, respondents found BC most to be a buyers market, some 78 per cent. The lowest percentage was in Saskatchewan/Manitoba, where just 34 per cent felt they were in a buyers market.

The region with the most respondents saying they had intentions to buy was in Alberta, at 35 per cent, and the smallest percentage with intentions to buy was in Quebec, at 22 per cent.