NU Online News Service, July 19, 4:35 p.m. – Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto, says the latest quarterly Gallup poll it commissioned shows Canadians now have a stronger interest in mutual funds and real estate assets.

The survey covers 10 investment areas and vehicles.

The real estate interest index increased to 33, from 27 in March and 12 in December 2000.

The mutual fund interest index increased to 35, from 28 in March.

The home ownership interest index fell 2 points in June, but it still had a value of 62. Owning one’s own home has always ranked as the most popular investment in the quarterly surveys, Manulife says.