Cross Country Checkup

I just completed visiting all the provinces, starting May 30 and ending today - meeting with realtors in 20 locations across Canada. (And this year, my annual road trip got a new techno-twist: I Tweeted updates from each of the cities from my Blackberry.)

I visited at least 1 city a day, in this order:

  • St. John’s, NF
  • Dartmouth, NS
  • Moncton, NB                                 
  • Ottawa, ON
  • Belleville, ON
  • Peterborough, ON
  • Huntsville, ON
  • Thorold, ON
  • London, ON
  • Barrie, ON
  • Toronto, ON
  • Richmond, BC
  • Kelowna, BC
  • Castlegar, BC
  • Edmonton, AB
  • Calgary, AB
  • Saskatoon, SK
  • Regina, SK
  • Winnipeg, MB
  • Montreal, QC

Generally, I heard tales of reasonable market activity in every area that we visited across the country. The Spring market started a little later than normal - but truly, the entry level is what caught on first - in my opinion, a combination of low interest rates and government incentives for first time buyers. We are now seeing movement within the industry for homes priced mid-range and higher in many areas of the country.

If I was providing guidance to a purchaser, I'd say that probably the areas with the best opportunity for price negotiation would be high-end real estate, which has seen limited activity, and to some degree, recreational property which has lagged behind the rest of the market to this date.

Mortage Rate Changes Move Fence Sitters

I believe that the current mortgage rate increases may cause some “fence sitters” to step into the market. But I don’t believe many people thought that interest rates were going to decline from the very low point about two weeks ago!

Therefore, I don’t believe that the current rate increases are pricing people out of the market. People who were price sensitive with regard to mortgage payments would have - if at all possible - made decisions to buy during the low period of interest rates.

My prediction is that the real estate market will continue to be fairly stable with prices being very level in most areas across Canada- right up to and including a fairly good Fall market.

Check out my Twitter stream @donlawby - and let me know if my observation of YOUR city aligns with how you see the real estate market is playing out in your own neighbourhood.

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