(As of December 30, 2008)
1) The majority of Canadian mortgages are insured--not the case in the U.S.
2) First time buyers in Canada are subject to the same credit criteria as any other buyer. They are not given preferential treatment, as has been the case in the U.S.
3) The default rate on mortgages, as of September, stands at about .29% in Canada compared to 25% or more in the U.S.
4) Buyers in Canada generally live in the home they buy. Unlike the U.S., there is little evidence of speculation buying in Canada.
(Source: Canadian Real Estate Assoc. President, Cal Lindberg)
5) Canada's latest unemployment figure weighs in at about 6.3% (Statistics Canada) compared to 6.7% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Conversely, Canada's employment rate is 93.7%.
Predictions: Finance Minister Jim Flaherty predicts an unemployment rate of 6.9% for 2009.The Financial Forecast Center predicts an unemployment rate in the U.S. of 7.6% by July 2009.
Highs & Lows: Since the mid 1970's, Canada reached its highest levels of unemployment in 1983 at 12% and 1993 at 11.4%. Canada recorded its lowest unemployment rate in 2007 at 6% (Human Resources and Social Development Canada). We are only at .3% higher than in 2007.
6) The International Monetary Fund forecasts Canada's economy will grow by 1.1% in 2009. The U.S. economy is "expected to shrink 0.5 per cent next year, according to the World Bank's latest forecast" (Philip Demont, CBC News).
7) Bank of Canada Governor, Mark Carney, on December 17, 2008, predicted a modest recovery "at the back end of 2009 and then strengthening in 2010" for Canada.
8) Canada's debt service ratio is below historical averages and cost of household debt has fallen since last year. (Mark Carney)