I thought I'd throw some of the latest stories being published across Canada about the current Real Estate Market.
A brief highlight of the points that stuck out for me:
1. The Canadian Real Estate Market is stabilizing and actually growing. We're up 9% over last month when seasonally adjusted and last month we were up over 11% from the same month in the previous year. That's very good news if you're a home owner and it seems to be giving buyers some confidence.
2. The majority of sales are first time buyers. Lower prices and record low interest rates seem to be driving the whole thing. The majority of sales are properties under $500,000 and one statistic I saw claimed that 70% of sales in the Calgary area were under $400,000. Once again this seems to inspire buyer confidence in that price range. What I've noticed is that vendors in this price range are getting sticky on price and in some cases down right greedy. Buyers seem to be looking to lowball a lot so negotiations tend to go back and forth quite a bit. What would make sense to me is buyers will find better deals in the higher priced inventory since it seems to be sitting longer but people like to move in packs so the lower priced stuff is what everyone is looking at.
3. While the Canadian Market is doing well our American Brethren are still very heavily leveraged. This means that, for the American's, they still have a long slow climb out of their depressed market. How this will affect us is difficult to predict but it is safe to say that it will have some effect. One "expert" I spoke with says to look for a Canadian Dollar at par with America by Christmas and to watch for high inflation.
4. Fixed Rate Mortgages are on the rise due to an unstable Bonds Market. 5 year fixed rates are over 4%, up from the 3.69% we were seeing last week. Still ridiculously low by historical standards but rising none the less. What amazes me is that more people aren't opting for the variable rates which are based on prime and remains stable and would save you over 1.5%. Prime might rise but it will be slow - you will have plenty of time to lock in if security is your thing. Another option for fence sitters is a blended mortgage giving you the best of both worlds.
5. Last but not least some moron conducted a survey that found that women who own their own home are typically heavier than women who rent. This was so stupid I just had to share.
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