Low mortgage rates and more affordable homes in many markets are pushing first-time buyers to enter the market in droves, Canadian real estate experts say.
Phil Soper, president and CEO of Brookfield Real Estate Services, told a Bank of Montreal conference affordability in many parts of the country is improving.
The housing market has shifted from a seller's market to a buyer's market, which is good news for someone looking to buy their first home, he said.
"The uptick in first time home buyer purchases across the country is quiet astonishing,"Soper said.
"Affordability in places like Vancouver has improved for the first time in a very long time."
BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri said the average mortgage payment has fallen by one-third, or $600 a month, from its peak, while average resale home prices have fallen 14 per cent from highs seen in mid-2007.
Guatieri said he expects resale prices to fall "moderately further" this year for a cumulative decline in prices of about 20 per cent, but he said the slump in prices is showing as buyers respond to rising affordablity.
SOURCE: THE TORONTO STAR