With the 1st Quarter of 2012 already behind us, I have been asked the 'evergreen' question; How's the Market? We all know that it depends on what you are planning on doing, and that is why a personal consultation with a REALTOR is irreplaceable. However, let us look at the general market indicators. In January we looked at the market (http://bit.ly/It_is_not_Doom_and_Gloom) so this should provide a good insight if read in reference with that post.
Vacancy Rates: The rental vacancy rates are down. Which means there are fewer residential units available for rent. According to CMHC's Housing Market Outlook First Quarter 2012, in comparison to 2011, there has been a 7% drop. It remains to be seen how this trends through 2012.
Population, A Big Factor: 2011 estimated to 2012 forecasted numbers show that net migration to Ontario has increased almost 5% over 2011 to 93,450.
Immigration: 2/3 of Canada's foreign born population settles in either Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal. More recent newcomers are professionals and business people, who represent newer business opportunities for Ontarians. I have helped several new immigrants buy hundreds of thousand dollars of real estate with minimal investment. Most major financial institutions now have programs to help new settlers into the country.
Job Market: For Toronto 416 area, the unemployment rate for February 2012 was 9.5% compared to 10.4% in January. The 905 area came in at 7.5% in February compared to 8.1% in January 2012. (Source: Toronto's Economic Dashboard)
Consumer Confidence: If spending was any indicator of consumer confidence, retail sales in Toronto census area increased to $6.7 billion as compared to $5.7 billion for the previous month.
So there you have it. Let's not forget that in addition to all of the above, the mortgage rates have remained low and affordable. Looking at the world economies and trends, mortgage rates should stay low for some time to come, except of course the local minor adjustments.