Friday, 4 November 2011

The Real Estate Round-Up: November 4, 2011

CMHC: Canadian Housing Market to Stabilize in 2012

Canada's ability to shrug off global uncertainty seems to be continuing, according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHHC), who released their fourth quarter housing market outlook this week.

"Despite continued uncertainty in the global economy, Canada's economic fundamentals remain positive, particularly with respect to interest rates, employment and immigration. These factors will continue to support Canada's housing sector in 2012," said Matheiu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist for CMHC.

This housing market outlook mirrors that of the Conference Board of Canada, which was released last week. You can read about that report here.

Variable of Fixed? It's a no brainer.

With the prime rate being so low, banks simply are not making enough money on discounted variable rates, so the age old debate of 'variable vs fixed' is becoming very one sided.

"For 10 years, I've said don't waste your money on a fixed-rate mortgage," Mr. Majthenyi told The Globe and Mail in a story this week. "Today, I just cannot in good conscience put a borrower into a 3% variable when for the same rate I can put them in a four-year fixed."

General consensus is that when the economy rallies, interest rates will likely rise for an extended period of time due to how low they have been over the last 2 years. The only question is how long until that happens.

5 Real Estate Trends for 2012

The Financial Post released a real estate trends for 2012 article this week, highlighting some key points in the Canadian housing market which will continue to make an impact in the coming year.
  1. Steady but not 'stellar' investment prospects
  2. Continued strength in commercial markets
  3. Toronto and Vancouver are still the top markets to watch for investment and development
  4. The multifamily residential sector remains a safe bet
  5. Renters will continue to favour condos over apartments
Caution is the underlying theme in this forecast, as the abnormally low interest rates make it easy to over commit on real estate. Immigration and downsizing boomers will continue to fuel the multifamily sector, keeping the high demand for condos at record levels.
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