I don’t know how much you keep in touch with things going on back home in Canada, but the real estate market there is still humming along. Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary are the most notable cities when it comes to activity and price appreciation.
Vancouver prices are going through the stratosphere and Toronto continues to build condos at a frantic pace. Calgary is still the place to move to if you need a job so in migration is high both from other provinces within Canada and from other countries.
The doomsayers have been predicting an American style crash for years now and it just won’t happen. Even with all the finance minister’s moves to slow the market down, with lowering the maximum amortization from 40 to 35 to 30 and finally to 25 years the market continues to defy all expectations. Just before he stepped down as finance minister, Jim Flaherty increased the premiums for CMHC backed mortgages which are really Government backed mortgages. If you want to put only 5% down on your home you need to pay over 3% for CMHC insurance which is usually tacked onto the total mortgage so you don’t pay it in advance.
One thing that is helping to keep the market moving despite all the changes I just noted, is the fact that mortgage rates are at an all time low. Right now you can get a 5 year fixed rate mortgage for 2.84% from some of the smaller financial institutions and 2.99% from the Bank of Montreal and they are advertising that rate everywhere.
In Calgary RE/MAX realtor Carmen Paradis told me that there are very few properties on the market and bidding wars are common. She said that if you want to list a property in Calgary, now is a great time. As long as it is a decent property and you are not unrealistic with your asking price, your home will sell and at a premium price. However with the spring market just starting, you may want to wait a little while longer and let the prices go up even more. If you want more information on selling a home in Calgary go to her website here http://www.carmenslistings.ca/sell-my-house/
Who knows how long this market will last but one thing I know is that when the experts start saying that it will last forever – that is when you need to worry because they almost always seem to get it wrong.