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Don't miss out on this year's market

As real estate professionals, we know that Canadians have an almost insatiable curiosity about the market. No matter where we go or what we're doing, as soon as anyone hears that we're in real estate, the next question is usually, "What's the market going to do this year?" Well, whether you're thinking of buying or selling, let us put your mind at ease. There's a lot of good news in the 2008 market.

You've probably heard that the Canadian housing market set a number of MLS ® sales records by the end of last year, and the re-sale housing market is expected to remain at near record sales levels in 2008. At least, so says The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) when reporting on the national picture. Annual residential MLS ® sales activity totaled 520,747 units in 2007, the first time ever that MLS ® transactions in Canada surpassed 500,000 homes sold in one year.

So what does that mean to you? Well, for one thing, it means that there's still strong buyer demand, and that demand means prices are expected to climb to new heights in 2008. While that will certainly make sellers happy, it won't come as good news if you're thinking of buying. However, even for buyers, there's still a silver lining. The high demand for homes means that buyers are still finding the current prices to be manageable, thanks to the very affordable interest rates that are in place right now. According to CREA, Canadian mortgage lenders see that home prices will continue rising, so there's still strong competition for mortgage business in Canada. More good news is that The Bank of Canada cut its trend-setting interest rates on January 22 and again on March 4th. These lower interest rates help to offset any increase in housing affordability due to rising prices. The bottom line is, even though the sale price may go up (good for sellers!), the carrying cost for the b uyer changes very little due to the lower interest (so that's good for buyers!). And while you're carrying a home for much the same cost as if you'd bought when prices were lower, the best news for buyers is your equity could be growing as prices continue to rise. Industry forecasts call for more gains in average price - both this year and in 2009.

And just how high will prices go? Well, average prices for MLS® home sales are expected to keep setting records in 2008, although prices will increase more slowly as the market becomes more balanced across the country. According to CREA's Chief Economist, a larger supply of listings will be one of the balancing influences, so there'll be more for buyers to choose from in 2008. Nationwide, the average resale price is forecast to increase another 5.5% this year, to $322,700.

Of course, that's just an overview of market conditions in general. We can tell you that prices can vary dramatically within regions, communities, or even on the same street. If you'd like some 'insider information' on today's market, please contact us and let us know how we can help!

Posted on Friday, April 11, 2008 at 01:21PM by Registered CommenterElaine | CommentsPost a Comment

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