I know it’s not “popular” protocol in the media to report positive news, so I’ll just post it on my site for all of you to enjoy. The following points are excerpts from the recent CMHC conference about the state of our residential affairs…and it is very comforting for both buyers and sellers. Enjoy!!

CMHC – Highlights from Recent CMHC Housing Forecast Forum:
1. Mortgage interest rates will remain low, more or less where they are now, throughout 2011

2. Canadian household debt to family income is approximately 145 percent. Although this number appears high, it is much higher in other prosperous countries. For example, Scandinavian countries have household debt to income ratios that exceed 300 percent.

3. Although Canadians are carrying debt it is very low compared to assets per household. Canadian debt per household is about $120,000. Assets are approximately $580,000.

4. Mortgage payments as a percentage of disposable income is about 32 percent. This is a moderate number. For example in 1989 mortgage payments totaled 56 percent of a Canadian family’s dispensable income.

5. Existing home sales are in a balanced market and will remain there into 2011. It was a Seller’s market from 2002 until 2008 with a return to a Seller’s market for a few months in 2009 and 2010. This statistic is based on a sales-to-list ratio of 50 percent. In a Seller’s market the sales-to-list ratio reached highs that exceeded 80 percent.

6. Sales of existing homes are forecast to begin increasing in the first and second quarters of 2011. CMHC has not made any specific predictions but feels that the increase will be within a broad range depending on how the economy unfolds.
7. MLS prices are also expected to increase nationally. Again CMHC is forecasting a range that could be as high as 6 percent to a low of no or marginal growth.

8. Housing starts nationally will be consistent with Canada’s demographic growth and requirements. A low of 150,000 to a high of 200,000 starts.

9. G.T.A. home sales will stabilize in 2011 at their current levels. This could result in sales ranging from 76,000 to 82,000 properties.

10. G.T.A. average sale prices will stay stable in 2011, at their current levels ($430,000) with a possible modest increase of approximately 1 percent, depending on how the economy performs.

11. G.T.A. housing starts will stabilize at around 30,000.

12. In the G.T.A. only 20percent of condominium apartments are rented. The rest are home owner occupied. In 1995 32 percent of all condominium apartments in the G.T.A. were rented.

13. May see a greater demand for rental units in 2011 as the homeownership market stabilizes and the need for buyers to make quick decisions to enter the market place subsizes.

14. The economy will be in an expansionist phase in 2011. It will not be lead by real estate. It will be lead by energy, commodities transportation and warehousing.

I look forward to helping YOU move forward!!

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