Media Advisory/Interview Opportunity - Canadian Housing Market off to a Good
Start in 2010

BMO advises what this means for homeowners and prospective buyers coming into what is typically the busiest time of year in the real estate market

TORONTO, Feb. 8 /CNW/ - Canada Mortgage Housing Corp. reported today that housing starts rose 5.8 per cent in January.

"Housing starts have recovered from last year's lows, reflecting continued strength in home sales," said Sal Guatieri, Sr. Economist, Bank of Montreal. "Home builders are gaining confidence that the housing boom will persist, with starts now in line with normal levels and up 66% from April's 13-year low."

Regionally, January's seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 19.8 per cent in British Columbia, by 7.3 per cent in Quebec, by 2.3 per cent in Atlantic Canada, and by 1.5 per cent in the Ontario. In the Prairies, the annual rate of urban starts decreased by 4.8 per cent.

So what does this mean for homeowners and prospective buyers as Canadians prepare for the busiest period in the real estate market?

BMO has local spokespeople who are available for media interviews to discuss the latest developments and answer top of mind questions including:

    
    -   What are the benefits of a shorter amortization?
    -   How can saving for a higher down payment save you money over the life
        of your mortgage?
    -   What are the advantages of making pre-payments?
    -   With mortgage rates which at historic lows- what does this mean for
        Canadians who are contemplating buying ahead of the busiest part of
        the real estate season?
    -   Fixed vs. Variable?
    

SOURCE BMO BANK OF MONTREAL

For further information: For further information: or to arrange for an interview, please contact: Martha McInnis, Toronto, Martha.mcinnis@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996


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