Canada's Housing Market: Is now the right time to buy?

    Industry Experts provided insights, predictions and advice at the BMO
    Real Estate Forum

    TORONTO, April 15 /CNW/ - BMO and industry experts shared their insights
on the current and future state of Canada's real estate market at BMO's Real
Estate Forum in Toronto.
    The panel discussion is available on video:
    The video features BMO experts John Turner, Director, Mortgages, and Sal
Guatieri, Senior Economist, along with industry experts, Brad Lamb, Brad J.
Lamb Realty Inc.; Donald Lawby, President and COO, Century 21 Canada; and Phil
Soper, President and COO, Brookfield Real Estate Services.
    The panel acknowledged that while Canada's real estate market has
significantly slowed over the past year, there are positive signs that the
worst may be behind us. With mortgage rates at near-record lows the current
conditions may be optimal for some first-time home buyers.
    "First-time home buyers need to surround themselves with a good cast of
experts, including a realtor and a lender that can help them take the mystery
out of the home-buying process," said Turner. "We're here to help guide you
through the home buying experience and provide the right advice so you can
shop for your home with confidence. Come in and talk to a financial expert or
book an appointment with a mobile Mortgage Specialist at a time that fits your

    Key insights from Sal Guatieri:

    -   Prices are expected to fall moderately further this year.
    -   The housing downturn appears to be slowing in response to improved
    -   Interest rates are likely to remain low well into next year. The
        economic recovery, coupled with low interest rates and good
        affordability, should spur an increase in home sales next year.
    -   Firmer sales, in turn, should allow prices to stabilize and
        eventually grow alongside household income. Firmer demand should also
        lift housing starts to about 160,000 in 2010.
    -   While the housing market may experience a further correction this
        year, it will remain far more stable than the U.S and several other
        countries. More conservative borrowing and lending practices in
        Canada limit the risk of a deep correction.

    BMO recently launched the BMO First Home Essentials kit, a step-by-step
guide for entering the real estate market. The kit includes helpful tips,
worksheets to calculate various home purchasing scenarios, access to an online
planning tool and more than $1,800 in special offers. The kit is available at or by calling 1-866-240-9920.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Kasia Lech, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996

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