Thirty-six is the new 30 for first-time home buyers in Canada -- meaning that the average age of current home buyers is 36, while the majority of current home owners bought their place before they were 30. Considering that millennials are typically 25 to 34 years old, many are left asking the question: are millennials buying homes?
The famous saying "the devil's in the details" is really no joke, and hiding in the shadows of accountability, legal documentation and paper trails is how scammers and con artists trick unsuspecting renters into blowing thousands of dollars on non-existent rental units. Don't let yourself be a victim.
With housing prices on the rise in both Canada and the United States, the next few years will be very interesting for those who are in or thinking about entering the real estate market. Traditionally the real estate market in Canada and the United States has moved in similar directions, but in recent years, the situation has changed.
A bidding war is when the seller will list their house at an artificially reduced price, show buyers the house over a period of about a week, and then have an offer date where all interested buyers present their offers. The expectation is that they will sell for well over the asking price, and have multiple buyers bidding against each other.
I admit that sometimes, as a long-term renter, I do think about what it would be like to own a home. But that doesn't mean that I consider renting a stopover before buying. Renting is its own lifestyle and although currently dominated by millennial city dwellers in Toronto and Vancouver, it is not unique to this generation, nor to their respective cities.
Spring is usually busy season in the housing market, and it will likely be the case this year -- though for different reasons in various areas. Daylight Savings Time begins on March 12, and the first day of spring is the following weekend. Plus, Environment Canada said this week that Canada will likely have a milder than normal spring this year.
Why is 2016 a good year to buy a home in Canada? Let us count the ways. While there are no guarantees, in short, real estate in Canada is a proven performer over time. Sure, Vancouver and Toronto have shown the most spectacular historical growth, but even unsung markets in eastern Canada have performed well over time.
Social housing communities are increasingly home to the most vulnerable members of our communities. The private rental market has left many renters behind, meaning that for families fleeing domestic violence, individuals wrestling with mental health and addictions challenges, and aging seniors on fixed incomes, social housing may be the only available option. It's become clear that both the public and the government now expect social housing providers to go above and beyond their traditional role as landlords, to assist at-risk tenants.
Since I've moved to Vancouver in February of last year I've become accustomed to daily news updates on the real estate market. There are other towns like Squamish that are on the winning end of the housing crisis in Vancouver -- these towns are getting young families that will one day help their town prosper.
On Feb. 15, 2016, Canada's new mortgage rules kick in, mandating higher minimum down payments for homes priced higher than $500,000. But if you're planning to buy a home for less than that figure, you're in luck -- there's plenty of hot markets across Canada with average home prices of less than $500,000.
Many Canadians are opening up their January credit card statements, reeling from the holiday hangover and newly acquired debt they racked up last month. It sure adds up quickly: gifts, some travel, a few nice dinners over the holidays. What would happen if credit card interest rates doubled? How many of us would fall behind in our credit card payments? It sounds horrible but rest assured it is unlikely. But it is far more likely to happen with our mortgage rates. Could you afford your home in 2016 if interest rates rise?