Real Estate and Mortgage updates!!!

Just in that will be of interest.

The Greater Toronto Realtors reported a 74 per cent increase in sales for the first two weeks of February compared to last year, when the recession hit hardest.

There were 3,555 sales through MLS during the first half of this month, compared to 2,0044 during the same period in 2009. This month’s activity was even 7.7 per cent higher than the previous record in 2006.

“Home ownership demand remains strong in the GTA, as households remain confident that economic recovery is at hand and that ownership housing will continue to be a quality long-term investment,” says Tom Lebour, president of the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Accordingly, the increased activity has led to higher prices as well. The average price for February mid-month transactions was $429,997, up 18 per cent from 2009. That’s also drawn more sellers out hoping to cash in. New listings with the Toronto Real Estate Board’s boundaries were up 15 per cent to 6,212.

The board’s senior market analyst Jason Mercer says double-digit price increases wil continue through the first quarter of the year.

“However, as new listings continue to increase,  creating a better supplied market, we will see the annual rate of price growth moderate into the single digits,” says Mercer.

I also this article that really is great to understand the thinking for mortgage rates:

Bank of Canada clings to low rates on strong dollar 

By Paul Vieira, Financial PostOctober

The Bank of Canada said on Tuesday that the “heightened volatility” and “persistent strength” in the Canadian dollar are subduing inflationary pressures and slowing growth.

It added that “the current strength in the dollar is expected, over time, to more than fully offset the favourable developments” in the economy since the central bank last published its economic outlook in July.

As a result, it reiterated its conditional commitment to keep its key policy rate at a record low 0.25% until the end of June of 2010.

The comments were in the Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate announcement, and were likely meant to temper market expectations that the central bank was looking to move earlier than expected on rate hikes. More details about its forecast will become available when the central bank releases its latest forecast, or monetary policy update, on Thursday.

Analysts immediately described the statement as “dovish,” indicating the central bank is in no rush to move on rates.

“The comments contained in this statement tell us two things: that the bank is serious about implications of a further rise in the loonie to above parity; and that it is not going to pull an Australia and raise interest rates prematurely, especially with the currency” at its current level, said Andrew Pyle, wealth advisor and markets commentator with ScotiaMcLeod.

“This is about as dovish a statement as we could have expected, and might remind investors that pricing in rate hikes for the first half of 2010 goes against the central bank’s own projection,” added Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets.

Bond traders drove up yields on short-term Canadian debt in recent weeks on the anticipation that the Bank of Canada would signal its readiness to begin raising rates, like the Reserve Bank of Australia did earlier this month.

Prior to the release of the rate statement, economists had predicted the Bank of Canada would heighten the rhetoric about the Canadian dollar, which was trading near 97 U.S. cents in early morning trading. By 10:10 a.m., the dollar had slumped more than a penny to 95.91 U.S. cents. The dollar has been particularly strong in recent weeks however, gaining on increased risk appetite among investors and weakness in the U.S. currency.

“A tougher stance would be to say that if Type II appreciation [the part not driven by commodity prices] were to continue, it would be taken into account in setting future monetary policy,” said Michael Gregory, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, in a note to clients this morning.

As part of its inflation-targeting regime, the central bank sets its key lending rate at a level to maintain inflation at 2%. But due to the dollar’s strength – which eventually translates into cheaper imports — the central bank now expects inflation to hits its preferred 2% target in the third quarter of 2011, or one quarter later than it previously anticipated. In July, it assumed the Canadian dollar would be trading at the US87¢ level.

Analysts on Bay Street were anticipating that the central bank would revise its inflation outlook based on the dollar’s strength. Inflation data for September showed a decline in headline inflation on a year-over-year basis to -0.9% while core inflation stood at 1.5%, which is below the 2% target.

With inflation appearing to be less of a threat, analysts say the central bank can likely hold to its commitment to keep its key rate at 0.25% until the end of the second quarter.

The central bank also suggested the dollar will have an impact on its growth projections. It now anticipates domestic demand to be the major driver for growth, with net exports expected to be more of a drag as Canadian-made goods become more expensive to sell on the global marketplace.

As a result, it made slight changes to its growth outlook. All told, growth is expected to be “slightly higher” in the second half of this year than previous projected – 2.15% according to its last economic outlook – but to average “slightly lower” over the balance of its projection period, which goes until the end of 2011. The 2010 growth forecast remains intact, at 3%, although for 2011 it has been revised slightly downward to 3.3% from 3.5%.

The Canadian economy is not expected to reach its full capacity until the third quarter of 2011 – again, one quarter later than previously anticipated.

Despite the Canadian dollar’s strength, the central bank suggested global economic and financial developments have been “more favourable” than expected, although “significant fragilities” remain.

Growth in Canada is being supported by a number of factors, the central bank indicated, including fiscal and monetary stimulus; increased household wealth; higher commodity prices; and stronger business and consumer confidence.

I think if you are of interest in getting a mortgage to refinance or to buy the time is now to get going. The rates below show that the time is good:

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGES:::> PURCHASES OR REFINANCES:>

1 YEAR FIXED MORTGAGE RATE 2.55%

2 YEAR FIXED MORTGAGE RATE 2.90%

3 YEAR FIXED MORTGAGE RATE 3.29%

4 YEAR FIXED MORTGAGE RATE 3.69%

5 YEAR FIXED MORTGAGE RATE 3.55% – Refinance.

5 YEAR FIXED MORTGAGE RATE 3.40% – Buy a home with my real estate team!

VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE PROMO 1.85%

VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE NORMAL 1.95%

Call me to discuss your mortgage and real estate needs to get you going.

Toronto: 416-431-6662

Durham: 905-723-0527

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