Saturday, March 7, 2009

London Free Press Article from March 7, 2009

Never been a better time to buy that home .
Combined with falling house prices, real estate experts say now is the time to buy

OTTAWA -- Jim Rawson says it's a great time to buy a house.
The regional manager of Invis mortgage brokerage firm in Toronto has been in the business since 1978 and has never seen interest rates, both variable and fixed, so low. Pair that with falling housing prices and it's a no-brainer.
"People have to have somewhere to live and whether you are paying for a mortgage or paying rent, you still have to be paying to live somewhere," Rawson explains.
But something is missing in the equation. As prices for most consumer goods, cars and homes decline -- in some cases plunge -- and the cost of borrowing falls, Canadians have been hesitant to buy.
The Bank of Canada did its part this week to lure consumers and businesses out of their fox hole, dropping the overnight rate down to an unheard of 0.5% -- virtually zero.

Canada's chartered banks lowered their prime rate to 2.5% on Tuesday, shortly after the central bank moved, and by the end of the week were lowering other lending rates.
TD Canada Trust is reducing several of its posted fixed-term mortgage rates today. TD's biggest decrease was with its two-year mortgage, which falls to 5.0% from 5.75%.
Scotiabank lopped nearly two percentage points off the advertised price for its 10-year mortgage, which fell to 5.25% from 7.15%, yesterday.
Canadians have slowed down borrowing and spending, most visibly in the auto sector, which saw sales volume crash by 28% in February.

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