Canadian Realty Holding Its Own

The annual winter lull in the real estate market means that the time is good for prospective buyers who like to take their time. With Canadian unemployment at a 33 year low, the realty market looks like holding strong.

It is difficult for many of us Canadians to accept that while the US realty market may be floundering, the Canadian market is steady. In fact, due to the strength of our dollar and the weakness of the US dollar against International currencies, many Americans are actually buying into Canada to preserve their funds.

While coastal and lake areas would seem an obvious choice for American speculation, many are buying properties simply as an investment project. Renting a condo is one of the easiest way to make money and have the property 'buy itself', and condo sales everywhere have jumped as people are realizing the enjoyment of life without maintenance!

Condominium prices in Ottawa have been climbing upwards all year, with an increase of 7% over this time last year. The strong job market was partly the cause of this. The increase in national employment has marked the 15th. straight year of national employment growth.

In Calgary, condos are also a good investment and offer a reasonable price range if you are trying to get started on the property ladder. The increased inventory of all properties has slowed the market at the moment, so now is a good time to look for a condo. Some builders have even dropped their prices, so brand new ones can be snapped up by the shrewd buyer.

Despite the changes emanating from the famous revisions to the oil royalty revenue, Calgary has a strong economy and has seen a large population increase. According to one national forecast, it is poised to experience moderate growth and a sustainable real estate market though 2008.

Average house prices in Calgary are set to increase by 4% and in a slower moving market, first time buyers may be encouraged to put their toe in the water.

One of the mandatory requirements for a mortgage for first time (or any other) buyers is a good credit rating. If there is no credit rating recorded against you then apply to a bank for a credit card. They may require you to deposit $500.00 or $300.00 and then you will be required to leave that untouched in the bank as security.

By using your card every month, and paying it every month - on time, you will begin to build up a good credit history. Of course, other data is required by a lender. You will need tax forms showing your income and a letter on headed notepaper from your company stating your earnings.

It is always advisable to get "pre-approved" before looking for a house. This means you sort out the finance before checking out the realty. If you proceed in this order, you will know if you have to save more money for the down-payment, or which price range you can look in when choosing.

Things often 'heat up' in the housing market in the spring, so now may be a good time to invest in some Canadian realty.