Getting to know Canada
Stunning scenery, welcoming people, a growing and settled economy. There are many reasons why Canada regularly attracts hundreds and thousands of new permanent residents per year from all around the world.
Sure, Canada may often be overlooked in favour of its brasher, and arguably more glamorous, southern neighbour, but those who do choose to look north of the United States for a new homeland are often not at all disappointed by what they find.
The sheer size of Canada can undoubtedly be a little daunting, especially for those of us used to living on a fairly small, yet densely populated, island. Put simply, Canada is huge! Around 80 percent of Canada’s population live in towns and cities in the ‘milder’ southern areas of the country, and more than 25 cities in the country have populations of more than 100,000 – yet these still account for less than 1 percent of Canada’s vast landmass.
Stretching from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east and covering an area of 9,984,670 square kilometres, within the world’s second largest country you will find thriving cities, sandy beaches, towering mountain ranges and verdant plains. Canada practically accommodates every single type of scenic and social diversity within its borders, so no matter what your beliefs, preferences or temperaments there will be an area of Canada to suit you.
Canadian property market overview
Canada’s property market emerged relatively unscathed from the global financial crisis and the country’s long-running housing boom seems to show no signs of ending, with national home sales increasing by 9.4 percent on a year-on-year basis in March, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). However, when excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are the only two hot spots for home sales and prices at present, the national sale price was a more modest 2.4 percent. Outside of the main immigrant hotspots, average property prices average property prices are commonly below the national value – and it is still possible to pick up a new home for less than CDN$200,000 in some areas of Atlantic Canada.
National average house price: CDN$437,699
Major city with lowest average price: Fredericton, New Brunswick – CDN$178,479
Major city with highest average price: Vancouver, British Columbia – CDN$866,722
Price sources: Canadian Real Estate Association
Basic mortgage facts
- Max 50% loan to value $100,000 minimum loan Rates from 2.74%
- Eligibility criteria for mortgages have become tighter over recent years, but you can still generally borrow up to 50 per ent of the value of a property and the minimum loan is CDN$100,000. Rates start from just 2.74 percent for a one-year fixed deal, and 2.84 percent for a 5-year fixed deal.
- A key calculation used in the application is the debt-to- income ratio, which establishes whether you can afford to maintain the mortgage repayments, so your existing liabilities including loans, credit card payments and maintenance are taken into account, together with the proposed Canadian mortgage payments. All of this must not exceed 35 percent of your gross monthly income.