Bank rates and Parade of Homes

While sometimes it seems a bit of a cliché to say times are great for buying a house, it would be hard to argue against this statement if you are in a good financial position, have job security and want to take advantage of historically  low interest rates.  You can also choose from a healthy supply of existing and new homes available for sale. 

The Bank of Canada recently announced the lowering of the overnight lending rate to only 0.5 per cent with the major banks matching this move by lowering their prime rate half a point to 2.5 per cent — all of which helps Canadian consumers in the marketplace. 

“The Canadian economy is still widely expected to begin growing in the second half of 2009, as government spending and easier credit begins to lift economic growth,”  said the Canadian Real Estate Association’s chief economist, Gregory Klump. 

According to the Bank of Canada, “The effects of the recent aggressive monetary and fiscal policy actions in Canada and other major economies will begin to be felt in the second half of the year and build in 2010. Once the global financial system stabilizes and global growth recovers, the underlying strength of the Canadian economy and financial sector should ensure a more rapid recovery in Canada than in most other industrialized nations.”

Daryl Harris, the Manitoba director of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, said the bank rate changes translate to  a variable mortgage rate from 3.25 to 3.50 per cent and a fixed-rate five-year mortgage from 4.30 to 4.40 per cent.

“There is the potential for these rates to go down further,” he added.  

The prime rate now sits at 2.5 per cent.

Largest ever

One of the rites of the season is the annual Manitoba Home Builders’ Association Spring Parade of Homes which kicks off this weekend. 

MHBA’s president Mike Moore said this year’s Parade of Homes marks the first time the hundred mark in terms of homes featured has been reached. He said 104 new homes will be on display for public viewing from March 7 to 22. The hours for visiting the homes are Monday to Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. 

There will be a well-informed sales representative on-hand in each home to welcome you, show you all the features of the new home and answer any questions.

A number of Winnipeg REALTORS® represent some of the leading home builders in the city and are active in Parade of Homes events. A number of new homes are sold through the WinnipegREALTORS® MLS®. Last month, the second-highest priced home which sold on MLS® was an impressive and well-appointed two-storey home in the new Van Hull Estates development in South St. Vital. The home sold for $875,000. 

Forty builders are participating in the Parade of Homes with homes in 34 different subdivisions located in nine municipalities in Manitoba. Quality, value and affordability are all key components of a Manitoba new home.  

The theme of MHBA’s Parade this year is Now is the Best Time to Build.  The MHBA offers many points to back up its theme, including:

• Mortgage rates are at all-time lows. 

• Manitoba new homes are the most energy efficient in Canada. 

• Manitoba’s employment rate is among the highest in the country. 

• Canada’s banking system was recently rated as the best and most reliable in the world. 

• Style, selection and variety of homes are tremendous. 

• Manitoba new homes continue to increase in value. 

• A new home is an investment in your family’s future.

The public is invited to take in the innovative designs and the latest and best in new homes features. Each visitor is sure to come away with new ideas and concepts to incorporate into their new or existing homes.

The Parade of Homes magazine is available at or at any Steinbach Credit Union branch.