It is amazing that half of all the mortgage foreclosures in the U.S. are concentrated in just 35 counties. These 35 counties are located in only 12 states. Yet the impact has been felt all across the U.S. because of banking failures in the financial system. Many U.S. states have had no problems yet they now have falling real estate prices too.

Here in Canada, mortgages in arrears are running at just .3%. Compare that to over 7%in the U.S. - twenty times greater. Even in the worst year in Canada, 1991, the arrears figure was only .6%!

How could such small figures impact the Toronto real estate market? It is amazing how the public can be so easily influenced by news - either good or bad - and it produces a stampede or herd effect in a single direction. With experts now reporting bad news and slowing real estate markets, it is not surprising that buyers act accordingly. And for the past five months, we have had really slow sales.

But many people are now realizing that there are some great buying opportunities in Toronto, and with record low mortgage rates, the economics and affordability factor has never been so good for first time buyers. And guess what? The Toronto market has picked up in March and first time buyers are leading the way.

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