To buy or not to buy, that is the question; Whether ’tis nobler on the pocketbook to suffer the outrageous rent, or to take up a sea of mortgage payments, and by doing so, retire with equity.

(Source: Toronto Star)

With interest rates at the lowest they’ve been in more than 50 years and with home and condo prices in decline for the first time since 1996, many potential first-time buyers are viewing this as their best chance to buy into an otherwise unaffordable market.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development recently released data that show house prices have fallen in Canada, but prefaced it with the view that such prices “will have to fall still more … if affordability, measured by the ratio of house prices to income, is to return to its long-term average.”

Industry Canada’s office of consumer affairs has a calculator at that helps you determine whether you should rent or buy.

The results may surprise you as, in some cases, those who rent and invest the money they would have otherwise thrown into their mortgage come out on top in the long-term.

Read Brett Popplewell’s full article “Real estate realities: To buy or not to buy…” in the Toronto Star (April 27, 2009).

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