(Source: Calgary Herald)

The expected return of first-time homebuyers to the marketplace is seen as key to the rejuvenation of Canada’s housing sectors, says a real estate industry executive.

A growing number of newbies to home ownership– considered the largest single buying segment–have been sitting on the sidelines since it became obvious Canada wasn’t going to avoid the global recession, says Phil Soper, president and CEO of Brookfield Real Estate Services.

At the height of the housing boom, which started to deflate partway through 2007, first-time buyers accounted for as much as 70 per cent of all transactions, he says.

One of the key reasons –and a positive to the downturn– has to do with the decline in house prices that followed in the wake of the recession. “Significantly lower costs of ownership should bring the first-timer back to the kitchen table in increasing numbers this year, which would get the overall industry moving again,” Soper told a recent Scotiabank forum on the economy and real estate.

Read the full article by Marty Hope, “First-timers key to reviving market” in the Calgary Herald (June 6, 2009).

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