Johnny Tarabay feared he would never be able to afford a home of his own.

But, after years of watching home prices rise out of reach, the 28-year-old Scarborough bachelor recently put an offer on a house in Richmond Hill, thanks to what some are calling the silver lining in the worst recession in decades: historically low interest rates.

Tarabay is one of many first-time buyers being lured into the market. The trend is backed up by a report released yesterday by the Royal Bank, which shows houses in Canada have become much more affordable in the first three months of the year, one of the biggest quarterly improvements on record.

“This has opened the door more widely to new buyers and set the stage for a resale market rally this spring,” said RBC senior economist Robert Hogue.

Read the full article by Tony Wong “Recession’s bright side? Happy new homebuyers” in the Toronto Star (July 9, 2009).

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