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- TD Economics predicts slower price appreciation in 2008 and 2009 - TD Canada Trust offers strategies for first-timers to get into their new home faster TORONTO, May 29 /CNW/ - For the past decade, very strong and sustained price growth in the housing sector has created a 'seller's market' in Canada that has not often been kind to first-time homebuyers. But relief is on the horizon. Across the country, housing prices overall have moderated. In a recent Special Report, TD Economics forecast that Canada's major housing markets would experience cooler conditions over the course of 2008 and throughout 2009. Entitled "Canada's Red Hot Real Estate Markets to Cool," the report predicted softer sales, construction and price growth from coast to coast, leading to a 'soft landing' for the market rather than a housing downturn. Greater affordability for buyers, additional supply from new listings and continued elevated housing starts will shift conditions from that of a 'seller's market' to one of more balanced supply and demand. "We look for national average home price growth to slow from a torrid 11% in 2007 to 6% in 2008 and down to a 4% pace in 2009," says the report. "A cooling of Canada's red-hot housing market is welcome news for the first-time buyer," says Joan Dal Bianco, Vice President, Real Estate Secured Lending. "It will improve affordability in general and make it easier for first-timers to negotiate on price." "When you add up better house prices with interest rates still at historically low levels, unemployment at 30-year lows, a strong economy and financing options that take the pressure off first-time buyers, there may in fact be no better time to buy a home than right now," concludes Dal Bianco. Strategies for First-Time Buyers For first-time homebuyers, the decision to buy or to wait is often driven by their ability to obtain a mortgage and meet the subsequent payment obligations. The following strategies can help them be ready to make a decision when their dream home comes into view: - Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval helps first-time buyers establish their maximum spending limit and provides them with an interest rate guarantee on the pre-approval for a period of time. - Ask for a list of closing costs. This will ensure there are no surprises at closing. Common costs are land transfer taxes, lawyer's fees, prepaid property taxes, moving company expenses, home inspection, property insurance and utilities. - Understand what may be required in order to obtain your home financing, such as confirmation of income and down payment, MLS listing, purchase agreement, and so forth. This information can and should be gathered in advance. - Know how long things take. Some documentation, such as an appraisal or home inspection, may take time to gather. Turnaround time can vary depending on the market and time of year. - Understand the economic environment and market. Is it a buyer's or seller's market; housing pricing forecasts; affordability; your local market and prevailing home prices, and demographics. - Know your financing options. There are many mortgages available, each with unique features. Investigate which available options are best for you so you don't have to make a hasty decision later on. "First-time buyers have options today that didn't exist a decade ago, "concludes Dal Bianco. "They can get a mortgage with no down payment, amortization periods up to 40 years, CashBack offers from their mortgage provider and options to become mortgage-free more quickly. For anyone who is thinking of getting into the market but isn't sure if now is the right time or if they can afford it, my advice is sit down with a professional and find out what's right for you." About TD Bank Financial Group The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the seventh largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 17 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth and Commerce; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 5.5 million on-line customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$503.6 billion in assets as of April 30, 2008. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges under the symbol "TD", as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The TD Economics Special Report can be found at For further information: Kelly Hechler, Media Relations, Corporate and Public Affairs, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 982-2469

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