First-time buyers find Toronto real estate market hot as ever

First-time homebuyers Jody and Michael Fegelman have heard a lot of talk over the last year about Canada’s cooling housing market. All the couple have felt is the sting of its heat.

During their 1½-year search for a home for their two young children, the Fegelmans have been on the losing end of three grueling bidding wars. They have paid for a home inspection on a place someone else got by paying $80,000 over the asking price.

They’ve felt heartache, disappointment and fear that their children Jack, 5, and Lilly, 2½, would be renters for life.

“My parents just kept saying, ‘Wait. Prices are going to come down,’ says Fegelman. “But the truth is, there is a boom going on in Toronto. I don’t think things will change or bidding wars will stop.”

Over the last four years, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has tightened mortgage lending rules in a desperate bid to bring reason to the red-hot housing market, especially in Toronto and Vancouver where prices have hit the stratosphere during the last decade, propelled largely by low interest rates.

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