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In Montreal Monique Assouline a REALTOR with Groupe Immobilier Londono often works with newcomers from France who are interested in condos as well as single- family homes. Newcomers used to rent first and then buy she says. Now they buy right away. They have healthy budgets and interest rates remain very low giving them more buying power. They seem better prepared and know which neighbourhoods they would like to be in. The price range for these buyers is varied ranging from 400000 to 850000. Their main criteria They want to be within walking distance of a metro station she says. Popular Montreal neighbourhoods right now are Le Plateau-Mt-Royal Le Sud-Ouest and NDG. Le-Sud-Ouestwhich includes Point St-Charles St-Henri Griffintown and Cote-St-Paul appeals to newcomers who want to live in an urban neighbourhood with a residential feel and quick access to downtown. Monkland Village in NDG is also at the top of the list with its good schools and municipal services as well as the popular Monkland Avenue with restos shops and terraces. Blair Smith a REALTOR with Royal LePage in Vancouver says newcomers to the city include people from all corners of the globe and all income levels some bring great wealth while others bring nothing but their skills and perseverance for a better life. All of Greater Vancouver is welcoming and extremely multicultural he says. But one up-and-coming neighbourhood is Brentwood Town Centre in North Burnaby a combination of well-kept working-class homes on larger lots and new 50- to 65-storey towers. These homes are more affordable but still a quick commute into downtown Vancouver says Smith all with excellent access to rapid transit and highways making it the new place to be. Doug Heldman a REALTOR in Toronto says many newcomers he works with would love to buy a house but the price is often more than they can afford for a first-time purchase. A condominium is thought of as a good starting point he says adding this gives them a springboard into the Canadian real estate dream. If a house is attainable the price tends to be in the entry-level range at 550000 or less. And it likely has two units one to live in and one for additional income or to accommodate in-laws. Thats not a new story thats what has gone on for generations says Heldman with The Doug Heldman Group. But newcomers will continue to consider the condo market which will remain an affordable option for Torontonians particularly as developers issue more inventory he says. While ethnic enclaves tend to be mixed race newcomers are looking for well- developed infrastructure good schools and access to public transit. GENWORTH CANADA FALL 2O15 19