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Largest portions of household budgets go to shelter and transportation

1/2/2019

Shelter remained the largest budget item for households in 2017, at 29.2% of their total consumption of goods and services. Spending on transportation, the second-largest expenditure category, accounted for 19.9% of total consumption, followed by food expenditures at 13.4%. Households spent an average of $18,637 on shelter, up 3.4% from 2016. Included in this total was an average of $16,846 paid for principal residence (which includes rent, mortgage payments, repairs and maintenance costs, property taxes and utilities) and an average of $1,791 for other accommodation, such as hotels and owned secondary residences. In 2017, two out of every three Canadian households owned their home, and more than half of homeowners had a mortgage. Homeowners with a mortgage spent an average of $25,904 on their principal residence, compared with $9,642 for homeowners without a mortgage and $13,499 for renters. Canadian households paid $12,707 for transportation in 2017, up 6.7% from 2016. They spent an average of $11,433 on private transportation, which includes the purchase of cars, trucks and vans, as well as their operating costs. Households, on average, spent $2,142 on gasoline and other fuels in 2017, up 9.8% from 2016, reflecting the 11.8% annual average increase in gasoline prices. Spending on public transportation, which covers public transit, taxis, intercity buses, trains and air fares, remained relatively unchanged at $1,274. In 2017, 84.0% of households owned or leased a vehicle. Vehicle ownership was highest in rural areas (94.9%) and lowest in cities with a population of at least one million residents (79.0%).
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Canadian home sales activity eases in October

11/22/2018

Ottawa, ON, November 15, 2018 Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales declined between September and October 2018. Highlights: National home sales fell 1.6% from September to October. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down by 3.7% from one year ago. The number of newly listed homes eased 1.1% from September to October. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) was up 2.3% year-over-year (y-o-y) in October. The national average sale price slipped by 1.5% y-o-y in October. Home sales via Canadian MLS Systems edged back by 1.6% in October 2018. While activity is still stronger compared to the first half of 2018, it remains below monthly levels recorded from early 2014 through 2017. (Chart A) Transactions declined in more than half of all local markets, led by Hamilton-Burlington, Montreal and Edmonton. Although activity did improve modestly in many markets, it was offset by a decline in sales elsewhere by a factor of two. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 3.7% compared to October 2017 and in line with the 10-year average for the month. While sales were down y-o-y in slightly more than half of all local markets in October, lower sales in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley more than offset the rise in sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Montreal by a wide margin. This years new mortgage stress-test has lowered how much mortgage home buyers can qualify for across Canada, but its effect on sales has varied somewhat depending on location, housing type and price range, said CREA President Barb Sukkau. All real estate is local. A professional REALTOR is your best source for information and guidance in negotiating a purchase or sale of a home during these changing times, added Sukkau. National sales activity lost momentum in October, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. In part, this reflects waning activity among some urban centers in Ontarios Greater Golden Horseshoe region and the absence of an offsetting rise in sales in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Even so, the balance between sales and listings in these regions points to stable prices or modest gains. By contrast, the balance between sales and listings for housing markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland indicates a weak pricing environment for homeowners who are looking to sell. The number of newly listed homes edged down 1.1% between September and October, led by the GTA, Calgary and Victoria. The decline in new supply among these markets more than offset an increase in new supply in Edmonton and Greater Vancouver. As for the balance between sales and listings, the national sales-to-new listings ratio in October came in at 54.2% close to Septembers reading of 54.4% and its long-term average of 53.4%. Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is the best way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. As a rule of thumb, measures of market balance that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions. Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, about two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in October 2018.
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Most First-Time Homebuyers Spending All They Can Afford

11/5/2018

Millennials have made up a significant portion of homebuyers in recent years and based on the 2018 Mortgage Consumer Survey, they continue to do so, representing just under half (49%) of first-time buyer respondents. Although this is a decrease from 60% in 2017 and 58% in 2016, Millennials continue to influence and shape the homebuying and mortgage process. Heres more of what we learned about Millennials and first-time buyers as a whole, powered by the 2018 Mortgage Consumer Survey. What does the typical first-time buyer profile look like? Forty percent are married, 80% are employed full-time and about one-quarter (26%) have a household income between $60,000 and $90,000. A strong percentage of them were born outside of Canada, with 22% identifying as newcomers to Canada. Mortgage professionals can help meet the unique needs of newcomers with the support of CMHCs homebuying information which is available in 8 different languages. The top 2 reasons first-time buyers bought a home: they wanted to get a first home and they felt financially ready. Although certain urban markets continue to exhibit high house prices and other barriers to entry, the survey found that 61% of first-time buyers bought a single-detached home. In fact, single-detached home was the top housing type purchased in all regions across Canada, except in British Columbia where condominium apartment was the most popular housing type. The vast majority (85%) of first-time buyers spent the most they could afford on their home, compared to 68% of repeat buyers. This indicates that first-time buyers, including Millennials, may be stretching themselves financially to purchase their home. When it comes to the down payment, savings from outside an RRSP was the main source for first-time buyers. This suggest there is an opportunity to further educate first-time buyers about other options to help fund their down payment, such as the Government of Canadas Home Buyers Plan (HBP). To get assistance with the mortgage process, first-time buyers contacted, on average, 2 brokers and 3 lenders. First-time buyer satisfaction levels with mortgage brokers and lenders remains high. However, mortgage professionals could further increase satisfaction levels by conducting more post-transaction follow-up and by providing clients with more information on closing costs, house purchase fees, interest rates, and steps involved in buying a home. CMHCs Step by Step guide is a valuable tool for mortgage professionals to share with homebuyers to ensure they feel confident throughout the entire homebuying process. https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/housing-observer-online/2018-housing-observer/most-first-time-homebuyers-spending-all-they-can-afford
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3 smart back-to-school wellness tips

8/28/2018

(NC) It can be hard for kids and parents to get used to a new sleep schedule and daily routine this time of year. Check out these tips to keep your body healthy and your energy levels at their peak. Eat your breakfast. Its always a good idea to start your day off right with a healthy, nutritious meal. When you skip breakfast, youre missing out on a lot of great benefits, including maintaining a healthy weight, better appetite control, increased energy and greater concentration. Breakfast also gives you a chance to get in important vitamins and nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and fibre from healthy foods like grains and fruits. So, how to make a quick and healthy breakfast when youre on the go? Try these quick and easy ideas: Make oatmeal with milk or a dairy alternative. Top with fresh fruit, nuts and seeds. Layer plain dairy or plant-based yogurt with your favourite low-sugar cereal and blueberries. Add lean ham and low-fat cheese to a toasted whole grain English muffin. Top a slice of toast with avocado, nut butter and banana or yogurt and peach slices. Blend a breakfast smoothie with dairy or plant-based milk and frozen fruit. Try adding greens, nuts, seeds and protein powder for a balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats, protein and fibre. Make your breakfast the night before. Try overnight oats and chia-seed pudding. Keep hard-boiled eggs, whole fruit and trail mix on hand to grab and go. Try a probiotic. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are good for your overall health, especially your digestive system. While we usually think of bacteria as being bad for you, the human body is full of them both good and bad. Probiotics are known as good bacteria because they help keep your gut flora healthy. Regular consumption of probiotics has been shown to help treat and prevent gastrointestinal issues, including acute or antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Think zinc. Zinc supplements especially the type called zinc picolinate can help maintain your immunity during cold and flu season, especially if you take it as soon as you first start showing any symptoms. Head to your local Canadian Health Food Association member health food store to stock up on back-to-school wellness items. Find your nearest location at chfa.ca.
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