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Chantel Gregoire  Mortgage Associate

Chantel Gregoire

Mortgage Associate


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NBC: Still sluggish home sales allow inventory to recover

5/22/2024

Summary Home sales edged down 1.7% between March and April, a second monthly decrease in five months. On the supply side, new listings increased 2.8% from March to April, the third advance in four months. Active listings jumped 5.8% in April, following stabilization the previous month. Overall, the number of months of inventory (active listings-to-sales) increased from 3.9 in March to 4.2 in April. Market conditions loosened during the month but remained tighter than their historical average in most provinces. They were balanced in Manitoba and B.C., and softer than average in Ontario. Housing starts remained relatively stable in April as they edged down 2.0K to 240.2K (seasonally adjusted and annualized), a result in line with the median economist forecast calling for a 240.0K print. Urban starts decreased by 0.2K (to 220.1K) as a decline for the multi-family segment (-1.2K to 178.5K) was almost fully offset by an increase in the single-family segment (+0.9K to 41.7K). Starts increased in Montreal (+4.0K to 13.9K) and Calgary (+0.1K to 21.9K), while they decreased in Vancouver (-7.1K to 34.6K) and Toronto (-5.0K to 37.0K). At the provincial level, the most pronounced increases in total starts were registered in Alberta (+5.8K to 45.9K), Manitoba (+2.7K to 8.2K) and New Brunswick (+1.4K to 3.6K). Meanwhile, notable decreases were seen in Qubec (-6.7K to 39.9K) and British Columbia (-6.0K to 54.8K). The Teranet-National Bank Composite National House Price Indexremained stable from March to April, after seasonal adjustments. Seven of the 11 markets in the composite index were up during the month: Edmonton (+2.3%), Montreal (+1.9%), Calgary (+1.9%), Ottawa-Gatineau (+0.5%), Vancouver (+0.4%), Hamilton (+0.4%) and Winnipeg (+0.3%). Conversely, declines occurred in Halifax (-0.7%), Toronto (-1.2%), Victoria (-1.9%) and Quebec City (-2.1%). https://www.nbc.ca/content/dam/bnc/taux-analyses/analyse-eco/logement/economic-news-resale-market.pdf
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Statistics Canada: Labour Force Survey, April 2024

5/17/2024

Employment increased by 90,000 (+0.4%) in April, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.1%. The employment rate held steady at 61.4%, following six consecutive monthly declines. In April, employment rose among core-aged men (25 to 54 years old) (+41,000; +0.6%) and women (+27,000; +0.4%) as well as for male youth aged 15 to 24 (+39,000; +2.8%). There were fewer women aged 55 and older employed (-16,000; -0.8%), while employment was little changed among men aged 55 and older and female youth (aged 15 to 24). Employment gains in April were driven by part-time employment (+50,000; +1.4%). Employment increased in April in professional, scientific and technical services (+26,000; +1.3%), accommodation and food services (+24,000; +2.2%), health care and social assistance (+17,000; +0.6%) and natural resources (+7,700; +2.3%), while it fell in utilities (-5,000; -3.1%). Employment increased in Ontario (+25,000; +0.3%), British Columbia (+23,000; +0.8%), Quebec (+19,000 +0.4%) and New Brunswick (+7,800; +2.0%) in April. It was little changed in the other provinces. Total hours worked rose 0.8% in April and were up 1.2% compared with 12 months earlier. Average hourly wages among employees increased 4.7% (+$1.57 to $34.95) on a year-over-year basis in April, following growth of 5.1% in March (not seasonally adjusted). In the spotlight: Over one in four workers (28.4%) have to come into work or connect to a work device at short notice at least several times a month. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/240510/dq240510a-eng.htm
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Bank of Canada: Households are adjusting to the rise in debt-servicing costs

5/15/2024

Following sharp declines during the COVID‑19 pandemic, many indicators of financial stress have now returned to more normal levels. Signs of stress are concentrated primarily among households without a mortgage and survey data suggest that, of these households, renters are most affected. In contrast, indicators of stress among mortgage holders are largely unchanged, remaining at levels lower than their historical averages. Factors such as income growth, accumulated savings and reduced discretionary spending are supporting households ability to deal with higher debt payments. Over the coming years, more mortgage holders will be renewing at higher interest rates. Based on market expectations for interest rates, payment increases will generally be larger for these mortgage holders than for borrowers who renewed over the past two years. Higher debt-servicing costs reduce financial flexibility for households and businesses and make them more vulnerable in the event of an economic downturn. Signs of financial stress have risen primarily among households without a mortgage The combination of higher inflation and higher interest rates continues to put pressure on household finances. Many indicators of financial stress, which had declined during the pandemic, are now close to pre-pandemic levels. Signs of increased financial stress appear mainly concentrated among renters. The rates of arrears on credit cards and auto loans for households without a mortgagewhich includes renters and outright homeownersare back to pre-pandemic levels and continue to grow. In contrast, arrears on these products for households with a mortgage have remained low and stable. https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2024/05/financial-stability-report-2024/
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Bank of Canada: Financial Stability Report

5/10/2024

Key takeaways Canadas financial system remains resilient. Over the past year, financial system participantsincluding households, businesses, banks and non-bank financial institutionshave continued to proactively adjust to higher interest rates. However, risks to financial stability remain. The Bank sees two key risks to stability, related to: Debt serviceabilityBusinesses and households continue to adjust to higher interest rates. Indicators of financial stress in both sectors were below historical averages through the COVID-19 pandemic but have been normalizing. Some indicators look to be increasing more sharply and warrant monitoring. Higher debt-servicing costs reduce financial flexibility for households and businesses and make them more vulnerable in the event of an economic downturn. Asset valuationsThe valuations of some financial assets appear to have become stretched, which increases the risk of a sharp correction that can generate system-wide stress. The recent rise in leverage in the non-bank financial intermediation sector could amplify the effects of such a correction. The financial system is highly interconnected. Stress in one sector can spread to others. Participants should continue to be proactive, including planning for more adverse conditions or outcomes. https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2024/05/financial-stability-report-2024/
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Home office expenses for employees for 2023

4/22/2024

Eligible employees who worked from home in 2023 will be required to use the Detailed Method to claim home office expenses. The temporary flat rate method does not apply to the 2023 tax year. As an employee, you may be able to claim certain home office expenses (work-space-in-the-home expenses, office supplies, and certain phone expenses). This deduction is claimed on your personal income tax return. Deductions reduce the amount of income you pay tax on, so they reduce your overall income tax liability. Salaried employees can claim: Electricity, Heat, Water, some utilities, monthly Internet access or part of your rent. Commission employees can also claim: home insurance, property taxes and lease of a cell phone, computer and more. Review the CRA website for more. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-22900-other-employment-expenses/work-space-home-expenses.html
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SCOTIABANK: SPEND LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW, TAX LIKE THERE IS

4/17/2024

Canadas federal Finance Minister tabled Budget 2024 on April 16th. Gross new spending measures were substantially higher than signalled ahead of budget day, with equally substantial taxation measures partially offsetting the net impact. The budget adds a near-term boost to growth with major new spending, but it introduces another twist as it gives with one hand while taking with the other. While net new spending amounts to 0.4% f GDP over the next two years, gross outlays to Canadians adds up to a much more substantial $22.5 bn (0.7%), while syphoning off $9.5 bn from drivers of growth. This is additive to the $44 bn incremental spending provinces have announced in recent weeks. The budget clearly makes the Bank of Canadas job more difficult. The soft inflation print released into the budget risks fanning complacency around the risk of a resurgence in inflationary pressure particularly with a housing market rebound waiting in the wings (and more potential buyers on the margin after this budget). New spending is hardly focused. A gross $56.8 bn is spread widely across a range of priorities. The new Housing Plan reflects just 1/6th of new outlays. Others were channeled aheadmilitary spending, AI investments, and pharmacarewhile new pledges were tabled towards Aboriginal investments, community spending, and a new disability benefit among others. New tax measures will yield a $21.9 bn offsetnotably a big increase to the capital gains inclusion rate from one-half to two-thirds for individuals and corporations later this Spring. The net cost of new measures in this budget lands at $34.8 bn over the planning horizon. Near-term economic momentum has provided additional offsets ($29.1 bn), leaving the fiscal path broadly similar to the Fall Update. The FY24 deficit comes in on the mark at $40 bn (1.4% of GDP) and is expected to descend softly to $20 bn (0.6%) by FY29. Debt remains largely on a similar path of modest declines as a share of GDP over the horizon. The fiscal plan could have delivered on critical priorities including the Housing Plan, along with AI and Indigenous spending, while still adhering to its fiscal anchors without resorting to substantial new taxation measures that will dampen confidence and introduce further distortions to Canadas competitive landscape. It wont likely trigger an election, but it is clearly a warm-up lap as Canadians brace for the polls within the next 1218 months. The taps are unlikely to be turned off any time soon. Source: https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/about/economics/economics-publications/post.other-publications.fiscal-policy.fiscal-pulse.federal.federal-budget-analysis-.canadian-federal--2024-25-budget--april-16--2024-.html
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Bank of Canada maintains policy rate, continues quantitative tightening

4/11/2024

The Bank of Canada held its target for the overnight rate at 5%, with the Bank Rate at 5% and the deposit rate at 5%. The Bank is continuing its policy of quantitative tightening. The Bank expects the global economy to continue growing at a rate of about 3%, with inflation in most advanced economies easing gradually. The US economy has again proven stronger than anticipated, buoyed by resilient consumption and robust business and government spending. US GDP growth is expected to slow in the second half of this year, but remain stronger than forecast in January. The euro area is projected to gradually recover from current weak growth. Global oil prices have moved up, averaging about $5 higher than assumed in the January Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Since January, bond yields have increased but, with narrower corporate credit spreads and sharply higher equity markets, overall financial conditions have eased. The Bank has revised up its forecast for global GDP growth to 2% in 2024 and about 3% in 2025 and 2026. Inflation continues to slow across most advanced economies, although progress will likely be bumpy. Inflation rates are projected to reach central bank targets in 2025. In Canada, economic growth stalled in the second half of last year and the economy moved into excess supply. A broad range of indicators suggest that labour market conditions continue to ease. Employment has been growing more slowly than the working-age population and the unemployment rate has risen gradually, reaching 6.1% in March. There are some recent signs that wage pressures are moderating. Source:https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2024/04/fad-press-release-2024-04-10
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Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations—First Quarter of 2024

4/10/2024

Consumers believe inflation has slowed, but their expectations for inflation in the near term have barely changed. Consumers link their perceptions of slowing inflation with their own experiences of price changes for frequently purchased items, such as food and gas. Expectations for long-term inflation have increased, though they remain below their historical average. Relative to last quarter, consumers now think that factors contributing to high inflationparticularly high government spending and elevated home prices and rent costswill take longer to resolve. Canadians continue to feel the negative impacts of high inflation and high interest rates on their budgets, and nearly two-thirds are cutting or postponing spending in response. Although weak, consumer sentiment improved this quarter, with people expecting lower interest rates. As a result, consumers are less pessimistic about the future of the economy and their financial situation, and fewer think they will need to further cut or postpone spending. Improved sentiment is also evident in perceptions of the labour market, which have stabilized after easing over recent quarters. Workers continue to feel positive about the labour market and, with inflation expected to be high, they continue to anticipate stronger-than-average wage growth. Source: https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2024/04/canadian-survey-of-consumer-expectations-first-quarter-of-2024
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TD Economic Report: Canadian Highlights

3/25/2024

Central bankers took the stage this week, but it was Canadian economic data that stole the show. A significant improvement in inflation for February and a weak reading on retail sales increased expectations for an earlier cut by the Bank of Canada (BoC). Adding to this was the release of the BoCs March deliberations that confirmed the Bank is preparing to cut rates later this year. While the exact timing of the first rate cut is still uncertain, market pricing has rallied around June/July, matching expectations on timing for other major central banks. The inflation reading this week showed a meaningful deceleration, with the headline measure remaining within the BoC 1% to 3% target band. But the big surprise was the heavy discounting on items like clothing, cell phone /internet plans, and food. For the latter, that was the first contraction in three years (seasonally adjusted)! As Deputy Governor Toni Gravelle said at a speech later in the week, this was very encouraging. What was even more promising was the progress on the BoCs preferred inflation metrics. While these have remained stubbornly high over the last few months, they too have started to ease and now sit just above the 3% band. These metrics are starting to follow other measures of inflation lower, including the Banks old preferred inflation measure, CPIX. This index excludes the eight most volatile inflation items such as mortgage interest costs. Importantly, this measure has now reached the BoCs 2% target. Source: TD Economics https://economics.td.com/ca-weekly-bottom-line
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Canadian Home Prices See Sudden End to Declines in Advance of Spring Market

3/18/2024

Canadian home prices as measured by the seasonally adjusted Aggregate Composite MLS Home Price Index (HPI) were flat on a month-over-month basis in February 2024, ending a streak of five declines that began last fall, according to the latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The fact that prices were unchanged from January to February was noteworthy given they had dropped 1.3% from December to January. Considering how stable the seasonally adjusted MLS HPI tends to be, shifts this abrupt are exceedingly rare. There have only been three other times in the last 20 years that have shared a sudden improvement or increase in the month-over-month percentage change from one month to the next of this size; all at various points in the last four years when demand was coming off the sidelines. Its looking like February may end up being the last relatively uneventful month of the year as far as the 2024 housing story goes, said Shaun Cathcart, CREAs Senior Economist. With so much demand having piled up on the sidelines, the story will likely be less about the exact timing of interest rate cuts and more about how many homes come up for sale this year. Home sales activity recorded over Canadian MLS Systems dipped 3.1% between January and February 2024, giving back some of the cumulative 12.7% increase in activity recorded in December 2023 and January 2024. That said, the general trend has been somewhat higher levels of activity over the last three months compared to a quiet fall market in 2023. Source: https://stats.crea.ca/en-CA/
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Bank of Canada maintains policy rate, continues quantitative tightening

3/6/2024

The Bank of Canada today held its target for the overnight rate at 5%, with the Bank Rate at 5% and the deposit rate at 5%. The Bank is continuing its policy of quantitative tightening. Global economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter. US GDP growth also slowed but remained surprisingly robust and broad-based, with solid contributions from consumption and exports. Euro area economic growth was flat at the end of the year after contracting in the third quarter. Inflation in the United States and the euro area continued to ease. Bond yields have increased since January while corporate credit spreads have narrowed. Equity markets have risen sharply. Global oil prices are slightly higher than what was assumed in the January Monetary Policy Report (MPR). In Canada, the economy grew in the fourth quarter by more than expected, although the pace remained weak and below potential. Real GDP expanded by 1% after contracting 0.5% in the third quarter. Consumption was up a modest 1%, and final domestic demand contracted with a large decline in business investment. A strong increase in exports boosted growth. Employment continues to grow more slowly than the population, and there are now some signs that wage pressures may be easing. Overall, the data point to an economy in modest excess supply. Source: https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2024/03/fad-press-release-2024-03-06/
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CMHC announced on March 1 that The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program will be ending

3/1/2024

The deadline for submitting new or updated applications for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is March 21, 2024, at midnight ET. No new approvals will be granted after March 31, 2024. Initially designed to alleviate the burden of monthly mortgage payments for first-time buyers, the program involved the government acquiring partial ownership of a property. Under the program, the government provided a loan of up to 10 percent of the purchase price, which could be put towards a larger down payment, thereby reducing monthly payments. However, homeowners were required to repay the incentive after 25 years or upon selling the property, with the repayment amount adjusted to reflect changes in the propertys value. Source:https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/consumers/home-buying/first-time-home-buyer-incentive
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