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THREE GRAND PRIZE WINNERS FROM ALBERTA, MANITOBA AND NEWFOUNDLAND WIN MEANING OF HOME CONTEST IN SUPPORT OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CANADA

6/21/2019

Over 8,000 Grades 4, 5 and 6 students from across Canada shared what home means to them in the annual Meaning of Home contest in support of Habitat for Humanity Canada. Each of the three grand prize winners (one from each grade) will receive a $25,000 grant to be directed to the local Habitat build of their choice. Nine runners up have won a $5,000 grant towards a local Habitat for Humanity home build. Every student entry earned a $10 donation for that students local Habitat for Humanity, helping to raise an additional $82,000 that will go towards building more homes in communities across Canada. Mallory Pitzner, from Airdrie, Alberta is the Grade 4 grand prize winner and will be directing her $25,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta. Click here to read Mallorys winning poem When I Think of Home. Eva Marasa is the Grade 5 grand prize winner, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her grant will be directed to Habitat for Humanity Manitoba. Click here to read Evas winning poem: Home. The Grade 6 grand prize winner is Hannah Brown, from St. Johns, Newfoundland, who is directing her grant to help build homes with Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland Labrador. Click here to read Hannahs winning poem: Home. I want to congratulate all the winners, but I also want to thank every student who entered and shared what home means to them, said Mark Rodgers, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. Each and every one of you has made a tangible difference in your community - helping raise both awareness and funds that will allow us to serve more families.
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Canadian home sales rise again in May 2019

6/17/2019

Home sales recorded via Canadian MLS Systems rose by 1.9% in May 2019. Together with monthly gains in March and April, activity in May reached the highest level since January 2018. While sales stood 8.9% above the six-year low reached in February 2019, this latest increase has only just returned levels to their historical average. While May sales were only up in half of all local markets, that list included almost all large markets, led by gains in both the Greater Vancouver (GVA) and Greater Toronto (GTA) areas. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 6.7% compared to May 2018, marking the largest y-o-y gain recorded since the summer of 2016. The increase returned sales in line with the 10-year average for the month of May. While about two-thirds of local markets posted y-o-y gains for the month, the national increase was dominated by improving sales trends in the GTA, which accounted for close to half of the overall increase. Home price trends and market balance continues to differ significantly among Canadian housing markets, said Jason Stephen, CREAs President. All real estate is local. No matter where you are, a professional REALTOR is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times, said Stephen. The mortgage stress-test continues to present challenges for home buyers in housing markets where they have plenty of homes to choose from but are forced by the test to save up a bigger down payment, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. Hopefully the stress-test can be fine tuned to enable home buyers to qualify for mortgage financing sooner without causing prices to shoot up.
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Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 ¾ per cent

5/29/2019

The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. Recent Canadian economic data are in line with the projections in the Banks April Monetary Policy Report (MPR), with accumulating evidence that the slowdown in late 2018 and early 2019 is being followed by a pickup starting in the second quarter. The oil sector is beginning to recover as production increases and prices remain above recent lows. Meanwhile, housing market indicators point to a more stable national market, albeit with continued weakness in some regions. Continued strong job growth suggests that businesses see the weakness in the past two quarters as temporary. Recent data support a pickup in both consumer spending and exports in the second quarter, and it appears that overall growth in business investment has firmed. That said, inventories rose sharply in the first quarter, which may dampen production growth in coming months. The global economy is also evolving largely as expected since April, although the recent escalation of trade conflicts is heightening uncertainty about economic prospects. In addition, trade restrictions introduced by China are having direct effects on Canadian exports. In contrast, the removal of steel and aluminum tariffs and increasing prospects for the ratification of CUSMA will have positive implications for Canadian exports and investment. Inflation has evolved in line with the Banks April projection. The Bank expects CPI inflation to remain around the 2 per cent target in the coming months. Core inflation measures all remain close to 2 per cent. Overall, recent data have reinforced Governing Councils view that the slowdown in late 2018 and early 2019 was temporary, although global trade risks have increased. In this context, the degree of accommodation being provided by the current policy interest rate remains appropriate. In taking future policy decisions, Governing Council will remain data dependent and especially attentive to developments in household spending, oil markets and the global trade environment.
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Building permits up in Western Canada, down east of Manitoba

5/23/2019

Four provinces reported increases in March, led by British Columbia with an increase of 12.8% (+$180 million). Meanwhile, all provinces east of Manitoba reported declines. The largest decrease was in Ontario, down 1.4% (-$43 million) due to lower construction intentions in the residential sector. Quebec drives movement in non-residential permits. The national value of permits for non-residential buildings rose 7.9% in March, due to higher construction intentions for both institutional (+$175 million) and commercial (+$166 million) buildings. Gains in both of these components stemmed from Quebec. A high value permit for an addition to the Centre hospitalier de lUniversit de Montral drove the increase in the institutional component. In the industrial component, the value of permits declined 15.6% in March (-$102 million). The decrease was largely the result of lower construction intentions in Quebec, where multiple high-value permits were issued in February.
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Canadian home sales edge higher in March 2019

4/18/2019

Home sales via Canadian MLS Systems edged up 0.9% in March 2019 following a sharp drop in February, leaving activity near some of the lowest levels recorded in the last six years. There was an even split between the number of markets where sales rose from the previous month and those where they waned. Among Canadas larger cities, activity improved in Victoria, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Oakville-Milton and Ottawa, whereas it declined in Greater Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, London and St. Thomas, Sudbury and Quebec City. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity fell 4.6% y-o-y to the weakest level for the month since 2013. It was also almost 12% below the 10-year average for March. That said, in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, sales were more than 20% below their 10-year average for the month. By contrast, activity is running well above-average in Quebec and New Brunswick. It will be some time before policy measures announced in the recent Federal Budget designed to help first-time homebuyers take effect, said Jason Stephen, CREAs President. In the meantime, many prospective homebuyers remain sidelined by the mortgage stress-test to varying degrees depending on where they are looking to buy. All real estate is local, and REALTORS remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future, added Stephen.
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5 ways to help stop the sniffles this allergy season

4/12/2019

(NC) Spring has sprung again and while the warmer weather is definitely a welcome change, the return of itchy eyes and a constantly dripping nose may not be. Its estimated that 25 per cent of Canadians are affected by seasonal allergies, and depending on what you are allergic to, allergy season may not just affect you in the spring but could also linger right up until the first frost in the fall. This spring, try to avoid the discomfort by getting to the bottom of what is causing your allergies before they start. Here are five tips to help you get ahead of your symptoms: Check the pollen forecast: Be on top of this as it can change daily and really affect your symptoms. If youre planning on exercising, go to the gym or exercise inside on warm, windy days. When you are outside, protect yourself: Wear sunglasses or a hat not only do they look good and block the sun, they also help keep pollen off your body and out of your eyes. Cover up when being active outside: If you are doing outdoor activities like cutting the lawn or gardening, consider wearing a mask or scarf to cover your nose and mouth. Protect yourself from pollen: We carry a lot of pollen into the home with us. Wash your bedding more frequently during spring, summer and fall; keep your windows closed and remember your pets can track pollen into the house, too. Find the right product: Speaking to your local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist can be your first line of defense. They can help assess your symptoms and recommend an over-the-counter medication or product. If this isnt enough to kick your symptoms, your pharmacist can write you a prescription for a medication in all provinces excluding British Columbia and Ontario. If your symptoms are more severe, pharmacists in B.C. and Ontario can work with your doctor to make sure you have the right treatment option for you. www.newscanada.com
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Budget 2019

3/22/2019

To help make homeownership more affordable for first-time home buyers, Budget 2019 introduces theFirst-Time Home Buyer Incentive. The Incentive would allow eligible first-time home buyers who have the minimum down payment for an insured mortgage to apply to finance a portion of their home purchase through a shared equity mortgage with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). It is expected that approximately 100,000 first-time home buyers would be able to benefit from the Incentive over the next three years. Since no ongoing payments would be required with the Incentive, Canadian families would have lower monthly mortgage payments. For example, if a borrower purchases a new $400,000 home with a 5 per cent down payment and a 10 per cent CMHC shared equity mortgage ($40,000), the borrowers total mortgage size would be reduced from $380,000 to $340,000, reducing the borrowers monthly mortgage costs by as much as $228 per month. Terms and conditions for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive would be released by CMHC. CMHC would offer qualified first-time home buyers a 10 per cent shared equity mortgage for a newly constructed home or a 5 per cent shared equity mortgage for an existing home. This larger shared equity mortgage for newly constructed homes could help encourage the home construction needed to address some of the housing supply shortages in Canada, particularly in our largest cities. The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive would include eligibility criteria to ensure that the program helps those with legitimate needs while ensuring that participants are able to afford the homes they purchase. The Incentive would be available to first-time home buyers with household incomes under $120,000 per year. At the same time, participants insured mortgage and the Incentive amount cannot be greater than four times the participants annual household incomes. Budget 2019 also proposes to increase the Home Buyers Plan withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000, providing first-time home buyers with greater access to their Registered Retirement Savings Plan savings to buy a home.
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Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 ¾ per cent

3/12/2019

The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. Recent data suggest that the slowdown in the global economy has been more pronounced and widespread than the Bank had forecast in its January Monetary Policy Report (MPR). While the sources of moderation appear to be multiple, trade tensions and uncertainty are weighing heavily on confidence and economic activity. It is difficult to disentangle these confidence effects from other adverse factors, but it is clear that global economic prospects would be buoyed by the resolution of trade conflicts. Many central banks have acknowledged the building headwinds to growth, and financial conditions have eased as a result. Meanwhile, progress in US-China trade talks and policy stimulus in China have improved market sentiment and contributed to firmer commodity prices. For Canada, the Bank was projecting a temporary slowdown in late 2018 and early 2019, mainly because of last years drop in oil prices. The Bank had forecast weak exports and investment in the energy sector and a decline in household spending in oil-producing provinces. However, the slowdown in the fourth quarter was sharper and more broadly based. Consumer spending and the housing market were soft, despite strong growth in employment and labour income. Both exports and business investment also fell short of expectations. After growing at a pace of 1.8 per cent in 2018, it now appears that the economy will be weaker in the first half of 2019 than the Bank projected in January. Core inflation measures remain close to 2 per cent. CPI inflation eased to 1.4 per cent in January, largely because of lower gasoline prices. The Bank expects CPI inflation to be slightly below the 2 per cent target through most of 2019, reflecting the impact of temporary factors, including the drag from lower energy prices and a wider output gap. Governing Council judges that the outlook continues to warrant a policy interest rate that is below its neutral range. Given the mixed picture that the data present, it will take time to gauge the persistence of below-potential growth and the implications for the inflation outlook. With increased uncertainty about the timing of future rate increases, Governing Council will be watching closely developments in household spending, oil markets, and global trade policy. Information note The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is April 24, 2019. The next full update of the Banks outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR at the same time. https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2019/03/fad-press-release-2019-03-06/
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Young people not in employment, education or training: What did they do in the past 12 months?

3/5/2019

Young people (aged 15 to 29) who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) are often considered to be more vulnerable than their peers, as they may face a risk of becoming disengaged or socially excluded, and could miss out on gaining skills or experience in the labour market. While Statistics Canada has previously examined the characteristics of the NEET population,1 this is the first study to examine the main activities of NEET15- to 29-year-olds over a 12-month period using Labour Force Survey (LFS) data. 2 Among the activities to be analyzed are going to school, working, caring for children, and volunteering both as a main and secondary activity. Overall, there were 6.9 million young people aged 15 to 29 in Canada in September 2018. Of those, 4.0 million were non-students (57.8%), while 2.9 million were students 3 (42.4%). Both categories (students and non-students) are then divided into the employed and the not employed. The NEET population consists of all non-students who are not employed: in September 2018, 779,000 people were in this category (11.3% of the total population aged 15 to 29). Those aged 25 to 29 comprised the largest proportion (46.8%) of young people who were NEET during the LFS reference week, followed by 20 to 24 (36.9%), and 15 to 19 (16.2%). While NEET individuals were slightly more likely to be female (52.1%) than male (47.9%) overall, those aged 15 to 19 were a few percentage points more likely to be male, and those aged 25 to 29 were similarly likely to be female. Of young people who were NEET in September 2018, 34.5% were unemployed (looking for work and available for work), and 65.5% were inactive (not looking for work). While each of these groups may be at risk of falling behind their peers on work experience, this concern is generally greater for those who are inactive, as they may face challenges entering or re-entering the labour force. Both male and female NEET individuals were more likely to be inactive than unemployed, though the share of women that were out of the labour force (72.2%) was greater than the share of men (58.2%).
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Ownership of Residential Property by Non-individuals

2/14/2019

New data released today from the Canadian Housing Statistics Program provide information on ownership of residential properties by non-individuals in Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation published a report using these new data,Residential Property in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia: An Overview of Non-individual Ownership, which also includes analysis of the ownership structure of vacant land across the three provinces. The data tables include information on non-individual entities, referring to firms and governments. For the purpose of this release, they are classified into the following categories: corporations, governments, and sole proprietorships and partnerships. Information on selected sectors in which those entities operate, following sector groupings from the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), is also included in this release. Among firms and governments, corporations own the majority of residential properties Across the three provinces, corporations are the most common legal type of non-individual owners of residential properties, followed by governments. Corporations include businesses and non-profit organizations, while governments include federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments. In terms ofNAICSsectors, entities belonging to the real estate and rental and leasing sector, the public administration sector and the construction sector are the most common non-individual owners of residential properties. In Ontario, three-quarters of non-individual owned properties are held by corporations, compared with68.9% in Nova Scotia and57.3% in British Columbia. The share of non-individual owned properties held by governments is highest in British Columbia (39.0%), followed by Nova Scotia (22.9%) and Ontario (20.1%). In Nova Scotia,28.8% of residential properties held by corporations are owned by the construction sector, compared with22.5% in Ontario and21.4% in British Columbia. Among the residential properties owned by corporations, the real estate and rental and leasing sector accounts for the largest share in Ontario (31.1%) and in British Columbia (23.4%), while in Nova Scotia it represents about one-quarter of the properties held by corporations. The average assessment value of a residential property owned by corporations is highest in British Columbia at $1.3million, compared with $630,000in Ontario and $330,000in Nova Scotia. In British Columbia, corporations account for84.7% of the total assessment value of non-individual owned properties, while in Ontario and Nova Scotia this share is closer to80%. Residential properties owned by governments represent around10% of the total assessment value of properties owned by non-individuals in each province.
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Resolution broken already? Try a wellness goal instead

2/7/2019

Many of us make New Years resolutions every January. But statistics show that nearly 80 per cent of people who make them will have broken them by February. If you feel like this is you, dont fret. Most of us can agree, especially with recent holiday indulgences, that improving personal fitness and nutrition is an intimidating idea. But the secret to getting motivated and keeping the momentum going into the spring is to follow these three simple guidelines: Dont try too much at once. When we first set fitness and wellness resolutions, were often inclined to make a goal to spend every day at the gym and eat clean 100 per cent of the time. There is a reason these are too often broken they are hard to accomplish. Listen to your body and do what feels good for you. Modify your lifestyle to a healthy one that fits your needs and is one youll be able to sustain throughout the year. Stick to it. Experts say that it only takes 21 days to create a lasting habit. While that may seem like a lot, three weeks will come quickly and there are many resources out there to help you through it, from fitness plans to eating guides. AdvoCare, a nutrition and wellness company new to Canada, carries several products to help enhance your results. Keep a positive mindset. If you miss a day, dont stress about it, you can get back on track tomorrow. Staying positive about your wellness journey will keep you on track to reach your goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle well into the future. If you are able to make it to day 21, youll set the stage for the rest of the year and will be on the right track to meeting your fitness and nutrition goals. Find more information at advocare.com/en-ca. http://www.newscanada.com/en/Resolution-broken-already--Try-a-wellness-goal-instead-93447
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Who are the working women in Canada's top 1%?

1/21/2019

Even though working women are now more educated than working men, they are still outnumbered in top income groups, accounting for one in five workers in the top 1% in 2015. Research shows that characteristics such as education, work experience and occupation continue to leave a substantial portion of the overall gender earnings gap unexplained. Some analysts point to the underrepresentation of women in top earnings groups as a further factor contributing to the overall gap. This study provides the first gender-based analysis of workers in the top 1% in Canadathose employed with a total income of $270,900 or more, based on the 2016 Census of Population, and provides new information on the socio-economic characteristics of women who have broken through the glass ceiling. The results of this study will be updated as new information becomes available. Working women in the top 1% are younger and more educated than their male counterparts Working women in the top 1% in 2015 were relatively younger than their male counterparts, and had higher levels of education. Specifically, 74.2% of women had obtained a bachelors degree or more, compared with 70.0% of their male counterparts. Further, women were more likely than their male counterparts to have studied in fields such as health or related fields, social and behavioural sciences and law. Conversely, women in the top 1% were less likely than men to have studied architecture, engineering and related technologies and business, management and public administration.
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Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 ¾ per cent

1/10/2019

The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. The global economic expansion continues to moderate, with growth forecast to slow to 3.4 per cent in 2019 from 3.7 per cent in 2018. In particular, growth in the United States remains solid but is expected to slow to a more sustainable pace through 2019. However, there are increasing signs that the US-China trade conflict is weighing on global demand and commodity prices. Global benchmark prices for oil have been about 25 per cent lower than assumed in the October Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The lower prices primarily reflect sustained increases in US oil supply and, more recently, increased worries about global demand. These worries among market participants have also been reflected in bond and equity markets. The drop in global oil prices has a material impact on the Canadian outlook, resulting in lower terms of trade and national income. As well, transportation constraints and rising production have combined to push up oil inventories in the west and exert even more downward pressure on Canadian benchmark prices. While price differentials have narrowed in recent weeks following announced mandatory production cuts in Alberta, investment in Canadas oil sector is projected to weaken further.
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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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Bank of Canada increases overnight rate target to 1 ¾ per cent

10/25/2018

The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. The global economic outlook remains solid. The US economy is especially robust and is expected to moderate over the projection horizon, as forecast in the Banks July Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will reduce trade policy uncertainty in North America, which has been an important curb on business confidence and investment. However, trade conflict, particularly between the United States and China, is weighing on global growth and commodity prices. Financial market volatility has resurfaced and some emerging markets are under stress but, overall, global financial conditions remain accommodative. The Canadian economy continues to operate close to its potential and the composition of growth is more balanced. Despite some quarterly fluctuations, growth is expected to average about 2 per cent over the second half of 2018. Real GDP is projected to grow by 2.1 per cent this year and next before slowing to 1.9 per cent in 2020. The projections for business investment and exports have been revised up, reflecting the USMCA and the recently-approved liquid natural gas project in British Columbia. Still, investment and exports will be dampened by the recent decline in commodity prices, as well as ongoing competitiveness challenges and limited transportation capacity. The Bank will be monitoring the extent to which the USMCA leads to more confidence and business investment in Canada. Household spending is expected to continue growing at a healthy pace, underpinned by solid employment income growth. Households are adjusting their spending as expected in response to higher interest rates and housing market policies. In this context, household credit growth continues to moderate and housing activity across Canada is stabilizing. As a result, household vulnerabilities are edging lower in a number of respects, although they remain elevated. CPI inflation dropped to 2.2 per cent in September, in large part because the summer spike in airfares was reversed. Other temporary factors pushing up inflation, such as past increases in gasoline prices and minimum wages, should fade in early 2019. Inflation is then expected to remain close to the 2 per cent target through the end of 2020. The Banks core measures of inflation all remain around 2 per cent, consistent with an economy that is operating at capacity. Wage growth remains moderate, although it is projected to pick up in the coming quarters, consistent with the Banks latest Business Outlook Survey. Given all of these factors, Governing Council agrees that the policy interest rate will need to rise to a neutral stance to achieve the inflation target. In determining the appropriate pace of rate increases, Governing Council will continue to take into account how the economy is adjusting to higher interest rates, given the elevated level of household debt. In addition, we will pay close attention to global trade policy developments and their implications for the inflation outlook. https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2018/10/fad-press-release-2018-10-24/
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Student Challenge Winners Bring Innovative Ideas to Creating Affordable Rental Housing in Canada

10/10/2018

With innovative and fresh approaches to create more affordable rental housing in the country, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, announced the winners of the Innovation Fund Student Challenge. Three teams have been selected as winners earning the full award of $10,000: The Beaver York University Compact Homes: Innovative Solutions Solving the Affordability Challenge Queens University The Jetty: An Affordable Housing Cooperative Dalhousie University The Beaver York University Michael Kenny, Bria Hamilton, Allison Evans, Helen Lam, Jane Bae The Beaver Co-op is a proposed 12-story affordable rental apartment building that incorporates an innovative building technique and cost-saving measure through the use of mass timber construction in affordable housing, which is still relatively new to the sector. Passive design and green technology are incorporated to minimize waste and energy usage. The financial innovation stems from the multi-stakeholder community development approach that aims to generate financial support via community bonds, union pension funds, and credit unions. Compact Homes: Innovative Solutions Solving the Affordability Challenge Queens University Lindsay Allman, Andrew Eberhard, Gabrielle Snow, Peter Huan The Compact Homes project proposes an innovative Tiny Home Community that seeks to leverage existing programs and lands to produce single occupant, rent geared to income units, and can be constructed to meet stringent accessibility and environmental efficiency requirements. The Jetty: An Affordable Housing Cooperative Dalhousie University Juniper Littlefield, Mitch Gold, Lina El-Setouhy, Chloe Espiard The Jetty Affordable Housing project proposes a housing cooperative operated in partnership with local post-secondary institutions, targeting the student population with recycled shipping container apartments, as well as providing additional housing for seniors, singles and families. https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/media-newsroom/news-releases/2018/student-challenge-winners-bring-innovative-ideas-creating-affordable-rental-housing-canada
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Tips and tricks for a trouble-free Thanksgiving

10/2/2018

(NC) From turkey prep to the table settings, Thanksgiving can be a big undertaking for even the most experienced entertainer. To the rescue is lifestyle expert Pay Chen, who shares her tips on making holiday entertaining a breeze. Create a schedule. With multiple dishes to prep and heat, its easy to lose track of time. Use a schedule to ensure that youre staying on track. Start at the meal itself and work backwards. And dont forget that you want to give the turkey time to rest and be carved, so have the cooked turkey out of the oven an hour before you want everyone to sit down and eat. Set the table early in the week. Time flies on the big day and setting the table can sometimes be an afterthought. But according to Chen, the table sets the ambiance for the evening. Since theres nothing time-sensitive about table setting, she suggests getting everything prepped and polished a few days in advance and letting it sit ready until guests arrive. Bonus? Youll spot any unforeseen stains in your linens with plenty of time to have them cleaned. Outsource dessert.The less time you spend in the kitchen, the more time you have to be with your family, says Chen. If youre strapped for time, dont be afraid to look for simple, pre-made solutions. Store-bought doesnt have to mean a compromise in quality. For example, theres a new collection of fresh-from-frozen treats from Chudleighs, an Ontario apple farm. Their scratch-made, single-serve Apple Blossoms can be reheated in the oven or microwave in minutes. Finish the plate with a small scoop of ice cream and enjoy some well-deserved rest at the end of the meal. Embrace the kids table. Thanksgiving is about bringing family together, but it doesnt have to be about wrangling squirming kids into place for a long meal. A kids table is a welcome way to keep little ones entertained throughout dinner. Cover the surface of a small table with kraft paper and set out crayons for kids to draw or play tic-tac-toe, says Chen. The best part? Clean-up is a cinch. Prep for leftovers. Many people consider leftovers the best part of the meal, but not if youre not prepared for them. Chen suggests cleaning out your fridge a few days before to free up space. And dont be afraid to share the wealth. Pick up a cheap and cheerful set of Tupperware that you can use to send leftovers home with your guests. A parting gift of turkey and mashed potatoes? Thats something everyone will be thankful for. Find more information online at chudleighs.com. http://www.newscanada.com/en/Tips-and-tricks-for-a-trouble-free-Thanksgiving-92950
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Genworth’s Home Ownership magazine

9/24/2018

Check out Genworths Home Ownership magazine. This issue featuring: Financing Savings advice for families with children; House Hunting What to look for in a family -friendly condo; The Buying Process Is multi-generational homebuying right for you? https://genworthassetlibrary.s3.amazonaws.com/digest/fall-winter-2018/en/index.html?page=10
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Weakness in Toronto and Vancouver after seasonal adjustment

9/13/2018

In August the TeranetNational Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was up 0.2% from the previous month.[1] Removing normal seasonal patterns (seasonal adjustment), the index would have been virtually flat, following retreats in June and July. In other words, after seasonal adjustment, the downtrend of June and July did not turn around in August. Individual market indexes were up in eight of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed. Seasonally adjusted, they would have been up in only four. The published (non-seasonally-adjusted) indexes were up strongly under any respect in Ottawa-Gatineau (1.4%), Hamilton (1.4%), Montreal (1.2%) and Quebec City (0.5%). However, gains in Toronto (0.3%), Edmonton (0.2%), Victoria (0.1%) and Winnipeg (0.1%) only reflected usual seasonal pressures. After seasonal adjustment, these indexes would have dropped or be flat. Indexes were down for Halifax (0.6%), Calgary (0.3%) and Vancouver (0.4%). The published Toronto index was up for a fifth straight month. But it is the opposite after seasonal adjustment as the index would then have been down for a fifth straight month. For Vancouver and Victoria it was a third straight month of decline after seasonal adjustment. In August the composite index was up 1.4% from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month rise since November 2009. This weakness is partly attributable to a peak in August 2017 from which the index declined in following months. For this reason the 12-month rise is likely to accelerate in the months ahead. August 2018 indexes were down from a year earlier in Toronto (3.3%), Hamilton (0.7%), Calgary (0.5%) and Edmonton (0.3%). They were up from a year earlier in Winnipeg (1.3%), Quebec City (1.4%), Halifax (4.6%), Montreal (4.8%), Victoria (5.0%), Ottawa-Gatineau (5.2%) and Vancouver (7.6%). Besides the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the composite index, indexes exist for the seven other urban areas of the Golden Horseshoe. In July, two of these, Barrie and Oshawa, were, like Toronto and Hamilton, below their peaks of Q3 2017. Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for seven markets outside the Golden Horseshoe, five of them in Ontario and two in B.C. The 12-month rise of these indexes varied widely, from 1.5% for Sudbury to 14.3% for Abbotsford-Mission. [1] Note on methodology: The current-month data used to calculate the index are those of closed sales entered in the provincial land registry. To illustrate the home price trend, the published indexes of the 11 metropolitan markets entering into the TeranetNational Bank Composite House Price Index present moving averages of the last three months of raw indexes, a procedure that evens out month-to-month fluctuations. For our full methodology, please visit www.housepriceindex.ca https://housepriceindex.ca/2018/09/august2018/
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Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 ½ per cent

9/5/2018

The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. CPI inflation moved up to 3 per cent in July. This was higher than expected, in large part because of a jump in the airfare component of the consumer price index. The Bank expects CPI inflation to move back towards 2 per cent in early 2019, as the effects of past increases in gasoline prices dissipate. The Banks core measures of inflation remain firmly around 2 per cent, consistent with an economy that has been operating near capacity for some time. Wage growth remains moderate. Recent data on the global economy have been consistent with the Banks July Monetary Policy Report (MPR) projections. The US economy is particularly robust, with strong consumer spending and business investment. Elevated trade tensions remain a key risk to the global outlook and are pulling some commodity prices lower. Meanwhile, financial stresses have intensified in certain emerging market economies, but with limited spillovers to other countries. The Canadian economy is evolving closely in line with the Banks July projection for growth to average near potential. Following growth of 1.4 per cent in the first quarter, GDP rebounded by 2.9 per cent in the second quarter, as the Bank had forecast. GDP growth is expected to slow temporarily in the third quarter, mainly because of further fluctuations in energy production and exports. While uncertainty about trade policies continues to weigh on businesses, the rotation of demand towards business investment and exports is proceeding. Despite choppiness in the data, both business investment and exports have been growing solidly for several quarters. Meanwhile, activity in the housing market is beginning to stabilize as households adjust to higher interest rates and changes in housing policies. Continuing gains in employment and labour income are helping to support consumption. As past interest rate increases work their way through the economy, credit growth has moderated and the household debt-to-income ratio is beginning to edge down. Recent data reinforce Governing Councils assessment that higher interest rates will be warranted to achieve the inflation target. We will continue to take a gradual approach, guided by incoming data. In particular, the Bank continues to gauge the economys reaction to higher interest rates. The Bank is also monitoring closely the course of NAFTA negotiations and other trade policy developments, and their impact on the inflation outlook. Information note The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is October 24, 2018. The next full update of the Banks outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR at the same time. https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2018/09/fad-press-release-2018-09-05/
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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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Canadian home sales activity strengthens in July

8/15/2018

Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were up from June to July 2018. Highlights: National home sales rose 1.9% from June to July. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 1.3% from July 2017. The number of newly listed homes edged down 1.2% from June to July. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) in July was up 2.1% year-over-year (y-o-y). The national average sale price edged up 1% y-o-y. National home sales via Canadian MLS Systems rose 1.9% in July 2018, building on increases in each of the two previous months but still running below levels recorded from mid-2013 to the end of last year. Led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), more than half of all local housing markets reported an increase sales activity from June to July. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 1.3% y-o-y. The result reflects fewer sales in major urban centres in British Columbia and an offsetting improvement in activity in the GTA. This years new stress-test on mortgage applicants continues to weigh on home sales but its effect may be starting to fade slightly in Toronto and nearby markets, said CREA President Barb Sukkau. The degree to which the stress-test continues to sideline home buyers varies depending on location, housing type and price range. All real estate is local, and REALTORSremain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future, said Sukkau. Improving national home sales activity in recent months obscures significant differences in regional trends for home sales and prices, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. Regardless, rising interest rates and this years stress test on mortgage applicants will likely prove to be difficult hurdles to overcome for many would-be first time and move-up homebuyers, heading into the second half of the year and beyond.
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Hacks to slash your car expenses

7/26/2018

(NC) When you consider the rising costs of gas and insurance, owning a vehicle can get pricey. Fortunately, these easy tips can help lower how much you spend on your car so theres more room in your budget for other expenses, like groceries and recreation. Increase your fuel economy. Did you know that a small spark plug problem can lead to a big expense? A dirty spark plug can cause a misfire, which wastes fuel and can ultimately harm your engine. To combat this, look for a spark plug thats designed for improved fuel economy, like the those from Fram. Try the Autolite Iridium XP Enhanced Alloy Technology line, which is precisely engineered with a focused ignition point for maximum power, efficiency and life. Get regular tune-ups. When a vehicle is properly tuned, all systems work in harmony, including the fuel, ignition, emission and computer systems. While it can be a hassle getting to regular appointments at your mechanic or dealer, remember that you are investing in the long-term performance of your car, saving you time and money. Regular engine tune-ups bring power and efficiency back to your car, ensuring that its reliable, safe and road-ready. Change your filters. There are many ways to keep your engine in good shape, helping it to last longer. One is checking the air filter every time you have the oil changed, because engine life and durability are directly related to keeping incoming air clean. Its an air filters job to remove contaminants from the air before it goes into the engine, and neglecting this component results in reduced performance. Fram extra guard filters provide premium engine protection and are proven to let in two times less dirt than the average leading standard retail brands. www.newscanada.com
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Canadian home sales activity improves in June

7/18/2018

Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were up from May to June 2018. Highlights: National home sales rose 4.1% from May to June. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 10.7% from June 2017. The number of newly listed homes eased 1.8% from May to June. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) in June was up 0.9% year-over-year (y-o-y). The national average sale price edged down 1.3% y-o-y in June. National home sales via Canadian MLS Systems rose 4.1% in June 2018 compared to May. While this marks the first substantive month-over-month increase this year, sales remain well down from monthly levels recorded over the past five years. More than 60% of all local housing markets reported increased sales activity in June compared to May, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). By contrast, sales in British Columbia continue to moderate. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down almost 11% compared to June 2017. Sales marked a five-year low and stood almost 7% below the 10-year average for the month of June. Activity came in below year-ago levels in about two-thirds of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by those in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. This years new stress-test on mortgage applicants has been weighing on homes sales activity; however, the increase in June suggests its impact may be starting to lift, said CREA President Barb Sukkau. The extent to which the stress-test continues to sideline home buyers varies by housing market and price range. All real estate is local, and REALTORS remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future, said Sukkau.
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Bank of Canada raises overnight rate target to 1 ½ per cent

7/11/2018

The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. The Bank expects the global economy to grow by about 3 per cent in 2018 and 3 per cent in 2019, in line with the April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The US economy is proving stronger than expected, reinforcing market expectations of higher policy rates and pushing up the US dollar. This is contributing to financial stresses in some emerging market economies. Meanwhile, oil prices have risen. Yet, the Canadian dollar is lower, reflecting broad-based US dollar strength and concerns about trade actions. The possibility of more trade protectionism is the most important threat to global prospects. Canadas economy continues to operate close to its capacity and the composition of growth is shifting. Temporary factors are causing volatility in quarterly growth rates: the Bank projects a pick-up to 2.8 per cent in the second quarter and a moderation to 1.5 per cent in the third. Household spending is being dampened by higher interest rates and tighter mortgage lending guidelines. Recent data suggest housing markets are beginning to stabilize following a weak start to 2018. Meanwhile, exports are being buoyed by strong global demand and higher commodity prices. Business investment is growing in response to solid demand growth and capacity pressures, although trade tensions are weighing on investment in some sectors. Overall, the Bank still expects average growth of close to 2 per cent over 2018-2020.
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Multi-family dwellings reach record high

7/10/2018

The value of permits issued by Canadian municipalities increased 4.7% to $8.2 billion in May. This followed a 4.7% drop in April, the only month this year where municipalities reported a total value below the $8.0 billion mark. In the residential sector, municipalities issued $5.5 billion worth of permits in May, up 7.7% from April. This was the second-highest value on record, following the $5.7 billion worth of permits issued in October 2016. Five provinces posted increases, with Ontario and British Columbia reporting the largest gains. The multi-family dwelling component reached a record high in May, with municipalities issuing $3.1 billion worth of building permits. The increase was the result of higher construction intentions in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta. The value of single-family dwelling permits also rose in May, up 6.2% from the previous month to $2.5 billion. This was the first increase following four consecutive monthly declines. Ontario led the seven provinces that registered increases. Municipalities approved the construction of 21,344 new dwellings in May, up 6.6% from April. The rise was mainly attributable to multi-family dwellings, up 7.4% to 15,983 new units. Single-family dwellings increased 4.3% to 5,361 new units.
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Single-detached homes dominate landscape in all census metropolitan areas

6/28/2018

The overall mix of residential property types differs significantly in British Columbia and Ontario. Single-detached houses account for 44.1% of the close to 1.7 million residential properties in British Columbia compared to 64.2% of the close to 4.8 million residential properties in Ontario. Conversely, the proportion of condominium apartments is nearly twice as high in British Columbia as in Ontario (close to 20% versus 10%), while the share of properties with multiple residential units in British Columbia is nearly three times (10.1%) the proportion in Ontario (3.3%). The Vancouver CMA contains 44.7% of all residential properties in British Columbia, followed by the CMAs of Victoria with 7.2%, Kelowna with 4.2%, and AbbotsfordMission with 3.0%. In comparison, over one-third (36.0%) of all residential properties in Ontario are in the Toronto CMA, followed by the CMAs of OttawaGatineau (Ontario part) at around 7%, Hamilton with about 5%, and London at almost 4% of all residential properties in the province. Among the B.C. CMAs, the Kelowna CMA has the highest proportion of single-detached houses in the province (54.1%), followed by the CMAs of Victoria (47.5%), AbbotsfordMission (45.1%) and Vancouver (36.4%). Similarly, the proportion of single-detached houses in the Toronto CMA is the lowest among the major metropolitan areas at almost 53%, followed by the CMAs of OttawaGatineau (Ontario part) at 55.0%, London at almost 64%, and Hamilton at about 70%. Over 70% of the respective provincial stock of condominium apartments are in the Toronto and Vancouver metropolitan areas. Almost one-third of Vancouvers residential properties are condominium apartments, while in the CMA of Victoria they constitute close to 21%, and in the CMAs of Kelowna and AbbotsfordMission they comprise around 18%. In Ontario, the proportion of condominium apartments is highest in the CMA of Toronto at 20.7%, followed by the CMAs of London at 17.1%, and OttawaGatineau (Ontario part) at 10.0%. The largest proportion of row houses is in OttawaGatineau (Ontario part), where they constitute 22.3% of all property types. Row houses make up slightly more than 13% of all residential properties in both Vancouver and AbbotsfordMission. Properties with multiple residential units are more common in B.C. than in Ontario. AbbotsfordMission and Victoria metropolitan areas each have the highest proportion at nearly 16%, followed by Vancouver at almost 14%.
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CREA Updates Resale Housing Market Forecast

6/15/2018

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations in 2018 and 2019. Housing market fundamentals remain strong in many parts of the country. Nonetheless, many housing markets continue to struggle in the face of policy headwinds. The new mortgage stress test announced last October had been expected to cause homebuyers to rush purchases in advance of the new rules coming into effect in January and for the pull-forward of sales activity to result in fewer transactions in the first half of 2018. Evidence suggests the policy response was stronger than expected, with seasonally adjusted national home sales last December having surged to the highest level ever recorded before dropping sharply in early 2018. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales figures for March, April and May are typically among the most active months in any given year. Combined sales fell to a nine-year low for the three-month period. The seasonally adjusted trend suggests sales momentum has not yet begun to rally. Interest rates are widely expected to rise further this year and next. Home sales activity is nonetheless still expected to strengthen modestly in the second half of 2018 as housing market uncertainty diminishes. Taking these factors into account, the national sales forecast has been revised downward and is now projected to decline by 11% to 459,900 units this year. The decrease almost entirely reflects weaker sales in B.C. and Ontario amid heightened housing market uncertainty, provincial policy measures, high home prices, ongoing supply shortages and this years new mortgage stress test.
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Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1¼ per cent

5/30/2018

The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. Global economic activity remains broadly on track with the Banks April Monetary Policy Report (MPR) forecast. Recent data point to some upside to the outlook for the US economy. At the same time, ongoing uncertainty about trade policies is dampening global business investment and stresses are developing in some emerging market economies. Global oil prices have been higher than assumed in April, in part reflecting geopolitical developments. Inflation in Canada has been close to the 2 per cent target and will likely be a bit higher in the near term than forecast in April, largely because of recent increases in gasoline prices. Core measures of inflation remain near 2 per cent, consistent with an economy operating close to potential. As usual, the Bank will look through the transitory impact of fluctuations in gasoline prices. In Canada, economic data since the April MPR have, on balance, supported the Banks outlook for growth around 2 per cent in the first half of 2018. Activity in the first quarter appears to have been a little stronger than projected. Exports of goods were more robust than forecast, and data on imports of machinery and equipment suggest continued recovery in investment. Housing resale activity has remained soft into the second quarter, as the housing market continues to adjust to new mortgage guidelines and higher borrowing rates. Going forward, solid labour income growth supports the expectation that housing activity will pick up and consumption will continue to contribute importantly to growth in 2018.
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Canadian home sales fall in April

5/22/2018

Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales fell from March to April 2018. Highlights: National home sales fell 2.9% from March to April. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 13.9% from April 2017. The number of newly listed homes declined 4.8% from March to April. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) in April was up 1.5% year-over-year (y-o-y). The national average sale price declined by 11.3% y-o-y in April. National home sales via Canadian MLS Systems declined by 2.9% in April 2018 to the lowest level in more than five years (Chart A). About 60% of all local housing markets reported fewer sales, led by the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 13.9% compared to April of last year and hit a seven-year low for the month. It also stood 6.9% below the 10-year average for the month. Activity was below year-ago levels in about 60% of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and by markets in and around Ontarios Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region. The stress-test that came into effect this year for homebuyers with more than a twenty percent down payment continued to cast its shadow over sales activity in April, said CREA President Barb Sukkau. Its impact on housing markets varies by region, she added. A professional REALTOR is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times, said Sukkau. This years new stress test has lowered sales activity and destabilized market balance for housing markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador Provinces, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. This is exactly the type of collateral damage that CREA warned the government about. As provinces whose economic prospects have faced difficulties because they are closely tied to those of natural resources, it is puzzling that the government would describe the effect of its new policy as intended consequences. https://www.crea.ca/news/canadian-home-sales-fall-in-april/
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First quarter: The value of multi-family dwellings leads the rise

5/9/2018

Canadian municipalities issued $24.9 billion worth of building permits in the first quarter of 2018, up 3.3% compared with the fourth quarter of 2017. Construction intentions for residential dwellings led the national increase, rising 6.9% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to $15.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018. The 18.4% increase of the multi-family component more than offset a 3.5% decline in the single-family component. On the other hand, the value of non-residential building permits fell 2.6% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to $9.0 billion in the first quarter of 2018. The drop was the result of lower activity in both the industrial and institutional components.
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Tips to keep your family safe from asbestos

4/25/2018

(NC) Most of us know that breathing asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases. But although many know its often found in insulation, few realize it may also be in cement, plaster, floor and ceiling tiles, house siding and certain car parts. Fortunately, there are no significant health risks if materials containing asbestos in your home are left undisturbed. This includes asbestos tightly bound in products that are in good condition or sealed and isolated behind walls or floorboards, or in the attic. However, you can be exposed to hazardous asbestos fibres when your home or other building you spend time in, such as your workplace, is being renovated or demolished. Asbestos fibres can be released into the air when materials that may contain asbestos are disturbed by sanding, drilling, sawing or breaking them apart. Some car parts may contain asbestos, and you can be exposed when changing your brakes or replacing a transmission clutch. The Government of Canada is taking action to help protect Canadians from this harmful substance. In December 2016, it was announced that asbestos and asbestos-containing products would be banned by 2018. In January, Canada published draft regulations to prohibit the use, sale, import and export of asbestos and products containing asbestos, and the manufacture of products containing asbestos, with limited exclusions. Tips to protect yourself: Avoid disturbing asbestos materials yourself. Before doing any major renovations, remodelling or demolitions, reduce your risk of exposure by hiring a professional to test for asbestos. If asbestos is found, hire a qualified asbestos removal specialist to get rid of it before beginning work. Be sure to check with your auto parts dealer before doing any work yourself with replacement parts. www.newscanada.com
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Stress Test Best Practices Tool Kit

4/12/2018

With the new Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions stress test rules firmly in place since January, Canadian homebuyers have learned they need to arm themselves with practical information on how they can ensure they are stress-test ready. The following is a guide and best practices tool kit for those about to embark on securing their new or next mortgage: Make a financial plan Any time a big purchase is at stake, laying out a financial plan is always the best first step to take. By creating a plan, home buyers can protect themselves from increased interest rates and ensure they are staying on budget. Have a contingency fund Without question and now more than ever, home buyers need to establish contingency funds. Its incredibly important to have funds set aside when unexpected costs such as property repairs arise. An established contingency fund also looks good to financial lenders. Pay off debts and increase downpayment The most important tool in the Best Practices Tool Kit is to pay off debts as quickly as possible and maximize your down payment. If you already have a mortgage, increase the frequency of payments by taking advantage of what the financial institution offers such as accelerated bi-weekly payments. Broaden search parameters Although you may have an ideal neighbourhood in mind, it is important to also consider broadening those search parameters. Often there are homes in other neighborhoods that could be a perfect choice if you are willing to commute a little longer. Im here to help you I can help you to navigate confusion surrounding the stress test. Ultimately, being stress test ready means being ready for future increases in rate so that you can afford your next home comfortably on your budget.
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Preventing Falls on Stairs

4/4/2018

Accessible housing refers to homes that are designed or modified to enable independent living for all residents, including seniors or persons with disabilities. Accessibility can be achieved through architectural design and also by integrating accessibility features, such as lowered light switches, grab bars, walk-in bathtubs, lowered shelves and cupboards, modified furniture or by installing electronic devices in the home. Stairs in the home can be dangerous and can be a barrier to accessibility unless they are designed or modified to reduce the risk of falls. If residents have limited mobility, it may be necessary to install ramps, home elevators or stairlifts to make the home safe and accessible. A high percentage of Canadians who visit hospitals after a fall on or from stairs or steps in their homes are seniors (men and women 65 years or older). When seniors fall, the consequences can be severe and long-lasting. Most falls on stairs can be prevented. Prevention starts by keeping in mind that there are risks in using stairs. Good planning and simple strategies can help prevent falls and injuries. Click here for more information https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/63637.pdf?fr=1441901329905
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The income of Canadians

3/28/2018

Median after-tax income of families and unattached individuals, 2016
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The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index ticked down 0.1% in February

3/21/2018

In February the TeranetNational Bank National Composite House Price Index(tm) retreated 0.1% from the previous month, following December and January rises that had interrupted a downtrend. It was the first February decline since 2013. The index was up in only three of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed, the fewest since October 2014: Vancouver (+0.4%), Hamilton (+0.2%) and Halifax (+0.8%). The index for Victoria was flat on the month and the other seven component indexes were down: Toronto 0.1%, Montreal 0.3%, Ottawa-Gatineau 0.7%, Edmonton 0.8%, Calgary 0.8%, Winnipeg 1.0%, Quebec City 1.5%. For Vancouver it was the 12th rise in 14 months, taking its index to a new record. However, this markets raw (unsmoothed) index* was down 1.3% on the month, a retreat coinciding with a cooling of home sales as reported by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The raw index for Toronto declined after three consecutive rises. In previous months observers had noted a certain haste on the part of buyers to beat the entry into effect of tougher conditions for obtaining an uninsured mortgage. The advance of the Hamilton index interrupted a run of five declines. The retreat of the Montreal index was the first in 14 months. This is not a concern, since the Greater Montral Real Estate Board reported the strongest sales in six years for the first two months of a year.
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Canadian Income Survey, 2016

3/13/2018

Canadian families and unattached individuals had a median after-tax income of $57,000 in 2016. Median after-tax income increased from 2011 to 2014, but held steady in 2015 and 2016. The slower growth in 2015 and 2016 was associated with the resource price slowdown, which began in the second half of 2014. After-tax income is comprised of income from market sources and government transfers. Market income includes employment income, retirement income and income from investments, while government transfers include benefits to seniors, child benefits, Employment Insurance benefits, social assistance and other benefits. While growth in overall median after-tax income slowed in 2015 and 2016, there was also a significant increase in government transfer income. Median income from government transfers rose from $5,800 in 2014 to $7,400 in 2016. About half of this rise was due to increased child benefits, which became a larger source of income for families with children. In 2014, the median child benefit received by couple families with children were $2,500. This rose to $3,400 in 2015, and to $4,000 in 2016. For a lone-parent family, the median benefits rose from $5,100 in 2014 to $5,800 in 2015, and then to $6,400 in 2016.
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Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 1/4 per cent

3/7/2018

The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 1/4 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. Global growth remains solid and broad-based. In the United States, new government spending and previously-announced tax cuts are anticipated to boost growth in 2018 and 2019. However, trade policy developments are an important and growing source of uncertainty for the global and Canadian outlooks. In Canada, the national accounts data show that the economy grew by 3 per cent in 2017, bringing the level of real GDP in line with the projection in the Banks January MonetaryPolicy Report (MPR). In the fourth quarter, GDP growth was slower than expected, largely due to higher imports, while exports made only a partial recovery from their third-quarter decline. The gain in imports mainly reflected stronger business investment, which adds to the economys capacity. Strong housing data in late 2017, and softer data at the beginning of this year, indicate some pulling forward of demand ahead of new mortgage guidelines and other policy measures. It will take some time to fully assess the impact of these, as well as recently announced provincial measures, on housing demand and prices. More broadly, the Bank continues to monitor the economys sensitivity to higher interest rates. Notably, household credit growth has decelerated for three consecutive months. The implications of the recent federal budget for the outlook for growth and inflation will be incorporated in the Banks April projection. Inflation is running close to the 2 per cent target and the Banks core measures of inflation have edged up, consistent with an economy operating near capacity. Wage growth has firmed, but remains lower than would be typical in an economy with no labour market slack. Inflation is fluctuating because of temporary factors related to gasoline, electricity, and minimum wages. In this context, Governing Council maintained the target for the overnight rate at 1 1/4 per cent. While the economic outlook is expected to warrant higher interest rates over time, some continued monetary policy accommodation will likely be needed to keep the economy operating close to potential and inflation on target. Governing Council will remain cautious in considering future policy adjustments, guided by incoming data in assessing the economys sensitivity to interest rates, the evolution of economic capacity, and the dynamics of both wage growth and inflation.
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Toronto index stopped trending down in January

2/14/2018

In January the TeranetNational Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM rose 0.3% from the previous month, a tic higher than the historical average for January and a second consecutive monthly increase. However, only four of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed showed gains the first time since January 2016 that a rise in the Composite Index has had so little breadth. It was due mainly to a second straight monthly jump of the index for the important Vancouver market (1.2% in January on the heels of 1.3% in December). The Toronto index rose 0.2%, the Victoria index 1.0% and the Montreal index edged up 0.1%. All the other component indexes were down on the month: Hamilton (0.2%), Ottawa-Gatineau ( 0.2%), Edmonton (0.3%), Calgary (0.3%), Halifax (-1.0%), Winnipeg (1.1%) and Quebec City (2.0%). For Montreal, it was a 13th monthly increase, and for Hamilton it was a fifth decrease in a row. The rise of the Toronto index was the first in six months. The raw (unsmoothed) Toronto index [1] on which it is based was up for a third consecutive month. The firming of the smoothed index is due entirely to condo dwellings. The smoothed index for non-condo units fell in January for a sixth straight month, bringing its cumulative decline to 9.6%. Click here for full release. https://housepriceindex.ca/2018/02/toronto-index-stopped-trending-down-in-january/
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2018 CMHC Prospective Home Buyers Survey

2/5/2018

In October 2017, CMHC surveyed 2,507 prospective home buyers on-line. Respondents were all prime household decision-makers who intend to purchase a new home within the next two years, including approximately 1,500 First-Time Buyers, 500 current owners, and 500 previous owners. The survey results highlight that: First-Time Buyers and Previous Owners share the same top motivator to purchase a home: they want to stop renting. Improved accessibility (physical obstacles and barriers) and investment opportunity were also noted as top motivators across all groups. Changes to mortgage regulations and concerns about possible future interest rate increases were not among the top motivators. Over four-in-ten First-Time Buyers and Previous Owners say they would delay their home purchase if they were not able to find their ideal home, with a fairly similar proportion saying they would be willing to compromise on the size of the home and location. The majority of future home buyers intend to obtain a mortgage to finance their home purchase, with First-Time Buyers showing higher incidence compared to Previous Owners and Current Owners. Across all future home buyers groups, more than six-in-ten say they are likely to have a financial buffer in case their expenses change in the future. Furthermore, the majority of future home buyers, especially Current Owners, agree that they feel confident they have the necessary tools and information to manage their mortgage and debt load. Among all groups, the two most common actions completed one to two years prior to the purchase of a home were saving for a down payment and determining what type of home to buy. On the other hand, in the last three months before purchasing, about two-in ten of prospective buyers pre-qualify for a mortgage. About one-in-four prospective home buyers stated that they would be very likely to consider delaying their purchase in the event of an increase in interest rates.
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Vancouver the main driver of the Composite in December

1/23/2018

Vancouver the main driver of the Composite in December says Teranet and National Bank of Canada Without Vancouver, the Composite index would have declined for a fourth month in a row. The strength of Vancouver’s index is consistent with continued tight home resale market conditions. Toronto’s index declined for a fifth consecutive month, but the unsmoothed index (see note on methodology on next page) rose for a second month in a row (middle chart). Unless the unsmoothed index relapses in January, the sequence of declines in the smoothed index should then be interrupted. However this improvement is likely to prove temporary, as it might have resulted from buyers rushing to avoid the new bylaws on qualification for an uninsured mortgage (implemented in January 2018). This view is supported by the increase in Toronto home sales in November and December compared to previous months (bottom chart). Therefore, a resumption of the downward price trend early this year cannot be excluded. Please click on the link below to access the full report: 201712 TNB monthly commentary
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Bank of Canada increases overnight rate target to 1 1/4 per cent

1/17/2018

The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1 1/4 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. Recent data have been strong, inflation is close to target, and the economy is operating roughly at capacity. However, uncertainty surrounding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is clouding the economic outlook. The global economy continues to strengthen, with growth expected to average 3 1/2 per cent over the projection horizon. Growth in advanced economies is projected to be stronger than in the Banks October Monetary Policy Report(MPR). In particular, there are signs of increasing momentum in the US economy, which will be boosted further by recent tax changes. Global commodity prices are higher, although the benefits to Canada are being diluted by wider spreads between benchmark world and Canadian oil prices. In Canada, real GDP growth is expected to slow to 2.2 per cent in 2018 and 1.6 per cent in 2019, following an estimated 3.0 per cent in 2017. Growth is expected to remain above potential through the first quarter of 2018 and then slow to a rate close to potential for the rest of the projection horizon.
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Fourth Quarter Housing Market Trends Seal 2017 as ‘the Year of the Condo’

1/11/2018

According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey, Canadas residential real estate market saw strong, but slowing year-over-year price growth in the fourth quarter of 2017. While year-over-year aggregate appreciation remained high in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Greater Vancouver, two-storey and bungalow home values softened in the GTA, slightly declining on a quarter-over-quarter basis. Meanwhile, in both Greater Vancouver and the GTA, condominium prices continued to outpace all other property types, primarily due to growing affordability constraints within these markets. The Royal LePage National House Price Composite, compiled from proprietary property data in 53 of the nations largest real estate markets, showed that the price of a home in Canada increased 10.8 per cent year-over-year to $626,042 in the fourth quarter of 2017. When broken out by housing type, the median price of a two-storey home rose 11.1 per cent year-over-year to $741,924, and the median price of a bungalow climbed 7.1 per cent to $522,963. During the same period, the median price of a condominium appreciated faster than any other housing type studied, rising 14.3 per cent to $420,823 on a year-over-year basis. This trend was predominantly driven by the significant price gains witnessed in many of the countrys largest condominium markets. In the GTA, the median price of a condominium increased 19.5 per cent year-over-year to $476,421, while in the City of Toronto, the segment saw a similar gain of 19.6 per cent year-over-year to $515,578. In Greater Vancouver, condominiums also followed a similar price trajectory during the quarter, rising 20.2 per cent to $651,885, while the median price of a condominium unit in the City of Vancouver rose 18.7 per cent to $775,806. Many suburban markets across the GTA and Lower Mainland of British Columbia posted strong year-over-year condominium price gains of 20 per cent or more as well, with the segment appreciating at a faster rate than detached homes, which had previously led the charge. To prospective homeowners in our largest cities, condominiums represent the last bastion of affordability, said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. This is especially true for first-time buyers whose purchasing power has been reduced by tightening mortgage regulations. Click here for more. https://www.royallepage.ca/en/realestate/news/fourth-quarter-housing-market-trends-seal-2017-as-the-year-of-the-condo/
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Fourth Quarter Housing Market Trends Seal 2017 as ‘the Year of the Condo’

1/11/2018

According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey, Canadas residential real estate market saw strong, but slowing year-over-year price growth in the fourth quarter of 2017. While year-over-year aggregate appreciation remained high in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Greater Vancouver, two-storey and bungalow home values softened in the GTA, slightly declining on a quarter-over-quarter basis. Meanwhile, in both Greater Vancouver and the GTA, condominium prices continued to outpace all other property types, primarily due to growing affordability constraints within these markets. The Royal LePage National House Price Composite, compiled from proprietary property data in 53 of the nations largest real estate markets, showed that the price of a home in Canada increased 10.8 per cent year-over-year to $626,042 in the fourth quarter of 2017. When broken out by housing type, the median price of a two-storey home rose 11.1 per cent year-over-year to $741,924, and the median price of a bungalow climbed 7.1 per cent to $522,963. During the same period, the median price of a condominium appreciated faster than any other housing type studied, rising 14.3 per cent to $420,823 on a year-over-year basis. This trend was predominantly driven by the significant price gains witnessed in many of the countrys largest condominium markets. In the GTA, the median price of a condominium increased 19.5 per cent year-over-year to $476,421, while in the City of Toronto, the segment saw a similar gain of 19.6 per cent year-over-year to $515,578. In Greater Vancouver, condominiums also followed a similar price trajectory during the quarter, rising 20.2 per cent to $651,885, while the median price of a condominium unit in the City of Vancouver rose 18.7 per cent to $775,806. Many suburban markets across the GTA and Lower Mainland of British Columbia posted strong year-over-year condominium price gains of 20 per cent or more as well, with the segment appreciating at a faster rate than detached homes, which had previously led the charge. To prospective homeowners in our largest cities, condominiums represent the last bastion of affordability, said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. This is especially true for first-time buyers whose purchasing power has been reduced by tightening mortgage regulations. Click here for more. https://www.royallepage.ca/en/realestate/news/fourth-quarter-housing-market-trends-seal-2017-as-the-year-of-the-condo/
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Time for a mortgage review

1/10/2018

The start of a new year almost always inspires individuals to commit to resolutions that will improve the quality of life. And in the spirit of the new year, new you mantra, a mortgage review reminder is aptly timed. Many mortgage holders underestimate the value of proactively reviewing their finances and in particular their mortgages. Yet just like annual health checkups, annual mortgage reviews are every bit as important as reviews can sometimes result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in savings. They also are very useful when trying to determine if the mortgage plan still fits ones circumstances. Reviewing a mortgage allows the holder to look at several factors that include reviewing the mortgage term, the monthly payments and even the insurance coverage on the loan. The review can include looking at individual credit and the value of your home. As a mortgage broker, I can discuss the impacts on your long term finances if we create a plan that that could potentially include making increased monthly payments or contributing a lump sum. With the new year underway and Canadians buying power being impacted due to new stress test rules that came into effect as of January 1, home owners and buyers need to seek the advice of a licensed mortgage professionals, such as myself. I can expedite the review process with a simple check of current rates and fees for a refinance and the terms of the current loan. Contact me today to start the conversation and ultimately find the best mortgage for your needs.
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Non-Resident ownership of condo apartments remains low and stable: CMHC

1/2/2018

The share of condominium apartments owned by non-residents remains low in the 17 Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) surveyed, with the majority reporting shares of less than 1%. Non-resident ownership shares remained stable in Vancouver and Toronto, while Montreal saw an increase. Toronto, Vancouver, Montral, Halifax, Victoria and Gatineau have non-resident ownership shares above 1% of the condominium apartment stock. Montral saw an increase in the share of non-resident ownership of condominium apartments, rising from 1.1% in 2016 to 1.7% in 2017. The share of condominium apartment owned by non-residents remained low and stable in Canada. The lack of growth in Toronto and Vancouver, combined with the increases in Montral, indicate the possibility of a shift from these centres after the introduction of foreign buyers taxes in Ontario and British Columbia. Other factors attracting demand to Montral include lower housing prices and a relatively strong economy. It should be noted that foreign ownership is just one of the factors influencing Canadas housing markets. Other important factors include housing and land supply constraints as well as the economic and demographic fundamentals that drive housing demand, says Bob Dugan, Chief Economist, CMHC.
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Happy Holidays

12/22/2017

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season and an even better new year.
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Construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in Montréal continue to climb

12/12/2017

In October, the value of permits for both single-family and multi-family dwellings increased in the CMAs of Montral and Toronto. However, in the Vancouver CMA, both residential components fell, offsetting the gains in September. Municipalities in the CMA of Montral issued $538.1 million in permits for multi-family dwellings in October, higher than in Toronto ($409.2 million) and Vancouver ($330.6 million). In regards to single-family homes, Toronto registered $451.3 million in permits, followed by Vancouver ($148.1 million) and Montral ($122.4 million). The Montral CMA issued permits approving the construction of 2,956 new units, stemming mainly from multi-family dwellings (2,720). October marked the fifth consecutive month where the number of units approved for multi-family dwellings exceeded 2,000. Vancouver approved the construction of 1,860 new units for multi-family homes, while Toronto (1,691) approved fewer despite having a higher value for the component.
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Housing Market Digest by Will Dunning, Economist for Mortgage Professionals Canada

12/4/2017

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) now requires that all residential mortgages by federally-regulated lenders must be stress-tested, at two percentage points above the contract interest rate (or the 5- year posted rate, if that is higher). In combination with the requirements for mortgage insurance, about 90% of all new mortgages will be tested. This can be expected to reduce housing activity by 10-15%. It is on top of the impact from recent rises for mortgage interest rates (another 5-10% drop in activity). The combined 15-25% drop in housing activity will affect the broader economy. In two years, employment could be 150,000-250,000 lower than it would otherwise be. There is a risk that house prices will fall. In a modern economy, a sustained drop in house prices is one of the most dangerous things that can happen: as happened in the US a decade ago, falling house prices can turn into widespread economic decline. Resale activity recovered a bit more in September, to 492,900, due to partial rebounds in BC and Ontario. Activity is flat in most other areas. CREAs House Price Index was flat in September. The year-over-year change is now 10.7% (down from the peak of 19.7% that was seen in April). The sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) was 55.7% in September, slightly above the balanced market threshold of 51%. This indicator points to an outlook for stable prices (at worst). But, as noted, OSFIs stress test policy creates a risk of falling prices. We should, in general, expect that resale activity will trend upwards over time, because the population is growing and the housing inventory is expanding. Therefore, it is useful to look at sales on a per capita basis. Recent activity is below the long-term average.
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Employment increased by 35,000 in October

11/21/2017

In October, employment rose for youth aged 15 to 24, while it was little changed for the core-aged population of 25- to- 54 year-olds, and for people 55 and older. The largest employment increase was in Quebec, followed by Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick. At the same time, there was a decline in Saskatchewan. Employment rose in several industries, led by other services; construction; information, culture and recreation; and agriculture. Employment declined in wholesale and retail trade. The number of private sector employees increased in October, while public sector employment and self-employment were little changed.
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Canadian home sales edge up again in October

11/17/2017

According to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales posted a modest monthly increase in October but remain below levels recorded one year ago. Newly introduced mortgage regulations mean that starting January 1st, all home buyers applying for a new mortgage will need to pass a stress test to qualify for mortgage financing, said CREA President Andrew Peck. This will likely influence some home buyers to purchase before the stress test comes into effect, especially in Canadas pricier housing markets. A professional REALTOR is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times. Home sales via Canadian MLS Systems edged up 0.9% in October 2017 on the heels of monthly increases in August and September, but remained almost 11% below the record set in March. National sales momentum is positive heading toward year-end, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. It remains to be seen whether that momentum can continue once the recently announced stress test takes effect beginning on New Years day. The stress test is designed to curtail growth in mortgage debt. If it works as intended, Canadian economic growth may slow by more than currently expected.
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Tips to take charge of your finances and live within your means

11/6/2017

(NC) Are you stressed about money? Being in control of your spending is one way of reducing stress in your life. According to Statistics Canada, most of us are burdened with high levels of household debt. Simply put, too many people are spending more than they earn. They are saving less and not saving enough for retirement. At the same time, people are living longer. Living within your means is not always easy, especially when money is tight, but it is the best way to avoid excessive debt. A heavy debt load makes you vulnerable if you lose your job, have unexpected expenses or interest rates go up on your loans. Here is how you can start: Make a budget. Having a budget that lays out sources of income and monthly expenses can help you commit to a spending plan. Know the difference between your wants and needs. Put your needs first; your wants can wait. Choose your credit card wisely. Pay off the balance in full each month so you can build a good credit history and avoid high interest charges. Think ahead to retirement. Canadians are living to an average age of 86. If you retire at 65, that could mean you are living off savings for 21 years or more. Start saving as soon as you can. Find more tips from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada online at canada.ca/it-pays-to-know. www.newscanada.com
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Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 per cent

10/26/2017

The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent. Inflation has picked up in recent months, as anticipated in the Banks July Monetary Policy Report (MPR), reflecting stronger economic activity and higher gasoline prices. Measures of core inflation have edged up, in line with a narrowing output gap and the diminishing effects of lower food prices. The Bank projects inflation will rise to 2 per cent in the second half of 2018. This is a little later than anticipated in July because of the recent strength in the Canadian dollar. The Bank is also mindful that global structural factors could be weighing on inflation in Canada and other advanced economies. The global and Canadian economies are progressing as outlined in the July MPR. Economic activity continues to strengthen and broaden across countries. The Bank still expects global growth to average around 3 1/2 per cent over 2017-19. However, this outlook remains subject to substantial uncertainty about geopolitical developments and fiscal and trade policies, notably the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
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OSFI tightens mortgage rules

10/18/2017

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) published the final version of Guideline B-20 Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures. The revised Guideline, which comes into effect on January 1, 2018, applies to all federally regulated financial institutions. The changes to Guideline B-20 reinforce OSFIs expectation that federally regulated mortgage lenders remain vigilant in their mortgage underwriting practices. The final Guideline focuses on the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages, expectations around loan-to-value (LTV) frameworks and limits, and restrictions to transactions designed to circumvent those LTV limits. OSFI is setting a new minimum qualifying rate, or stress test, for uninsured mortgages. Guideline B-20 now requires the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages to be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the contractual mortgage rate +2%. OSFI is requiring lenders to enhance their loan-to-value (LTV) measurement and limits so they will be dynamic and responsive to risk. Under the final Guideline, federally regulated financial institutions must establish and adhere to appropriate LTV ratio limits that are reflective of risk and are updated as housing markets and the economic environment evolve. OSFI is placing restrictions on certain lending arrangements that are designed, or appear designed to circumvent LTV limits. A federally regulated financial institution is prohibited from arranging with another lender a mortgage, or a combination of a mortgage and other lending products, in any form that circumvents the institutions maximum LTV ratio or other limits in its residential mortgage underwriting policy, or any requirements established by law. To find out how this will affect you, please contact me at anytime.
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Easy ways to keep more money in your pocket

10/9/2017

It goes without saying that most of us would appreciate a little more money in our pockets. Believe it or not, its actually an achievable goal. In fact, a few simple tips can help you uncover meaningful savings each and every month. Need some ideas? Heres a little inspiration to get you started: 1. Pack food from home for lunches and snacks. Skip sandwich bags and opt for reusable containers, cutlery and drink bottle. 2. Switch light bulbs to CFLs. On average, it costs $250 a year in energy costs to light your home with incandescents. Save $150 by going with CFLs. Theyre more expensive initially, but will last 10 times longer. 3. Review and negotiate your service plansphone, internet, cable and television content. 4. Invest in topping up your insulation. Attic insulation can settle and compact over time, diminishing its original R-value and increasing heating/cooling costs. Topping it up with a quality batt insulation, like Roxul Comfortbatt, will immediately help improve the comfort of your home and reduce your monthly energy bills. 5. Pay off credit card debt and swap cards for lower interest rate options. 6. Install low-flow water fixtures to cut down on excess water consumption. 7. Lower your thermostat by two degrees in cold weather and increase it by two degrees in warmer weather. 8. Launder your clothes in cold water and at off-peak times. 9. Avoid impulse shopping. Stick to your list and avoid window shopping, which tends to draw buyers in. 10. Save money on entertainment by looking for free activities. For options in your area, try a simple internet search. You might be pleasantly surprised at the wide variety of activities and entertainment available for no or low cost. Collectively employing the tips above could potentially add up to thousands in annual savings, proving that sometimes change can be a good thing. www.newscanada.com
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Bank of Canada increases overnight rate target to 1 per cent

9/7/2017

The Bank of Canada is raising its target for the overnight rate to 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent. Recent economic data have been stronger than expected, supporting the Banks view that growth in Canada is becoming more broadly-based and self-sustaining. Consumer spending remains robust, underpinned by continued solid employment and income growth. There has also been more widespread strength in business investment and in exports. Meanwhile, the housing sector appears to be cooling in some markets in response to recent changes in tax and housing finance policies. The Bank continues to expect a moderation in the pace of economic growth in the second half of 2017, for the reasons described in the July Monetary Policy Report (MPR), but the level of GDP is now higher than the Bank had expected. The global economic expansion is becoming more synchronous, as anticipated in July, with stronger-than-expected indicators of growth, including higher industrial commodity prices. However, significant geopolitical risks and uncertainties around international trade and fiscal policies remain, leading to a weaker US dollar against many major currencies. In this context, the Canadian dollar has appreciated, also reflecting the relative strength of Canadas economy. While inflation remains below the 2 per cent target, it has evolved largely as expected in July. There has been a slight increase in both total CPI and the Banks core measures of inflation, consistent with the dissipating negative impact of temporary price shocks and the absorption of economic slack. Nonetheless, there remains some excess capacity in Canadas labour market, and wage and price pressures are still more subdued than historical relationships would suggest, as observed in some other advanced economies.
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Canadian home sales fall further in July

8/16/2017

According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined further in July 2017. Highlights: National home sales fell 2.1% from June to July. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in July stood 11.9% below last Julys level. The number of newly listed homes edged back by 1.8% from June to July. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) was up 12.9% year-over-year (y-o-y) in July 2017. The national average sale price edged down by 0.3% y-o-y in July. Julys interest rate hike may have motivated some homebuyers with pre-approved mortgages to make an offer, said CREA President Andrew Peck. Even so, sales activity continued to soften in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. Meanwhile, sales and prices in Montreal continue to strengthen. All real estate is local, and REALTORS remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to. July marked the smallest monthly decline in Greater Golden Horseshoe home sales since Ontarios Fair Housing Plan was announced in April, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. This suggests sales may be starting to bottom out amid stabilizing housing market sentiment. Time will tell whether thats indeed the case once the transitory boost by buyers with pre-approved mortgages fades. Click here to continue reading
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Decline in single-family component moderated by gain in multi-family dwellings

8/11/2017

Canadian municipalities issued $8.1 billion worth of building permits in June, up 2.5% from May and the second highest value on record. Higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings were mainly responsible for the national increase. All building components reported gains in June, except for single-family dwellings. The value of residential building permits fell 0.9% in June to $5.0 billion, the fourth decrease in five months. The decline was mainly the result of lower construction intentions in four provinces, notably Ontario. In June, the value of permits for single-family dwellings decreased 12.5% to $2.4 billion. Seven provinces registered declines, with Ontario being the main contributor to the decrease. Conversely, construction intentions for multi-family dwellings rose 12.5% in June to $2.7 billion, marking a third consecutive monthly increase. Seven provinces registered gains, led by Ontario and British Columbia. Click here for more information
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Is a home equity line of credit right for you?

7/26/2017

(NC) Buying a new home is an exciting but often stressful experience. The variety of financing options now offered by lenders is overwhelming. One of the most popular options is a home equity line of credit. With interest rates typically lower than other forms of credit, this line of credit can help you reach your financial goals. However, there are several factors to consider when deciding if this product is right for you. Banks market home equity lines of credit under different names, which might make it challenging to recognize when you are being offered one. They are commonly combined with a regular term mortgage in the form of a readvanceable mortgage. When combined this way, the credit limit on your home equity line of credit will often increase automatically as you pay down the principal on your mortgage. A readvanceable mortgage may also tie together other credit and banking products such as personal loans, credit cards and car loans under a single credit limit. Benefits of bundling these products together include convenience and lower interest rates. But the downsides include fees and restrictions if you want to switch to another lender, and variable interest rates that could increase on short notice. Your financial institution also has the right to demand that you pay the full amount owing at any time. When deciding if this lending product is right for you, remember that your home is likely your biggest investment. You should beware of overborrowing against its equity, especially if youre counting on it to fund your retirement. Most lenders allow you to make interest-only payments on your home equity line of credit, making it easier to delay repaying the principal balance, explains Lucie Tedesco, commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Continually borrowing against your homes equity without repaying the principal can jeopardize your long-term financial security. For instance, in the event of a housing market correction you might owe more than what your home is worth. Ask yourself if a low interest rate and easy access to credit may encourage you to spend more than you can afford to pay back. You could find yourself in a debt spiral, using additional home equity just to stay current on your mortgage. This could make you more vulnerable to unforeseeable events, like job loss, illness or an interest rate hike. Consider creating your own plan to pay down the principal amount borrowed over a fixed period. Aim to pay more than the minimum payment or interest every month. With a home equity line of credit, there is usually no penalty to pay back as much as you can at any time. Find more information online at canada.ca/money. www.newscanada.com
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Bank of Canada increases overnight rate target to 3/4 per cent

7/12/2017

The Bank of Canada is raising its target for the overnight rate to 3/4 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/2 per cent. Recent data have bolstered the Banks confidence in its outlook for above-potential growth and the absorption of excess capacity in the economy. The Bank acknowledges recent softness in inflation but judges this to be temporary. Recognizing the lag between monetary policy actions and future inflation, Governing Council considers it appropriate to raise its overnight rate target at this time. The global economy continues to strengthen and growth is broadening across countries and regions. The US economy was tepid in the first quarter of 2017 but is now growing at a solid pace, underpinned by a robust labour market and stronger investment. Above-potential growth is becoming more widespread in the euro area. However, elevated geopolitical uncertainty still clouds the global outlook, particularly for trade and investment. Meanwhile, world oil prices have softened as markets work toward a new supply/demand balance. Canadas economy has been robust, fuelled by household spending. As a result, a significant amount of economic slack has been absorbed. The very strong growth of the first quarter is expected to moderate over the balance of the year, but remain above potential. Growth is broadening across industries and regions and therefore becoming more sustainable. As the adjustment to lower oil prices is largely complete, both the goods and services sectors are expanding. Household spending will likely remain solid in the months ahead, supported by rising employment and wages, but its pace is expected to slow over the projection horizon. At the same time, exports should make an increasing contribution to GDP growth. Business investment should also add to growth, a view supported by the most recent Business Outlook Survey. The Bank estimates real GDP growth will moderate further over the projection horizon, from 2.8 per cent in 2017 to 2.0 per cent in 2018 and 1.6 per cent in 2019. The output gap is now projected to close around the end of 2017, earlier than the Bank anticipated in its April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). CPI inflation has eased in recent months and the Banks three measures of core inflation all remain below 2 per cent. The factors behind soft inflation appear to be mostly temporary, including heightened food price competition, electricity rebates in Ontario, and changes in automobile pricing. As the effects of these relative price movements fade and excess capacity is absorbed, the Bank expects inflation to return to close to 2 per cent by the middle of 2018. The Bank will continue to analyze short-term inflation fluctuations to determine the extent to which it remains appropriate to look through them. Governing Council judges that the current outlook warrants todays withdrawal of some of the monetary policy stimulus in the economy. Future adjustments to the target for the overnight rate will be guided by incoming data as they inform the Banks inflation outlook, keeping in mind continued uncertainty and financial system vulnerabilities. Information note The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is September 6, 2017. The next full update of the Banks outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR on October 25, 2017.
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Canada Day

6/30/2017

This is an opportunity to gather in our communities, from coast to coast to coast, and to proudly celebrate all we have in common. It is an opportunity to celebrate our achievements, which were born in the audacious vision and shared values of our ancestors, and which are voiced in nearly all of the languages of the world through the contribution of New Canadians. Canada Dayis a time to celebrate the heritage passed down to us through the works of our authors, poets, artists and performers. It is a time to rejoice in the discoveries of our scientific researchers, in the success of our entrepreneurs, and to commemorate our history a history in which each new chapter reveals itself to be more touching, more fascinating than the last. In this momentous year marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation, our Canada Day celebrations will be bigger than ever! There will be major celebrations in 19 Canadian cities in addition to the many festivities set to take place in various communities from coast to coast. A full weekend of activities is also on the agenda in Canadas Capital Region to celebrate Canada Day and our countrys anniversary in a spectacular way. As we look ahead, we have every reason to show our pride in being Canadian and to face the future with confidence and enthusiasm. www.canada.ca Activities across Canada Find out what activities are going on in your region and across the country: Click here for a list of activities Interactive Google Map Cickhere to view the googlemap _____________________________________________________________________________________
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Professionals who can help you with home buying

6/26/2017

Because purchasing a home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, youll definitely want a team of professionals working with you throughout the process. The Real Estate Agent Helps you find the ideal home Writes an Offer of Purchase Negotiates on your behalf Gives you important information about the community Can help you plan the home inspection The Lawyer/Notary A lawyer (or a notary in Quebec) protects your legal rights. He or she will review all contracts before you sign them, especially the Offer (or Agreement) to Purchase. Remember that a lawyer/notary should: Be a licensed, full-time lawyer/notary Be local and understand real estate laws, regulations and restrictions Have realistic and acceptable fees Be able to explain things in plain language The Home Inspector Performs an inspection of the visible components of the home Tells you the condition of the house; what is working properly; what needs to be changed; what is unsafe; and what repairs need to be made Can tell you where there may have been problems in the past Usually belongs to a provincial or industry association
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A good credit report and credit score are important factors in determining whether or not you will be approved for a mortgage. Here are some simple steps you can take to maintain a good credit history, and improve your chances of being approved.

6/15/2017

What is a Credit Score Your credit score is a number that illustrates your financial health at a specific point in time. It also serves as an indicator of your financial past, and how consistently you pay off your bills and debts. This is one of the factors mortgage professionals consider in qualifying you for a mortgage. How to Check Your Credit Score To find out your credit score, contact Canadas two credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada at www.equifax.ca and TransUnion Canada at www.transunion.ca. For a fee, these agencies will provide you with an online copy of your credit score as well as a credit report a detailed summary of your credit history, employment history and personal financial information on file. You can also obtain a free copy of your credit report by mail. If you find any errors in your report, notify the credit-reporting agency and the organization responsible for the inaccuracy immediately. If You Do Not Have a Credit Score Its important to begin building a credit history as early as possible. You can begin to build one by applying for and responsibly using a credit card. Your financial institution or mortgage professional can help. How to Improve Your Credit Score Demonstrating your ability to manage credit is key to maintaining a good credit score. There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score. These include: Always pay your bills in full and on time. If you cannot pay the full amount, try to pay at least the required minimum shown on your monthly statement. Pay off your debts (such as loans, credit cards, lines of credit, etc.) as quickly as possible. Never go over the limit on your credit cards, and try to keep your balances well below the limits. Reduce the number of credit card or loan applications you make. Once your credit score has improved, work with your mortgage professional to obtain a mortgage that works for you. Find Out More To find out more about credit scores and reports, visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website and download or request a free copy of their guide, Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score. This guide provides practical, straightforward information on how to obtain and understand your credit report and score, as well as how to build and maintain a good credit history.
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CMHC’s 2017 Mortgage Consumer Survey

6/8/2017

In March 2017, CMHC completed an online survey of 3,002 recent mortgage consumers, all prime household decision-makers who had undertaken a mortgage transaction in the past 12 months. Sixty-five percent had undergone a mortgage renewal, 15% had refinanced their mortgage, and 20% had purchased a home with mortgage financing (11% First-Time Buyers and 9% Repeat Buyers). CMHC has conducted this survey since 1999. It is the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind in Canada. The Home Buying Process Sixty-four percent of First-Time Buyers indicated they were renting before purchasing, and 34% lived with family. Wanting to buy their first home (37%) and feeling financially ready (31%) were the most important reasons First-Time Buyers gave for purchasing a home in the past year. Low interest rates was the most important reason noted by Repeat Buyers at 33%. Fifty-three percent of buyers were aware of the latest mortgage qualification changes, and 19% noted that it impacted their purchase decision. For example, 11% of buyers said they increased their down payment, 6% purchased a smaller home, 5% purchased in a dfferent location, and 3% delayed their purchase. Buyers interact with a wide variety of people, and are most likely to consult a real estate agent (72%), or look to a family member or mortgage lender for advice (both at 57%). Forty-one percent reported interacting with a mortgage broker. Of all interactions, real estate agents were noted as most valuable. Seventy-one percent of First-Time Buyers accessed savings for their down payment, while 18% received a gift from a family member. Click here to read more....
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Michael Campbell on housing affordability in Canada

6/1/2017

The following is an excerpt from the VERICO Economic Report written by Michael Campbell The key to understand is that there is a big difference between addressing the affordability problem through reducing demand versus increasing supply. So far politicians have focused on reducing demand by implementing the foreign buyers tax in Greater Vancouver and just recently in Toronto, (and proposed in Victoria), to the changes to mortgage eligibility rules that impact markets across the country. Vancouvers foreign buyers tax introduced last August, seems to have had a short term impact on sales of single detached homes given the dramatic reduction in activity but it hasnt made single detached homes (or condos) more affordable for people looking to get in the market. Thats because none of those actions get to the root of the problem, which is lack of supply in both Vancouver and Toronto. Greater Vancouver is expected to add 1.2 million people in the next 23 years, which guarantees a massive housing shortfall. In Toronto, the discrepancy between population growth and new units coming on stream is even greater. This year its estimated that 80,000 more people will come into the Toronto area but only 1500 more units are scheduled to come on stream. It is interesting that politicians dont seem to understand that restricting demand is negative for the economy while trying to mitigate the affordability crisis by increasing supply encourages economic growth. Sadly, the vast majority of politicians have chosen to attack the demand side. That strategy wont work and it will cost the economy. Read More...
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BOC maintains overnight rate target at 1/2 per cent; projects moderate growth in Q2

5/25/2017

The Bank of Canada is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/4 per cent. Inflation is broadly in line with the Banks projection in its April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Food prices continue to decline, mainly because of intense retail competition, pushing inflation temporarily lower. The Banks three measures of core inflation remain below two per cent and wage growth is still subdued, consistent with ongoing excess capacity in the economy. The global economy continues to gain traction and recent developments reinforce the Banks view that growth will gradually strengthen and broaden over the projection horizon. As anticipated, growth in the United States during the first quarter was weak, reflecting mostly temporary factors. Recent data point to a rebound in the second quarter. The uncertainties outlined in the April MPR continue to cloud the global and Canadian outlooks. The Canadian economys adjustment to lower oil prices is largely complete and recent economic data have been encouraging, including indicators of business investment. Consumer spending and the housing sector continue to be robust on the back of an improving labour market, and these are becoming more broadly based across regions. Macroprudential and other policy measures, while contributing to more sustainable debt profiles, have yet to have a substantial cooling effect on housing markets. Meanwhile, export growth remains subdued, as anticipated in the April MPR, in the face of ongoing competitiveness challenges. The Banks monitoring of the economic data suggests that very strong growth in the first quarter will be followed by some moderation in the second quarter. All things considered, Governing Council judges that the current degree of monetary stimulus is appropriate at present, and maintains the target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent.
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Canadian home sales drop in April

5/18/2017

According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined in April 2017. Highlights: National home sales fell 1.7% from March to April. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in April was down 7.5% from a year earlier. The number of newly listed homes jumped 10% from March to April. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) was up 19.8% year-over-year (y-o-y) in April 2017. The national average sale price rose 10.4% y-o-y in April. Home sales over Canadian MLS Systems fell by 1.7% in April 2017 from the all-time record set in March. April sales were down from the previous month in close to two-thirds of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and offset by gains in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 7.5% year-over-year, with declines in close to 70% of all local markets. Sales were down most in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, where activity continues to run well below last years record-levels. The GTA also factored in the decline, with faded activity compared to record levels set in April last year. Sales in Vancouver are down from record levels in the first half of last year but the gap has started to close, CREA President Andrew Peck. Meanwhile, sales are up in Calgary and Edmonton from last years lows and trending higher in Ottawa and Montreal. All real estate is local, and REALTORS remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to. Homebuyers and sellers both reacted to the recent Ontario government policy announcement aimed at cooling housing markets in and around Toronto, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. The number of new listings in April spiked to record levels in the GTA, Oakville-Milton, Hamilton-Burlington and Kitchener-Waterloo, where there had been a severe supply shortage. And with only ten days to go between the announcement and the end of the month, sales in each of these markets were down from the previous month. It suggests these housing markets have started to cool. Policy makers will no doubt continue to keep a close eye on the combined effect of federal and provincial measures aimed at cooling housing markets of particular concern, while avoiding further regulatory changes that risk producing collateral damage in communities where the housing market is well balanced or already favours buyers.
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Canadian home sales drop in April

5/18/2017

According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined in April 2017. Highlights: National home sales fell 1.7% from March to April. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in April was down 7.5% from a year earlier. The number of newly listed homes jumped 10% from March to April. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) was up 19.8% year-over-year (y-o-y) in April 2017. The national average sale price rose 10.4% y-o-y in April. Home sales over Canadian MLS Systems fell by 1.7% in April 2017 from the all-time record set in March. April sales were down from the previous month in close to two-thirds of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and offset by gains in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 7.5% year-over-year, with declines in close to 70% of all local markets. Sales were down most in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, where activity continues to run well below last years record-levels. The GTA also factored in the decline, with faded activity compared to record levels set in April last year. Sales in Vancouver are down from record levels in the first half of last year but the gap has started to close, CREA President Andrew Peck. Meanwhile, sales are up in Calgary and Edmonton from last years lows and trending higher in Ottawa and Montreal. All real estate is local, and REALTORS remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to. Homebuyers and sellers both reacted to the recent Ontario government policy announcement aimed at cooling housing markets in and around Toronto, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. The number of new listings in April spiked to record levels in the GTA, Oakville-Milton, Hamilton-Burlington and Kitchener-Waterloo, where there had been a severe supply shortage. And with only ten days to go between the announcement and the end of the month, sales in each of these markets were down from the previous month. It suggests these housing markets have started to cool. Policy makers will no doubt continue to keep a close eye on the combined effect of federal and provincial measures aimed at cooling housing markets of particular concern, while avoiding further regulatory changes that risk producing collateral damage in communities where the housing market is well balanced or already favours buyers.
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Value of building permits falls in March. Vancouver reports the largest decline, while Montréal sees the biggest increase.

5/11/2017

The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities fell 5.8% to $7.0 billion in March, marking a second consecutive monthly decrease. Nationally, the decline was mainly the result of lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, particularly in British Columbia and Ontario. All provinces and territories, except Ontario and Quebec, registered decreases in the total value of building permits in March. Residential sector: Multi-family component registers large decline Municipalities issued $4.6 billion worth of residential building permits in March, down 8.4% from February. A notable decrease in the multi-family component more than offset higher construction intentions for single-family dwellings. Eight provinces reported declines in the residential sector in March, led by British Columbia and Ontario. British Columbia and Ontario registered the biggest declines in the multi-family component in March, stemming from apartment buildings and, to a lesser extent, row houses. Conversely, single-family construction intentions rose 3.0% to $2.7 billion in March, with Ontario and Alberta leading the four provinces that posted gains. In March, Canadian municipalities approved the construction of 16,821 new dwellings (-14.7% compared with February), consisting of 10,745 multi-family units (-19.4%) and 6,076 single units (-4.8%). Provinces: British Columbia posts notable decline British Columbia registered the largest decrease in the value of building permits in March, while Ontario and Quebec were the only provinces to report higher construction intentions. Multi-family dwellings were mainly responsible for the decline in British Columbia, led by apartment buildings. In Ontario, the large decrease in multi-family construction intentions was more than offset by increases in every other building component. Meanwhile, the gain in Quebec was mainly due to institutional structures, specifically nursing homes. Census metropolitan areas: Vancouver registers largest decrease The value of building permits fell in 19 of 36 census metropolitan areas in March. Vancouver reported the largest decline, while Montral registered the biggest increase. After posting two consecutive monthly increases, Vancouver registered a decrease in the value of building permits in March on the weakness of multi-family dwellings. Every component reported declines, except single-family dwellings. In Montral, the gain was mainly due to construction intentions for a retirement nursing home, as well as increased intentions for apartment-condominium constructions. Edmonton posted the second-largest gain in the value of building permits among the census metropolitan areas in March, mainly the result of higher construction intentions for residential buildings. Apartment buildings led the advance while the single-family dwelling component increased for a third consecutive month.
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