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Mike Schroeder Mortgage Agent

Mike Schroeder

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100-99 Scurfield Blvd., Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Home office expenses for employees for 2023

4/22/2024

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

4/17/2024

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

4/11/2024

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

4/10/2024

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

3/25/2024

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

3/18/2024

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

3/6/2024

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

3/1/2024

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

2/27/2024

The future belongs to those who prepare for it today - Malcom X Unless youve been living under a rock, you may have heard that interest rates have changed significantly in the past few years. Meaning, if youre one of the millions of Canadian whose mortgage is up for renewal in 2024, you may be rightfully concerned about what your options will be. The key is to start planning for your renewal now, so you are not taken by surprise. Here are three ways that will assist you in saving money on your mortgage renewal. Payout high interest credit card debt Im amazed at the number of people I speak to who are concerned about the mortgage interest rate going from 2.99% to 4.99%, but dont bat an eye at paying 22% on a credit card. You need to take a step back and look at your overall cashflow. Yes, your mortgage interest rate may increase on renewal, but if you can pay off high interest debt elsewhere, by refinancing your home, you may be further ahead financially. Re-amortizing your mortgage Lets say you purchased your home four-and-a-half years ago, on a five-year term, and you put down 5% for a down payment; you would have most likely received a 25 year amortization. On renewal, your payment will be based on the remaining amortization, which is 20 years. BUT WAIT! You dont HAVE to stay with that 20-year amortization. Some lenders will let you extend the amortization back out to 25 years. Others will even let you increase it to 30 years. Yes, this will increase your interest costs over the life of the mortgage. However, if youre in a cashflow crunch right now, it may make your home more affordable today. Taking a shorter term By default, most Canadians take a five-year fixed rate mortgage. Did you know there are shorter terms available? The catch right now, is that those shorter terms are slightly higher than the five years. Why would anyone take a shorter term at a higher rate? If you plan to move in several years, this could save you thousands of dollars in penalties when you go to break your mortgage. You are betting that rates will drop in two to three years time, allowing you to capitalize on a lower rate, sooner, than in five years. A good mortgage broker will ask you as many questions as possible when your mortgage is up for renewal. How much longer do you anticipate staying in your current home for? Do you have high-interest debt to pay off? How much do we need to lower the payment by for your home to be affordable to you? Just remember. The sooner you get started planning for your renewal, the more options youll have available. We would love to help find the customized option thats right for you.
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