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Weak New Listings Slow Canadian Home Sales as Prices Continue to Rise

Sellers Housing Market  Now in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show that national existing-home sales dipped between November and December owing to a dearth of new listings, especially in the GTA. National home sales edged down 0.9% in the final month of 2019, ending a streak of monthly gains that began last March. Activity is now about 18% above the six-year low reached in February 2019 but ends the year about 7% below the peak recorded in 2016 and 2017 (see chart below). There was an almost even split between the number of local markets where activity rose and those where it declined, with higher sales in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Calgary and Montreal offsetting declines in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Ottawa. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 22.7% compared to the quiet month of …
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Sigh of Relief as December Jobs Report Rebounds

Welcome Rebound in Labour Markets in December For this notoriously volatile data series, it is particularly true that ‘one month does not a trend make.’ Following last month’s dismal employment report, job growth rebounded in December, erasing almost half of the earlier decline (even more if you exclude transitory factors in November). As well, the unemployment rate reversed much of its November spike, capping the second-best year of job growth since the recession and supporting the Bank of Canada’s view that the Canadian economy is resilient. Canada’s economy created 35,200 net new jobs in December, bringing the total number of jobs added to 320,300 in 2019, the second-most since 2007. The jobless rate ticked down three basis points to 5.6% and wage gains decelerated to a still-healthy 3.8% from a year earlier. All of the job creation was in full-time employment in the private sector. Provincially, employment gains in December …
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Bank of Canada Interest Rate as of December 2019

The Bank of Canada is maintaining the interest rate at 1.75% as of December 2019. The bank has confirmed that there are ongoing trade conflicts and uncertainty are preventing business investment, trade, and global growth in Canada. 🇨🇦🗞️ The global economy is stabilizing and economic growth is expected to increase over the next couple of years. The next interest rate announcement is January 22nd.. Stay Tuned! 👀🗞️ . To learn more about the Bank of Canada’s decision visit https://bit.ly/2DN7WPo The scheduled dates for the interest rate announcements for 2020 are as follows: Wednesday, January 22 Wednesday, March 4 Wednesday, April 15 Wednesday, June 3 Wednesday, July 15 Wednesday, September 9 Wednesday, October 28 Wednesday, December 9

May Market Report

In this month’s market report, Tracy looks at the May real estate market with guest Realtor, Caroline Harvey from Royal LePage Wolle, right here in Kitchener. Caroline works closely with her husband, Mike, and TEAM HARVEY is consistently one of the top-producing teams with Royal LePage, and you can check out their current listings, or contact them here.

The Bank of Canada on Hold

On Oct. 25, the Bank of Canada made no change to the overnight lending rate. This lack of movement was widely expected, then again the Bank of Canada surprised 27 of 33 economists polled with the previous 0.25% rate hike on Sept 6, following a previous 0.25% hike July 12. At this point cooler heads are prevailing. These two recent increases should be viewed with the consideration that the last time the Prime rate reached a level this ‘high’ was September 2010, where it then sat stagnant for more than four years. Until a shock to the system triggered two 0.25% drops in early 2015. A response to the sudden drop in oil prices. Shocks to the system often cause rates to drop, the unexpected. What will cause rates to continue to rise in the future? Economic good news, which is something that tends to build in a predictable and slower fashion. …
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Refinancing Could be the Key to a Lighter Debt Load

This is an article that was published with the Cambridge Times on October 1, 2017, featuring our very own, Tracy Valko:   Tracy Valko of Dominion Lending Centres in Kitchener, Ontario, reminds homeowners that the solution to non-mortgage debt could be a lot closer to home than they think. Equifax Canada, which provides consumers credit bureau information, says that non-mortgage debt has risen 3.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2017- which is alarming, because household debt in Canada is already at al all-time high and many people are living paycheque to paycheque to make ends meet. However, if you’re having trouble making minimum payments on credit cards and other loans, the solution may be your mortgage equity.  If you’ve owned your home for some time, or even if you’re a relatively new home-owner and your property has increased in value substantially, you might be able to tap into …
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Time to Lock in a Variable Rate Mortgage?

Approximately 32 per cent of Canadians are in a variable rate mortgage, which with rates effectively declining steadily for the better part of the last ten years has worked well. Recent increases triggers questions and concerns, and these questions and concerns are best expressed verbally with a direct call to your independent mortgage expert – not directly with the lender. There are nuances you may not think to consider before you lock in, and that almost certainly will not be primary topics for your lender. Over the last several years there have been headlines warning us of impending doom with both house price implosion, and interest rate explosion, very little of which has come to fruition other than in a very few localized spots and for short periods of time thus far. Before accepting what a lender may offer as a lock in rate, especially if you are considering freeing …
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Bank of Canada Rate Change: Here’s what you need to know

As a home owner, or someone who is looking at purchasing a home, you’re probably wondering what today’s announcement from the Bank of Canada really means.  Today, for the first time in 7 years, the key interest rate was increased by a 1/4 percent, setting the rate at 0.75%.  This directly changes the Prime lending rate, which Banks and Mortgage Lenders use to set their rates. It’s no secret that the housing market here in Canada has been hot. In the Waterloo Region alone we have seen prices increase month over month by over 30%, according to the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®. Since the Bank of Canada has held the key interest rate for so long, it is only natural that in a strong economy this rate would eventually increase.  Current mortgage rates have been affected by the market as well: rates have been inflated because of market pricing, and …
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Make Your Voice Heard About Affordable Homes

As you may know, the government has made changes to the rules and regulations around qualifying for mortgage financing last year. We are very proud that Tracy has joined forces with Mortgage Professionals Canada, attempting to drive positive change for Canadians. If you have been affected by these changes in any way, now is your time to speak up! www.tellyourmp.ca is a simple and easy way to express your concerns to those who need to hear it most. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, or looking to refinance – make your voice be heard!  

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