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Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate at 0.25%

The Bank of Canada announced today that the overnight rate of 0.25% will hold. The Bank rate and deposit rate will hold at 0.50% and 0.25% respectively. The overnight rate is the interest rate at which major financial institutions borrow and lend money amongst themselves. The lower the overnight rate is, the less expensive it is for Canadian consumers to borrow money. Canada’s economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, exemplified by a GDP growth of 9.6% in the final quarter of 2020. GDP growth in the first quarter of 2021 is also expected to be positive, contradicting early forecasts in January. Consumers and businesses adapting to current restrictions and the continued surge of the housing market are key contributors to the recovery of the economy. While the economy has improved, there still remains economic slack given the uncertainty of the virus and the journey to economic growth. The …
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March Home Checklist

The start of a new month always comes with a list of to-dos. As Spring is right around the corner, there are a few things you might want to check up on around the house. To prepare your property for the new season, check out our March Home checklist! Check your walkways, driveway, and roof for winter damage Once winter has passed and the snow has melted, check key areas around the exterior of your house for winter damage. It is important to do routine maintenance checkups like this to avoid long-term damage and more expensive repairs down the road. Get ready for tax time The tax-filing deadline in Canada isn’t until April 30, but getting everything organized this month will make things a lot less stressful. Go through your paperwork, update your files, and gather all of your important documents in one place. Spring clean your mirrors and surfaces …
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February 2021 Produces Record Numbers in the KW Housing Market

The Kitchener-Waterloo housing market broke records in February 2021. The month saw a total of 597 residential properties sold through MLS, up 27.8% from February 2020. “Competition for homes continued to be extremely intense in February, leading to a record-breaking number of home sales for the month,” says Nicole Pohl, President of KWAR. “We continued to see dramatic increases in the average price in February due to the persistent and fierce competition for homes in our region combined with short supply.” Residential properties sold in February 2021 included 337 detached homes (up 23.9% from February 2020), 101 apartment-style condominium units (up 57.8%), 47 semi-detached (up 46.9%) and 112 townhomes (up 13.1%). The average price of a home in Kitchener-Waterloo was $752,289 in February 2021, up 32.9% from February 2020. The month came with a significant milestone as the average price of a detached home was over $900K for the first …
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Strong Canadian Economic Growth in Q4 and January

This morning’s Stats Canada release showed that economic growth in the final quarter of last year was a surprisingly strong 9.6% (annualized). The surge in growth in January was even more interesting, estimated at a 0.5% (not annualized) pace. If these numbers pan out, it means that Canada did not suffer a contraction during the second wave and ensuing lockdown. The January figure is noteworthy in that retail sales plunged as nonessential stores were closed in key parts of the country as we faced surging numbers of COVID cases. The strength came from resources, housing and government spending and the mild weather likely helped. At its last meeting in January, the Bank of Canada (BoC) estimated that Q4 growth would come in at 4.8% (half the actual 9.6% pace) and that there would be a net contraction in Q1 of this year. The strength in Q4 emanated from very hot …
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Market Interest Rates are Rising Almost Everywhere

Longer-Term Yields are Rising Despite Central Bank Inaction While central banks hold overnight rates at record lows, anchoring short-term interest rates and the prime rate, mid-to-long-term government yields have been rising since early this month. As the chart below shows, the 5-year Government of Canada bond, upon which mortgage rates are generally tethered, are currently at 0.69%, up 27 basis points since January 29th. This is the highest 5-year yield since late-March 2020.  Canadian bond yields have increased more than in the US, perhaps due to the surge in commodity prices, most notably oil, which has climbed 16.9% in just the past month, taking the year-to-date gain to 27%.Growing government debt arising from fiscal measures to cushion the blow of the pandemic and stimulate the economy has set the stage for higher government bond yields in much of the developed world. Inflation concerns are mounting. In a rare move, yesterday Statistics Canada revised …
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Kitchener is The 8th Most Expensive City for Rent in Canada

Image via Padmapper According to a recent study by Padmapper, Kitchener is one of the most expensive cities to rent in Canada. The report shows that the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Kitchener is $1,390, positioning them at 8th place in the nation. For a two-bedroom apartment, the average rate of rent is $1,670. This is up two positions from a previous report which shows that rent is increasing at a rate of 5.3% every year. Kitchener comes in just ahead of Hamilton and Montreal on the list. Rounding out the top three is Burnaby, Toronto, and Vancouver. For the full report from Padmapper, click here.

A Semi-Detached Home in Kitchener Sells for $300K Above Asking Price

A semi-detached home in Kitchener just sold for $300,000 above the asking price. The Kitchener-Waterloo real estate market is clearly not slowing down for the time being. Located in Kitchener’s Laurentian West neighbourhood, the home was listed for $500,000. 53 offers later, it sold for $801,000. According to the story covered by CTV News Kitchener, residents in the area were not surprised, citing the booming housing market in the Region of Waterloo. Kitchener-Waterloo is a very attractive region for people looking to move out of bigger cities. Statistics Canada recognized Waterloo Region as one of the fastest-growing places, population-wise, in the country. “It’s just driving up that purchase price,” said Nicole Pohl, president of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors. “We just do not have enough supply and, when there’s high demand, that’s just the reality of economics.” What are your thoughts on the surging housing market in Waterloo Region? Comment …
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Valko Financial Wins “Best New Brokerage” at The Mortgage Awards of Excellence

Valko Financial is pleased to announce that we are the WINNER of the “Best New Brokerage” award for the Mortgage Awards of Excellence!   Click here to view the full virtual award show.   This award is for everyone in the Valko Financial Community! To our brokers, mortgage agents, admin staff, and marketing team: THANK YOU for your hard work and dedication over the past two years, it has not gone unnoticed. To the many clients that we have served: THANK YOU for your continued trust in our services. It has been a privilege helping so many families with their home financing.   With only two years in, Valko Financial is just getting started! We can’t wait to celebrate many more milestones and achievements to come.   A Message from Tracy… Thank you to all the incredible nominees. I am truly honored and humbled to be amongst so many outstanding …
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Housing Continued to Surge in January

The housing market is still on the rise across Canada according to a recent press release from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Although supply continues to be an issue, home prices still remain strong and are expected to be for the entirety of 2021. Read below for an in-depth analysis from Dr. Sherry Cooper, the Chief Economist at Dominion Lending Centres. Click here to read the Original Article from Dr. Sherry Cooper. Today the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) released statistics showing national home sales hit another all-time high in January 2021. Canadian home sales increased 2.0% month-on-month (m-o-m) building on December’s 7.0% gain. On a year-over-year (y-o-y) basis, existing home sales surged 35.2%. As the chart below shows, January activity blew out all previous records for the month. The seasonally adjusted activity was running at an annualized pace of 736,452 units in January, significantly above CREA’s current 2021 …
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Warren Buffett Thinks You Should Refinance Your Mortgage Now

Tracy came across this article last week and shared it with the team.  This is certainly a trend we are seeing people take advantage of right now, and it makes perfect sense. Original Source:  The Motley Fool Warren Buffett doesn’t give stock tips, but he’s given plenty of “general” financial advice over the years. Recommending that people avoid credit cards, save money, and invest in index funds, the “Oracle of Omaha” has shared plenty of money ideas with the world. Today, he has a clear recommendation: borrow while interest rates are low. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing unprecedentedly low interest rates across the Western world. That includes the U.S. as well as Canada. To help the economy along during lockdowns, central banks have lowered interest rates to sub-1% levels. As a result, bank interest rates to consumers have declined as well. Warren Buffett hasn’t been big on public appearances lately. …
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