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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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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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Bank of Canada Still Expects No Rate Increases Until 2023

Published by Dr. Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres For the original article, CLICK HERE. The Bank of Canada released its January Monetary Policy Report (MPR), showing they expect to keep overnight interest rates at its “effective lower bound” of 0.25% until 2023 (see chart below). To reinforce this commitment and keep interest rates low across the yield curve, the Bank will continue its Quantitative Easing (QE) program–buying $4 billion of Government of Canada bonds every week until the recovery is well underway. The central bank indicated it could pare purchases once the recovery regains its footing. According to the Bank’s press release, “The Governing Council will hold the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2 percent inflation target is sustainably achieved. In our projection, this does not happen until into 2023.” Officials are apparently optimistic about the economy’s prospects …
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Canadian Real Estate Association December 2020 National Statistics

National Statistics Record December caps record year for Canadian home sales Ottawa, ON, January 15, 2021 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales set another all-time record in December 2020. SUMMARY: National home sales rose 7.2% on a month-over-month (m-o-m) basis in December. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 47.2% year-over-year (y-o-y). The number of newly listed properties climbed 3.4% from November to December. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 1.5% m-o-m and was up 13% y-o-y. The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price posted a 17.1% y-o-y gain in December. Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems jumped by 7.2% between November and December to set another new all-time record. (Chart A) Seasonally adjusted activity was running at an annualized pace of 714,516 units in December 2020 – the first time on record that monthly sales at seasonally …
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Could the BoC be considering a micro cut to Canada’s overnight lending rate?

The chance of a “micro-cut” to the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate has increased due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Industry experts are anticipating a cut of less than 25 basis points. The lower the overnight rate is, the less expensive it is for consumers to borrow money. The potential decrease in the rate is due to the need for more widespread financial stimulus to the Canadian economy, says Andrew Kelvin, chief Canada strategist at TD Securities. A micro-cut like this has not occurred since the implementation of the overnight rate in February 1996. A cut to the overnight rate could increase spending, as seen in the boost to the Canadian housing market due to historically low borrowing costs. The delayed rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine as well as the decline in jobs are the main factors of a slow Canadian economy in 2021. The Bank of …
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Stay connected this winter with virtual activities in Waterloo Region

During these difficult times of being in lockdown, it is more important than ever to look after our wellness. The City of Waterloo is introducing virtual activities for senior residents from cooking lessons to gardening tips! This is an amazing way to maintain a sense of community while connecting with others of similar interests and passions. To learn more about this initiative, check out the full article from Kitchener Today below! ORIGINAL SOURCE: KitchenerToday.com The City of Waterloo is encouraging older residents to stay healthy this winter by offering a virtual series to keep their minds sharp. This follows the city’s fall wellness event, “Staying healthy and well: a virtual series for seniors,” which had 279 residents viewing and participating.  This weekly online series covers a range of topics to encourage physical and mental health in the community’s seniors. Starting next Wednesday and running the same time every week between 1:00 …
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Canadian Jobs Market Tanked in December

  Canadian employment fell 62,600 last month, a bit weaker than expected, following seven months of recovery (see chart below). The rapid rise in COVID cases and the ensuing lockdown measures in many key regions caused the net loss in jobs in the mid-December survey.  Especially hard hit were workers at restaurants and hotels who suffered a hefty 56,700 employment loss.  The jobless rate rose a tick to 8.6%–well below the peak of 13.7% in April–but still three percentage points above its pre-pandemic level. However, there were some bright spots as several sectors churned out small gains (see second chart below).  Among them were finance, insurance and real estate, as well as scientific and tech services. Manufacturing rose 15,400, and public administration reported solid gains. On a positive note, full-time jobs actually rose 36,500, and average wages pushed back up and are now 5.6% higher than one year ago. This outsized gain, …
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New mental health campaign aims to have residents share their silver linings in 2020

We are so proud of the work our agents do professionally and personally – we’re a very community-focused and people-first team.  Jenn Price, you are doing a wonderful job of sharing and encouraging hope.  You KNOW you’ve got our support! ORIGINAL SOURCE:  GuelphToday.com Two women are launching an online campaign to help residents focus on the silver linings they’ve experienced in 2020. Share Your Silver Lining…Save A Life is a mental health initiative encouraging residents to post a positive moment that they experienced this year online through #ShareYourSilverLining.  The creators of the campaign are Claire Knight and Jenn Price, who hope to provide an outlet which will encourage and inspire people who are struggling with mental health. “This is a platform where we’re encouraging people of all  genders and ages to share the positives,” said Knight. Sitting on the board for Suicide Awareness Council, Knight mentions they have seen the effects that …
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Support Local Business – Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Member Restaurant List

Support these fantastic local restaurants by visiting their websites and/or giving them a call! Bookmark your favourites.  Follow their accounts on social.  Share the list.  There are SO many ways to support our community businesses right now ❤️️ Original Source:  Cambridge Chamber of Commerce   Ben Thanh Viet Thai Restaurant 10 Pinebush Rd. Unit #3 Cambridge, ON Visit website   Bingemans 425 Bingemans Centre Dr. Kitchener, ON Visit website     Black Badger, The 55 Water St. N. Cambridge, ON Visit website   Blackshop Restaurant. 595 Hespeler Road Cambridge, ON Visit website     Cafe du Monde Creperie 614 Coronation Blvd. Unit 302 Cambridge, ON Visit website   Cambridge Mill 100 Water St. N. Cambridge, ON Visit website     Cazs Fish & Chip Shoppe 10 Pinebush Rd. Unit #2 Cambridge, ON Visit website   Classic Catering R.R. #1, 1386 Cooper Rd. Cambridge, ON Email for Info     Country Girl Family Restaurant 561 Hespeler …
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Federal Fiscal Update–Finance Minister Freeland’s Debut

Justin Trudeau’s government, which has delivered the biggest COVID-19 fiscal response in the industrialized world, announced plans for another dose of stimulus and vowed to continue priming the pump as long as needed. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled $51.7 billion of new spending over two years in a mini-budget Monday, led by an enhanced wages subsidy for business. Freeland also pledged, without detailing, another $70 billion to $100 billion of additional stimulus over three years to spur the recovery. But the finance minister clearly heeded calls for fiscal prudence. She put off any major structural spending announcements, promised any additional stimulus will be temporary and introduced new taxes on digital giants including Netflix, Amazon, and Airbnb, to help pay for it all. “Our government will make carefully judged, targeted and meaningful investments to create jobs and boost growth,” Freeland said. It will provide “the fiscal support the Canadian economy needs to operate at …
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