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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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What are Canada’s most affordable real estate markets?

Here’s a really fabulous article from Mortgage Broker News on what our most affordable cities are: Earlier this week, Mortgage Broker News examined recent data from Point2 Homes that says affordability has worsened in 38 major cities nationwide in 2020. But the data also contained a rather sizeable sliver of good news: homes remain affordable in a number of Canadian real estate markets. While “affordable housing” has been defined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation as when households spend less than 30% of their gross income on housing, Point2 found 10 Canadian markets where mortgages take up less than 15% of a household’s average income. For the Top 10 List of Cities, and full article CLICK HERE.

Canada’s Most Unaffordable Markets

Click here for the full study from Point2Homes  Housing markets in cities across Canada have been on the rise since 2010. A recent study by Point2Homes broke down the top 16 most unaffordable cities for real estate in Canada. The study found that Burnaby, British Columbia is the most expensive city in Canada for real estate where residents spent an average of 44.7% of their income on their mortgage. Rounding out the top 5 was Richmond, BC (44.0% of income on mortgages), Oakville, ON (43.8% of income on mortgages), Vancouver, BC (41.6% of income on mortgages), and Kelowna, BC (40.8% of income on mortgages). The study also identified Kitchener, ON as the city with the largest gap between home price increases and wage increases. Over the last decade, home prices in Kitchener increased 148% whereas wages only grew by 38%. That’s a 110% difference. Image Source: Point2Homes Which city shocks …
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Ontario’s Most Affordable Cities for Real Estate

Ontario is seen as one of the hottest provinces in Canada for real estate. Many people, especially first-time homebuyers, cannot afford the lucrative housing prices in Toronto. At the rate that prices are rising, Waterloo Region’s real estate market isn’t too far behind. While prices continue to skyrocket in the GTA, Kitchener-Waterloo, and other areas in Ontario, there are still places in the province for affordable housing. Here are three of Ontario’s most affordable cities for real estate, based on average home prices in 2020. Kingston- Average home price: $463,083 Known for being home to Queen’s University, Kingston has a population of just under 150,000. The city is rich with beautiful heritage architecture. You’re also in a great location being halfway between Toronto and Montreal, and under a 2-hour drive from Ottawa. Windsor- Average home price: $406,861 With a population of over 200,000 Windsor is mainly known for its auto industry and …
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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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Population of Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo increased by 50,000 over past 5 years: StatCan (Global News)

Original Source:  GLOBAL NEWS The combined population of Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo is estimated to have grown by 50,000 people over the past five years, according to a report released by Statistics Canada on Thursday. It estimated the population of the tri-cities to be at 593,882 last July, more than 50,000 above the total of 542,034 it estimated for 2016. READ MORE: What Canada’s population will look like in 2036 The three cities grew at a rate of two per cent over that period, which tied them with Halifax for second-fastest in Canada. Oshawa was atop that list and like Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, the CMA figures some of that growth has come from Toronto, where 50,000 people left between July 2019 and July 2020. “The desire to live outside the largest urban centres was also reflected in the rapidly increasing housing costs in neighbouring real estate markets, a trend that has continued in spite of the pandemic,” the report read. …
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Canadian economy lost 63,000 jobs in December

It’s going to be another interesting year to say the least, but with all this change comes the opportunity to try something new or different. Valko Financial Ltd. offers elite-level support to all of our agents and with our heart-centred, community-minded values we are in a position of growth and looking for amazing and ambitious agents across Canada. Visit www.TracyValko.ca for more information. Original Source:  KitchenerToday.com Statistics Canada says the economy lost 63,000 jobs in December in the first monthly decline since April amid tightened public health restrictions to slow a resurgence in the pandemic. The unemployment rate edged up to 8.6 per cent compared with 8.5 per cent in November. The result ended a streak of monthly job gains that began in May as restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the pandemic began to ease. Full-time employment in December rose by 36,500, but there was a …
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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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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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