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Weak April Jobs Report Reflects Canadian Lockdown

Original Source:  Dr. Sherry Cooper, DLC   Canada’s Jobs Recovery Impaired by Third-Wave Virus Restrictions   This morning, Statistics Canada released the April 2021 Labour Force Survey showing a major deterioration in the jobs market following the third-wave Covid containment measures. Employment fell by 207,100 (-1.1%) in April, and the unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 8.1%.Employment declined in both full-time (-129,000; -0.8%) and part-time (-78,000; -2.3%) work. The number of employed people working less than half their usual hours increased by 288,000 (+27.2%). The number of Canadians working from home grew by 100,000 to 5.1 million. Total hours worked fell 2.7% in April, driven by declines in educational services, accommodation and food services, and retail trade. The labour underutilization rate, which captures the full range of available people who want to work, rose 2.3 percentage points to 17.0% in April. The number of Canadians unemployed for 27 weeks or more–the long-term unemployed–increased to 486,000. This group might well be the most scarred by the pandemic in terms of their job prospects and …
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Valko Financial Ltd. Goes National with Heart-Centred Leadership

We are incredibly honoured by all the love and support we’ve been receiving from our amazing industry (and beyond!).  See the latest issue of Mortgage Broker News for a taste of what we’ve got cooking! *special thanks to Rachel Major for the artwork – we love it!   Original Source:  Mortgage Broker News After more than a decade of accomplishments and growth as a top-producing mortgage broker in Kitchener (Ontario), Tracy Valko founded Valko Financial Ltd. in 2018 to share her passion and principles for excellence in service with a team of like-minded, community focused professionals. Valko Financial Ltd. started small, but always had mighty potential and results because of the individuals who believed in serving the clients and community with honesty, integrity, commitment, and professionalism. Great minds think alike, and heart-centred people gravitate to each other, so it’s no big surprise that even with three provinces between them (about …
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Support Local This Easter Weekend

While people may be celebrating Easter a bit differently this year, there are still ways that you can support local businesses in a safe manner. Here are some great local bakeries in Kitchener-Waterloo to order some Easter-themed treats! Winnie’s Gluten-Free (519) 590-2769 winniesglutenfree.com Located in Belmont village, Winnie’s GLuten-Free is the perfect choice for delicious, gluten-free desserts. Head over to their website or give them a call to place your order! Debrodniks Donuts debrodniks.ca This local favourite is offering a special Easter menu until April 4th. Check it out on their website while supplies last! Norris Bakery (519) 742-0564 norrisbakery.com Norris Bakery was established in 1943 by Albert Norris.  The Bakery was owned and operated by the Norris family till 2000 at which time the Bakery was sold to the lead baker who has operated the Bakery since 2000. Norris Bakery strives to provide our customers with homemade quality baked goods, made …
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5 Tips for Selling Your Home This Spring

The Spring housing market is here! The start of the new season brings sunshine, flowers, and an overly competitive market for home buyers and sellers. If you’re looking to put your home up for sale, you’ll want to have all of your bases covered to capture the attention of buyers and secure the best possible offer. Here are 5 simple tips to sell your home this spring! Do a thorough cleaning of your home A clean house will always give off a better impression to people touring your home. Dust off all surfaces, lamps, and furniture to give your home that extra sparkle. Next, remove any clutter throughout your home. This could include cleaning off the kitchen counters or tidying up the kids’ toys. If you don’t have the space to put something away, it never hurts to donate it to a non-profit organization. Check for winter damage The snow …
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Tracy Valko Nominated as RBC Woman of Influence

We are thrilled to announce Tracy Valko has been nominated as an RBC Canadian Woman of Influence! RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards is the premier national awards program for celebrating the acheivements of the most successful in this inspiring group.  For 29 years, the awards have shone a spotlight on Canada’s most accomplished and impactful women who have demonstrated excellence – from economic growth to social change, from global reach, across multiple sectors. For more information about the awards or to nominate someone please visit RBC Women of Influence. Learn More    

Support Local on St Patrick’s Day

While people may be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day a bit differently this year, there are still ways that you can support local businesses in a safe manner. Here are some great local restaurants to order from for today’s festivities! McCabe’s Irish Pub and Grill Kitchener (519) 743-3400 mccabeskitchener.com Waterloo (226) 647-5321 mccabeswaterloo.com “Irish pubs in downtown Kitchener and Uptown Waterloo where you can enjoy some traditional Irish grub and yummy pub fair. McCabe’s is the perfect mix between Irish tradition and local flair with a friendly atmosphere and always a warm bar stool. During the day it’s more laid-back, ideal for grabbing lunch and caffeine fixes.” Malt and Barley Public House (519) 745-6460 maltandbarley.ca “There’s no better way to celebrate Paddy’s Day than with a 3-course meal from your local pub! Order a 3-course Irish feature that includes mulligatawny soup, lamb stew, Irish car bomb puddin’ & more! Plus, there …
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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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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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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.

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