The average household is slightly richer according to Stats Canada…. Why construction needs to be encouraged, for the good of the economy… seniors housing vacancies decline… and why your cottage may not be a great heirloom…
We’re Getting Richer
New data from Statistics Canada shows that average households have lower debt compared to income, than they did at the end of last year. Consumer credit fell slightly and mortgage debt, while slightly up, grew at a slower pace. The average household’s net worth is now $222,600 on a per capita basis. The quarterly figures are not seasonally adjusted though and Bank of Montreal chief economist Douglas Porter says that the first quarter has seen similar results over the last five years, followed by spikes in the spring and summer. Read the full story.
Construction Drives Calgary Economy
A report by consulting firm Will Dunning says that the construction industry is a major driving force behind the Calgary economy, with over 12,500 new home starts last year generating over $6 billion in investment income. However, the outgoing president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association - Calgary Region says that land restrictions are threatening to damage this economic powerhouse. Doug Whitney says that his company has already had to lay off workers this year as there isn’t the land available to build on. He says that if they can’t build homes, it will have a knock on effect to the whole economy. Read the full story.
Seniors Housing Availability Decreases
New stats from Canada Mortgage and Housing Association shows that vacancy rates for property for seniors declined slightly in the last year; down from 10.3 to 9.7 per cent. The Seniors Housing Report reveals that, although there were more seniors properties available, there was also increased demand. While older residents may find a home in Newfoundland relatively easily (22.6 per cent vacancy rate), those in Manitoba will have a harder job (4.6 per cent). Average rents were up slightly, with the highest for a bachelor unit with at least one included meal being Prince Edward Island ($2,782) and the lowest in Quebec ($1, 497). Read the full story.
Filling the Gap – But the Stakes Are High
Tighter lending restrictions are pushing people to use B lenders, such as trust companies, rather than banks. As more people find themselves outside the criteria for a traditional mortgage, they are turning to alternative lenders, but that desperation can lead them to making choices which could see them losing their homes. While the A lenders are competitively keeping their rates as low as possible, around the 2.99 per cent mark, B lenders’ rates are often double that or more. Some people have saddled themselves with loan repayments of a massive 16 per cent. On top of the interest rates, other fees ramp up payments to a level that puts a very real risk of losing the home. Read the full story.
When Your Cottage Heirloom Turns Bad
It’s a nice idea, that beautiful lakefront property that you get so much pleasure from every summer, and the plan to keep hold of it for generations to come. Maybe not a smart idea, say financial planners. First of all, do the rest of the family really love the place as much as you do? Second, is it going to be the result of family feuds? Thirdly, is it a financial burden that your family would rather not have to bear? Read the full story.
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