Calgary resales strong but prices are stabilizing
Calgary’s resales market continues to show plenty of energy and prices are starting to level out. New data from the Calgary Real Estate Board shows that there was an annual increase in resales of 3.4 per cent in November with 1,782 units sold; Condo and townhouse sales continue to outperform single-family units. While sales are still strong, supply is stronger which is starting to moderate prices. New listings in November were up by 22 per cent from a year before to 3,849. The median MLS sale price increased 5.3 per cent to $429,000 and the average sale price was up 6.1 per cent to $485,962. CREB President Bill Kirk commented: “Overall, buyers looking for product under $400,000 will find more options in the condominium sector because supply levels have improved. In the single-family sector, however, declining supply in that same price range has created much tighter market conditions in that segment.”
Interest rates set to stay low again tomorrow
Stephen Poloz is expected to extend the run of low interest rates when the Bank of Canada’s decision is announced tomorrow. That’s the forecast of 22 economists polled by Bloomberg and that would mean the longest rate freeze for almost 70 years. Economists predict that the BoC will keep the 1 per cent rate until the last quarter of next year and also expect that the US rate will have been raised a number of times by then, probably reaching 1 per cent by the fourth quarter.
Canadians expect to debt free on retirement…except for the mortgage
A new survey shows that Canadians don’t necessarily see their home loan as a debt. The Manulife figures reveal that around a quarter of the 2,373 polled would class themselves as debt-free even with a mortgage or a car loan. The vast majority (83 per cent) say that being debt free on retirement is important although only around half believe that will be the case. Those closest to retiring are least confident of achieving the financial freedom they desire. The equity in homes is increasingly important to Canadian homeowners with 10 per cent expecting to borrow against the value of their home in retirement and 8 per cent planning to downsize to unlock capital. Read the full story.
Fitch warns that some US mortgage payments could double
Half of all performing US RMBS mortgage borrowers will see payment increases over the next five years, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report. Payment increases have historically lead to higher default rates among mortgage borrowers and loans particularly vulnerable include those with adjustable interest rates, interest-only payments and certain modified loans. “Interest-only loans are in store for the largest payment increases,' said Director Sean Nelson, “As a wave of peak vintage 10-year IOs approaches recast, many mortgage borrowers could see their monthly payments more than double.”
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