Ontario set to lead the economy in 2015 says TD Bank
With the decline in the energy and raw materials sector it will be Ontario that leads the nation’s economy in the coming months. That’s the finding of a TD Bank report, which predicts growth in Ontario of 2.5 per cent with BC at 2.4 per cent and Alberta at 2.3 per cent. The bank says that interest rates are likely to stay low as a slowdown will curb inflation concerns. There are concerns though about the housing market in Alberta; the report notes that oil workers make up a fair chunk of those in the market and may be under pressure in the coming months along with other parts of the economy that rely on the industry.
December sales up in Toronto but listings are too low
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reports that year-over-year figures for MLS sales for the first 14 days of December were up 1.9 per cent. There were 2,496 sales through the system but new listings were lower than last year, down 1.8 per cent, and TREB president Paul Etherington says that’s been a drag on sales this year: “Greater Toronto Area households
remain upbeat about buying a home, as evidenced by the increase in sales compared to last year. However, many would-be home buyers continue to have problems getting a deal done due to the lack of listings for some home types.” The average selling price for December mid-month transactions was $565,873, which represented a year-over-year increase of 8.6 per cent. Price growth was driven by the detached market segment in the City of Toronto
Vancouver businesses set to be hit with higher property taxes
It will be another few weeks before formal notices of property tax assessments will be sent to businesses in Vancouver
but building owners have already been contacted to warn them of increased costs. In areas zoned for mixed commercial/residential use the assessment increases are likely to be higher by at least 15 per cent and in some cases up to 30 per cent. Storefront businesses will be hit hardest with others seeing more modest increases. Read the full story.
Canadians want a more equal society
A survey by the Broadbent Institute shows that Canadians underestimate how much of the nation’s wealth the top 20 per cent control. Most of the 3,000 polled believe that the richest in the country control around 55 per cent of the wealth, though StatsCan figures show it at around 67 per cent. Even at their lower estimate respondents say it’s too much and would like the figure to be around 30 per cent. They would also like the poorest in society to control double the amount they do currently (5.5 per cent) although the report notes that the wealth of the poorest is overshadowed by their debts. Read the full report.
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