Consumer confidence falls again
The weekly Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index is ending the year in a gloomy mood with its lowest reading since May 2013. The weekly poll of consumer sentiment has been edging lower over the last few weeks as oil prices pray heavily on the minds of many Canadians. When asked if they thought the economy would be stronger in six months, just 15.2 per cent of consumers said yes, the lowest figure since the financial crisis in 2008. The percentage of respondents that felt real estate prices would be higher in six months also declined, hitting a 2014 low of 32.3 per cent. There is more optimism in job security and personal finances. Read the full story.
Oil prices set to subdue Calgary office market
Commercial real estate in Calgary
and the surrounding areas is set to suffer a downturn as a result of the low oil prices. A new report from Colliers International predicts a “challenging environment” for the office market as energy companies reconsider their needs and the wider economy increases cautiousness. The report shows that demand for office space in 2014 has been lower than average despite good levels of activity, but it expects to see a glut of demand due to downsizing and increased subletting. This year will end with a vacancy rate of 8.5 per cent, which is up from 7.3 per cent a year ago.
Canadian dollar under pressure
The loonie is at a low against the U.S. dollar, dipping by margins last seen during the financial crisis. Analysts predict this will continue well into 2015. The loonie will be under increased pressure in the New Year as economic conditions make an early rise in interest rates unlikely; a growing number of experts are predicting that 2016 will be the first increase by the Bank of Canada. For the real estate market a weaker Canadian dollar may reduce interest in purchasing recreational homes south of the border while making the housing market here more affordable for foreign buyers. For the wider economy, of course, it should increase exports which is a central part of the Bank of Canada’s ideal scenario for a stronger economy.
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