Weaker housing market in Calgary as oil revenues plunge
Housing activity in Calgary
has started the year with an increase in listings and a year-over-year fall in sales. Data from the Calgary Real Estate Board shows listings up 22 per cent and sales down 34 per cent, compared with January last year. The figures follow growth in listings and falling sales in December. Analysts are watching all data from Alberta with expectation of a slowdown due to the weaker energy sector. David Tulk of TD Economics told The Financial Post
that he expects more weakness to emerge as data is released over the coming months. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada said yesterday in its business outlook that sentiment across the country is generally positive but “falling oil prices have significantly dampened the outlook for firms tied to the energy sector".
U.S. citizens in Canada may face house tax bills
U.S. citizens living in Canada may find they are hit with hefty tax bills when they sell their home. Many either aren’t aware of rules concerning non-residents selling their property, or will find they have become liable due to rising house prices here. The IRS rules mean that Americans living in Canada (or anywhere outside the U.S.) have to pay capital gains tax on profit above US $250,000 when the home is sold. This differs from the situation for Canadians selling their home where no capital gains tax is normally payable on the sale of a primary residence. Long-term residents in Canada could find that their homes have increased to such a degree that they are now liable for the tax due to price hikes and would be advised to seek help from a financial planner.
Energy costs to soar in Alberta
The cost of electricity is set to soar in Alberta with transmission costs expected to double in the next ten years. The warning comes from the Alberta Electric System Operator, which says the bulk of the rise may happen over the next two years. The additional costs are the result of large investment in the infrastructure with the $13 billion cost being passed onto householders.
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