Oliver says there’s no housing bubble
Some people will never be convinced, but yesterday federal finance minster Joe Oliver again repeated the government’s opinion: “We don’t think there’s a bubble.” He said that the CMHC and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development agree. Oliver said the government is monitoring the situation regarding the housing market and levels of personal debt, especially with interest rates trending lower, but they do not see a major concern currently and believe that people are not buying homes they can’t afford. The finance minister was also asked for his opinion on the banks reducing their lending rates by less than that of the central bank, but he would only say that it is a “private sector decision.”
Analysts confident of another rate cut in March
Disappointing data from Statistics Canada that show a weaker labour market in 2014 than previously thought has increased anticipation of another cut in interest rates. With the impact of lower oil prices on inflation and concern over the global economy there has already been talk of further reductions, with economists, including those from TD Bank, expecting the BoC to cut the rate again when they meet in March.
Realtors adapting to ‘disruptive’ technology
Real estate agents are reacting to the new kids on the block that are taking a bite out of their business. Websites and apps that enable vendors to market their homes without a Realtor have been springing up along with other ‘disrupters’ that want to reinvent the realty market. So what is the future for real estate agents? While the new technology may offer a solution for some, many people want the personal service that using an agent provides. A report from The Huffington Post says that some realtors are offering cashback to those using their services -- not to sellers but to buyers -- but one Toronto agent, Andrew le Fleur, says that the practice should ring warning bells for consumers. “You’re dealing with somebody who can’t compete at the same level as a top producer, you’re not going to get the best result at the end of the day in most cases," he said. However, Dan Chan, whose online business offers up to 80 per cent of his sellers’ commission to buyers, says that he’s not trying to compete with traditional agents and is offering an alternative to those what want a different way to do things. Read the full story.
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