Daily Market Update

Toronto continues to surge in February
There’s no slowdown in sales in Toronto, according to new data. Mid-month sales figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board showed that the number of sales entered onto the TorontoMLS system during the first two weeks of this month was 14.9 per cent higher than a year ago, with 3,120 home sales in those 14 days. The average selling price rose by 10.3 per cent to $602,110. Lower borrowing costs are peaking interest for buyers, but supply is still an issue. Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of analysis, commented: “With tight market conditions continuing to prevail in most parts of the Greater Toronto Area, especially where low-rise home types are concerned, it is no surprise that we continue to see strong competition between buyers leading to robust annual rates of price growth.” Read the full story.

CIBC warning on risky lenders
The shadow lending market is growing as tighter regulations force the major banks into tighter controls. Last year, the Bank of Canada raised concern on the growth of unregulated lenders, sometimes attached to the pay-day loan sector, and now an economist from CIBC World Markets has expressed his doubts. Benjamin Tal told The Financial Post that increased regulations on the major lenders is likely to increase the margin between them and the shadow market. He explained: “If you are a regulator, and you are imposing more and more regulations on those that are regulated, those financial institutions cannot do all the business that they want to do.” That, he said, would push more borrowers towards the unregulated sector and increase the risk in Canada’s credit profile.

Consumer confidence continues to fall
Consumers are feeling less confident in the economy and real estate prices, according to the latest Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index. The poll fell to its lowest since 2011, down to 54.15 from 54.57 the week earlier. However, when broken down further there are some positives; although confidence in personal finances and the general economy declined last week, job security and real estate improved.  Asked about home prices in their neighbourhood, 33.06 per cent felt they would be higher in six months (up from 32.17 per cent and above the year-to-date average of 31.44), 19.65 per cent thought they would be lower and 44.86 per cent expected them to stay the same.

More Canadians expect to be working past 65
Retirement is getting further away for more Canadians. A poll by Sun Life showed that 60 per cent of respondents think they will be working past their 65th birthday, with 32 per cent expecting to still be employed full time. Just 27 per cent said they expect to be retired. The poll has been running for seven years, but this is the first time that there are more people expecting to be in full-time work past 65 rather than retired. The main reason for staying in work is to pay for basic living expenses.


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