No areas are sellers’ markets, says BMO
The slowdown in the oil industry and the resulting job losses will mean a “moderate” decline in the Alberta housing market. That’s the view of BMO Capital Markets senior economist Sal Guatieri who wrote in a report yesterday that prices will slip back this year due to a reversal in migration. The report said that demand is “especially weak” in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, “falling fast” in Alberta and Saskatchewan but “remains healthy” in B.C. and Ontario. Guatieri said no areas are judged to be sellers’ markets, although Toronto
come close. On a positive note he said he believes that low interest rates should support the housing market in 2015, although Alberta can expect a bumpier landing. Valuations outside Toronto
are reasonable, “reducing the change of a nationwide correction". In those two hot markets, though, Guatieri highlighted that rapid price gains could result in a correction of economic conditions worsen. Read the full report.
More than half of Canadians have struggled with financial decisions
If you’ve struggled to make a financial decision or to control your personal finances then you’re not alone. A new report by CIBC revealed that 53 per cent of Canadians believe that managing personal finances is more complicated now than it was 20 years ago and 52 per cent have struggled with a financial decision. Three-quarters said they are confident in their overall financial knowledge, although two-thirds said they could do with more knowledge or advice. Nearly half (46 per cent) are not planning to seek help from a financial adviser this year. CIBC’s Christina Kramer said it’s an uncomplicated process that can make a big difference: "Having a quick conversation with an expert can help demystify the possibilities and ensure that you are making the best decisions to meet your personal financial goals and objectives.”
Maintenance fees could cut condo values
The value of condos could be damaged by rising maintenance fees. Research by Condos.ca showed that the rise in fees in some areas has been above inflation for the last decade, rising in Toronto
for example by 3.4 per cent. That means that the fees are taking a bigger chunk of household income. While it’s clearly important that buildings and services are well-maintained, over-inflated fees will have an impact on resale values. The CEO of Condos.ca Carl Langschmidt advised that owners hold their condo management to account. Read the full story.
Not ‘deflation’, just ‘negative inflation’
A senior Bank of Canada official has said that inflation could slip into negative figures this spring. Deputy Governor Agathe Cote said that consumer prices across the board would not decline so it would not be considered deflation. Oil prices are the reason for the decline in inflation, which could hit “zero or just below” for “a time”.
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