Daily Market Update

Consumer confidence rises in economy, real estate
Confidence in real estate and the wider economy has increased for the third consecutive week. The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index was up to 55.02 last week compared to 54.56 the week before. The sub-index on personal finances and job security was flat while figures on the economy and real estate grew. Asked whether home prices would improve in the next six months, 34.24 per cent of respondents said they would, 16.70 thought they would decline and 47.04 thought they would stay the same.
 
Man charged with real estate fraud
A man from Lethbridge has had new charges brought against him over alleged breaches of securities laws relating to money raised from investors in real estate companies. The Calgary Herald reported that Ronald James Aitkens will appear on May 13 for a date to be set for a hearing into fraud and other charges. The Alberta Securities Commission’s allegations are that Aitkens improperly diverted funds from certain companies to others that he controlled and made misleading statements. The allegations haven’t been proven. Read the full story.
 
Households are cutting back on food to pay for cellphones, internet
A consumer advocacy group is urging the federal government to take action to curb rising cellphone and internet bills, saying that some people are choosing to cut back on food rather than communications. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre said that families are racking up debts rather than go without services that are now part of everyday life. Low income households spend more than seven per cent of their income on communications.
 
Most U.S. homes have equity
Eighty-nine per cent of homes south of the border had equity by the end of last year. Research by CoreLogic revealed that homes above $200,000 are more likely to have equity, 94 per cent versus 84 per cent of those below $200,000. There are still too many homes in negative equity though; around 5.4 million or 10.8 per cent of mortgaged homes. The largest percentage of homes in negative equity is in Nevada (24.2 per cent), followed by Florida (23.2) and Arizona (18.7). Read the full report.
 

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