Daily Market Update

by 23 Feb 2015
Paying down your mortgage may be poor economics
Paying down debt may seem like the best idea but if that’s at the expense of retirement funds it may be a bad decision. CIBC Wealth Advisory Services managing director Jamie Golombek said: "You may not be doing yourself any favours by rushing to pay off your home while mortgage rates are at rock-bottom levels. If you're able to take some risk in your investment portfolio, you might be tens of thousands of dollars richer by investing any extra money in an RRSP or TFSA." A new poll by CIBC found that 72 per cent of Canadians would rather put spare cash into reducing debt rather than an RRSP, with 56 per cent saying that their aim is to retire without debt. Golombek’s new report ‘Mortgages or Margaritas: Is paying down debt putting your retirement at risk?’ suggested that many Canadians could be tens of thousands of dollars better off by investing for their retirement while making mortgage payments at the current low rates. Read the full report.
Canadian cities fail to make sustainable top 10
Across the world cities are failing to meet the needs of their people, according to the inaugural Sustainable Cities Index from consultancy firm Arcadis. The index explores the three demands of social (people), environmental (planet) and economic (profit) to develop an indicative ranking of 50 of the world’s leading cities. This year’s study found that there is no single city gaining top scores on all three metrics, which highlights the difficult balance between the three. The top three cities overall are Frankfurt, London and Copenhagen. European cities dominate the top 10 with North America failing to rank in the top 10 at all. Toronto is the only Canadian city to feature in the top 50, coming in at 12 overall, nine for environmental sustainability and in the top 20 for people and profit. Read the full report.
Canadians weigh up big profits on snowbird homes
At the height of the financial crisis, as the U.S. housing market crashed, many Canadians were able to pick up some bargain properties south of the border. Now with the U.S. housing market recovering and the Canadian dollar weaker it could be the time to weigh up the benefits of having a snowbird home against the potentially bigger benefits of selling. Florida, Arizona, California and Texas are among the most popular locations for Canadians and also among the places where prices have increased. In Phoenix, Arizona, Canadian-born real estate agent Diane Olson has noticed more of her fellow countrymen considering selling up. She told The Globe and Mail: “Some of my clients have doubled the price [they paid for the property]. They also obtained their money at or close to par when they first bought, so they basically have a 15-per-cent-plus foreign exchange gain.” However, there are also those who believe that economic conditions are only going to improve and that it may be a while yet before they can sell at the top of the market. Read the full story.

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