Daily Market Update

Builders warn of danger of using ‘cash’ contractors
A program that helps Canadians who are having a home built or renovated has been extended for three years. The Canadian Home Builders Association, in partnership with the federal government, will continue the Get it in Writing initiative to help consumers with topics such as hiring a contractor and the dangers of using illegal ‘cash’ operators. Kevin Lee, CEO of the CHBA warns: “Cash operators threaten the financial security of homeowners, the physical integrity of their homes, harm the businesses of legitimate renovators, and undermine the well-being of all Canadians by evading taxes that support the government services we all depend on.” Home renovation and repair represent more than half of all residential construction investment, more than $60 billion each year. The industry supports more than 500,000 jobs and nearly $28 billion in annual wages. Lee says, as well as damaging this part of our economy, the savings are not worth the risk: “Homeowners who think they are getting a deal when they agree to pay cash for a lower price often end up paying far more when things go wrong, and they have no way to hold the contractor accountable.”
Renovations boom in response to high prices
With high prices and concern about job security in parts of the country, renovations are booming. Quebec-based building materials retailer Rona says sales were up six per cent at existing stores in the last quarter of 2014 and 10 per cent from the same period a year earlier. Western Canada was responsible for 30 per cent of the sales, spending $290 million with Quebec and Ontario making up the rest. Rona’s boss told Global News that the business had not seen a downturn in the Alberta market, where it operates the Totem chain. Read the full story.
Realtors warned of dangers from email scams
The real estate industry was one of the three most-targeted sectors by email ‘phishing’ scams in January. The latest edition of the Symantec Intelligence Report reveals that phishing emails increased to 42 per day at the start of the year, compared to 33 per day in December. Along with real estate, insurers and financial businesses were the top targets with 29 per cent of all phishing emails being sent to one of the three sectors. Names, addresses and government IDs, such as social security numbers, were most often stolen. Read the full report.

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