Daily Market Update

Price gap widens between Toronto houses and condos
The difference in price between a new house and a new condo in the Toronto market has widened to almost $300,000. Figures from RealNet Canada and the Building Industry and Land Building Association, show that the average cost of a new house in the GTA in February was $733,578, up 12 per cent from a year earlier. Condo prices in the same period rose just one per cent to $442,672 and declined during the first two months of the year. Land costs in Toronto have made high-end single-family homes and developments with smaller condo units the most valuable for developers. Resale properties are showing a similar gap, according to recent figures from the Toronto Real Estate Association, with an 11 per cent rise in house prices while condo prices were flat. Read the full story.
CIBC says Canada’s economy probably shrank in January
Retail figures declined in January, according to data released by StatsCan on Friday and CIBC economists believe that the unexpected drop in consumer spending is a sign that the economy shrank. Andrew Grantham wrote in a client note: "The latest figures suggest that households are becoming more cautious in their spending habits".  Although it was expected that spending on gasoline would be lower due to prices, the retail data showed a decline in 11 sectors, which had not been expected by analysts. Many economists are cautious about growth predictions for this year due to the continued slump in oil prices although a weaker loonie is helping exporters. There is also no consensus on whether GDP declined in January; Capital Economics, for example, said there was a one per cent gain. Read the full story.
How much income do you need to afford a home?
The income required to buy a home in Canada varies widely depending on the market, from less than $40,000 in Trois-Rivières to more than $320,000 in West Vancouver. A report in the Financial Post shows that in Calgary you’ll need more than $87,000, almost $75,000 in Edmonton, $74,000 in Saskatoon, just under $59,000 in Winnipeg, more than $126,000 in Toronto, $69,000 in Montreal, almost $57,000 in Quebec City and just over $56,000 in Halifax. The figures are based on average home prices in each market, a five-year fixed rate mortgage at 2.74 per cent, five per cent downpayment, insurance and property taxes.  Read the full story.  

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