Daily Market Update

by 31 Mar 2015
Calgary, Toronto slip down prosperity rankings but still high-fliers
Calgary and Toronto have slipped slightly in a league table of international prosperity but both outrank the rest of North America. The Toronto Region Board of Trade’s annual scorecard has Calgary at number three, down one place from last year, but only beaten by Paris and Stockholm. Oslo is fourth with Toronto fifth, down from third last year. Calgary scores ‘A’ for employment growth, unemployment rate, office rent cost and building permits. It has dropped to a ‘B’ for its economy and scores poorly for innovation, including venture capital investment and patents. Toronto is reported as “well positioned” to take advantage of global markets, but is not reaching its full potential. Read the full report.
Could Amazon’s new venture benefit mortgage, real estate agents?
Amazon has announced a new venture that will get the company involved in people’s homes in a way that it hasn’t before. As it bids to be more than a retail site Amazon is launching a referral service called Amazon Home Services. Could this be a marketing opportunity for mortgage brokers and real estate agents? The service has launched across a handful of U.S. cities and allows users to find rated and recommended tradesmen with Amazon collecting referral fees from the businesses. While some disruptive technologies are cause for concern for real estate professionals this could potentially provide a new ‘funnel’ to bring in clients. Read the full story.
Report suggests federal tax cuts will be offset by provincial hikes
The federal tax cuts will leave less money in your pocket than you may have been expecting, according to a BMO report. The bank’s economist Robert Kavcic said that about three-quarters of the tax cuts that Ottawa has announced will be swallowed up by increases in a number of provinces, including Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan and Quebec. New Brunswick announces its budget Tuesday with Ontario and Atlantic Canada to come; austerity is likely to be a feature of all.
Canadians don’t save regularly, mortgage payments no problem
Canadians are not well placed to cope with changes in the economy because they lack savings. A report from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada showed that households are confident in their financial health with 59 per cent saying they are doing well and 70 per cent saying they do not have problems with paying their mortgage. However, 53 per cent of non-retired Canadians do not save regularly and 40 per cent do not pay down debts on a regular basis. Asked for their forecast for the future, 16 per cent predict a downturn in their finances due to the economy. That number more than doubles to 34 per cent in Alberta. 

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