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Canadian home sales edge lower but remain strong in July

Posted by on Aug 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Fri, 08/14/2015 – 09:00 Ottawa, ON, August 14, 2015 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged slightly lower on a month-over-month basis in July 2015. Highlights: •       National home sales edged back by 0.4% from June to July. •       Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 3.4% above July 2014 levels. •       The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.2 per cent from June to July. •       The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall. •       The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.9% year-over-year in July. •       The national average sale price rose 8.9% on a year-over-year basis in July; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 4.1%. The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations declined by 0.4 per cent in July 2015 compared to June. While this marks the second consecutive monthly decline in activity, sales activity in May, June and July reached their highest monthly levels in more than five years.  July sales were down from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by declines in Hamilton-Burlington and in the Durham Region of the greater Toronto Area (GTA). The monthly decline in sales for these two markets represents a pullback from record levels in June and likely reflects an insufficient supply of listings. By contrast, sales in Newfoundland and Labrador were up most on a month-over-month basis, marking a rebound from a quiet month of June for the province. “National sales activity remains solid, fuelled by strength in British Columbia and the Greater Toronto Area, where listings are in short supply or trending that way,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “That said, markets elsewhere across Canada are largely well balanced and in some cases have an ample supply of listings. As always, all real estate is local and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.” “It’s fair to say that the strength of national sales is still a story about two cities, but it’s equally about how trends there are spreading out in their respective provinces,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Trends in British Columbia and Ontario have a big influence on the national figures, since they account for about 60 per cent of national housing activity. As a result, the national picture reflects how demand is running high for the short supply of single family homes in and around the GTA while the balance between supply and demand is tightening in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. These remain the only places in Canada where home prices are growing strongly.” Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in July 2015 came in 3.4 per cent ahead of the same month last year, and marked the second highest July sales figure on record after 2009. Activity stood 12.6 per cent above the 10-year average for July. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales were up from year-ago levels in just over half of all local markets, led by the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia and the GTA. While Calgary continued to post the largest year-over-year declines in sales compared to last year’s record levels, activity there is nonetheless running roughly in line with...

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CREA Welcomes Proposal to Restore Strength of Home Buyers’ Plan

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Wed, 08/12/2015 – 13:00 Ottawa, ON, August 12, 2015 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), on behalf of its 110,00 REALTOR® members across the country, welcomes today’s announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to increase the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000. Ottawa, ON, August 12, 2015 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), on behalf of its 110,000 REALTOR® members across the country, welcomes today’s announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to increase the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000. “The Home Buyers’ Plan has helped so many Canadian families realize their dream of home ownership,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “Today’s commitment to increase the withdrawal limit of the HBP will ensure that the dream stays within reach for today’s young people.” The HBP was championed by REALTORS®, and introduced by government in 1992. Since its inception, over 2.8 million Canadian have used the HBP to help make home ownership more affordable. The program allows Canadians to borrow, on a repayable basis, from their own Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) to purchase a home. The HBP is a unique program in that it provides first time home buyers a means to build home equity and save for retirement at the same time. However, the purchasing power of the HBP has been eroded by inflation. “Maintaining the value of the HBP by increasing withdrawal limits is critical. In my own real estate business I have seen so many hard working families and first-time home buyers use this program to build a more secure financial future for themselves,” Aunger stated. “By reducing or avoiding mortgage default insurance fees and building home equity sooner, Canadians can put their own money to work for them.” Home purchases involving the HBP generate spin-off spending and create jobs. In 2015, home purchases involving the use of the HBP are projected to result in over $2.8 billion in spin-off spending and more than 19,900 jobs. – 30...

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Bank of Canada cuts rate

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Thu, 07/16/2015 – 13:30 The Bank of Canada announced on July 15th, 2015 that it was lowering its trend-setting target overnight lending rate from 0.75 per cent to 0.50 per cent. The move follows another cut of the same size in January. The Bank of Canada announced on July 15th, 2015 that it was lowering its trend-setting target overnight lending rate from 0.75 per cent to 0.50 per cent. The move follows another cut of the same size in January. The Bank indicated that it expects the Canadian economy shrank modestly in the first half of the year but has begun to rebound and will gain steam. While its decision to lower interest rates is aimed at supporting business investment and exports, revisions to the Bank’s economic forecast also indicate that lower interest rates will also boost consumer spending and housing activity. The Bank of Canada also pared back its inflation outlook due to a number of factors which are unlikely to reverse themselves in the near future. That means short-term interest rates are almost certain to remain on hold this year and over 2016. Recall that when the Bank of Canada previously cut interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point in January, Canada’s largest private banks lowered their lending rates by less than that. The same will likely hold true this time around. Accordingly, the Bank of Canada’s most recent interest rate cut is unlikely to cause consumer borrowing and mortgage lending to catch fire, especially given the currently high level of household debt. The bottom line has shifted from “lower for longer” to “even lower for even longer”. All other things being equal, this is even more supportive for the housing market. As of July 15th, 2015, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.64 per cent, unchanged from the previous Bank rate announcement on May 27th, and down 0.15 percentage points from one year ago. The next interest rate announcement will be on September 9th, 2015 and the next update to the Bank of Canada’s economic forecast will be on October 21st 2015. (CREA...

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Canadian home sales edge lower but remain strong in June

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Wed, 07/15/2015 – 09:00 Ottawa, ON, July 15, 2015– According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged slightly lower on a month-over-month basis in June 2015. Highlights: National home sales edged back by 0.8% from May to June. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 11% above June 2014 levels. The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.2% from May to June. The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.43% year-over-year in June. The national average sale price rose 9.6% on a year-over-year basis in June; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 3.1%. The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations declined by 0.8 per cent in June 2015 compared to May. Sales levels in May and June marked the strongest monthly readings in more than five years. June sales were up from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by increases in Hamilton-Burlington and in the Durham Region of the Greater Toronto Area. The monthly increase in sales there was offset by monthly sales declines in Ottawa and Montreal. “Low interest rates are unquestionably helping boost consumer confidence and home sales activity this summer,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “But low interest rates are benefiting sales in some areas more than others. All real estate is local, with trends affected by a combination of local and national factors. REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.” “Low interest rates are helping sales activity set new records in and around the Greater Toronto Area, which is boosting national sales activity,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Those records would be even higher were it not for an ongoing shortage of listings for single family homes in the area. The combination of strong demand and a shortage of listings is continuing to fuel single family home price increases.” Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in June 2015 set a record for the month, standing 11 per cent above levels reported for the same month last year and 14 per cent above the 10-year average for the month. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales were up on a year-over-year basis in about two-thirds of all local markets, led by activity in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Greater Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington, and Montreal. The number of newly listed homes was little changed (-0.2 per cent) in June compared to May, marking the third consecutive month in which they remained stable. There was roughly an even split between the number of local markets showing an increase in new listings and those showing a decline. The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 57.2 per cent in June. Although little changed from its reading the previous month, it is up from the low of 50.4 per cent reached in January when it reached its most balanced point since March 2013. The ratio has risen steadily along with sales over the first half of the year while new supply has remained stable. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings above and...

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Canadian home sales strengthen further in May

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Mon, 06/15/2015 – 09:00 Ottawa, ON, June 15, 2015 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity posted a fourth consecutive month-over-month increase in May 2015. Highlights: National home sales rose 3.1% from April to May. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 2.7% above May 2014 levels. The number of newly listed homes was little changed from April to May. The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.17% year-over-year in May. The national average sale price rose 8.1% on a year-over-year basis in May; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 2.4%. The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose 3.1 per cent in May 2015 compared to April. This marks the fourth consecutive month-over-month increase and raises national activity to its highest level in more than five years. (Chart A) May sales were up from the previous month in about 60 per cent of all local markets, led by increases in the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal. “CMHC announced in April that effective June 1 it was hiking mortgage default insurance premiums for homebuyers with less than a 10% down payment, so some buyers may have jumped off the fence and purchased in May to beat the increase,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “It’s one of the factors that could have affected sales last month. That said, all real estate is local, with trends that reflect a combination of local and national factors. REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.” “Sales in and around the Greater Toronto area played a starring role in the monthly increase in May sales,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “At the same time, the rebound in sales over the past few months in Calgary and Edmonton suggests that heightened uncertainty among some home buyers in these housing markets may be easing.” Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in May 2015 stood 2.7 per cent above levels reported for the same month last year and 5.7 per cent above the 10 year average for the month. Sales were up on a year-over-year basis in about half of all local markets, led by activity in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Greater Toronto and Montreal. The number of newly listed homes was virtually unchanged (-0.2 per cent) in May compared to April. This reflects an even split between housing markets where new listings rose and where they fell, with little monthly change for new listings in most of Canada’s largest and most active urban markets. The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 57.6 per cent in May, up from a low of 50.4 per cent in January when it reached its most balanced point since March 2013. The ratio has risen steadily along with sales so far this year as new supply has remained little changed. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively. The ratio was within this range in about half of local housing markets in May....

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CREA Updates Resale Housing Forecast

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Mon, 06/15/2015 – 08:58 Ottawa, ON, June 15 2015 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2015 and 2016. While oil prices have firmed up recently, they remain well down from where they were a year ago and their outlook remains uncertain. The extent to which lower oil prices will continue to weigh on the Canadian economy also remains uncertain. In the Prairie region, this is dampening consumer confidence and sidelining potential homebuyers. When CREA published its previous forecast in March, a rush of homeowners in Alberta had listed their property for sale. Since then, new supply has sharply pulled back. CREA’s forecast remains for a continued gradual improvement in home sales and housing market conditions in oil-producing provinces in line with further gradual oil price gains. Home sales elsewhere in Canada are continuing to evolve mostly as expected, with the exception of a slower than expected spring market in Nova Scotia due to extraordinarily inclement weather and stronger than expected sales activity across much of British Columbia. Low rise property markets remain tight in parts of British Columbia and Ontario. These are the only two provinces where a shortage of listings for low rise homes is expected to fuel average price gains above inflation this year. In other provinces, listings have begun to decline but remain elevated. Average prices across the Prairies, Quebec and the Atlantic region are unlikely to see much in the way of price growth over the forecast horizon as sales gradually deplete listings. The forecast for national sales in 2015 has been revised upward, reflecting stronger than anticipated activity in British Columbia. National sales are now projected to rise by 1.3 per cent to 487,200 units in 2015, which is slightly above its 10-year annual average. British Columbia is projected to post the largest annual increase in activity in 2015 (+12.2 per cent), while Alberta and Saskatchewan are expected to post the largest annual sales declines (-18.2 per cent and -12.9 per cent respectively). Modest changes in annual home sales are forecast for all other provinces.   The forecast for national average home price growth has been revised upward to $429,400 for an annual increase of 5.2 per cent in 2015. This reflects forecast average price gains in British Columbia and Ontario together with a projected increase in their proportion of national sales. British Columbia is expected to be the only province where average price rises faster (8.5 per cent) than the national average, while the rise in Ontario’s average price (5.6 per cent) is predicted to be roughly in line with the national increase. Average prices are projected to remain largely stable in other provinces this year, with annual changes ranging between plus or minus one per cent. The exception is Alberta, where average price is forecast to slip by 2.8 per cent amid a pullback in higher-priced property sales activity. In 2016, national sales activity is forecast to reach 491,200 units, a further annual gain of 0.8 per cent. The increase reflects an anticipated rise in sales activity in Alberta and Saskatchewan, in line with a gradual improvement in their economic outlook. Although sales in British Columbia are expected...

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Systems Administrator (12 Months Contract)

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Systems Administrator (12 Months Contract) Tue, 06/02/2015 Reports to:Manager, ITS Operations Type of position:12 Months Contract General Description:Provide second level of support; participate in the design, architecture, deployment, monitoring maintenance and turning of highly available physical and virtual systems, web applications and infrastructure to deliver quality IT services, optimize performance and maintain service levels. Responsibilities: read...

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Bank of Canada stays on the sidelines

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Fri, 05/29/2015 – 09:45 Ottawa, ON, May 29, 2015 –The Bank of Canada announced on May 27th, 2015 that it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 0.75 per cent. The Bank of Canada announced on May 27th, 2015 that it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 0.75 per cent. Economic growth in the first quarter was weaker than the Bank expected, but it “expects a return to solid growth in the second quarter.” It still believes that exports and business investment will pick up and that the Canadian economy will grow by just under 2 per cent this year. The Bank thinks the economic fallout from low oil prices will be neatly limited to the first quarter. If it proves to be longer lasting, the Bank may downgrade its economic outlook again and further delay raising interest rates. Financial markets currently expect the Bank to start raising interest rates in the second half of 2016. The Bank sets interest rates so that inflation stays around 2% (plus or minus 1%). Economic growth plays an important role in the Bank’s assessment of the outlook for inflation. Its announcement said, “seeing through the various temporary factors, the Bank estimates that the underlying trend of inflation is 1.6 to 1.8 per cent, consistent with persistent slack in the economy.” This makes clear the Bank has little reason to raise its trend-setting Bank rate anytime soon. The Bank’s announcement ended by saying “a number of complex adjustments are under way.” and suggested “their net effect will need to be assessed as more data become available in the months ahead.” In the meantime, interest rates will remain supportive for Canadian home sales and prices. As of May 27th, 2015, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.64 per cent, unchanged from the previous Bank rate announcement on April 15th and down 0.15 percentage points from one year ago. The next interest rate announcement will be on July 15th, 2015 and will be accompanied by an update to the Monetary Policy report. (CREA...

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Canadian home sales up again in April

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Fri, 05/15/2015 – 09:00 Ottawa, ON, May 15, 2015– According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity posted a third consecutive month-over-month increase in April 2015. Highlights: National home sales rose 2.3% from March to April. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 10% above April 2014 levels. The number of newly listed homes was little changed from March to April. The Canadian housing market overall remains balanced. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 4.97% year-over-year in April. The national average sale price rose 9.5% on a year-over-year basis in April; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 3.4 %. The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose 2.3 per cent in April 2015 compared to March. This marks the third consecutive month-over-month increase and raises national activity back to where it was during most of the second half of last year. April sales were up from the previous month in two-thirds of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area, the surrounding Golden Horseshoe region, and Montreal. “As expected, low mortgage interest rates and the onset of spring ushered many homebuyers off the sidelines, particularly in regions where winter was long and bitter,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “All real estate is local and REALTORS® remain your best source of information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.” “In recent years, the seasonal pattern for home sales and listings has become amplified in places where listings are in short supply relative to demand,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This particularly stands out in and around Toronto. Sellers there have increasingly delayed listing their home until spring. Once listed, it sells fairly quickly. Sales over the year as a whole in Southern Ontario are likely being constrained to some degree by a short supply of single family homes. However, the busy spring home buying and selling season has become that much busier as a result of sellers waiting until winter has faded before listing.” Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in April stood 10.0 per cent above levels reported in April 2014. This marks just the third time ever that sales during the month of April topped 50,000 transactions. Sales were up on a year-over-year basis in about 70 per cent of all local markets, led by activity in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Greater Toronto, and Montreal. Of the 18 local markets that set new records for the month of April, all but two are in Southern Ontario. The number of newly listed homes was virtually unchanged (+0.1 per cent) in April compared to March. Below the surface, new supply rose in almost two thirds of all local markets, led by a big rebound in Halifax-Dartmouth following a sharp drop in March. This was offset by declines in Greater Vancouver, Victoria, and the Okanagan Region, as well as by a continuing pullback in new supply in Calgary. New listings in Calgary have dropped by one-third from their multi-year high at the end of last year to their current multi-year low. The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 55.3 per cent in April, up from 50.4 per cent three months earlier...

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Bank of Canada holds interest rates steady

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Wed, 04/15/2015 – 08:58 Ottawa, ON, April 15, 2015 – The Bank of Canada announced on April 15th, 2015 it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 0.75 per cent. The Bank of Canada announced on April 15th, 2015 it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 0.75 per cent. While official economic growth statistics for the first quarter of 2015 won’t be available until the end of May, the Bank estimates that Canada’s economy was stuck in neutral. Governor Poloz had already telegraphed as much in an interview with the Financial Times and it should come as no surprise given the impact of the drop in oil prices this year. In its interest rate announcement, the Bank made it clear that it thinks the worst of the damage to the Canadian economy from lower oil prices is behind us. It expects economic activity to bounce back in the second and third quarters even more strongly than previously predicted due mainly to an anticipated increase in non-energy exports. The Bank’s forecast is perhaps optimistic regarding near term economic prospects given, since there is scant evidence that non-energy exports are in fact ramping up. Moreover, its Monetary Policy Report (MPR) which accompanied the announcement acknowledged that “the full impact of the decline in oil prices has yet to show up in employment statistics.” The rebalanced forecast allows the Bank to maintain its view that inflation will return to its two per cent target by the end of 2016. At this point, that means the goalposts for the first interest rate hike have not moved. Most Bay Street economists expect the Bank to keep interest rates on hold until late 2016. That said, the Bank identified greater than anticipated economic fallout from oil prices as the number one risk to its forecast. If damage to the Canadian economy from lower oil prices worsen or drag on for longer than anticipated, it may be forced to again downgrade its next economic forecast and perhaps trim interest rates in July. As of April 15th, 2015, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.64 per cent, down 0.1 percentage points from the previous Bank rate announcement on March 4th, and down 0.35 percentage points from one year ago. The next interest rate announcement will be on May 27th, 2015. The next update to the Monetary Policy Report will be on July 15th, 2015. (CREA...

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