The dark side of low interest rates

There is a cost to low interest rates. Just ask savers pondering the merits of the Royal Bank’s so called “high interest” e-savings account, a typical offering in Canada. The rate: 1.2 per cent. For U.S. dollar savings, the return is positively microscopic, only 0.25 per cent. As markets await the results of Thursday’s policy-setting […]

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Cash Back Mortgages – are they still available?

Changes by the Ministry of Finance announced in June 2012 affected the maximum amortization for high ratio mortgages, loan to values on secured lines of credit and debt servicing ratios for qualifying. In addition the discontinuation of cash back mortgages of 5% used for down payment have taken affect with some lenders while others will […]

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Bank of Canada Holds Overnight Lending Rate

The Bank of Canada announced Wednesday it will maintain its overnight rate at 1 per cent, also hinting at the future withdrawal of that stimulus. “In Canada, while global headwinds continue to restrain economic activity, underlying momentum remains at a pace roughly in line with the economy’s production potential,” writes the Central Bank in its […]

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Women are leading the way when it comes to purchasing their first home.

Across B.C. and Canada, recent reports show that females are more likely than men to be first-time homebuyers. Courtesy of: M.J. Whitemarsh is chief executive officer of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of B.C. A new HGTV Canada show called Buy Herself premièred April 16 to show how single women have shifted from being a […]

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Scotia to buy ING

The gods may be listening to brokers with channel lender Scotia announcing it has reached a definitive agreement to purchase ING Direct Canada. “ING DIRECT has had proven success in meeting the needs of those Canadians who are not looking for the added services, advice and relationships provided by traditional banking channels,” said Rick Waugh, […]

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Young Buyers and Immigrants to Buoy Real Estate

A large bubble of people in their prime home-buying years, coupled with an influx of immigrants, is poised to support Canada’s housing market for the next decade, a major bank economist said Thursday. Benjamin Tal of CIBC put out a report on Thursday in which he argued that Canada’s population demographics are working in favour […]

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Home-ownership levels are rising in Canada

With home-ownership rates headed for record levels and the federal government tightening lending rules to cool the market, the question now is whether we have reached the saturation point. Bank of Nova Scotia economist Adrienne Warren says that when the latest census figures come out next month she expects us to be in the elite […]

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Is Western Canadian Real Estate Becoming Unaffordable?

This article points out the well known fact real estate prices in Western Canada over the past decade have stretched consumers. Will prices come down with new mortgage rules and a slowing economy? Three of the four most expensive Canadian cities in which to buy a home are in the West. Vancouver leads the way, […]

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Bank of Canada Mark Carney held rates steady Tuesday.

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada acknowledged Tuesday that the weakening global economy is slowing growth in this country more than previously thought, but it still expects moderate growth. To no one’s surprise, the central bank held its key interest rate at a near-historic low of 1%, where it has been since September 2010. What […]

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Softening House Prices: Silver Linings or Dark Clouds

An interesting perspective on what may be coming… As housing market data begins to show that prices may be trending a little lower – or at least flat – in some areas in Canada, the debate about the relative benefits or detriments of this new reality has begun in earnest. With new mortgage rules also […]

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