March 2, 2018

Housing Outlook: Soft Landing

Last night, I presented the housing outlook at the Adelaide Hotel (formerly the Trump Hotel) hosted by the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University where I am an Adjunct Professor. The full PowerPoint presentation of thirty slides can be found on my website. Here are some of the highlights:

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March 2, 2018

Q4 Growth In Canada Last Year at 1.7%, Bringing Annual Growth to 3.0%

As expected, growth in the fourth quarter of last year paled in comparison to the robust performance of the first half. Statistics Canada revised up growth estimates for the first half of the year to 4.2%, from the initial estimate of 4%. Following economic expansion of a whopping 4.0% in Q1 and 4.4% in Q2,…

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February 27, 2018

The Activist Budget—There Is No Problem This Government Cannot Fix

Patting himself on the back, the Finance Minister opened his speech by reminding us that “a little over two years ago…Canadians had the opportunity to stay the course. They could stick with a Government that favoured cuts and a set of failed policies that produced stubborn unemployment and the worst decade of economic growth since…

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February 15, 2018

Canadian Home Sales Slide In January Led By Greater Golden Horseshoe

It is no surprise that housing activity slowed in January following a pulling-forward sales surge as homebuyers hurried to purchase before the mortgage rule changes in 2018. The January 1 implementation of the new OSFI B-20 regulations requires that uninsured mortgage borrowers be stress-tested at a mortgage rate 200 basis points above the contract rate…

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February 9, 2018

Jobs Decline In January Following Blockbuster Year

Canada shed 88,000 jobs in January, the most significant drop in nine years, driven by a record 137,000 plunge in part-time work. Full-time employment was up 49,000 while the unemployment rate increased a tick to 5.9%–only slightly above the lowest jobless rate since 1976. January’s sharp decline brings to an end a stunning 17-month streak…

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January 31, 2018

Best Canadian GDP Growth in Six Months Led by Manufacturing Comeback

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 0.4% in November, bouncing back from a disappointingly flat economy in October. The improvement reflected a rebound in most factory sectors as goods-producing industries rose 0.8% after declining 0.5% in October. November’s gain was mainly due to increases in the manufacturing and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction…

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January 17, 2018

Bank of Canada Raises Rates Cautiously

As was widely expected, the Bank of Canada announced another quarter-point interest rate increase this morning, saying that more hikes are ahead. According to Governor Stephen Poloz, the “big cloud” over the Canadian economy is the uncertainty associated with NAFTA and he cautioned that it would be some time before interest rates return to normal…

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January 15, 2018

December Homes Sales Surged In Advance of New Mortgage Rules

The January 1 implementation of the new OSFI B-20 regulations requires that uninsured mortgage borrowers be stress-tested at a mortgage rate 200 basis points above the contract rate at federally regulated financial institutions. It is no surprise that home sales rose in advance of the new ruling in November and December. Even so, activity remains…

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January 5, 2018

Robust Canadian Jobs Report for December Tops Off a Blockbuster Year

The highly anticipated December Labour Force Survey, released this morning by Stats Canada, surpassed forecasts breaking multi-year records. Canada’s jobless rate fell to 5.7% in December, its lowest level in more than 40 years, raising the prospects for a Bank of Canada rate hike possibly as soon as this month. The number of jobs rose…

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December 19, 2017

Much Ado About Almost Nothing–Non-Resident Ownership of Housing

Statistics Canada in conjunction with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released their first report this morning from the Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP), providing data regarding the non-resident ownership of Canadian housing. This program was mandated by the last federal budget, filling in a significant data gap in housing statistics. For years, many have…

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