Some 22 years after writing The Wealthy Barber, which became easily the bestselling personal finance book in Canadian history, David Chilton has a dire warning in The Wealthy Barber Returns, to be released this fall.
“The worst thing that’s happening to Canadians in the last 20 years has been lines of credit,” said Chilton, speaking at the conference of the Canadian Pension & Benefits Institute. “If I was Prime Minister, I’d shut them down. It’s unbelievable how people are abusing these things.”
He helped one person establish a schedule to pay off $30,000 in credit-card debt, only to have the person take on a $150,000 line of credit from a banker, “because the man was so nice and said I needed it.” The banker’s explanation: “It’s my job.”
Chilton’s summation: “That’s the problem. It’s a lot of people’s job to get Canadians to take on debt.”
Housing starts are forecast to stabilize at levels consistent with demographic fundamentals in 2011 and 2012, according to CMHC’s second quarter Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition.
Housing starts will be in the range of 166,600 to 192,200 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 179,500 units. In 2012, housing starts will be in the range of 163,200 to 207,500 units, with a point forecast of 185,300 units.
“Modest economic growth, in conjunction with relatively low mortgage rates, will continue to support demand for new homes in 2011 and 2012. Nonetheless, we are expecting new and existing housing markets to fall in line with demographic fundamentals, as changes to mortgage rules take hold,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist for CMHC.
Existing home sales will be in the range of 429,500 to 480,000 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 452,100 units. In 2012, MLS sales will move up and are expected to be in the range of 410,000 to 511,900 units, with a point forecast of 461,300 units.
A TransUnion study suggests Canadian debt loads grew at an average 4.5% in the first quarter compared to a year-earlier, signalling appetite for debt is undiminished.
The credit bureau’s analysis found that total debt per consumer, excluding mortgages, grew to $25,597 in the first quarter of 2011, up from $24,497 in the same quarter of 2010.
Increases were biggest in Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador, with debt rising by 7.8% in both provinces.
Consumer spending slowed during the first quarter, to just 0.1% growth, leading some observers to believe they were focused on consolidating debt after borrowing heavily during the recession.
Buying a house in the city or suburbs can be complicated enough, but buying a cottage or vacation property outside of town requires even more due diligence.
In town, you probably wouldn’t ask if the water coming out of the tap is drinkable. Nor would you wonder if the plumbing was hooked up to the sanitary sewer. But these are exactly the sorts of questions you should ask when buying a cottage, plus a few more.
Is envy driving Canadians’ home reno plans? For the past month, an eavestrough company truck has been slowly making its way down my street. The crew stops at a house for a few days, installs shiny new eavestroughs, and then moves to the next house, leaving a tantalizing business sign on the boulevard for the rest of us to admire.
Seeing that truck and sign got me thinking about my own leaky eavestroughs and what it would cost to replace them, and it seems I’m not the only one. Either my neighbours are all plagued with bad eavestroughs, or many of us are trying to keep up appearances.
According to a new BMO survey, the properties of friends and neighbours are the main influencer for Canadians’ home renovation decisions. It makes sense. If a neighbour gets a spanking new driveway with no cracks in it, it makes our own driveway look scruffy in comparison.
Canadians will spend $46 billion on renos in 2011, up slightly from $45.3 billion last year, according to the survey. The most common renovations planned were kitchens (48%), bathrooms (46%), basements (38%), landscaping (36%) and exterior repairs (36%).
TD Bank has done what many in this slowing market have failed to: grow its mortgage business by 8% in the second quarter. Still, it’s not alone.
Perhaps to the chagrin of brokers, BMO, which doesn’t use the channel, also reported significant growth in its mortgage portfolio for the three months ending April 31st. The value of its residential mortgages rose to $65.5 billion for the quarter, up from the $63.6 billion it declared for Q2 2010. The growth came as the bank added 1,000 workers to its frontline staff – a significant number of them mortgage specialists.
“One of the myths at the moment is that volume growth has gone away, and that is just not true,” TD Bank Chief Financial Officer Colleen Johnston told reporters, after releasing Q2 results. “We had 8% growth in lending in Canada. Business growth was about 11%, and in real estate-secured lending, which consists of residential mortgages and our home equity lines of credit, that business was up 8%.”
The bank isn’t providing details on what percentage of that growth came way of the broker channel. Of course, none of BMO’s increase came via brokers. RBC, another bank working entirely outside the broker network posted a 6% gain in residential mortgage volumes for the quarter, compared to the year-ago period. But other banks releasing their Q2 results this week were more reluctant to share details about their mortgage divisions as competition for a shrinking number of originations, year over year, grows. They’re also grappling with tighter profit margins as the Central Bank holds its rock-bottom overnight rate steady.
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