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Industry News

 

Housing starts are forecast to remain steady in 2011 and 2012, according to CMHC’s third quarter Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition.
 
“Housing starts have been strong in the last few months, but are forecast to moderate closer in line with demographic fundamentals,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist for CMHC. “Despite recent financial uncertainty, factors such as employment, immigration and mortgage rates remain supportive of the Canadian housing sector.”
 
Housing starts will be in the range of 166,300 to 197,200 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 183,200 units. In 2012, housing starts will be in the range of 161,700 to 207,200 units, with a point forecast of 183,900 units.
 
Existing home sales will be in the range of 425,000 to 472,500 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 446,700 units, essentially the same level as in 2010. In 2012, MLS sales are expected to move up modestly in the range of 407,500 to 510,000 units, with a point forecast of 458,000 units.
 
Click here for the full CMHC press release.
 
Two-thirds of Canadian repeat homebuyers are moving on to larger or more luxurious homes and many are moving earlier than they originally planned.
 
The TD Canada Trust Repeat Home Buyers Report, which surveyed Canadians who recently bought or intend to buy a home that is not their first, found that 7 in 10 Canadian repeat buyers were moving earlier than they expected (42%) or had no intention of moving, but now find themselves on the house-hunt again (27%). Further, the number of people intending to buy a home that is not their first in the next two years increased nearly 10 percentage points over 2010 (74% versus 65% in 2010).
 
“Our research indicates that Canadians don’t stay in one home too long,” says Farhaneh Haque, Director, Mortgage Advice, TD Canada Trust.
 
The top five features that Canadians felt they compromised on when they purchased their previous home that they are not willing to budge on this time are price (34%), layout of home (33%), features of home (31%), garage or sheltered parking (30%) and number of bedrooms (28%).
 
Click here to read the TD Canada Trust press release.
 
Nearly half of Canada’s baby boomers are still paying down their mortgage and view their level of debt as an obstacle to reaching their financial goals.
 
A poll released Wednesday by CIBC and conducted by Harris-Decima said that as the country’s largest demographic moves closer to retirement, 46% of Canadians aged 45 to 64 are still working to pay off their mortgage. The poll also revealed 75% still hold some form of debt.
 
Calgarian John Hunt, 64, is continuing to work part-time to keep himself busy, pay off his $125,000 mortgage and have some spending money. He’s an example of a generational shift in thinking and circumstance when it comes to holding a mortgage.
 
“I’d love to be retired. But I’m not... At this age, if I didn’t have this mortgage, I probably wouldn’t be working. I’d probably be relaxing a lot more.”
 
Click here for the full Calgary Herald article.
 
Everybody loves a deal and the best way to find one is to demand one. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your monthly expenses, imagine being able to accomplish that without giving up a thing.
 
Sometimes it’s as simple as picking up the phone and calling everybody from your cable provider to your insurer to your landlord, and saying, “I need you to do better.”
 
“If you don’t ask, you don’t get,” says Dustin Six, a 30-year-old sales and logistics coordinator in Calgary. “What have you got to lose if they say no?”
 
There’s nothing to stop you from asking your home insurer to drop their rates, your cable company to cut your bill or your cell phone provider to look for a better plan. Why not ask your financial advisor if he or she might do just a little better on the rate they charge to manage your money. What about your bank account? Perhaps you need to be put in a more advantageous account with lower monthly fees or a higher interest rate.
 
Click here to read more in the Financial Post.
 
Is your child headed to college or university? If so, click here for the Globe and Mail video featuring Suzanne Tyson discussing available cash, grants and scholarships – and where to get them.
 
Are you a brand snob? You may be missing big-time savings.
 
People can be such snobs. Nothing better illustrates this than the unwillingness of some folks to try a no-name store brand. Citing “inferior quality”, these grocery aisle stiff-necks put brand names before savings, often spending far more than they need to. (Is this so different than refusing to carrying a handbag that doesn’t sport a designer logo?)
 
Now I’m not saying that there aren’t some brands that win the quality or flavour test hands down. I only buy Heinz ketchup. I’ve tried others – at other people’s homes – and not really been impressed. But being open to house brands means having extra money to throw into my savings account.
 
Testing no-name products against brands is also a great way to teach kids about value and savings. Start by comparing labels so you know what you’re buying. From there, go with a “blind” test and have kids rank their “customer satisfaction” with the product. Then compare prices. Is it really worth $1.73 more for the brand name? If the answer is “yes”, stick with the brand. If it’s “no”, make the switch and add the savings to the “no-name savings jar” so you can see how much you’ve saved over six months or a year. (Those savings will give a nice boost to your family holiday fund, won’t they?)
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