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Industry News...

The interest rate party for borrowers is almost over. After almost five years of historically low rates, we’ve started to see some upward movement in the cost of money.


Most people watch the central banks for indications that rates are about to take off. But that’s not where the real action is. It takes place in the rarefied world of the bond market where institutional traders like banks and pension plans operate. By the time the Bank of Canada gets around to acting, the bond market will have left it in the dust.


The first warning shot occurred a couple of weeks ago after some governors of the US Federal Reserve Board indicated that the time has come to consider scaling back the quantitative easing (QE) program that is pumping $85 billion a month in new money into the economy.


Professional bond traders took that as a signal that interest rates would start moving higher. Bond prices dropped sharply (as yields rise, prices fall). The rate on 10-year US Treasuries shot through the 2% barrier and kept on climbing. On June 19th, they spiked to 2.35% after the Fed confirmed that it plans to begin dialing back QE later this year with a view to ending the program by mid-2014.


Click here to read the full article in The Star.


The impact of a soggy spring continues to be felt across Ontario cottage country, where sales – and prices – in many regions are down slightly from last year.


Yet 2013 is being heralded as a possible turnaround year for the recreational market, which has remained essentially flat since 2007, according to a new report by RE/MAX.


The rebounding real estate market south of the border and the arrival – finally – of summer have led to a surge in both Canadian and international buyers looking for sun or ski properties, says the report released yesterday.


“The US was on sale for a long, long time, but now that house prices have picked up dramatically over the last six or eight months, and the dollar has softened somewhat, Canadian recreational properties are looking more attractive,” says Gurinder Sandu, Executive Vice President and Regional Director of RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.


Click here for more from The Star.


Canada’s economy started 2013 growing at a solid clip, as energy production continued to recover and the US economy proved to be more resilient to a recession than was feared, according to the latest Economic and Financial Market Outlook issued last week by RBC Economics.


Following an increase in Canadian GDP output of 1.7% in 2012, RBC raised its real GDP growth forecast to 1.9% through 2013 and expects a firmer 2.9% rise in 2014.


The first quarter of 2013 saw a marked turnaround in the domestic economy, with Canada realizing a solid 2.5% annualized gain, supported by a sharp turnaround in net trade, which added 1.4 percentage points to the quarterly growth rate – the largest contribution since mid-2011.


“The improving trade balance underpins our forecast for Canada’s economy to grow at rates which should help propel the economy to full capacity in early 2015,” said Craig Wright, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, RBC. “Stronger demand for autos, houses and industrial machinery from the US will help sustain the lift in export growth that Canada experienced so far this year for the remainder of 2013.”


Click here to read the full RBC Economics press release.

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