More Canadians are considering becoming homeowners as lower interest rates make it even more attractive. With rents higher and mortgage rates lower, almost half of all those surveyed said they were thinking of getting on the property ladder in the next five years. Among the younger demographic that figure was 75 per cent. The Bank of Montreal report shows that 15 per cent of those thinking of buying are doing so as a direct result of the Bank of Canada’s rate cut. The lower oil prices are also playing a part with those in Ontario and Atlantic Canada feeling particularly upbeat about finances thanks to lower gasoline prices. However, for many households the survey shows a focus on cutting existing debts rather than taking on new ones. Read the full story
Canada’s housing market is up to 20 per cent overvalued, says IMF
The International Monetary Fund says that Canada’s housing market is up to 20 per cent overvalued. However, there are wide regional differences, meaning that some areas are just seven per cent overvalued. The upper figure is broadly in line with the figure released last week by credit ratings agency Fitch, but below the 30 per cent that the Bank of Canada estimated in December. Overvaluation of property is always something of a thorny issue among experts, but the IMF is pointing to the slower economic growth in Canada and opining that it will likely have an effect on the housing market despite the lower interest and mortgage rates. Read the full story
Loonie slides on poor GDP figures
The Canadian dollar is under even more pressure after the release of weaker-than-expected economic data on Friday. With StatsCan figures showing that the economy declined in November by 0.2 per cen,t the value of the loonie is around 78 US cents this morning, but some economists predict that lower figures are to come. The currency lost almost eight cents in January.
Tiny homes continue to expand living options
For those looking for the ultimate in downsizing, living in a box could be the answer. A featured exhibit at last month’s Interior design Show in Toronto was the Cubitat — compact living in a cube with 10-feet dimensions. Cleverly squeezed into the space are a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and entertaining area. There’s even storage space. It’s one of the latest innovations to tackle lack of building land and high prices, but as with many micro units it could be a struggle to find a mortgage!