How to decorate your house according to Feng Shui – advice for beginners

[CEO World Magazine - July 18, 2021] Feng Shui is a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation about the flow of energy (chi), and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when sitting and designing buildings. Feng shui uses five elements that according to the Chinese practice have to all be present in order for the space to be balanced. The elements it uses are water, earth, fire, wood, and metal. The role of each [...]

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Bank of Canada researchers argue in favour of inflation overshoots following recessions

[Globe and Mail - July 28, 2021] Central bankers should let inflation run temporarily above target when the economy is coming out of a severe recession, according to new Bank of Canada research that provides a window into how the central bank is thinking about inflation as the pandemic wanes. The paper, published last week by three senior bank economists, argues that monetary policy should allow inflation to rise above the bank’s 2-per-cent target following major recessions where interest rates hit [...]

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Banking on mom and dad

[Toronto Sun - July 24, 2021] As housing prices hit an all-time high and continue to rise across the country, homeownership is out of reach for about three-quarters of Canadians, leaving many new homebuyers counting on the Bank of Mom and Dad. “With the housing market pricing many Canadians out of the market, younger generations are forced to turn to their parents to close the gap,” says Manulife Bank president and CEO Rick Lunny. If you’re thinking of helping your child purchase [...]

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New stress test rate makes it more difficult for home buyers to qualify for mortgage

[Toronto Sun - July 3, 2021] Home buyers have contended with a series of costly hurdles in this ongoing, high-octane housing market — supply shortages, growing and pent-up demand, red hot prices and bidding wars just to name a few. It’s been a great time for sellers, but not so great for those looking to get into the market or upsize. Now the federal government is effectively putting another significant hurdle on the path to home ownership that will especially impact first-time [...]

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A new wave of buyers expected to hit B.C. real estate market

[The Globe and Mail - July 2, 2021] Throughout the pandemic, home sales soared, and in some markets, set record prices. Industry insiders say that postpandemic, the B.C. housing market is expected to boom again – driven by Canadians returning home and the federal government’s plan to bring in more than 1.2 million immigrants by 2023. The wave is already happening according to Jacky Chan, president of BakerWest Real Estate Inc., who works closely with developers. BakerWest is the new Vancouver [...]

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Recent Mortgage Rule Changes

[Synergy Mortgage Inc. / Invis - April 21, 2021] There had been speculation that the government would act to cool the hot housing market, but the industry saw only modest measures in the April 19 federal budget. A national annual tax on foreign-owned properties that are left vacant or under-occupied was announced, which will take effect in 2022. This will only apply to "non-residents" to discourage offshore buyers. New stress test The budget also referenced the recent announcement by the Office [...]

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Forget Pent-Up Demand, Let’s Talk About Pent-Up Housing Supply

[CREA Cafe - April 21, 2021] On Thursday, April 15, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) released its national housing statistics for the month of March. Below, CREA’s Senior Economist Shaun Cathcart provides an update on the current state of housing markets in Canada and explains what the data means for members. As everyone already knows, home sales have been setting major records since last summer. In previous posts I’ve said the market wouldn't be able to keep that up at [...]

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Bank of Canada keeps benchmark rate at record low but economic outlook brightens

Bank forecasting a 6.5% increase in GDP growth in 2021, up from 4% [CBC - April 21, 2021] The Bank of Canada opted to keep its benchmark interest rate steady at a record-low 0.25 per cent Wednesday, saying the pandemic recovery "continues to require extraordinary monetary policy support." At the same time, it significantly increased its growth estimates, forecasting a 6.5 per cent increase this year, up from an earlier prediction of four per cent. The bank said in a statement that it intends to [...]

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Vancouver’s red-hot housing market starting to cool Sales ‘ froth’ coming off as higher supply begins to meet buyer demand across Greater Vancouver, early April data shows

[Western Investor - April 21, 2021] After soaring 128 per cent in March to set an all-time sales record, Greater Vancouver’s red-hot housing market is starting to cool down, early April data shows As of April 15, home sales were down fractionally from the same period a month earlier, with 2,402 transactions compared to 2,663 sold as of mid-March, according to early data from the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board, but the number of active listings increased to 10,301, up from 9,467 at [...]

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Bank regulator proposes tougher mortgage rules as ultralow rates fuel overheated housing market

[Globe and Mail - April 8, 2021] Canada’s bank regulator is proposing to make it harder for borrowers to qualify for a home loan, as ultralow mortgage rates fuel the country’s overheated real estate market. The proposed changes to the mortgage stress test for uninsured mortgages would effectively raise the minimum qualifying rate to 5.25 per cent. Current rules require banks to qualify borrowers at a rate two percentage points higher than the market rate or the Bank of Canada’s conventional five-year [...]

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