The Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (“FHSA”) explained

[Invis - May 5, 2022] If you or someone you know is saving for a downpayment on their first home, the Federal government announced a new program aimed at first-time buyers in their recent budget. The First Home Savings Account combines the features of an RRSP and TFSA to give prospective homeowners some tax relief and a boost toward their homeownership goals.   Here are the highlights: Account holders can contribute up to $8,000 annually, up to a lifetime maximum of $40,000. [...]

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B.C. property owners face $52K in real estate fees even though sale never happened

[CTV - May 1, 2022] When Mike Armstrong and his wife Jessica set out to sell two cabins nestled in the trees at Lake Errock east of Mission, they had planned to use the proceeds to move to Vancouver Island to be closer to family. He never expected five years later they would be left facing tens of thousands of dollars in real estate commission fees without having sold either of the properties. “Never. No, no. I mean, who would?” he said. [...]

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Bank of Canada hikes rates for first time since 2018

[BNN - March 2, 2022] OTTAWA -  The Bank of Canada raised its overnight lending rate by 25 basis points to 0.50 per cent on Wednesday, marking the first time the central bank has tightened monetary policy since 2018, while highlighting how Russia's attack on Ukraine could weigh on global growth and lift commodity prices further. The central bank cited strong recent economic growth in Canada, resilient household spending despite the surge of the Omicron COVID-19 variant and inflation figures that are "well above" the [...]

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Preparing For Higher Rates

Invis - December 8, 2021 Given inflationary pressures, the Bank of Canada indicated in their last rate announcement that rate hikes could take place earlier than previously indicated, in mid-2022, which means variable rates that rise and fall in tandem with the key rate will start climbing. Views among economists vary as to how many hikes we'll see in 2022 and 2023 because no one really knows whether inflation is truly transitory given supply chain issues, or even if it [...]

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How much is your home worth now? B.C. Assessment Authority updates property value database for 2022

[Vancouver Sun - January 2, 2022] Since the pandemic began in March 2020, house prices across Canada have jumped 34 per cent The B.C. Assessment Authority has updated its website allowing home owners to see what the value of their home was as of July 1, 2021. The Crown corporation will be releasing full details of property value increases across the province on Jan. 4. To check your home’s value go to their bcassessment.ca and search under the address. To see how much [...]

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House prices in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo expected to jump this fall

[News 1130 - October 6, 2021] NANAIMO (NEWS 1130) — While temperatures are expected to cool in the coming months, home prices in B.C. will not, according to the new Fall Housing Market outlook report by RE/MAX. RE/MAX projects housing prices will rise by two to five per cent through the end of 2021 in Vancouver. However, it is not the most expensive area. The largest jump is expected to be for homes sold in two cities on Vancouver Island: Nanaimo (nine [...]

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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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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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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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