Buying a home in Canada is suddenly substantially more affordable — but there’s a catch

[Financial Post - October 1, 2020] Don’t expect the income boost we’ve been seeing to last Buying a home in Canada hasn’t been this affordable in four years, but there’s a catch — actually more than one. According to RBC Economics' Housing Affordability Measure out this week the proportion of income Canadians need to meet housing costs (mortgage, taxes, utilities) fell 3.3 percentage points to 47.3% in the second quarter, the most affordable since 2016. Substantial improvements were evident from coast to coast with [...]

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Home prices to drop, new report predicts — and even Toronto and Vancouver won’t be immune

[Financial Post - September 23, 2020] Moody's predicts prices for all housing types to fall more than 7 per cent The pandemic will punish Prairie house prices the most in Canada, but even hotspots Toronto and Vancouver will see prices drop on the back of rising rental market vacancies and lower immigration rates, according to a new report. Average single family detached house prices will fall by 6.7 per cent next year as the recovery stalls, economic stimulus fades and debt problems [...]

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Toronto and Vancouver now joined by two more Canadian cities with ‘overvalued’ homes

[Financial Post - September 21, 2020] Canada's housing market moderately vulnerable, CMHC says Overvalued homes continue to be a feature of Canada’s largest cities during the second quarter as the pandemic bit into the number of houses entering the market, according to the country’s largest public mortgage provider. And other Canadian cities are also seeing home prices heat up. “There was sharp pullback in new listings and resulting low levels of inventory,” the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation said in its second [...]

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Canada real estate: RBC Economics observes growing preference for single-detached homes over condos

[Georgia Straight - September 8, 2020] Last July, Statistics Canada predicted a shift in demand from condos to single-detached homes. “As working from home becomes more prevalent,” the agency stated,” we may see an increase in the demand for larger living spaces that single-family homes can offer, causing a shift in demand from condominium apartments towards single houses.” A recent housing commentary released by RBC Economics appears to validate the forecast. “Buyers nationwide are demonstrating a stronger preference for single-detached homes,” bank economist [...]

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Canada real estate: House of Commons petition says tax on home equity will punish millions of residential owners

[Georgia Straight - September 3, 2020]  A petition in the House of Commons opposes the idea of taxing home equity. It calls on Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reject “any possibility of this tax being implemented in the future”. “It is wrong to punish homeowners with added taxes when they sell their home after years of investment,” the petition states. Home equity is the difference between the market value of a home and the unpaid mortgage. To illustrate, if a home is worth [...]

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Bank regulator changes rules for mortgage deferrals starting now

[CBC - August 31, 2020] As of July 30, there were roughly $170 billion in outstanding residential mortgage deferrals for big banks Canada's federal banking regulator is phasing out requirements around mortgage deferrals for homeowners hard-hit financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions says deferrals granted starting Monday and until the end of September will be able to get special capital treatments for loan and premium payments for up to three months, rather than six. For banks, [...]

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COVID-19: Use CERB aid extension to plan for tax, debt obligations, says credit counsellor

[Vancouver Sun - August 29, 2020] The transition from CERB to EI will squeeze down the incomes of many British Columbians, but not planning for debts and taxes will come with consequences, says the Credit Counselling Society’s Scott Hannah British Columbians who are relying on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit face some tough decisions when the program ends Sept. 27 that credit counsellors worry they aren’t preparing for. The concerns start with not accounting for future tax liabilities that will be owing [...]

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A tax on home equity would hurt Canadians during the best of times — but right now it would be reckless

[The Star - August 15, 2020] Every so often, an idea comes along that is so out of touch and unfair that it unites pretty much everyone in their disapproval. Recently, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) appeared to be doing exactly that when media reports suggested the federal housing agency is researching a new home equity tax on primary residences. According to reports, CMHC is spending $250,000 in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s School of Population to investigate [...]

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CERB is transitioning to EI. What does that mean?

[CBC - August 21, 2020] New benefits are introduced and EI is being revamped. Here's what you need to know The federal government announced on Thursday that the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) will be extended an additional month and then transition to a modified employment insurance (EI) program. The changes will come into effect on Sept. 27 and will be in place for one year, with three additional programs proposed for those who do not qualify for EI. Here's what you need to know about [...]

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Government is why housing in Canada is unaffordable and more taxes won’t help

[Financial Post - August 5, 2020] Opinion: A home equity tax would be but the latest example of politicians using housing as their personal ATM The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is giving $250,000 to Generation Squeeze, an advocacy organization for young Canadians, to research ways to improve housing affordability. The group stated it will focus on “wealth generated by rising home values,” which incited fears the government is considering a home equity tax on the capital gains generated when Canadians sell their [...]

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