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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Despite the botched vaccine rollout, the Canadian economy is on the ‘cusp of a boom’

[Financial Post - February 17, 2021] The U.S. will be awash in stimulus dollars soon — and Canada must catch that wave The word ‘boom’ is starting to show up in analysts reports. While Canada has botched the vaccine rollout at least in the short-term, pundits believe the blip will soon be in the rearview mirror if more paralyzing delays are few and far between in the near future. The good news is that the Pfizer-BioTech joint venture will deliver more than 878,000 [...]

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Why detached home prices in Greater Vancouver have been rising, while condo prices have stayed static

[CBC - February 3, 2021] Single-family home prices increasing at level not seen since mid-2010s COVID-19 doesn't affect all people equally — and it doesn't affect the housing market equally either. The average selling price of a detached home in Greater Vancouver rose for the sixth straight month in January, the first time that had happened since 2013. At $1.83 million it's the third highest monthly figure in the history of the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board. To the east, the Fraser Valley [...]

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As pandemic lockdowns drag on, Canadians are tapping HELOCs to fund home renos

[Globe and Mail - February 15, 2021] Cory Cook’s initial plan was to build out his backyard deck. But as the pandemic drags on, he’s looking to overhaul his entire basement. “The renovated basement would generate rental income and offer financial security in the event of a job loss,” says the 43-year-old Toronto father of two. To fund his home improvements, Mr. Cook, who helps businesses invest in energy efficiency, took out a $300,000 home equity line of credit (HELOC). After [...]

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Why detached home prices in Greater Vancouver have been rising, while condo prices have stayed static

[CBC - February 3, 2021] Single-family home prices increasing at level not seen since mid-2010s COVID-19 doesn't affect all people equally — and it doesn't affect the housing market equally either. The average selling price of a detached home in Greater Vancouver rose for the sixth straight month in January, the first time that had happened since 2013. At $1.83 million it's the third highest monthly figure in the history of the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board. To the east, the Fraser Valley [...]

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Pandemic housing market to stay hot in 2021, but economists expect a hangover later in the year

[Financial Post - January 14, 2021] Much is dependent on vaccine outcomes, interest rates and buyer psychology. This year is forecast to be another brisk one overall for Canada’s housing market, but economists also see reason to believe that the rush for residential real estate will start losing momentum as 2021 drags on. The housing market “likely had its strongest year ever in 2020,” Royal Bank of Canada economist Robert Hogue wrote in a report released on Wednesday. Even with coronavirus raging, RBC [...]

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Bank of Canada stands pat in year’s final rate decision, balancing COVID-19 risks with vaccine optimism

[Globe and Mail - December 9, 2020] The Bank of Canada stood pat on monetary policy in its final scheduled interest-rate decision of an eventful 2020, balancing the near-term economic risks from the second wave of the COVID-19 virus with the arrival of vaccines to alleviate the pandemic. The central bank announced Wednesday morning that its governing council had opted to leave the bank’s key policy rate unchanged at a record-low 0.25 per cent, where it has sat since a series [...]

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How long can interest rates stay low once a vaccine arrives?

[CBC - November 10. 2020] Jubilation over the good news about a vaccine has taken markets by storm. Shortly after the news broke on Monday that the U.S. drugmaker Pfizer had a COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough that appeared 90 per cent effective, the Dow Jones industrial average soared more than 1,500 points, , a rise of more than four per cent. The Toronto market also took off. Canadian oil and gas shares shot up on the prospect of people climbing back into cars for road trips [...]

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Builders aim to pandemic-proof new homes

[Western Investor - November 27, 2020] Outdoor elevators, touchless doors, zero-recycled air and changes to open floor plans among design reactions to COVID-19 Vancouver developer Qualex-Landmark is among the first to implement a number of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in two new residential projects, part of a trend that is gaining traction across North America. “Just as the Spanish flu gave us the vanity room, which originated as a hand-washing basin immediately inside the front entry of a home, [...]

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An ‘unprecedented’ housing market maintains strong outlook

[BC Local News - November 27, 2020] Pandemic has had reverse impact on the real estate market Laws of economics would indicate a worldwide recession and pandemic would result in real estate prices and housing demand to drop. But that’s not the case, according to a few local realtors. “It’s unprecedented. We’ve never had this in any kind of market, it doesn’t make sense,” said Ron Antalek of Re/Max Lifestyles Realty in Maple Ridge. Recent Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) statistics for [...]

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