Connect with us


Canada’s central bank says the housing market is stabilizing. These economists aren’t so sure.





Photo: James Bombales

To hear the Bank of Canada tell it, the Canadian housing market is “stabilizing.”

That’s what the central bank said of home sales activity when it once again hiked the overnight interest rate, which influences the mortgage marketplace, by 25 basis points in October.

But CIBC Deputy Chief Economist Benjamin Tal and his colleague Royce Mendes, a senior economist, aren’t so sure.

“The Bank of Canada also keeps arguing that the worst is now behind us and that housing markets are stabilizing. But, from our vantage point, it’s difficult to agree,” reads a report authored by Tal and Mendes.

Housing Market News Alerts

Sign up now for news alerts on the Canadian housing market

In the report, entitled Where Are We in the Canadian Housing Slowdown, the two economists lay out why they find it “difficult to agree” with the central bank.

Tal and Mendes suggest the Canadian housing market has yet to fully absorb the effects of higher interest rates, and that prices won’t begin to balance until sometime next year.

“The central bank’s own workhorse model says it takes six quarters before the full impact of any rate hike is felt in the economy,” they point out.

After fostering a period of historically low interest rates to boost the economy, the Bank of Canada last year started gradually pulling up the overnight rate.

This October marked the fifth time since July 2017 that the bank hiked the overnight rate by 25 basis points. So there is reason to believe the effects of monetary tightening haven’t worked their way through the market yet, the report suggests.

The current overnight rate is now 1.75 percent, with more hikes widely expected.

Tal and Mendes also suggest that Vancouver hasn’t finished adjusting to fallout from the B-20 rules, a federal policy move that subjects uninsured-mortgage applicants to stress testing.

Basically, borrowers who could previously sidestep stress testing, which requires applicants to qualify for a higher mortgage rate than they are signing on for, by putting down 20 percent for an uninsured mortgage.

Vancouver has yet to see a rebound in sales following the government’s introduction of the B-20 rules in January, and as one of the country’s largest and least affordable markets, the implications are national.

“It appears that Toronto is stabilizing while Vancouver is still correcting,” the report reads. “Looking ahead, we expect more of the same. Population growth in Vancouver has been lagging behind Toronto’s over the past two years.”

Then there is the much-talked-about rise in Vancouver’s supply of condos. The number of new units that are completed but unsold continues to climb, the report says.

The adjustment in the Canadian housing market in general, and in Vancouver and Toronto in particular, is not over yet,” write Tal and Mendes. “But, we believe that market forces suggest prices will find equilibrium next year.”


Source link

قالب وردپرس


Covid-19 altering Canadians’ housing needs: RBC





Amid a pandemic-driven shift in demand as well as a surge in new listings, the Canadian housing market remained strong in August, RBC Economics reports.

Citing preliminary data from local real estate boards, RBC said that markets in many areas of the country remained “red hot” in August.

“But the bigger story might be that Covid-19 is now prompting more people to sell,” the report said, noting that new listings surged in urban centres such as Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

“We think this in part reflects the pandemic altering the housing needs of many current owners — who are opting to move, something they might not have considered just a few months ago,” it said.

RBC noted that the Toronto market saw new listings jump 57% year over year in August, powering a 40% increase in home sales.

Sales were up more than 20% from July’s near-record levels, it said.

“Clearly, [that] market has fired on all cylinders this summer, making up for the major disruption caused by Covid-19 in the spring,” RBC said.

The primary drivers of sales activity and higher prices were low-rise homes, including single-detached homes, RBC reported.

Continue Reading


RBC’s customer base makes it a favourite of cyber attacks – security experts





Royal Bank of Canada is among the most targeted institutions by cyber attacks due to its broad customer base, according to an analysis by Palo Alto Networks.

From December 2019 up to present, cybercriminals have been establishing malicious pages disguised as websites by major companies to conduct phishing attempts and other similarly invasive attacks.

RBC ranked third in the most spoofed domains list, more than streaming giant Netflix and professional networking portal LinkedIn. PayPal and Apple ranked first and second, respectively.

“When you look at the broad customer base that RBC has, it makes sense, especially when you compare it to some of the other big names,” said Jen Miller-Osborn, deputy director of threat research at Palo Alto Networks. “These attackers are going after [domains] where they can make the most money, so they’re focusing on these organizations that have really broad customer bases because that really ups the number of potential victims.”

In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Miller-Osborn outlined what consumers should be looking out for to filter our fraudulent emails.

“Typically, the ones that are going to be scam-related are trying to invoke some sort of emotional response,” Miller-Osborn said. “So they might say something like ‘Someone tried to change your password, click here to say whether or not that was you,’ or ‘Click here to confirm this charge on your statement,’ or ‘We’ve locked your account for strange activity.’ Essentially, things that will make people anxious and will make them want to click first, and not take a step back and pause to think, ‘Is that really the kind of email that my bank would usually send?’”

Other red flags include misspellings and basic grammar errors in the message, especially the sender line.

“Attackers try to closely mimic domain names, so you might see the number zero substituted for ‘o’, or a one substituted for the letter ‘l’. Little thing like an extra ‘s’ or ‘c’ in the name. These things, people tend to glance over very quickly and not notice.”

Miller-Osborn said that these measures should be done in concert with the most effective step in deflecting a spoofing attempt: Calling the bank and asking them if the email that they supposedly sent was legitimate.


Continue Reading


Queen confirms new home at Windsor Castle with Buckingham Palace for ‘selected events’





The Queen will be returning to Windsor Castle in a matter of weeks, with Buckingham Palace only used for ‘select events’.

Her Majesty and her husband Duke of Edinburgh will first spend time privately at Sandringham when they leave Balmoral next week, Buckingham Palace confirmed.

She had been spending summer at her retreat in Aberdeenshire amid speculation that she would not return to the capital amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson said: “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will depart Balmoral Castle during the week commencing September 14 to spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate.

“Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty’s intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements.

Continue Reading