There’s not a whole lot of hiring going on across Canada at the moment.

For the last 15 months year over year job growth has been under 1 percent.  Apparently this makes it the longest stretch of such low growth outside of recessions in almost 40 years of record keeping.

Employers shed 1,000 positions last month, according to Statistics Canada, and the jobless rate rose two notches to a five-month high of 6.8 per cent as more people looked for work. Annual employment growth has hovered at about 0.6 per cent in the 15 months since December, 2013.

The last period of least 15 months of growth below 1 per cent was during the 2008-2009 recession, when often it slumped into negative territory, according to Statistics Canada.

It’s not all bad news though. While full time employment is not seeing gains temporary and self employment is growing:

In the past year, temporary employment has climbed 2.3 per cent while permanent positions are up 0.1 per cent.

Temp employment – which includes seasonal, contract and casual jobs, accounts for 12 per cent of the total. Self-employment has jumped 2.2 per cent in that time, public-sector employment by 1.2 per cent and that in the private sector by by 0.2 per cent.

Read the full article here.

Garry Marr writes about the situation in Alberta over in the Financial Post. The drop in oil prices has hit their economy first and hardest with sales down by 30-40% over a year ago and growing listings.

So how do you prepare for a surprise economic hit like that?

Simple. Save up to cover for job loss, keep your debts and bills manageable and  don’t get into a situation where you have to sell when everyone else is selling.

Unfortunately Canadians aren’t doing so well on the debt front:

Debt reached an all-time high in the fourth quarter, relative to income. Statistics Canada says the debt to disposable household income ratio is 163.3%, much of it attributable to housing costs.

Read the full article here.

Now normally when you hear about a conspiracy lawsuit against the Bank of Canada, the International Monetary Fund and the Queen of England you would assume Lizard People are involved right?

But in this case the government has already exhausted all but one chance to have the case thrown out and their last chance expires in the next week.

Is it possible the tin foil hats might have something here? Certainly it helps that their lawyer has a history of winning unlikely cases.

So what’s it all about?  Here’s what the Epoch Times says:

Toronto-based COMER and its fellow plaintiffs Ann Emmett and William Krehm are suing over fundamental changes to the Bank of Canada’s role that were made in 1974 when the bank stopped making loans to the government.

The Bank of Canada (BoC) was founded in the Great Depression and played a major role loaning money to the government. It helped finance Canada’s war effort during World War II and could loan money to the government, without interest, if it chose to do so. Any profits the BoC made were returned to the government minus the Bank’s operating expenses. That last point remains the case today, with $1.7 billion sent to the Receiver General annually.

COMER alleges that by no longer providing these loans, the Bank and others named in the suit have forced the government to finance budget deficits by borrowing from private markets and paying hundreds of billions of dollars in interest. Last year, $28 billion—over 10 percent of the federal government’s $277 billion in expenditures—went to servicing the debt.

That’s more than what was spent on National Defence ($21.5 billion) and nearly as much as the Canada health transfer ($30.5 billion).

The Bank of Canada Act allows, or as COMER alleges—requires—the BoC to give the federal government loans up to a total value of one-third of the government’s predicted annual revenues. For provincial governments it is a quarter of those revenues. The loans have to be repaid within the first quarter of the next fiscal year. At that point, the government just needs to pay back the loan with incoming revenues, and take out another loan to make up any deficit.

So in essence, unless our translator has the lizard people language interpretation incorrect, this case is about the national debt and the Bank of Canada’s failure to loan money to the Government of Canada for free.

What do you think? Lizard People are coming to eat your children of something is going to change?

Read the full article here.

Friday Free-for-all!

March 20th, 2015

Really? Is it Friday already?

Time for another Friday Free-for-all!

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-A 40-50% drop?
-Crazy Canadian Credit
-Victoria Condos up more than houses?
-On it goes
-Meanwhile in Maple Ridge

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

It’s that time of the week again.

It’s Friday Free-for-all time! This is our regular end of the week news round-up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend. Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-Who wants to try for 200%?
-Rate fears push down dollar
-Cognitive disconnect
-We love us some debt
-Real Estate School
-Whats a mortgage default?
-The RE-tirement plan

So what are you seeing out there?

Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

After the IMF issued yet another warning on the Canadian housing market Joe Oliver decided its time to speak up.

There is no housing bubble basically, but they will continue to keep an eye on the situation.

And yet the foreboding predictions keep coming. Goldman Sachs warned of a “large correction” in Canadian real estate in 2013. That same year, The Atlantic magazine called Canada “the biggest housing bubble in the world” and the OECD issued a report that listed Canada’s as one of the most overvalued housing markets in the world. Earlier this year Deutsche Bank said Canada was in “serious trouble” with its supposedly overinflated house prices. Capital Economics’ David Madani has been standing by his call for a “day of reckoning” for Canadian housing since 2011.

That no reckoning has come to pass yet may explain why Mr. Oliver and the Bank of Canada’s anxiety has cooled.

“In a way, it’s strange,” said Mr. Porter. “Because if anything the market does seem to have gotten a bit more overheated — especially in Toronto and Vancouver.”

Apparently it’s not just the Bank of Canada that thinks Canadian RE buyers are suckers. The IMF is issuing yet another warning of potential problems in the Canadian Real Estate Market.

The International Monetary Fund is raising red flags about Canada’s housing market, warning that moves by Ottawa in recent years to tighten mortgage lending standards and boost oversight of the country’s financial system haven’t gone far enough.

Household debt levels remain well above those in other Western countries, the organization said in a commentary posted to its website Monday. Home prices have jumped 60 per cent in the past 15 years and remain overvalued from 7 per cent to 20 per cent, in line for a “soft landing” over the next few years, the IMF said.

At the same time, it reiterated its call for Canada to collect more data on its housing market and to centralize oversight of the financial sector. As it stands, regulation remains fractured among the Department of Finance, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and provincial governments all playing separate roles in regulating the housing the market.

Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.

It’s the end of another work week and that means it’s Friday Free-for-all time!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.

Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-Realtor Hunger Index at 54%
-Savings rate hits 5 year low
-Zoocasa to stop publishing data
-First Sellers market in 4 years
-No more rate cuts?
-Highest gas prices in North America
-How do you make a return?
-Sell your toys, don’t buy a house
-Squamish bankruptcy for Rommel
-What to talk about instead of RE?
-Consumer debt hits $1.53 Trillion

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

Take a look at this list:

Calgary
Winnipeg
Edmonton
Gatineau
Halifax
Hamilton
Oshawa
Montreal
London
Kitchener
Kingston
Ottawa
Quebec
Regina
Saguenay
Saint John
Sudbury
St.John’s
St. Catharines
Sherbrooke
Saskatoon
Thunder Bay
Toronto
Trois Rivieres
Vancouver
Victoria

Know what those 26 cities have in common?

They’re all Canadian for one, but they are also places where house prices have doubled or tripled over the last 15 years.

As special as Vancouver is, it’s apparently not unique when it comes to rising prices.

Thanks to Joe Mainlander for pointing this out, original data source is Toronto Condo Bubble.

Friday Free-for-all!

February 27th, 2015

It’s that time of the week again…

Friday Free-for-all time!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend, here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

-What size house are you happy with?
-CMHC no longer loans for condo dev
-Bidding wars spread to suburbs
-Minimum loan payment reduced
-Low rates to save housing market?
-Shiller worried about canada prices

Thanks to southseacompany and everyone else for the links!

So what are you seeing out there? Post you news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

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