Chicken vs Egg: Retail Sales and Housing Bubbles

Southseacompany pointed out this article in the Globe and Mail about the connection between retail sales and household debt.

Falling interest rates between the fall of 2013 and mid-2016 made it easy for Canadians to add debt. The five-year Government of Canada bond yield, on which mortgage rates are based, fell from a high of 2.2 per cent in September, 2013, to a low of 0.49 per cent in February, 2016. This trend made monthly mortgage payments lower and helped spur the housing boom.”

“The reverse process – rising interest rates – is now evident and mortgage debt is getting more difficult to service. The five-year bond yield has climbed to 1.1 per cent and major lenders are slowly raising mortgage rates.

Read the full article here.

Friday Free-for-all! February 24 2017

Hey, what’s going on?

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

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend, normally we post links to kick off the chat here, but this time it’s up to you!

What are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes in the comments below and have an excellent weekend! 

Axing the property transfer tax

The Premier would like to get rid of or minimize the property transfer tax but it currently just brings in too much money.

“We really want to start knocking down the property transfer tax because it is a drag on our economy. It is one thing that we can do to try and increase affordability,” Clark said.

“Why don’t we do it in this budget? Because this year we brought in $928 million in revenue. The only way to replace that would be to raise taxes elsewhere,” she said.

Is the buying and selling of homes where our economy needs a boost?

Read the full article here.

Eliminate character to avoid affordability 

There are some old homes on Vancouver and some people think we shouldn’t be tearing down 1000 of them each year.  The city has some heritage and ‘character’ protections in place, but these have the unfortunate side effects of slowing the relentless rising of house prices:

“The real data on the house next door is that it reduced the value by 15 per cent,” said Jackson, whose neighbour’s house was re-listed and sold for less money after the city determined it has “character features” on the exterior. 

Read the full article here

Friday Free-for-all! February 17th 2017

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

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

widespread mortgage fraud?

housing affordability flaw

bc ferry single bid

help to buy drives up entry prices

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