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Wednesday , 29 March 2017

Monthly Archives: June 2015

May real estate sales strongest in five years: CREA

May was the busiest month for real estate sales in Canada in five years. Not since January, 2010, have sales been as strong. For the fourth month in a row, the number of home sales across the country rose, up 3.1 per cent compared to April and up 2.7 per cent compared to one year ago. Prices were up too, reports the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The national average sales price was up 8.1 per cent year over year, putting the average national home price at just over $450,000. That “national” average price drops significantly, to $345,000, when Toronto and Vancouver are removed from the calculation. Those two cities ... Read More »

Household debt still problematic for some: Bank of Canada

Once again, the Bank of Canada has highlighted the elevated level of Canadian household indebtedness as the number one “vulnerability” facing the country’s financial system. The central bank released its Financial System Review (FSR) June 2015 in which it assesses the vulnerabilities and associated risks, concluding that household debt continues to be somewhat worrisome. A vulnerability, however, is not a problem until something else occurs—like a weakened tree, to use the Bank’s example, which may survive for many years until a severe storm comes along and brings it down. Such shocks, or “trigger events,” are hard to predict, which is why these reviews of the financial system tend to be ... Read More »

Inexpensive ways to work out while working

Integrating fitness-promoting activities into the work day is the aim of the standing desk movement. With more and more medical people warning that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy, a lot of workers with desk jobs are looking for ways to change their daily routine to avoid sitting for hours at a time. One company has created a line of ingenious fitness products that address this concern. They are ingenious because they work with things you already have—your bicycle and your desk. There is also an original piece that combines the two. The FitDesk PedalDesk (also referred to as Bike Desk) is a lightweight folding exercise bike with a sliding desk ... Read More »

Loblaw to ban harmful ingredients from house brands

The language couldn’t be more cautious, but the message is good nonetheless. Galen Weston, president of Loblaw, said that emerging science and public opinion suggest that a “measured move away from some specific ingredients is prudent.” So, Loblaw announced that it will stop using triclosan, phthalates and micro beads in the products is sells under the brand names Life Brand® and President’s Choice®. Loblaw works with scientific advisors, said Weston, and together they have identified ingredients that may have a negative impact “on the environment or on our customers,” and they are working to remove them by the end of 2018. Of the three problematic ingredients, the statement from Loblaw ... Read More »

Home-buying intentions high, especially among first-time buyers

More data, this time from RBC, indicate that buying a home is on for a lot of younger Canadians in the coming year or two. Earlier this week, the mortgage industry released its own survey results (see “Intense interest in housing market among first-time buyers” here on showing that younger, first-time homebuyers form the largest market segment in Canada, accounting for 45 per cent of sales in the past two years. RBC’s results are virtually identical. It found that 44 per cent of those who intend to buy in the coming year or two are first-time buyers, 4 per cent more than last year. The number is even higher ... Read More »

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