Vancouver tops cost of living survey
Vancouver is Canada’s most expensive city to live in according to an annual poll. Mercer's 2014 Cost of Living Survey studies 200 cities worldwide and ranks them on criteria including the cost of frequently purchased goods and services. Toronto, Montreal and Calgary also make the list but overall Canada has dropped down the survey due to the weakened dollar in the last year and price rises in New York which is the base city for the report. Vancouver now sits at 96 in the list, down 32 places from last year. Luanda in Angola topped the survey for the second year in a row. Read the full story.
Hamilton feels the heat
Talk of the hot housing market usually centers around Calgary or Toronto but Hamilton is fast growing in popularity. As the major markets become increasingly unaffordable, the Ontario city known for its steel mills has been steadily moving up in buyers’ choices over the last 5 years. Prices have been growing by 8 per cent a year since 2010 but are still relatively affordable. Realtors note that many buyers are moving out of the Greater Toronto area and see Hamilton as an attractive option, not least because they get a lot more for their money. With a new railway station set to provide better transportation to Toronto it is even more appealing to commuters. Read the full story.
Interest rates to stay low until autumn 2015
A poll of economists shows that they do not expect to see a change in interest rates until the second half of next year. The analysts say that the economy is recovering but is still ‘fragile’ so any rise in rates is unlikely until the third quarter of next year. There has been speculation that the rate may actually be decreased in the short term but this is now not expected as the economic picture is optimistic. There is still concern over the employment figures but the housing market is showing signs of the predicted soft landing, quelling fears of a housing bubble that could be about to burst. The hope is that as the heat comes out of real estate we will see a boost in exports giving better stability to the economy. Read the full story.
US mortgage rates increase
South of the border mortgage rates are on the rise, as job creation boosts the economy. The average 30 year loan in the US is now at 4.15 per cent, up from 4.12 per cent. The Labor Department’s employment figures last week were better than expected which pushed up yields for government bonds that guide mortgage rates. The increase in mortgage rates is lower than it would be though if the Federal Reserve were not buying mortgage backed securities and treasuries with the intention of keeping rates lower. Read the full story.