Countries With The Most ‘House’ Per Person

Date: December 22nd, 2012

Canada is a big country and apparently, we like our space! Here are the top 15 countries with the most rooms per person.

1. Canada – 2.5 rooms
2. Australia – 2.4 rooms
3. Belgium – 2.3 rooms
4. New Zealand – 2.3 rooms
5. United States – 2.3 rooms
6. Irelan – 2.1 rooms
7. Netherlands – 2.0 rooms
8. Spain – 1.9 rooms
9. Denmark – 1.9 rooms
10. Finland – 1.9 rooms
11. Luxembourg – 1.9 rooms
12. Norway – 1.9 rooms
13. Sweden – 1.8 rooms
14. United Kingdom – 1.8 rooms
15. Japan – 1.8 rooms

BoC keeps rate at 1%, sees economy as mildly weaker

Date: December 4th, 2012

Julian Beltrame, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – The Bank of Canada is keeping its trendsetting interest rate anchored at one per cent for the remainder of the year and sending a message that it still believes the cost of borrowing will go up at some point in the future.

The decision by the central bank’s policy setting panel was in line with the expectations of markets and economists, who had given only low odds to governor Mark Carney removing a mild bias towards raising rates sometime.

The dollar gained strength after the announcement. It was up 0.19 of a cent to 100.7 cents U.S. — slightly higher than just prior to the central bank’s announcement.

The bank’s statement Tuesday acknowledged the economy is weaker than it expected, but suggested it is mostly looking through the soft patch as a temporary aberration.

Last week, Statistics Canada reported the country’s gross domestic product output had slowed to 0.6 per cent — about half what the bank had predicted in October, and the weakest result in more than a year.

“Although underlying momentum appears slightly softer than previously anticipated, the pace of economic growth is expected to pick up through 2013,” the bank stated.

Tying improved conditions to 2013 suggests Carney, who has announced his intention to step down in June to take charge of the Bank of England, now realizes the economy is unlikely to live up to his 2.5 per cent hopes in the fourth quarter as well.

Bank of Montreal deputy chief economist Doug Porter added Carney has no choice but to await the outcome of ongoing “fiscal cliff” negotiations in Washington designed to head off automatic tax increases and spending cuts in January. Policy-makers have calculated the shock could be enough to send both the U.S. and Canada back into recession.

“I think the bank is hedging their bets on the expected upturn of the Canadian economy,” Porter explained.

“We could have the Republicans and Democrats holding hands and singing Kumbaya and the markets would have a tremendous rally and the economy could come flying out of the gate in 2013. The opposite is that we get a bit of a train wreck.”

As it is, Carney said the uncertainty over whether Washington will be able to avoid figuratively going over the cliff is already impacting the economy, another reason for looking through the current weakness.

Retaining the bias for higher rates — even as the economy softens — serves Carney’s purpose of reminding consumers not to count on super-low rates indefinitely.

In a bit of a surprise, he said he is not as yet convinced the recent cooling in housing activity in Canada, and slowdown in credit accumulation, represents a fundamental shift, indicating he remains concerned about the downside risk of keeping rates low for a very long time.

On Monday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he was pleased housing was moderating and that Canadians were starting to pay off debt, a shift in the credit and mortgage market he attributed in part to his decision to tighten borrowing rules in July.

Carney said, however: “It is too early … to determine whether the moderation in housing activity and credit will be sustained.”

While the central bank appears to be waiting for the trend to take hold, Scotiabank economist Derek Holt expects Carney will have all the evidence he needs by spring or summer, when the housing correction “starts as a steep plunge in new condo sales.”

“As housing leads the downsides, I think the consumer picture may not lead growth as much as the BoC seems to be hoping,” he said.

Otherwise, not much has changed in the past month or so, the bank says. Europe is still in recession, the U.S. is recovering but at a gradual pace and Chinese growth appears to be stabilizing. If there is good news for Canada in all this, it’s that commodity prices have remained elevated, which helps the country’s terms of trade.

The decision Tuesday was the 18th consecutive time Carney has kept the policy rate at one per cent, comprising over two years, the longest stretch of stability since the 1950s.

30% Off Ontario Tuition

Date: November 30th, 2012

Ontario is now offering up to 30 percent off tuitions for Ontario students.  Money you don’t have to repay for students entering a public college or university from high school. If you’ve already applied for OSAP, you’ll be automatically considered for the 30% off tuition grant, too!

You could be eligible for 30% off tuition, if:

  • you’re a full-time student at a public college or university in Ontario
  • you’ve been out of high school for less than four years
  • you’re in a program you can apply to directly from high school (e.g., undergraduate level)
  • you meet the citizenship and residency requirements
  • your parents’ gross income (total before taxes) is $160,000 or less.

How to apply

You can apply right now. The 2012-2013 tuition grant application is open.

Applying for OSAP? Great.  You’ve already done the work and don’t need to apply again. You’ll be automatically considered for 30% Off Ontario Tuition.

For more information see:

Hiway in China Built Around A House

Date: November 27th, 2012

This has to fall to under the bizarre real estate news category. Homeowners Luo Baogen and his wife refused to allow the government to demolish their home in Wenling, Zhejiang province, China, claiming the relocation compensation offered was not enough to cover the cost of rebuilding. So, adjacent neighbouring homes were dismantled and the road was built around the intact home.

Whether or not they made the right decision, this would not happen in Canada. In Canada the home owners would be forcibly removed through expropriation and compensated at what the government deems as fair. CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) is lobbying the conservative government to make changes to ‘partial takings’. This is where the government is allowed to expropriate part of Canadians property without compensation and deem the property (you owned) as restricted land.

Canada’s Top 100 Neighbourhoods

Date: October 30th, 2012

Canadian Real Estate magazine has compiled a list of their top 100 neighbourhoods in Canada to invest in for 2013. This list is alphabetical by province then alphabetical by city and town. It is not an ordered list from 1 to 100.

City/TownNeighbourhood Avg PriceCapital GrowthVacancy Rate
ChestermereDowntown area$435,0003.57%n/a
Grand PrairieRoyal Oaks$330,705-2.70%1.1%
LethbridgeWest Lethbridge$250,123-0.60%0.3%
Medicine HatDesert Blume Estates$350,0009.90%7.0%
Red DeerSunnybrook$332,0006.30%2.5%
St. AlbertNorth Ridge$525,80010.00%0.5%
Strathcona CountryArdossan$399,4723.00%4.7%
Wood BuffaloFort McMurray$484,85016.30%10.8%
British Columbia    
AbbotsfordMill Lake$340,000-0.30%6.7%
BurnabyNorth Burnaby$1,000,0004.00%0.5%
ChilliwackChilliwack Proper$343,00011.95%4.1%
CoquitlamCoquitlam Town Centre$507,5003.00%3.0%
Dawson CreekCentral Dawson Creek$268,30925.00%3.2%
DeltaNorth Delta$864,5008.00%1.2%
KelownaKelona North$468,4822.60%3.0%
LangleySouth Langley$699,0009.20%3.5%
Maple RidgeCentral East$500,0001.67%2.0%
NanaimoOld City Quarter of Nanaimo$360,0072.00%7.0%
New WestministerSapperton$799,82438.30%2.9%
North VancouverLower Lonsdale$654,5003.90%0.5%
Port CoquitlamNorthern Oxford Heights$561,0001.90%3.0%
Prince GeorgeThe Bowl District$240,5610.00%2.0%
SaanichGordon Head$490,0001.40%1.0%
SurreySouth Surrey$699,0005.70%3.7%
BrandonValley View$203,4385.56%0.7%
WinnipegNorth Kildonan$269,175n/a1.0%
New Brunswick    
FrederictonGolf Club/Woodstock Road$170,5632.90%3.8%
Saint JohnMilledgeville$180,000-2.00%8.0%
ParadiseDowntown Centre$327,7744.50%1.2%
St. John’sMount Pearl$280,0004.00%3.5%
Nova Scotia    
Cape BrentonBaddeck$212,5002.40%4.5%
ReginaFairways West$430,0003.00%0.6%
SaskatoonVarsity View$369,0002.50%3.1%
Swift CurrentDowntown Core$240,0003.70%2.8%
AjaxNorth of Rossland + Salem Rds$333,3935.87%2.0%
BarrieDowntown Core$302,9055.40%1.7%
BramptonFletcher’s Creek Village$383,0006.89%1.4%
BrantfordDowntown Brantford$251,6545.10%1.3%
BurlingtonDowntown Burlington$385,0002.80%n/a
Chatham-KentDowntown Core$142,000n/a4.4%
Great SudburyNew Sudbury$234,20217.00%3.1%
GuelphSt. Patrick’s Ward$294,0005.00%1.0%
Halton HillsGeorgetown South$520,0005.90%1.6%
HamiltonNorth End Hamilton$215,6758.50%2.9%
Kawartha LakesTown of Lindsay$257,5001.00%4.1%
KingstonNW of Queens$412,000-0.10%n/a
KitchenerVictoria Park$303,8967.10%2.0%
LondonNorth London$260,17211.10%3.7%
MississaugaChurchill Meadows$410,0009.00%1.3%
NewmarketYonge St. North of Davis Drive$449,2044.30%1.0%
Niagara FallsDowntown Niagara Falls$213,0323.40%n/a
Norfolk CountyWaterford$203,000n/an/a
North BayDowntown North Bay$290,0003.40%2.4%
OakvilleCentral Oakville$560,000-1.80%1.2%
OshawaNorth Oshawa$252,588n/an/a
PeterboroughDowntown Core$257,400n/a3.5%
PickeringNautical Village$380,0008.90%0.6%
Richmond HillEssex Ave Area$595,0008.20%0.8%
SarniaBright’s Grove$221,295n/a5.0%
Sault Ste. MarieDowntown$149,4400.64%1.0%
St. CatharinesGlenridge/Glendale$223,0062.30%3.2%
Thunder BaySherwood Estates$333,0009.10%1.5%
WaterlooDowntown Waterloo$512,40010.70%1.2%
WhitbyNorth Whitby$269,8525.87%2.0%
Whitechurch-StouvilleMain Street$538,88817.15%1.0%
BlainvilleChambery District$416,2132.00%2.0%
BrossardC sector around Quartier DIX30$216,7045.00%n/a
GranbyLe Jardin de l’Odyssee$286,40414.00%2.8%
LavalRiviere des Prairies$426,6667.00%2.5%
LevisDowntown Area$160,907n/a2.2%
LongueuilVictoria Bridge$235,0199.80%3.6%
MontrealCote Saint-Luc$425,0001.40%2.5%
Quebec CitySillery$284,3151.10%0.7%
RepentignyChemin Du Roy$195,9193.70%2.8%
Saint-HyaintheBourg Joli$240,000-11.00%2.1%
Saint-Jean-sur-RichelieuRue McInnis area$273,2853.30%1.2%
SherbrookeRue de verdun$187,5002.90%0.8%
TerrebonneRiviere Des Mille-lles$232,0607.50%2.0%
Trois-RivieresRue de L’anse$181,03914.30%3.8%