Flaherty says Canada house market shows moderation

(Reuters) – Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Monday he continues to monitor the country’s housing market, which has some “hot spots”, but said the situation remained stable.

“We have seen some moderation in the housing market in Canada,” Flaherty told reporters after a speech in Toronto. “There are a couple of hot spots in the country, including Vancouver, the condo market in Vancouver, but overall I’m satisfied that there is some moderation in the market.”

Last week, housing figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) showed home resale prices slipped 0.6 percent in May from April, partly because of the effect of stricter mortgage rules that came into effect in the spring. It was the first full month of data that reflected the new rules.

To try to prevent the housing market problems that led other countries into financial crisis, and to curb rising household debt levels, the government has tightened mortgage rules three times since 2008.

The CREA data showed Vancouver’s hot market again had a big influence in May on the average national price, which rose 8.6 percent from a year earlier to C$376,817 ($384,507). The price gain is similar to those of the past several months, due to very high prices in some Vancouver neighborhoods and broad gains in Toronto.

Flaherty said there were no plans to take further action on mortgage rules, having just introduced the latest set, which took aim at mortgage amortization and refinancing. http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/Flaherty-says-Canada-house-reuters-3810404722.html

Canadians slid further into debt in first quarter; credit outpaces income growth

The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Statistics Canada says Canadian households slid deeper into debt in the first quarter as the use of credit outpaced income growth.

The ratio of household debt to disposable income rose to 149.47 per cent from 147.64 a year earlier.

That means Canadians owe $1.49 for every after-tax dollar they earn.

Credit market debt grew by 1.3 per cent in the quarter, while personal disposable income grew by 0.7 per cent.

Mortgage debt grew, as Canadians continued to take advantage of historically low interest rates.

However, the increase in consumer credit debt slowed along with lower household spending.


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