27 January 2014
Variable rate mortgages, lines of credit and/or student loans are all based on the Prime Rate and here is your personal update from me on the recent Bank of Canada announcement on changes to their Overnight Rate which in most cases impacts your Prime Rate.
At 10:00 am EST, Wednesday January 22nd, 2014 the Bank of Canada again did what we expected them to do … they continued to maintain their overnight rate. What this means to you is that once again the prime rate on your mortgage, line of credit or student loan will not change and remains at 3.00%. This is fabulous news but don’t forget to make the most of the low payments you still have, as the rate will increase in the future. If you haven’t done so already, give me a call and we can chat about helping you get set up with a great GIC, Tax Free Savings Account, or Retirement Savings Plan as your payments continue to remain low. So did you, or someone you know, blow their budget over the holiday season and have started to get those dreaded credit card bills in and the reality is starting to sink in... let me help you get back on track with a review of your financial situation which might be a savings plan, credit counselling or debt consolidation to pay off high interest loans or credit cards. If you would like to chat about some budgeting and saving strategies – let me know as I would be happy to assist.
Here is an excerpt of the announcement from the Bank of Canada and what they had to say about their decision today:
“Inflation in Canada has moved further below the 2% target, owing largely to significant excess supply in the economy and heightened competition in the retail sector. Global growth is expected to strengthen over the next two years with the US leading this acceleration, aided by diminishing fiscal drag, accommodative monetary policy and stronger household balance sheets. The improving U.S. outlook is affecting global bond, equity, and currency markets. Growth in other regions is evolving largely as projected. In Canada, growth improved in the second half of 2013. However, there have been few signs of the anticipated rebalancing towards exports and business investment. Stronger U.S. demand, as well as the recent depreciation of the Canadian dollar, should help to boost exports and, in turn, business confidence and investment”.
Based on this news, the Bank still does not expect to increase their rate in the foreseeable future with any change most likely to occur late 2014 or even not until 2015! Remember, that any increase to the prime rate since 1992 has only been by 0.25% at any ONE time, so you won’t see a large significant increase all at once.
Fixed rates dropped just slightly since the last announcement to around 3.39% to 3.59% for a five year fixed term.
Based on this recent announcement, and the anticipation that the prime rate will still remain low for a while now, unless you feel otherwise, I’d recommend that you remain with your current variable rate product as the interest is lower than a fixed term rate right now. However, if having a fixed payment is important to you, call me so I can calculate what your new payment would look like and also if it is suitable for you. The next announcement on any change to the prime rate is March 5th, 2014 at which time I’ll be in touch again.
I wonder if I can ask a favour – this is a great time for first time home buyers who are thinking of purchasing in the Spring to start with a pre-approval plan now to get them on track and save unnecessary interest. Also if you hear a friend or family member talk about going thru a financially tough time – maybe I can help with some budgeting and debt consolidation options for them. In either of these cases, would you mind passing my contact information on to them – this is very much appreciated.
Have a great day!!
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10 January 2014
Data Release: The Canadian labour market ends 2013 on a very soft note
- The Canadian labour market lost 46K net new positions in December, well off from the small gain the market had been expecting.
- With more people looking for work, the unemployment rate increased to 7.2% – the metric had previously been under the 7.0%-mark for three months in a row.
- Job contraction in December was exclusively registered in full-time positions (-60K); part-time spots saw an increase in 14K.
- The private sector (-26K) and the self-employed (-38K) posted declines, but the public sector (+18K) avoided the same fate.
- Health care and social assistance was the only industry to create net new positions in December. Educational services (-19K) and other services (-15) were two notable entries in the loser’s column.
- The story was mixed at the regional level. Four provinces managed to post net new job creation, with British Columbia scoring the best (+13K). By contrast, Ontario (-39K) and Alberta (+12K) saw jobs slip through their fingertips. To add salt to the wound, Ontario also saw its unemployment rate increase by 0.7 percentage points. It now sits at 7.9%.
- The average hourly wage rate decelerated to 0.5% in December, on a year-over-year basis, the slowest pace seen in five months.
- Annual figures confirm that 2013 was a lacklustre year for the record books:
a total of 102,000 net new positions were generated, or 8,500 per month;
98% of all the jobs created in 2013 were in the service-producing sectors;
the unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points from January to December, although there has been much volatility in the months in between; and.
part-time employment grew by 2.5%, whereas full-time employment flat-lined.
- The Canadian labour market ended 2013 on a very soft note. Not only was the headline contraction in December sizeable, but the losses were broad-based across industries and exclusively seen in full-time positions. This was not the trifecta that economists were hoping for.
- If we take a step back and look at the year as whole, 2013 was certainly nothing to write home about. Employment growth for the year as a whole was a mere 0.6%, the slowest pace recorded in four years. The labour force participation rate also fell, as the labour force grew at a slower rate than the overall population.
- While the labour market ended 2013 with a loud thud, December’s poor showing was likely a one-off versus a new norm. The economic indicators to date suggest that the Canadian economy will grow by roughly 2-2.5% in 2013Q4. The underlying momentum will likely encourage employers to once again add to their payrolls, albeit at a modest rate of roughly 10-15,000 positions per month.
Sonya Gulati, Senior Economist
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9 January 2014
Mortgage Alliance Oac Mortgages
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