Housing affordability lies at the very heart of inequality

Government land-use regulations a principal source of this inequality

Housing affordability lies at the very heart of inequalityCanada’s housing affordability crisis is a matter of considerable concern, especially for young people trying to buy a house. The worst problems are in the Vancouver and Toronto markets with their excessive land-use regulation. Extensive international research associates stronger land-use regulation with diminished housing affordability. Vancouver and Toronto are experiencing substantial net migration of people…

It’s time for the government to sell or shut down CMHC

It’s unclear if the feds are doing higher-risk, lower-income mortgage debtors any real favours

It’s time for the government to sell or shut down CMHCJust a few months ago, a regular national discussion was about house prices and a lack of affordability. No longer. With house, townhouse and condominium prices cresting, imminent data may likely confirm serious price declines. Mortgage carrying costs are rising as interest rates and debt servicing costs climb. The mortgage qualifying threshold is receding rapidly…

Bad central bank policy has us heading toward a recession

The next few months may only bring stagnation but a full-blown recession is more likely

Bad central bank policy has us heading toward a recession‘Financial repression’ refers to governments or central banks, such as the Bank of Canada or the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, intervening in financial markets to suppress interest rates. Central banks have been intervening for nearly two years, causing a serious disruption in the financial markets. The official rates of the Bank of Canada and the Federal…

How to create more affordable housing to meet rising demand

Housing regulations often limit people to Tesla-level homes or nothing

How to create more affordable housing to meet rising demandI’m an economist, so I’m not flattered by those who say you could teach a parrot to be an economist. The bird would need to know only two words, the joke goes: supply and demand. When the supply of any good or service increases, its price goes down. If the supply decreases or is less…

Why oil and gas are fundamental to Canada

The $493 billion in oil and gas revenues paid to governments since 2000 is more than family allowance and children’s benefits since 1970

Why oil and gas are fundamental to CanadaBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Humans are wired to respond to stories that paint a relatable picture of an issue at hand. And those stories are easier to remember. If we repeat a Rex Murphy story about how out-of-work cod fishery workers from Newfoundland saved their homes and marriages by moving…

New research reveals what makes condos sell

Construction and design features matter more to buyers than price or age of properties, engineering researchers find

New research reveals what makes condos sellPhysical features such as construction materials, interior finishes and air conditioning are better determinants of how well a condo sells than price or building age, according to a University of Alberta study looking to pinpoint design-related features that increase the probability of a condo’s sale. “We’re trying to provide a framework through which builders can evaluate…

Mortgage misery awaits too many Canadian families

At the heart of the COVID-19 crisis sits the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. and its low-income borrowers

Mortgage misery awaits too many Canadian familiesThe shutdowns ordered by Canadian governments to slow the spread of COVID-19 have caused unemployment to leap. And put mortgages in peril. Many of the millions of workers laid off have been low-income and lower-middle-income earners. They’re just the sort of people who qualify for home mortgages insured by the federal Canada Mortgage and Housing…

Canadian homebuyers remain hopeful despite challenging market conditions

Canadian homebuyers remain hopeful despite challenging market conditionsAlthough real estate is what economists call a 'lagging indicator', it appears that the first signs of a real slowdown are starting to be felt, especially in Canada's largest housing markets. After the initial response to news about the spread of Covid-19, which entailed drops in traffic on real estate platforms like Point2 Homes and…

The homebuying season cut short by COVID-19 pandemic

The homebuying season cut short by COVID-19 pandemicAlthough the spring months usually represent the beginning of the homebuying season, this year the momentum of the housing market was cut short. What looked like an amazing start for both the ‘for sale’ and the ‘rental’ segments became a dream on hold for the majority of home seekers and renters in the country. Social…

Moving? Here are some practical vehicle options

From pickup trucks to minivans, what vehicle to rent, beg, borrow or even buy when you're moving - depending on the size of your home

Moving? Here are some practical vehicle optionsOn the fun scale, moving is right up there with looking for a job, root canal and shovelling snow off the driveway. And it’s made even worse if you don’t have the right vehicle (not to mention friends who have suddenly all left town). Borrowing your buddy’s hatchback and cramming it full of your stuff…