Why the mortgage stress test makes perfect sense

What’s wrong with protecting people from financial default? What's wrong with cooling housing prices?

Why the mortgage stress test makes perfect senseThis is a true story from just before the recession earlier this century. It helps illustrate why Canada's mortgage stress test makes so much sense. A newly-married and very well-heeled couple wanted two homes – one in California and one in British Columbia. Getting financing for the California home was no problem. All the funding…

Why Canadians are suffering a bankruptcy spike

Interest rate hikes, housing costs, rising taxes and stagnating wages are all crucial. We need to address these problems

Why Canadians are suffering a bankruptcy spikeWhat can't happen won't happen. If incomes are stagnant while taxes, prices and interest rates rise, people will fail to pay their debts – as is the case for 120,000 Canadians every year. The long-term buildup of urban house prices had already made people financially vulnerable and consumer insolvencies in Canada increased by 9.2 per…

One-quarter of Canadians didn’t save a penny in 2018

There's no better time to tighten the fiscal purse strings than when interest rates are on the rise: BMO

One-quarter of Canadians didn’t save a penny in 2018Here’s a scary thought on the state of household finances in Canada. A new report released on Tuesday by BMO said one-quarter of Canadians didn’t save a penny in 2018 as Canadian household credit burdens keep creeping higher. “The current environment is putting some pressure on Canadians' finances, making it more difficult for them to…

Single Canadians reluctant to buy homes

RE/MAX survey shows economic uncertainty and expensive home prices are the biggest factors

Single Canadians reluctant to buy homesA national survey of single Canadians indicates they’re reluctant to purchase a home. According to the RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger and released on Tuesday, 52 per cent of single Canadians said economic uncertainty and expensive home prices are the biggest factors impacting their decision not to purchase a home on their own. The survey…

CPP takes bigger bite from Canadians

But much of the justification for expanding the pension plan is debatable or downright wrong

CPP takes bigger bite from CanadiansBy Jason Clemens, Jake Fuss and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute Canadians likely noticed that their first paycheque of 2019 was slightly smaller than in 2018, even if they got a raise. The decline in after-tax income is because the first of several tax increases to finance an expanded Canada Pension Plan (CPP) took effect…

Consumer spending growth lowest in four years

This is a trend we expect to continue throughout 2019: Moneris Solutions Corp.

Consumer spending growth lowest in four yearsConsumer spending in Canada rose by three per cent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2018. That marked the lowest increase for the year and the lowest quarterly growth in four years, according to Moneris Solutions Corp., Canada's largest processor of debit and credit payments. Quebec and British Columbia saw above-average increases of…

CPP contribution hikes penalize workers, dampen the economy

When the government makes employment more expensive, the sure result is fewer jobs

CPP contribution hikes penalize workers, dampen the economyThe federal government began 2019 by taking a bigger bite out of workers’ paycheques: the combined employer and employee Canada Pension Plan payroll tax rose from 9.9 per cent of earnings to 10.2 per cent. It’s the first of five annual payroll tax hikes. By the time the CPP tax hike is fully phased in, a…

Provinces, municipalities key to avoiding housing bubble

Zoning, building codes and construction trade regulations all fall under the jurisdiction of these governments

Provinces, municipalities key to avoiding housing bubbleRecently, the Bank of Canada voiced concerns about the Canadian economy, leading it to slash outlooks on future trends. One of the issues contributing to this pessimistic stance is the condition of housing markets in Canada. Housing construction activity and prices are falling after a long period of price increases that fuelled claims of a…

Navigating the cannabis cultivation question when buying real estate

Ryan DeLuca of the Calgary Real Estate Board talks about what a buyer can ask and what a seller must disclose about pot

Navigating the cannabis cultivation question when buying real estateRyan DeLuca is supervisor of training and compliance, member practice, with the Calgary Real Estate Board. What are the biggest potential impacts to the residential housing market of the legalization of cannabis? DeLuca: For some buyers, cannabis cultivation in a property may affect their ability to secure financing or homeowner’s insurance on that property. Some…

Charitable giving as a share of income plunges in Canada

Who would have thought the Grinch was Canadian? Of the 15 least-generous jurisdictions in North America, 12 are in Canada

Charitable giving as a share of income plunges in CanadaThe amount of money Canadians donate to registered charities – as a share of their income – has plummeted 32.2 per cent since 2006, according to a new report released Thursday by the Fraser Institute, a public policy think-tank. “Canadians continue to donate less and less every year, which means charities face greater challenges to…

Enjoy a glittering Christmas that stays within your budget

Whether tough times force your hand or you just want to start January without a credit card bill, you can still enjoy a glittering, happy holiday season

Enjoy a glittering Christmas that stays within your budgetWhat if I told you that ‘cutting corners’ can transform Christmas from a hectic, stressful money drain into a joyous, energizing experience? I understand if you are skeptical, but let me show you how it is possible to save money at the same time you enjoy a sumptuous, all the trimmings holiday season. The secret…

Housing collapse in Canada unlikely

Significant differences between Canada today and the 2008-2009 U.S. housing market crash: CPA Canada report

Housing collapse in Canada unlikelyThe biggest risk to Canada’s housing market has always been its most obvious risk: a high household debt-to-income ratio. A report released on Monday by CPA Canada (Chartered Professional Accountants Canada) cited a recent Bank of Canada study estimating that the total household debt-to-income ratio exceeds a record 170 per cent. But it also says…

Increasing consumer debt and rising interest rates worrisome

Rising rates will lead to less consumer spending and impact Canada’s economy and business growth

Increasing consumer debt and rising interest rates worrisomeRising interest rates combined with near record high consumer debt levels are expected to increase the number of Canadian consumers who will be forced into insolvency over the next year, warns the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (CAIRP). The association says historically there has been about a two-year lag between the time interest…

CRTC wants to tax Internet users to subsidize content creators

What does and doesn’t stream over the Internet is none of the CRTC’s business

CRTC wants to tax Internet users to subsidize content creatorsSometime in the not too distant future, everyone who subscribes to the Internet should have to pay more to ensure more secure jobs and incomes for Canadian content creators whose lives have been disrupted by the Internet. That’s the pitch being made by Canada’s telecom and broadcast regulator to the federal government as it looks…

A will gives you control of your affairs after your death

Sandy Lyons of Grant Thornton Ltd. explains that, when you die without a will, any prior verbal wishes to family and next of kin can be set aside

A will gives you control of your affairs after your deathSandy Lyons is a licensed insolvency trustee with Grant Thornton Ltd.’s consumer insolvency team in Calgary. Why do so many people not have a will? Lyons: It can be a matter of cost, not wanting to look at and plan for end of life, a lack of understanding and knowledge of what steps must be completed…