OTTAWA - CMHC says housing and related spending continues to be a major pillar of Canada's economy.
The federal housing agency says more than 20 per cent of Canada's economy is related to spending on homes.
After surprising growth in 2011, Greater Vancouver real estate prices will rise just two per cent in 2102, Canada Mortgage and Housing is forecasting.
In 2011, CHMC predicted price growth of just three per cent, tempered by an expectation of higher interest rates, but interest rates stayed low and prices ultimately jumped 16 to 17 per cent.
In 2012, the market will stabilize and show modest growth in line with inflation, said Robyn Adamache, senior market analyst with CMHC in Vancouver.
Statistics Canada recently reported that the Canadian economy was stagnant in October, driven in part by declines in construction.
However, economists are optimistic that the national economy will expand in the last quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of this year.
“This report was broadly in line with expectations, although the mix was surprising, with manufacturing up and wholesale down,” said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Financial Group.
You buy a duplex, get a mortgage, find tenants and collect monthly rent cheques. What could be easier?
With stock and bond markets spinning their wheels, many Canadians are looking for alternative places to park their money. And while buying an investment property might seem like a good way to diversify, you should do your homework before jumping into the housing market.
“Real estate investing is not for everyone,” says Vancouver-based Don Campbell, president of the Real Estate Investment Network.
Canada’s housing boom is among the most long-lived in the Western world at 13 years, but the next few years could chip away at the gains that have seen the average house increase in value by 85 per cent since 1998.
In a report released Tuesday that said the Canadian housing market was the strongest in the developed world in the third quarter, Bank of Nova Scotia economists said “the slow pace of the global economic recovery, intensifying sovereign debt concerns, weak consumer confidence and high unemployment all continue to weigh on residential property markets” in 10 countries it tracks.
The Canadian economy has outperformed its southern neighbour in terms of GDP growth for the past six years. But according to a new report from economists at BMO Capital Markets, that win streak is about to come to an end.
BMO's Douglas Porter expects GDP growth in Canada to come in at 2 percent in 2012 compared to a forecast of 2.2-percent growth for the U.S. economy.
"The growth gap drivers have been consumer spending and housing," Porter says in a recent note to clients. "On both fronts, it appears that the extended period of faster growth in Canada is in danger."
I never really believed in economic forecasting. First of all, the forecasters tend to be wrong at least half of the time or they only commit to the vaguest predictions.
For instance, just a few weeks ago, I received an economic bulletin by a reputable firm stating that there was a 50% chance that there would be a recession in 2012 ... and a 50% chance that there wouldn't be one!
Now, if you want to believe that 2012 will be a reasonably good year in terms of economic growth, here are some arguments to support your thesis.
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada will likely see a second year of modest economic growth in 2012, but is highly vulnerable to turmoil in Europe, the United States and elsewhere, some of Canada's top economists predicted on Thursday.
The country, which fared better than most major Western economies in the global financial crisis, could also lag U.S. growth for the first time since the recession.
But economists with Canada's biggest banks warned forecasting is tougher than usual given uneven global growth, the impact of ultra-low interest rates and foreign political uncertainty.
An increase in part-time work offset a loss of 26,000 full-time jobs in Canada in December — but it wasn't enough to stop the unemployment rate from ticking higher to 7.5 per cent.
Statistics Canada said the unemployment rate climbed by 0.1 percentage points despite the increase of 18,000 jobs because more Canadians were looking for work than in November.
This is the first offering from Matthew Fisher's new regular column for Postmedia News. Each week, he will be featured in the Tuesday, Friday and Sunday editions.
One persistent Canadian myth is that the country has a marvellous international reputation.
It is true that Canada for many years did all it could to be on the side of the angels.
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