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November 29, 2022 | One Fell Swoop of The Pen

Last week we highlighted some recent data from Desjardins which noted that nearly every borrower who took out a fixed payment variable rate mortgage during the pandemic now owes more in interest than their original fixed payment. Trigger rates galore. It appears the Bank of Canada is finally coming around to the same conclusion. In a research […]

November 21, 2022 | The House ATM Doesn’t Work Like it Used To

No bottom yet. Data published by CREA last week showed national house prices slid lower in the month of October, dropping 1.2% month-over-month. The national home price index is now down 15% since peaking in March earlier this year, the steepest correction on record since the index was created in 2005. Just for comparison sake, […]

November 1, 2022 | Runaway Freight Trains

The Bank of Canada raised rates by another 50bps this past week, pushing prime rate to 5.95% and inflicting more pain on variable rate mortgage holders. We’ll circle back to that in a second. What’s important to note here is markets were fully pricing in a 75bps rate hike from the Bank of Canada and […]

October 25, 2022 | The Beatings Will Continue

Inflation in Canada slowed less than expected, growing by 6.9% year-over-year in September, economist expectations were at 6.7%. A small miss that will have big ramifications. Markets immediately repriced Bank of Canada rate hike odds for October 26th, now expecting another jumbo 75bps rate hike. In other words, the beatings will continue until morale improves. […]

October 17, 2022 | Faulty Models & Mortgage Fraud

The closely watched US Consumer price index surprised to the upside last week. Consumer prices rose by 0.4% in September, and while inflation is decelerating, down to 8.2% year-over-year, it remains extremely elevated. The recent advance was broad based, with Shelter, food and medical care being the largest contributors. Shelter inflation is surging, at least […]

October 11, 2022 | Waiting For a Pivot

More housing data trickling out of Canada’s two largest major metros. Greater Vancouver home sales fell 46% year-over-year. It was one of the slowest Septembers on record, other than 2008, 2012, and 2018. Prices are still moving lower, albeit mostly in suburban markets which saw excessive price gains during the pandemic. For example, the median […]

September 26, 2022 | Getting Aligned

Another massive week in the rates market with the US Federal Reserve jacking rates up another 75bps. While this was expected, it was the stark comments from Jerome Powell that really shook markets. Powell basically, in a polite way, said Americans need to endure some economic pain, including job loss, to slow demand and get […]

September 19, 2022 | Bringing Down The House

Higher interest rates continue to slow the nations housing market. National home sales, as reported by CREA, fell 25% year-over-year in the month of August. It was also the sixth consecutive monthly decline in home sales. While new listings remain weak as sellers resist selling at recent valuations, inventory is still climbing and prices continue […]

September 14, 2022 | Hellbent on Flatlining the Economy

As expected, the Bank of Canada raised interest rates another 75bps this past week. The overnight rate is now up a whopping 300bps year to date, the quickest tightening of monetary policy on a percentage basis since the 1980’s. While there was no additional commentary from BoC Governor Tiff Macklem, the official press release notes, […]

September 6, 2022 | Bear Market in Housing Continues

Canada’s second quarter GDP came in at 3.3% annualized rate, below economists forecasts of 4.4% and below the Bank of Canada’s own estimate of 4%. While weaker than expected, that won’t prevent the Bank of Canada from delivering a super sized rate hike this week on September 07th. Markets are still pricing in a 75bps […]

August 29, 2022 | Floating Rates

Canadian banks reported quarterly earnings this past week. One thing was clear, loan loss provisions are increasing, albeit from very low levels. Banks are preparing for more turbulence ahead, as highlighted by comments from Canada’s largest bank, RBC. The bank says interest rate hikes may trigger higher monthly payments for 80,000 customers with variable rate mortgages. […]

August 23, 2022 | Housing and Soft Landings

Inflation has likely peaked from a rate of change perspective, dropping to 7.6% year-over-year in July, down from 8.1% in June. However, we are far from out of the woods. What’s interesting here are the comments from Bank of Canada Governor, Tiff Macklem, immediately following the release. It’s not often you see the Bank of […]

August 16, 2022 | No Renewal For You

Desjardins is joining a growing chorus of housing bears, calling for further price declines in the nations housing market this year. The bank is now calling for a 25% drop from peak to trough in the average sales price nationally. Keep in mind the average sales price is skewed predominantly by the GTA, and a change […]

August 8, 2022 | No New Couches

As discussed last week, our early indicators pointed to Greater Vancouver home sales falling to a 22 year low in home sales for July. The Real Estate board has officially confirmed the precipitous decline. July sales were also 35% below the ten year average, and the typical price of a home is now down 4.5% […]

August 3, 2022 | Bond Yields are Responding

The worlds most important central bank, the US Federal Reserve, raised rates another 75bps this past week. The following day, second quarter GDP contracted 0.9%, marking the second straight quarter of contracting economic growth. While policy makers are not officially calling it a recession, we are arguably in one already. As highlighted by the always […]

July 25, 2022 | Historic Correction Underway

Another month, another record inflation print. Canada’s CPI inflation printed 8.1%, the highest level since January 1983. The silver lining is this was actually lower than market expectations of 8.4%, sending bond yields lower on the premise that inflation is likely peaking and a recession is becoming nearly inevitable if we aren’t in one already. […]

July 18, 2022 | Front Loading

Another month, another jumbo sized rate hike from the Bank of Canada. Tiff Macklem and crew surprised markets with a 100bps rate hike, the largest move since 1998 when the central bank was trying to support a weak Loonie. It was just two years ago when the Bank of Canada was rather irresponsible in encouraging […]

July 4, 2022 | Flushed Down the Toilet

As per Stats Canada, activity at the offices of real estate agents and brokers dropped 15.0% in April, the largest contraction since April 2020. That was in April, so you can only imagine how the data will look in the coming months. Recent sales figures in Canada’s two largest major metros suggest this bear market […]

June 27, 2022 | Cash for Renters

Another month, another record inflation print here in the Great White North. Headline inflation in Canada ticked up to 7.7% year-over-year in May, a 39 year high. Shelter, which is the largest component of the CPI basket also moved higher, up 7.4% from last year. Of course if you’re relocating in the rental market or […]

June 20, 2022 | News Economically Unfeasible

Over the past several weeks regular readers of this newsletter have heard me rant about the impending slowdown in the development space. A combo of rising financing costs and still elevated construction costs makes for a rather terrible risk/reward ratio for home builders. In fact, it makes some projects economically unfeasible. Mainstream media is now […]

June 13, 2022 | The Great Moderation

Another week, another bump higher in borrowing costs. The Canada 5 year bond yield ripped again, climbing above 3.3%, the highest reading since March 2008. Last time rates were this high bad things happened. As has been the theme of this newsletter for the past month or so, I continue to believe this is a […]

June 6, 2022 | Soft Landings

The Bank of Canada raised interest rates another 50bps this past week, signalling more pain to come. The overnight rate sits at 150bps, just shy of where the Bank of Canada got stopped out in 2019. Markets are still pricing in another 150bps of additional tightening this year, which suggests the overnight rate will sit […]

May 31, 2022 | Appraisers are Skittish

More monetary tightening is heading our way this week with the Bank of Canada fully expected to hike interest rates another 50bps on Wednesday. Assuming they do indeed hike rates by 50bps on Wednesday, Markets are still pricing in another 125bps of tightening by the end of the year. Of course, much of this depends […]

May 16, 2022 | The Rout is On

It was another volatile week for financial markets. Nearly $11 trillion was erased from global equity values. If you start adding the bond and crypto markets we have $35 trillion in wealth that has evaporated. I’m often asked where is all the money coming from? How are people coming up with the down payments for […]

May 9, 2022 | Payment Shock for Some

We need higher rates to moderate demand, including demand in the housing market. Housing price growth is unsustainably strong in Canada. That was the message from senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, Carolyn Rogers this past week. Yes, the central banks continues to talk up further rate hikes, with the goal of slowing […]

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