Carl Phin & Kim McLeod

By Robert Hiltz, Postmedia News

OTTAWA — It's not a bubble, it's a balloon. Unlike the catastrophic decline the U.S. housing market experienced in 2008, Canada's housing market is expected to deflate slowly rather than pop, according to BMO Capital Markets chief economist Sherry Cooper.


Cooper's report says that despite rising household debt, low interest rates and rising home prices, it is unlikely that a sudden correction will take place.


"The main take-away is that the national housing market appears somewhat pricey, but is far removed from bubble territory," Cooper said in the report, titled Will Canada's Housing Boom Forge On, Fizzle Out, or Flame Out?


The study, co-authored by BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri, says that despite rising home prices in most of Canada's major cities, that growth doesn't seem to be excessive.


On average, home prices have risen 104 per cent in the last 10 years. Along with that, the average price of a home has risen against...

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By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald

 Alberta’s economy is forecast to lead the country this year and next year, according to a report by TD Economics.

The provincial economic update also sees employment growth in Alberta topping Canada for 2012 and 2013 as well.

The TD Economics report predicts Alberta will see Real Gross Domestic Product growth of 2.6 per cent this year and 2.9 per cent in 2013 compared with 1.7 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively across the country.

Employment growth in the province is forecast to be 1.5 per cent this year and a further 1.8 per cent in 2013 compared with 0.8 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively across the country.

The positive economic report is good news for business owners in the province like Leah Layden of the Double ELLE Bakery in Calgary who has been open for business in the Ramsay neighbourhood for about a month.

“I’m brand new but the first month has gone well,” said Layden. “I’m the kind of person who...

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Edmonton Journal

By Ray Turchansky, Freelance

 Edmonton financial adviser Shawn Allen of Investors Friend Inc. has been prodding financial writers to lobby financial institutions to offer Canadians an "affordable" 30-year locked-in mortgage, insured and with minimum penalties for refinancing.

Allen argues that Americans can get 3.9 per cent mortgages locked in for 30 years, and can refinance relatively painlessly.

The idea raises two questions: Could it be possible in Canada? And is it prudent?

On the one hand, getting people into homes is deemed good for the economy, spurring spending and creating jobs. But on the other hand, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the International Monetary Fund, and most recently the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp., have warned that Canadians are already on the verge of drowning in household debt.

Mortgage lending rules have been tightened three times in the last two years, and many people feel that banks should...

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Edmonton, January 4, 2012: The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton reported that the all-residential average price for real estate sales through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in December was up 1.7% ($316,415) from a year ago. The average price of a single family detached home was also up 2.0% to $364,803 from December 2010. Relative to last December housing prices were up overall as well. As typical for December when sales usually fall off, month over month sales were down 27% and prices dipped 1.5% as compared to the November figures.


“With economic uncertainty impacting Europe and depressed housing markets in parts of the United States, it is a relief to report on the stability and health of the local real estate market,” said REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President (2011) Chris Mooney. “With prices and sales varying within a small range there is a solid base going forward into the 2012 market.”


In November the average price...

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