The biggest threats to Canadas housing market Declining oil prices for starters

TORONTO — Royal LePage says the price of a Canadian home is expected to rise by a relatively modest 2.9 per cent on average in 2015 as price appreciation slows across the country.[np_storybar title=”Deutsche Bank reveals 7 reasons why ‘Canada is in serious trouble’” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2015/01/08/deutsche-bank-reveals-7-reasons-why-canada-is-in-serious-trouble-starting-with-a-63-overvalued-housing-market/”%5DDeutsche Bank’s chief international economist Torsten Sløk has circulated a chart deck looking at global housing markets, and Canada stands out as having quite a few problems.According to the report, homes in Canada are 63 per cent overvalued, greater than the 50 per cent levels in Australia and Norway, Deutsche Bank AG said in a report Thursday. Keep reading. [/np_storybar]Toronto is expected to lead the pack when it comes to price increases this year, with the realtor saying the average home price in Canada’s largest city is forecast to rise by 4.5 per cent, although that would be well behind last year’s pace.Vancouver is expected to see the second-biggest average jump in prices, up 2.8 per cent, followed by a 2.4 per cent gain in Calgary, 0.6 per cent in Montreal and 0.5 per cent in Halifax among several of the major centres surveyed across the country.The realtor says economic factors, including the plummeting price of oil, are likely to cause home prices to grow at a slower pace, particularly in Western Canada.In 2014, prices for detached bungalows rose the most, up 6.7 per cent on average across the country in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier, followed by an average six per cent gain for two-storey homes and 4.5 per cent for condos.Edmonton’s condo market saw the biggest increase, shooting up 12.2 per cent to an average of $250,953 per unit. Prices in Calgary also ballooned, with standard condos shooting up 9.1 per cent year-over-year to an average of $311,644 in the latest quarter.In Toronto, prices of detached bungalows increased by 11.6 per cent from a year ago to an average of $647,535, while prices of two-storey homes advanced 8.6 per cent to an average of $745,062.Forget the mad scramble: Homebuyers may soon be able to pay deposits simply by tapping their phoneHere’s the cheapest day of the year to buy a house, according to one realtorSales of Canadian homes worth over $1M grew substantially last year and will again in 2015In Vancouver, the average price of a detached bungalow and of a two-storey home each grew by more than seven per cent, to an average of $1,124,642 and $1,233.182 respectively.Home prices remained relatively flat in Winnipeg and softened in Regina, where the average price of two-storey homes dropped 6.8 per cent year-over-year to $345,000.Royal LePage predicts that prices will continue to accelerate rapidly in Toronto in 2015 for a variety of reasons, among them a surge in demand for Ontario’s exports thanks to the lower loonie and the robust economy south of the border.Labour market trends and unsatisfied demand from prospective homebuyers who were outbid in 2014 will also fuel higher home prices in the Toronto area.Meanwhile, the sharp decline in the price of oil will slow the growth in home prices in Western Canada, according to the report.We will be watching market developments closely in the regions most negatively impacted by oil price declinesRoyal LePage says a potential interest rate hike and possible changes to mortgage rules by the federal government could also pose risks to the country’s real estate sector if they materialize.“Ultimately the biggest threat to the Canadian housing market is a decline in consumer confidence, which could result from worsened employment prospects or decreased purchasing power, be it real or perceived,” president and chief executive Phil Soper said in a statement.“In this light, we will be watching market developments closely in the regions most negatively impacted by oil price declines, such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.”Buyers in western Canadian cities could benefit from lower prices in the short term, but Soper says the trend is unlikely to last.“Over the longer term, we foresee a return to regional home price appreciation that is above both the historical average and national trends in general, when energy markets recover,” he said.“In the interim, slowed growth in the price of homes will be a welcome sign for many people in the West, especially in pricey markets like Vancouver where first-time buyers have been frustrated by a hyper-competitive market and home prices that have escalated at a feverish pace.” read more

Irish Examiner and local papers sold in complex restructuring

first_imgUpdated, 18:34THE ‘IRISH EXAMINER’ and a series of local papers have been sold as part of a complex internal restructuring, after their existing parent company went into receivership.The Examiner and a series of related regional titles, including the Cork-based Evening Echo, have been purchased by a new company formed by the Crosbie family who owned the previous company.The sale has been made by Kieran Wallace of KPMG, who was appointed as receiver to Thomas Crosbie Holdings Ltd (TCH) – the previous parent company behind the newspapers – earlier today.The Sunday Business Post, the other major paper published by TCH, is to apply to the High Court to enter examinership – a process where the company is protected from winding-up orders as it attempts to establish a viable business plan.Another related company, Thomas Crosbie Printers Ltd – which printed TCH’s newspaper titles – is to apply to be put into liquidation with the loss of 12 jobs. The titles purchased by Landmark Media Investment will now be printed at the Irish Times’ printing presses in Citywest.New firm takes over local titles and radio stationsTCH’s local papers – the Waterford News & Star, the Wexford Echo, the Western People, the Roscommon Herald, and the ‘Nationalist’ local newspapers in Carlow, Laois and Kildare – have also been purchased by the Crosbie family’s new vehicle, which has also purchased TCH’s digital businesses.The new company also hopes to take over TCH’s shareholding in the local radio stations WLR FM, Beat 102 and Red FM, but will need to seek regualatory approval from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland before this can be completed.The procedures are continuing with the support of AIB, the main lender to the group.Tom Murphy, the chief executive of the new vehicle, said today’s arrangements “represent an important opportunity for the Irish Examiner and associated titles and media to make a fresh start and that is very welcome news”.“In a challenging environment, this re-structuring and consequent acquisition provides a stable platform from which to build a sustainable business. I look forward to working closely with the management and staff to review and improve operations to successfully achieve this aim.”The media outlets bought by Landmark Media Investments employ a combined total of 554 people, all of whom will be taken on by the new firm on their existing employment terms and conditions. Landmark Media Investments intends to continue publishing each title as usual.The Sunday Business Post employs 76 people, who will be retained by the interim examiner if appointed at the High Court tomorrow. That paper will also continue publication if the examiner is appointed.The National Union of Journalists said it was “gravely concerned” about the potential threat to the future of the Sunday Business Post, and that it would seek an urgent meeting with the new owners of the other papers.It said the loss of any of the titles would be a “disaster”, and that staff had made significant sacrifices in recent years to ensure the future of the titles.“Our members employed in these titles require urgent clarification of the implciations for them of this complex restructuring. The safeguarding of employment and of media diversity is a priority for this union,” it said.“We hope this marks a new phase in the history of the company and look forward to engaging in a postive manner with the new owners on the protection of terms and conditions of employment.”Read: Newspapers record falls in circulation in second half of 2012last_img read more