Mortgage group says housing starts to plunge

Mortgage group says housing starts to plunge

Construction workers build a new home in Oakville, Ont., on April 14, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

OTTAWA – Canada’s housing market is slowing dramatically in terms of both sales and construction, dragging down economic growth and putting some 150,000 jobs at risk in coming years, a mortgage industry association warns in its spring report.

The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals stops short of calling the ongoing slide that began about nine months ago a crash, but chief executive Jim Murphy says policy-makers should stop trying to tighten lending rules further and start thinking about helping for first-time purchasers.

“They’ve gone enough in terms of regulatory changes and we’re seeing a real slowdown in the overall housing market. The federal government wanted that to happen, but the question is how much … and what is that impact on the overall economy,” Murphy said Wednesday.

“Some people thought the market would come back(this spring). Well it hasn’t come back. It is a definite trend.”

Murphy notes that his organization never agreed with the perception that Canada had a housing bubble problem, but any concerns on that front have been dispelled following last summer’s action by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and the bank regulator to tighten mortgage rules and loan underwriting practices.

Since then, home resale activity has fallen 8.3 per cent and housing starts by 15 per cent. They are likely to fall further, the report

Article source:

Home affordability largely stable, says RBC

OTTAWA – A new analysis from the Royal Bank (TX:RY) finds home ownership in Canada remains largely affordable, even if there are signs of mild financial stress among indebted families.

The RBC says its latest affordability report shows household financial conditions relative to home ownership were relatively unchanged in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the fourth quarter of 2012.

The RBC affordability measure represents the pre-tax household income required to service the costs — mortgage, utilities and property taxes — of owning a home.

The higher the measure, the less affordable that home is to a particular household.

In the case of standard two-storey homes and condos, the overall index readings were largely unchanged at 48 and 28.1 per cent respectively.

For owners of detached bungalows, the index deteriorated only slightly, by 0.3 points, to 42.5 per cent.

The bank says exceptionally low mortgage interest rates are the main reason affordability remains stable

However, RBC chief economist Craig Wright cautions he would be singing a different tune if interest rates were to suddenly rise.

With home prices still near or at record levels and household debt per annual income also at an all-time high, the Bank of Canada has been warning for years that Canadians need to prepare their finances for when mortgage costs begin to rise.

In one sense, they have. Bank governor Mark Carney has recently noted that more and more Canadians are choosing to lock in their mortgages for five years and moving away from more volatile variable vehicles.

As well, says Wright, the day

Article source:

Stocks: Brutal Jun clouds start of year’s 2nd half

lookahead chart

Click a draft for some-more batch marketplace data

Investors conduct into a second half of a year Monday anticipating to forget a disaster that Jun done for markets.

Overall, bonds had a plain second quarter, with all 3 indexes recording gains of between 2% and 5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, SP 500, and Nasdaq are all adult between 12% and 14% in a initial half of a year.

But Jun sung a opposite tune. It was a misfortune month of a year so far, and all indexes finished a month down roughly 1%.

Fed Stimulus Panic: The troubles stemmed from a Federal Reserve, starting with authority Ben Bernanke’s matter that the executive bank could breeze down a impulse program after this year, if a economy continues to improve.

Related: Fed officials in repairs control mode

Markets went into panic mode during a small discuss of an finish to bond buying. The produce on the 10-year Treasury note strike 2.65% final week — a top turn given Aug 2011 and good above 1.6% in early May. Gold prices were slammed as well, recording a 13% dump in a month.

Third entertain recovery?: The opening of a economy is behind in concentration during a commencement of a new quarter. Ironically, signs of an improving economy could send bonds lower, given it would strengthen a Fed’s preference to taper

Article source:

Student loan rates doubling on Monday

student loan debt tyro studying

Students borrowing subsidized loans from a sovereign supervision this tumble will see seductiveness rates on their loans double to 6.8%.

Students scheming to take subsidized supervision loans will see their seductiveness rates double to 6.8% from stream levels, starting Monday, Jul 1.

But wish isn’t mislaid yet. Lawmakers are operative tough behind a scenes perplexing to strike a understanding to save a 7 million college students who are slated to take a subsidized sovereign Stafford loans this year.

Senate Democratic leaders are throwing their weight behind a check that would extend a 3.4% rates for another year, only as Congress did final year.

House Republicans have pronounced they’d cite a longer tenure solution, like a one they upheld behind in Apr to keep rates low for now though arise along with marketplace rates in a future.

Students are being told to ready for a misfortune and wish for a best.

“We’re advising a schools to tell students that their subsidized Stafford seductiveness rates are going to be 6.8% on Jul 1,” pronounced Justin Draeger, boss of a National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Students with loans during interest have been examination a discuss on Capitol Hill with worry and apprehension.

“I find it unequivocally frustrating that zero is even being brought up, given Congress is now in recess,” pronounced Rachel McGovern, who will be a comparison during University of

Article source:

Onyx rejects Amgen’s takeover bid

Onyx Pharmaceuticals has deserted a takeover bid by biotechnology association Amgen.

Onyx (ONXX), that develops cancer drugs and treatments, pronounced Monday that Amgen’s takeover bid of $120 a share undervalued a company. Onyx batch sealed Friday during $86.82.

“We are actively exploring a intensity to mix Onyx with another association as an choice to emanate additional value for Onyx shareholders,” pronounced Onyx CEO N. Anthony Coles.

Related: Brutal Jun clouds bonds opinion for 2nd half

Shares of Onyx rose some-more than 6% final week on news of Amgen’s offer. Overall, a batch has increasing scarcely 36% given final year.

Amgen (AMGN, Fortune 500) is a vital actor in biopharmaceuticals, and manufactures drugs for many conditions, including ones that negate a effects of cancer treatments. To tip of page

Article source:

Some Canadians smell maple on money

Some Canadians smell maple on money

A representative with the Bank of Canada displays the new polymer $5 and $10 bank notes alongside the $20, $50, and $100 during a press conference at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. The penny may be history, but some Canadians suspect the Bank of Canada has been circulating a new scent along with its plastic bank notes. Dozens of people who contacted the bank in the months after the polymer notes first appeared asked about a secret scratch-and-sniff patch that apparently smells like maple syrup.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – The penny may be history, but some Canadians suspect the Bank of Canada has been circulating a new scent along with its plastic bank notes.

Dozens of people who contacted the bank in the months after the polymer notes first appeared asked about a secret scratch-and-sniff patch that apparently smells like maple syrup.

“I would like to know … once and for all if these bills are in fact scented, as I do detect a hint of maple when smelling the bill,” says a typical email from a perplexed citizen.

Said another: “They all have a scent which I’d say smells like maple? Please advise if this is normal?”

Under the Access to Information Act, The Canadian Press obtained a year’s worth of correspondence to the Bank of Canada from ordinary Canadians about the new currency. Names were withheld to protect

Article source:

Women not satisfied with financial services

(Special) – Even though they are becoming more successful and controlling a larger portion of the world’s wealth, women are not being well served by the financial services industry and generally feel that their unique financial needs and preferences are not being taken seriously or properly addressed.

Is the industry doing a good job servicing the needs of women? “The short answer is no. We don’t do a good job,” says Richard Mills, co-head and executive vice president and managing director of BMO Nesbitt Burns.

A study by Nesbitt Burns determined that only about 30 per cent of women are satisfied with the service they’re getting from the financial services business and almost 40 per cent feel that their needs are not being taken seriously.

And another study by the Boston Consulting Group found the financial services industry was the worst at servicing the needs of women.

“Those are pretty damning numbers,” Mills said during a recent BMO panel discussion on women and wealth. “Clearly that’s something we have to fix because it’s the right thing to do and because there’s an opportunity there. I believe women will emerge over the next couple of decades with a similar force to the growth we experienced in the investment industry in 80’s and 90’s with the baby boom generation as they came into their high savings years. It’s something we’re going to have to pay attention to.”

Women today control 27 per cent of the world’s wealth, about $20 trillion in assets, and one third of the

Article source:

Scotiabank looks forward to U.S. recovery

Scotiabank looks forward to U.S. recovery

Rick Waugh, Scotiabank chief executive officer, sports a smile at the bank’s annual meeting in Halifax on April 9, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

TORONTO – Scotiabank says the economic recovery in the U.S. will boost its North American operations, even as the housing market north of the border continues to cool.

The outlook came as the bank (TSX:BNS) reported a second-quarter profit that was up nearly 10 per cent from a year ago, helped by its acquisition of ING Direct, but short of analyst estimates.

“Looking forward, we expect growth in the United States to favourably impact our Americas footprint,” chief executive Rick Waugh said during a conference call Tuesday with financial analysts.

“Expanded U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico in particular will benefit our customers and business conditions.”

In the U.S., job growth, record highs for stocks and steady gains in house prices have improved the economy and consumer confidence.

However, the pace of home sales has fallen in many Canadian cities, while prices are growing at the slowest rate in more than two years.

Scotiabank earned $1.6 billion or $1.23 per diluted share in its latest quarter, up from $1.46 billion or $1.15 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2012.

Revenue totalled $5.22 billion, up from $4.7 billion a year ago.

Meanwhile, Scotiabank’s adjusted earnings came in at $1.24 per share, up from $1.16 a year in the second quarter of 2012 but two cents below

Article source:

BMO trims costs, looks south for business

BMO trims costs, looks south for business

Bank of Montreal President and CEO Bill Downe speaks in Saskatoon, Sask. on April 10, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

TORONTO – BMO Financial Group has added its voice to a chorus of Canadian banks that say controlling costs will be essential to help them weather a period of sluggish consumer lending.

The outlook came as the group that owns Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) reported second-quarter net income of $975 million on Wednesday, down five per cent from a year earlier.

“Our approach is deliberate,” BMO chief executive Bill Downe told investors.

“We’re making fundamental changes to the business that will reap benefits over time, including simplification of the organization, moving senior executives closer to the customer … and reducing repetitive tasks.”

Downe also said the bank is trying to strengthen its brand south of the border in order to capitalize on signs of strength in the U.S. economy.

His comments echoed those made last week by TD Bank (TSX:TD) chief executive Ed Clark, who said he was looking to trim expenses but felt heartened by improving economic conditions in the U.S., such as shrinking unemployment and higher home values.

However, Clark also noted that the competitiveness of the U.S. market, where the big American banks are looking to regain lost market share post-recession, was putting pressure on TD’s profit margins.

Scotiabank (TSX:BNS), Canada’s most international bank, also said it expects growth in the U.S. economy to favourably

Article source:

Bank CEO pay among Top 20 in North American

Bank CEO pay among Top 20 in North American

Gordon Nixon, president and CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada, smiles in Calgary, on Feb. 28, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

TORONTO – Canadian bankers were among some of the highest-paid banking executives in North America last year, with three in the Top 10, according to a new list compiled by Bloomberg Markets magazine.

In all, six Canadian bank CEOs were in the Top 20, led by the Royal Bank of Canada’s (TSX:RY) Gordon Nixon, who came in at No. 4.

Nixon’s total pay package was US$12.6 million in 2012 according to the listings, up 25 per cent from the year before, when he was in eighth place.

Bank of Nova Scotia’s (TSX:BNS) Richard Waugh was bumped down one spot to seventh place, with US$11.1 million, followed by TD Bank’s (TSX:TD) Ed Clark, who was No. 8 on the list with US$10.8 million.

Clark’s pay actually went down by almost five per cent from the year before, when he was at No. 5, as did that of three other Canadian bank CEOs on the list.

Gerald McCaughey, CEO of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM), took home US$9.3 million, nearly eight per cent less than the year before. That was still good for 11th place, but down from ninth in 2011.

The Bank of Montreal’s (TSX:BMO) William Downe — No. 12 — took in US$9.2 million, seven per cent less

Article source: