Time for your cheat sheet on this week’s most important stories.
Canadian Real Estate
Canadian Interest Rates Are Falling, But Fear Is Driving Mortgage Rates Higher
Canadian interest rates are dropping, but many mortgage rates are rising. For example, RBC increased its 5-year fixed for conventional mortgages from 2.94% to 3.34% on March 18. TD increased its 5-year variable for conventional mortgage from 2.85% to 2.95% two days ago. Both rates made a hike after the Bank of Canada cut the overnight rate. Divergences like this are often warning signs to the market, that investors see elevated market risk.
Canada’s Population Explodes At The Fastest Rate Since 1990, Even With Outbreak
Canada’s population forecast is exploding, even with a COVID-19 outbreak? Yes, Stat Can forecasts a population of 37.89 million by the end of Q1 2020, up 1.56% from last year. The 12-month increase is the biggest since Q1 1990 – three decades ago.
Canadian Real Estate Sales Were Booming Before The Abrupt COVID-19 Halt
Canadian real estate sales were booming right before COVID-19 stopped the whole world. There were 38,161 sales in February, up 26.89%. This is massive growth, and the biggest since March 2010. The big climb is largely due to an abrupt decline in sales volumes last year.
Here’s How Bad Canadian Restaurants Are Doing Into The COVID-19 Pandemic
Canadian restaurants were already suffering from falling incomes, and high household debt. However, COVID-19 has led to the virtual closure of dine in, even before cities stepped in. Toronto and Vancouver restaurants were slowing in February. Starting in March, there’s a rapid drop off, with traffic falling by nearly half by mid-March.
Canadian Bank Regulator Halts Stress Test Changes, And Dividend Hikes
Canadian bank regulators are springing into actual, releasing emergency liquidity. Regulators have lowered domestic stability buffers at some banks, freeing up $300 billion for lending. Banks have also been asked to cancel the stress test change, pause share buybacks, and halt dividend hikes. The combination of changes is expected to improve bank liquidity, while ensuring the excess liquidity doesn’t just go back to shareholders.
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