A run down of what's going on in the market and the company.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Only 5 days left! If you do not run out at lunchtime today and do the following, you are truly not financially savvy at all.

Step 1: Buy a Tax Software and install it on your PC tonight. I like Turbo-Tax.
Step 2: Even though you may not have all of your T4's and forms yet, do your taxes as best as you can. Use last years figures if you're not sure, or guess as best as you can.
Step 3: Use the built-in RRSP contribution tool of the tax software to figure out how much RRSP contribution you need in order to receive the exact same amount back as a tax refund.
Step 4: Once you have this amount, say it's $5,000, RUN to your bank and get an RRSP loan for $5,000 and contribute it to your RRSP account RIGHT AWAY! Remember the deadline is end of February!
Step 5: The bank will give almost anybody an RRSP loan. File your taxes claiming your $5,000 RRSP contribution. A few weeks later you will receive your tax return for $5,000 which will pay off your RRSP loan from the bank.

Bada-bing-bada-boom, you just made an easy $5,000 of tax-free investment money in your RRSP. Now if you want to kick it up a notch, keep dumping money in your self directed RRSP account until you have $35,000 or more saved up. Then invest it into Secure Real Estate Investments to receive 10% to 20% tax-free returns per year! Not many people know about this because obviously the banks loose money on this and don't advertise it, but this is the ONLY way savvy investors use RRSP's. They DO NOT invest in Mutual Funds, Stocks, Bonds, or all the other crap out there where people have to put up all the money with no leverage, take all the risk, and the Bank/Financial Advisor makes all the money wether you win or loose. Think about it.

That's my tip for today. For more info, please follow me online at my links below.

To Your Success!


Alex Kruzic
Toronto's Premier Apartment and Rent-to-own Real Estate Investment Firm
200 Evans Ave., Suite 201
Toronto, On, M8Z 1J7
Web: http://www.itstimetoown.com
Blog: http://itstimetoown.blogspot.com
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Toronto real estate prices edge closer to $500,000 despite market cooling across Canada

Greater Toronto Area housing prices increased from December to January despite an overall softening of the Canadian real estate market. Low housing industry in the Toronto area helped push up prices.

House sales have softened across the country — Toronto included — although the average price of a home in the GTA continued to edge closer to $500,000 in January.

Sales activity was down in over half of Canada’s housing markets, led by an almost 3 per cent decline in sales across the GTA when adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, according to January housing statistics released Wednesday by the Canadian Real Estate Board (CREA.)

New listings were also down a seasonally adjusted 4.3 per cent across the GTA, as the low inventory of new resale properties on the market continues to be a problem, especially in the 416 regions of Toronto.

That helped drive up the average house price across the GTA by 3.8 per cent just from December to January to $486,654, according to CREA.

The average GTA home was worth about 8.5 per cent more in January than over the same period a year ago, the statistics show.

Across Canada as a whole, sales were down in January, which shifted the national market further into balanced territory. The average price of a Canadian home hit $348,178 in January, up just 1.2 per cent from a year earlier.

“The national housing market is stabilizing and remains well balanced,” said CREA president Gary Morse in a statement. “That said, forecasts for economic and job growth going forward vary widely for different parts of the country, suggesting a possible continuation of a softening trend in some markets, as well as the potential that demand will pick up based on strong fundamentals in others.”

CREA warned that average price comparisons could become “volatile and may turn negative” in the coming months. That’s because an unprecedented surge in sales in high-end Vancouver neighbourhoods, largely driven by Asian investors, pushed home prices there to such record-high levels at the beginning of 2011, they actually skewed the national house price average.

“A replay of this phenomenon is not expected this year,” said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump. “For this reason, year-over-year comparisons should be kept in perspective,” in the coming months, he warned.

Published: February 15, 2012
By: Susan Pigg
The Toronto Star
Article Link: http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1131737--toronto-real-estate-prices-edge-closer-to-500-000-despite-market-cooling-across-canada

Monday, February 13, 2012

Two steady housing years ahead: CMHC

Crown corporation sees low interest rates and a 'moderately' expanding economy keeping price corrections at bay

Canada's housing market has two good years ahead [http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/corp/nero/nere/2012/2012-02-13-0815.cfm] of it
yet, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Monday, with low interest rates and a "moderately" expanding economy keeping price corrections at bay.

The Crown corporation - which insures Canadian mortgages - has had a
consistently rosier view of the market than many private sector forecasters.

Canadian banks have recently issued reports probing the consequences of cheap money, and trying to predict whether there is a bubble in prices that will eventually pop and cause prices to crash. They are particularly concerned about Vancouver and Toronto, where some have predicted price corrections of up to 10 per cent because of overbuilding in the condo market.

But CMHC said Monday Canadian markets would "remain steady in 2012 and 2013. "With the Canadian economy set to expand at a moderate pace and mortgage rates expected to remain low, activity levels in 2012 in both new home construction and sales of existing homes will stay close to levels seen in 2011," said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist.

Also in the forecast: "Housing starts will be in the range of 164,000 to 212,700 units in 2012, with a point forecast of 190,000 units. In 2013, housing starts will be in the range of 168,900 to 219,300 units, with a point forecast of 193,800 units.

Existing home sales will be in the range of 406,000 to 504,500 units in 2012, with a point forecast of 457,300 units. In 2013, MLS sales are expected to move up in the range of 417,600 to 517,400 units, with a point forecast of 468,200 units.

The average MLS price is forecast to be between $330,000 and $410,000 in 2012 and between $335,000 and $430,000 in 2013. CMHC's point forecast for the average MLS price is $368,900 for 2012 and $379,000 for 2013. The moderate increases in the average MLS price are consistent with the balanced market conditions that occurred in 2011, and that are expected to continue in 2012 and 2013."

February 13, 2012
Two steady housing years ahead: CMHC
Globe and Mail Update
The Globe and Mail, Inc.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Canada's future is in the West: 2011 Census

Alberta and Saskatchewan are booming as both immigrants and native-born Canadians flock to the oil fields and resource industries
Power and population are shifting to the Prairies and B.C. as Ontario enters a period of relative decline.

The results of the 2011 census released Wednesday confirm what many Canadians already instinctively understand. The country is re-orienting itself away from Central Canada and toward the Pacific. Oil, gas, potash and other resources are drawing migrants and the region's political and economic influence is growing as a result.

Alberta and Saskatchewan are booming as both immigrants and native-born Canadians flock to the oil fields and resource industries.

Ontario, long the central engine of growth, was the only province in the country to see its rate of growth drop since 2006. It's also the first time in 25 years that Ontario slipped below the symbolic threshold of the national growth rate.

Overall the Canadian population increased by 5.9 per cent since the last census to 33.5 million, a slight increase from the 5.4 per cent growth between 2001 and 2006.

Canada is the fastest growing country in the Group of 8 industrialized nations, thanks largely to its immigration program, which accounts for about two-thirds of the increase in population.

But the end is near for that kind of fast growth. The report estimates that population growth could, within 20 years, be close to zero - unless there is a sustained level of immigration or a substantial increase in fertility.

Alberta, in many ways the centre of the Canadian economy today, leads the country in population growth at nearly double the national average. Its two big cities, Edmonton and Calgary, were the two-fastest growing cities in the country. A significant portion of its population increase came from interprovincial migration, as it has traditionally. Alberta also saw a significant increase in immigration from abroad.

Saskatchewan's turnaround has been stunning. From 1996 to 2006 the province lost more than 1 per cent of its population, an indictment that saw young people leaving for opportunities elsewhere. But as the price of commodities rose over the last five years Saskatchewan grew by 6.7 per cent to pass the 1 million mark, as it did once before in 1986. More than a quarter of that growth was due to Canadians re-locating to Saskatchewan from other provinces.

Manitoba doubled its rate of growth since the last census, to 5.9 per cent. Much of that was due to a doubling of immigration under the provincial nominee program.

When combined with strong, immigration driven-growth in British Columbia, the Western provinces for the first time have a greater share of the Canadian population than the sum of Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

The decline of manufacturing in Ontario, which cost the province more than 300,000 jobs over the last decade, was a major contributor to tens of thousands of Ontarians leaving the province for greener pastures, twice as many as between 2001 and 2006. Ontario also welcomed about 100,000 fewer immigrants over the last five years than it did in the first half of the decade. While it's still growing at a healthy rate, it's not growing the way it used to.

"What is significant is that all other provinces had higher rates of population growth," said Laurent Martel, senior demographer at Statistics Canada. "It's not a huge decrease but it's the only province showing that kind of trend."

Quebec saw its share of the Canadian population dip a little further, as it has for several years. It's now down to 23.6 per cent, from 29 per cent in 1951. All four Atlantic provinces showed higher growth rates than in 2006, but all were still below the national average.

Newfoundland grew for the first time in 25 years, as fewer people moved away.

Wednesday's data marks the first of four releases from the 2011 mandatory short form census and the information is limited to data on population and dwellings.

Part of the census data released Wednesday looks at population growth from 1851 to 2061 and it underscores many of the demographic trends that are currently at the heart of political debate.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is provoking heated debate across the country with two major policy announcements in recent months. The first is his decision to curb the rate of growth in provincial health transfers over time so that they grow in line with the economy. The second was his decision to open up a debate about raising the eligibility age for Old Age Security, arguing the shrinking ratio of workers to retirees will not be able to support the current age of 65 as an increasing number of baby boomers qualify for the federal program.

The numbers show the aging of Canada's population will be most pronounced during this decade and the next.

"The aging of the population will accelerate between 2011 and 2031 as baby boomers reach the age of 65," states the census report. "In 2026, the first of the baby boomers will reach the age of 80, an age when mortality is high. As a result, the number of deaths will increase significantly."

Statistics Canada projects that the number of births and deaths will be nearly the same in Canada from about 2030 to 2060, meaning any population growth will rely almost entirely on immigration.

On May 29, Statistics Canada will release the second of its four census reports. It will break down the census information based on age and sex. Then data on families, households, marital status, and other dwelling information will come out on Sept. 19, followed by a final report on Oct. 24 dealing with language.

Information in these reports are not affected by last year's controversy over the long-form census. The Conservative government decided to replace the mandatory long-form census and its more detailed questions with a voluntary household survey. The change prompted the resignation of the head of Statistics Canada amid concern about the reliability of a voluntary survey and the compatibility of the results with previous research.

February 8, 2012
By Bill Curry and Joe Friesen
Globe and Mail Update
Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadas-future-is-in-the-west-2011-census/article2330716/