The Bank of Canada announced today that it is keeping its key rate unchanged, downgrading the economic forecast and no longer referencing the need for future rate hikes. The Bank noted that low oil prices and transportation constraints continue to affect the energy sector. Trade policy uncertainty and the global slowdown are also weighing negatively on other sectors. Weaker housing and consumer spending have also contributed to slower growth.

Even though the economy is expected to improve, the Bank...

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Edmonton Market Report for March 2019
 
 
Unit Sales and Average Prices Up in February
 
 
When compared to January 2019, unit sales across all categories increased, with single family home sales increasing 23.31%, condo sales increasing 26.05% and duplex/rowhouse sales increasing 17.53%. Year over year sales are down in all major categories, with single family homes sales decreasing 2.73%, condo sales decreasing 6.62% and duplex/rowhouses sales decreasing 9.60%. Year to date sales for all residential categories were down 11.01% compared to February 2018.
 
Average unit prices rose from last month, but are down from February 2018. The average price of a single-family home was $430,000, which was an increase of 6.36 % compared to January 2019 but down 2.73% compared to February 2018. The average price of a condo was $222,267, an increase of 1.64% from January 2019 but a decrease of 6.62% year over year.
 
Duplex/townhouses saw a small decrease from January 2019, with the average price falling 0.24% to $321,288, and a 9.60% drop relative to February 2018.
 
“February tends to see the start of an increase in unit sales in the real estate market following the sluggish winter months, and this year is no different,” says REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair Michael Brodrick.
 
“Inventory remains high and compared to last year the market is still lagging, but we are hopeful the traditional upward trend for spring holds true this year.”
 
Inventory has risen 4.89% higher compared to January 2019 and 4.31% over February 2018. However, listings continue to decrease, slipping 5.64% month over month and 8.55% year over year.
 
Days on market decreased for all home types compared to January 2019. Single family homes spent an average 70 days on market, condos averaged 76 days, and duplex/rowhouses averaged 80 days. Overall, the average days on market for all residential properties was 73, which was 11 days shorter than January 2019 and nine days longer over February 2018.
 
 
 
 
 
Modern Windermere Condo $289,999
 
 
Close to Rogers Place $278,000
 
   
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The Bank of Canada announced today that it is keeping its key rate unchanged. The Bank noted that while a slowing economy was anticipated in late 2018 and early 2019, the slowdown was in fact "sharper and more broadly based" than expected. While there was growth in employment and labour income, consumer spending, the housing market, exports and business investment all fell short of expectations. As a result, the Bank is now pointing to increased uncertainty about...
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Tax Tips for Canadians
 
No Canadian likes taxes, but if you do a little tax planning and claim all the credits and deductions available to you, you may just change your tune. These helpful articles provide tips on how to reduce the tax you pay so you keep more of your money, answer the most common Canadian tax questions, and tell you where to turn for tax help.
 
 
Top 5 Tax Return Questions
 
When should you file your Canadian tax return? How do you get missing tax forms from the Canada Revenue Agency? These are just a couple of the common questions that arise at tax time. This article gives you the answers you need to eliminate tax-time stress and worry.
 
 
  • Where do I file?
    If you choose to paper-file your return, the address where you send your tax return depends on where you live. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sends you mailing labels in your tax package each year, but if you’ve misplaced them you can visit the CRA Web site to obtain the address of the tax office where you should send your return. You can also call 1-800-959-8281 to request this information.
 
  • When is my return due?
    Your income tax return is due on April 30 each year, or June 15 if you or your spouse ran a business in the year, although if you owe tax your payment is due on or before April 30). If you owe taxes, make sure your return is transmitted or postmarked before midnight on the due date to avoid late-filing penalties and interest.
 
  • What happens if I file late?
    If you file your return late and you owe taxes, you’ll automatically be charged a penalty of 5 percent of your balance owing. On top of that, you’ll face a penalty of 1 percent of the balance owing for each month your return remains outstanding, to a maximum of 12 months. And don’t forget the interest: the CRA charges interest, compounded daily, on outstanding balances and penalties. At the time of writing, the interest rate on overdue taxes was 5 percent, but this could change quarterly.
 
  • Can I change my return if I find a mistake?
    Yes, you can file a T1 Adjustment using form T1-ADJ, “T1 Adjustment Request,” to amend your return for any mistakes you may find after the fact. You can also request changes online under the “My Account” option on the CRA Web site.
 
  • Where can I get missing forms?
    The majority of the CRA forms are available for download from the CRA Web site. To order forms by phone, call 1-800-959-2221. If you’re missing the package and guide sent to you by the CRA, you can pick up a copy at your local post office.
 
 
Top Tax Reduction Tips for Canadians
 
Just about every Canadian wants to pay less in taxes. This article spells out the best ways to reduce what you owe the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), from Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) contributions to pension income splitting. Follow these four tips and you will lower your taxes!
 
 
  • Save in tax-efficient accounts.
    When you have extra cash to invest, make sure you invest it in a way that allows you to pay the least amount of tax possible. When you are working, that means contributing to your RRSP every year since you get a tax deduction for the contribution made. In addition, all investment income earned is free from tax. You don’t pay tax until withdrawals are made. And everyone in Canada over the age of 18 should set up a TFSA to their maximum ability. Why? You pay no tax on investment earnings and all withdrawals are tax free. Why pay tax on investment earnings if you don’t have to?
 
  • Income split for family tax savings.
    There are many ways to share your tax burden with others in your family. For seniors receiving pension or Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) payments, pension income splitting between spouses means you can now cut your tax bill and potentially reduce the impact of the Old Age Security (OAS) clawback! You can also share your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits for more tax savings. For those with investment assets, and family members taxed at lower rates there are many strategies such as a prescribed rate loan that can help share the tax burden. The key is to know when income splitting is legally possible.
 
  • File your tax return on time.
    While filing your return on time won’t technically reduce your tax liability, it will help you avoid costly penalties and interest. If you don’t file on time, and you owe money, penalties are charged. In addition, if you don’t ante up on your tax bill, the interest payments can be huge. You might be better off taking out a bank loan to pay the tax if you can secure a lower rate than the CRA will charge you. File and pay by April 30 to avoid these costs.
 
  • Take advantage of tax-free perks at work.
    Employees often think there is nothing they can do to reduce their tax burden; however, there may be many perks offered at work that you can take advantage of and not pay any additional tax. Some items to ask for include RRSP or pension contributions paid by your employer, employment related moving costs, personal counselling, up to $10,000 of death benefits, education costs, in-house fitness facilities, in house daycare services and merchandise discounts, among others.
     
 
 
 
Modern Windermere Condo $289,999
 
 
Greenfield Family Home $500,00
 
...
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Edmonton Market Report for February 2018
 
 
Year Over Year Residential Unit Sales and Average Prices Decrease
 
 
Total residential unit sales in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) real estate market decreased 15.00% relative to January 2018. Single family home sales decreased 14.34%, condominiums decreased 18.56% and duplex/rowhouse sales decreased 1.02%. When compared to the previous month, residential unit sales increased, as is typical for this time of year. Single family home sales increased 1.51%, condominiums sales increased 22.16% and duplex/rowhouse sales increased 32.88%. Overall, residential unit sales increased 9.75% compared to December 2018.
 
Average prices declined in January. The average selling price of a single family home was $404,275, a decrease of 6.04% compared to January 2018 and a decrease of 5.52% compared to December 2018. Condominium average prices decreased 4.90% year over year and increased 6.18% month over month. Duplex/rowhouse average prices decreased 7.51% relative to January 2018 and decreased 6.85% relative to December 2018.
 
“The real estate market is still experiencing the consequences of high inventory and slow sales,” says REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair Michael Brodrick. “Buyers are benefiting from more choice but may be struggling with the mortgage qualification rules, while sellers will need to continue to be patient and flexible in this market.”
 
Listings for January were almost identical to January 2018, increasing by 0.08%. Inventory remained higher than average, with an increase of 6.10% relative to December 2018 and an increase of 9.31% compared to January 2018.
 
Average days on market are reflective of a sluggish winter market, with the residential average increasing to 84, up from 72 days in December 2018. Single family homes sold on average in 79 days, an increase of 10 days from December 2018. Condominiums increased to 93 days on market and duplex/rowhouses increased to 90, both categories up from 78 average days on market in the previous month.
 
 
 
 
 
Modern Windermere Condo $289,999
 
 
Greenfield Family Home $500,00
 
   
...
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Today’s Bank of Canada rate hold announcement marks almost four straight years that the key benchmark rate has remained unchanged, since September 8, 2010. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or home equity line of credit; the prime rate stays at 3%.

 

The announcement noted that “the risks to the outlook for inflation remain roughly balanced, while the risks associated with household imbalances have not diminished.” With these considerations, the Bank is maintaining its monetary policy stimulus, and remains neutral with respect to the timing and direction of the next change.

 

The next rate-setting day is October 22nd.

Copyright 2019 by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. All Rights Reserved.
Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.