The Bank of Canada announced today that it is keeping the overnight rate unchanged. The Bank continues to believe that increases will be required to achieve their inflation target, but that the pace of increases depends on many factors, including the effect of higher interest rates on consumption and housing, global trade developments, the persistent oil price shock, and the evolution of business investment. The next rate-setting day is Wednesday, January 9th.
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Winter Vehicle Preparation

Winter weather is hard on your vehicle and its engine. Here are some tips to help you make sure your ride is up to the challenge:
1) Install winter tires. Use four matched winter tires that carry the mountain/snowflake winter tire symbol and with tread no less than 3.5 mm – even when driving a 4 X 4 vehicle.
Tires marked with an M+S (Mud and Snow) are also legally acceptable but do not provide the same degree of performance as a mountain snowflake tire in severe winter conditions.
Winter tires improve driving safety by providing better traction in snow, slush and icy conditions. Check for wear before installing the tires and check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in cold weather.
2) Get your car winter ready with a maintenance check up. Preventative maintenance is key. Make sure your battery, brakes, lights and fuses, cooling and heating systems, electrical and exhaust systems, and belts and hoses are in tip-top shape.
3) Change your wiper blades to winter blades. They are heavier and push snow and ice more easily.
4) Clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors, hood and the roof. After starting your vehicle, wait for the window to defrost completely to allow clear visibility all around.
5) If you have a cell phone, make sure it’s charged and bring it with you. A car charger for the phone is a smart device to have on hand. Cell phone batteries can freeze in very cold weather. Don’t leave your phone in the car for extended periods of time.
6) Make sure your windshield washer reservoir is full, and carry extra washer fluid in your vehicle.
7) Keep your gas tank topped up. This will help to avoid condensation and moist air inside the tank, which can cause fuel lines to freeze and other serious issues.
8) If you get stuck in a storm, don’t panic. Avoid overexertion and exposure. Stay in your vehicle and open your window slightly to make sure you have a supply of fresh air. Use a survival candle for heat. Set out a warning light or flares.

The Importance of Winter Tires
Winter, and the associated snow, ice, cold and climatic nastiness that goes with it is now upon us Canadians.
You know that winter tires will make your ride safer if you're driving in winter. You know that you should probably install a set, because they're a good idea. If you ask someone you know who owns winter tires, they'll tell you they make a big difference for grip, handling, traction and all-around confidence.

Since you know that installing winter tires are an all-around solid idea, the balance of this article won't be your typical preach-piece about putting winter rubber on your ride and what could happen if you don't. Instead, we'll focus on a few key benefits you can expect by installing a set--especially on your newer car, truck or SUV model.

Winter tires have both a flexible rubber compound and unique tread design that's made exclusively for use on snow, slush and ice and in cold temperatures. With no compromises made for other seasons, drivers will benefit from significantly increased traction during acceleration, notably shorter stopping distances, and a drastic increase in directional stability at speed. Where all-season tires are a little bit good in the heat and a little bit good in the cold, winter tires specialize in cold-climate driving, and it shows. With the compromise-free, cold-climate engineering behind winter tires, drivers can enjoy the cold-weather travel season with peace of mind to spare for themselves, or anyone using their ride.

Maximized AWD Performance
All Wheel Drive (AWD) is a favorite bit of powertrain hardware with Canadian shoppers in numerous vehicle types. Today's latest models have more fast-acting, precise and sophisticated all-wheel drive systems than ever before--and whether you drive a Subaru, Ford, Acura Hyundai or Mitsubishi, your ride's AWD system reacts with millisecond precision to low-traction situations to keep you and your family safe by supporting you in maintaining vehicle control.

So, if you've invested in AWD, why not consider maximizing the system's performance with a set of winter rubber? Remember: the only way to increase the amount of physical traction between a vehicle and the road's surface is through the tires. Proper tires for the season gives your AWD system plenty more grip to work with, allowing it to do its job with maximum effectiveness.

Not Just for Snow and Ice
Did you know that all-season or summer performance tires get really, really hard when it's cold outside? Since effective traction relies on tires being soft and malleable against the roads surface, hard tires can be a recipe for disaster. In cold weather, even on dry roads, the softer, more flexible rubber used in the construction of winter tires provides that all-important give that all-season tires lose when it's cold out. Translation? Even on dry roads, winter tires work better in the winter.
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Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween can be a fun and exciting time for kids. These safety tips for parents, children and homeowners will help keep everyone safe and happy this Halloween.


For parents:

  • Do not use masks. Masks make it hard for children to see what’s around them, including cars. Try a hypoallergenic (less likely to cause an allergic reaction), non-toxic make-up kit instead.
  • Make or buy costumes in light-coloured material.
  • Place strips of reflective tape on the back and front of costumes, so that drivers can better see your child.
  • Costumes should fit properly to prevent trips and falls. Avoid items such as oversized shoes, high heels, long dresses and long capes.
  • Dress your child for the weather. Add layers if needed.
  • Put your child’s name, address and phone number on his costume.
  • Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult for trick or treating. By the age of 10, some children are ready to go trick-or-treating with a group of friends. 
  • Keep in mind that gum and hard candy can pose a choking risk for young children.
  • Remove make-up before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.


If your child is going out without an adult:

  • Make sure your child is in a group of at least 3 people.
  • Give them a flashlight. A cell phone is also a good idea if you have one.
  • Discuss in advance the route they should follow. Ask them to call you if they plan to go on a street that isn’t on the route.
  • Set a curfew (and make sure they have a watch with them).
  • Tell your children not to eat anything until they get home.


For children and youth:

  • Carry a white bag or pillowcase for your candy, and add some reflective tape.
  • Dress for the weather. Cold weather or water absorbent materials in the rain can be very uncomfortable.
  • Bring a cell phone, in case you need to make an emergency phone call.
  • Always travel in groups. Be sure there are at least 3 of you at all times.
  • Let your parents know where you’re going to be at all times.
  • Don’t visit houses that are not well lit. Never go inside a stranger’s house.
  • Use the sidewalk whenever possible. If there’s no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic.
  • Don’t criss-cross back and forth across the street. Work your way up one side of the street, and then start on the other.
  • If you have any allergies, tell the person who is giving out the treats.
  • Don’t eat any of your treats before you get home. Once home, ask your parents to look through your treats with you to make sure everything is okay.


For homeowners:

  • Turn on outdoor lights, and replace burnt-out bulbs.
  • Remove items from your yard or porch that might trip a child.
  • Sweep wet leaves from your steps and driveway.
  • Use alternative to candles in your pumpkins, such as a flashlight or a battery-operated candle.
  • Remember that some children have food allergies. Consider giving treats other than candy, such as stickers, erasers or a yo-yo.


Alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating

  • Local community centres sometimes offer Halloween night activities.
  • Local shopping centres often have trick-or-treat nights for young children in a more controlled environment.
  • Plan a Halloween night at home with themed games and movies. Invite friends.
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Condo Near Whyte Ave $297,000
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As many economists expected, the Bank of Canada announced today that it is increasing the overnight rate .25 per cent, noting that the "policy interest rate will need to rise to a neutral stance to achieve the inflation target." As for the pace of future rate increases, the Bank will take into account how the economy is adjusting to higher rates, household debt levels, and global trade policy developments. The next rate-setting day is Wednesday, December 5th.

Homeowners with variable-rate mortgages...

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Edmonton Market Report for October 2018
All Residential Average Prices Stable, Unit Sales Decrease
In the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), the all residential average prices increased 2.48% to $373,958 compared to August 2018 and increased 0.94% compared to September 2017. Single family home average prices increased 1.71% month over month and increased 0.25% year over year. Duplex/rowhouse average prices also increased in both categories, up 4.38% compared to August 2018 and up 0.68% compared to September 2017. Condominium average prices decreased 1.53% month over month and decreased 4.28% year over year.

Unit sales are down across all categories. Single family home sales decreased 19.41% relative to August 2018 and 2.22% relative to September 2017. Condominium sales decreased 28.82% month over month and decreased 19.09% year over year. Duplex/rowhouse sales also declined, decreasing 21.02% compared to August 2018 and 21.52% compared to September 2017. Overall, all residential unit sales showed a decrease of 21.83% month over month and 8.53% decrease year over year.

Average days on market increased for all categories. The average for single family homes increased to 61 days for September 2018, two days longer than August 2018 and eight days longer than September 2017. Condominiums average days on market increased to 75 in September 2018, two days longer than August 2018 and seven days longer compared to September 2017. For duplex/rowhouses, the average days on market was 66, increasing from 63 in August 2018 and 61 days in September 2017.

“Stable prices coupled with decreasing sales and increasing days on market indicates sellers are most likely staying firm on their prices and choosing to wait longer to get the price they feel is best for their properties,” says REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair Darcy Torhjelm. “As we move further into our final quarter, we will likely continue to see sales decreasing as is typical for this time of year.”

Both inventory and listings decreased in September, with inventory down 1.53% and listings down 17.41% compared to August 2018. Listings also decreased 8.53% compared to September 2017, while inventory increased year over year by 7.35%.

In total, there were 1,225 MLS® System listed properties sold in September 2018, a decrease of 21.83% month over month and an decrease of 8.24% year over year.
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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.