Category Archives: Social trends

Predictions and discussion on the changing nature of societal norms: frugality, savings, social unrest, austerity, etc.

Why turmoil in the Middle East can mean $200 oil by the summer (over $2 a litre)…..and a possible economic crash shortly after

In the past few weeks we’ve seen revolutions spread throughout a handful of countries in the Middle East.  We’ve seen the price of oil spike as Libya (the 15th largest oil producing nation) sits on the verge of civil war. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Social trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Report highlights from ‘The Current State of Canadian Family Finances’

The Vanier Institute of the Family released their annual Current State of Canadian Family Finances report earlier this week.  It is well worth highlighting their important findings: Unemployment rate misleading:  Considering the ‘hidden unemployed’ The report does an excellent job … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Real Estate, Social trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Primer #7: Housing envy and the ‘Joneses’…How a realignment in consumer expectations will pull at aggregate house prices

“A house may be large or small; as long as the surrounding houses are equally small it satisfies all social demands for a dwelling. But if a palace rises beside the little house, the little house shrinks into a hut.” … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Primers, Real Estate, Social trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Housing starts flatline; Remax discusses past real estate performance; CREA updates 2011 housing forecast; China raises interest rates

Housing starts flatline CMHC released their January 2011 housing starts data today.  Seasonally adjusted housing starts were virtually unchanged from December 2010 numbers, but down significantly from both the 12 month average and last January’s numbers. From BMO: It’s worth … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Real Estate, Social trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Is Canada awash in savings? Does all debt represent someone else’s asset?

Note to my readers: A trusted and very knowledgeable reader has pointed out some potentially significant (and inadvertent) misrepresentation of data contained in this post.  Alas, I am human, and this blog represents my thoughts and insights into the current … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Social trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Capital Economics report suggests that rising interest rates could trigger housing collapse

Rate hikes could trigger Canadian housing collapse At least that’s the conclusion of a new report from Capital Economics who have calculated that home prices could fall 25-35% as the overnight interest rate from the Bank of Canada rises from … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Real Estate, Social trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Consumer confidence rises in January; Global food inflation concerns mounting

Consumer confidence rises in January The Conference Board released its January consumer confidence reading yesterday.  The index rose 7.1 points to sit at 88.1, still well below the pre-recession average of +-100, but still much better than would be expected. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, General investing, Social trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More thoughts on CAAMP report; RRSP use among younger generation at record lows;

Economic dynamics revisited I recently took issue with a statement made by Will Dunning in the most recent CAAMP report.  Mr. Dunning made the dubious claim that housing demand has been created by strong employment.  Without a doubt that statement has … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Real Estate, Social trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

CAAMP puts the cart before the horse

New CAAMP report The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals was already in damage control mode prior to Flaherty’s mortgage rule change announcement.  Earlier in the week, CAAMP chief economist Will Dunning released a report titled, ‘Good Lord please don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Real Estate, Social trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Toronto condo data; China about to hit a wall?; Fiscal austerity to weigh on public sector jobs; The Age of Deleveraging; Another video primer

Toronto condo data The Toronto Real Estate Board released their most recent rental market report yesterday.  It showed both a substantial jump in rental transactions and a jump in rental inventory. “From September until the end of 2010, TREB Members … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Real Estate, Social trends, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments