#Mortgage RATES to stay low for a while yet – that is great news!

Below is the technical, boring stuff we read to see where rates are going for you. Just ask us for the short version.

Short version is that the Bank of Canada is going to leave the rates the same for a while yet – like a year.

Long boring version is below.

Canadian Dollar Down in Wake of BOC Dropping Tightening Bias

TORONTO–The Canadian dollar is lower Thursday morning as it struggles with the implications of the Bank of Canada’s erasure of its tightening bias amid a broader retreat in commodity currencies.

The U.S. dollar was at C$1.0409 Thursday, from C$1.0384 late Wednesday, according to data provider CQG.

Its high for the session so far at C$1.0419 fell just shy of resistance around the C$1.0420 area.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars are also lower Thursday amid concerns about monetary policy and banking system liquidity in China. Any threat to economic growth in China puts pressure on commodities and commodity-linked currencies because Chinese demand for commodities is a key support for the asset class.

But the Canadian dollar is also grappling with the implications of the Bank of Canada’s decision on Wednesday to drop its 18-month-old tightening bias, a move some analysts believe could prompt a new round of weakness in the Canadian unit as it undermines the perception the Bank will raise interest rates before other advanced economies.

Currency strategists at UBS said in a report the Bank’s move derailed a rally they had expected to see in the currency.

“Having felt conditions were ripe for a CAD rally, we were taught a harsh lesson on Wednesday by the BOC: never ever underestimate the determination of a small, open economy’s central bank to defy expectations for a positive outlook,” they said.

The tightening effect on the Canadian economy from any gain in the Canadian dollar is simply too big for the Bank of Canada to risk, and the bank wanted to keep policy steady in order to retain maximum policy flexibility, UBS said.

Write to Don Curren at don.curren@wsj.com


YYC & YEG set to lead ALL of Canada for growth

Calgary and Edmonton and all of Alberta continue to grow = housing price support, which is pretty much the theme to 50% of the data I post. Alberta is the only province that is continually growing and we would be competing with China’s growth rate if Alberta were a country.

Edmonton housing market overtakes Calgary in investment ranking

Both cities poised to lead Canadian economic growth

CALGARY — Edmonton has overtaken Calgary as the top community in Alberta to invest in residential real estate.

The ranking was done by the Real Estate Invesment Network and released Saturday. Edmonton was second behind Calgary on last year’s list.

“Before the flood hit, Calgary’s real estate market was performing right in tune to the underlying economic fundamentals. Not too hot, not too cold,” said Don Campbell, senior analyst of the REIN Research Institute. “After the floods hit, the rental as well as the housing markets over-performed the underlying fundamentals and have pushed it into the too hot level, but this situation should not last longer than 12 months. We continue to experience zero vacancy rates, strong in-migration, one of the strongest job creation economies in the country. So slowdown of the effect of the post-flood transaction bump will not be felt negatively in the market due to the pent-up demand. Good news overall for Calgary’s market for the coming years.

“Calgary did not, in essence, lose its No. 1 ranking. It is still one of the top places in North America for property investment. However, Edmonton grabbed the No. 1 ranking because it is behind Calgary in its residential and industrial recovery curve. This means that Edmonton’s market, beginning at a lower position in the real estate cycle, should slightly outperform the returns a homeowner or investors will experience in Calgary, which is already 12 to 18 months ahead on the cycle.”

Campbell said both cities are poised to be economic leaders in Canada in 2014 and 2015 and therefore the forecast for in-migration and housing demand remains very strong.

The ranking for other Alberta communities are: 3. Airdrie; 4. Leduc; 5. St. Albert; 6. Red Deer; 7. Fort Saskatchewan; 8. Fort McMurray; 9. Grande Prairie; 10. Lloydminster; 11. Okotoks; and 12. Lethbridge.

Calgary’s home prices continue to climb in September

Another article showing that the underlying fundamentals of continued in-migration and job growth – of quality jobs – supports the Calgary home market.

Calgary housing market sizzles in September

 MLS sales and prices continue to climb

CALGARY — Calgary’s red-hot housing market continued to sizzle in September as MLS sales and prices followed an upward trend.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, total MLS sales in the city of 1,923 during the month were up 19.44 per cent from a year ago.

The average sale price rose by 8.27 per cent to $454,352 while the median price was up 8.78 per cent to $402,500.

Calvin Buss, involved in real estate marketing and sales, said job creation and in-migration are fuelling the current market.

“The international in-migration is getting stronger and stronger. And if you look at the number of people that came out of Ontario over the last six months into Alberta, it’s just staggering,” said Buss who has his home for sale in Edworthy Park at $4.49 million. The home is situated in the middle of a forest overlooking the Bow River and the downtown.

“In Calgary we have a tight market. We’ve had good markets over the last two years. And that’s tightened everything up. And then you get all that in-migration coming based on jobs. You start to get things really tightening up. Like the vacancy rate downtown doesn’t have any elasticity to help absorb these people so they’re forced into the marketplace. And the marketplace only has a certain capacity.”

Calgary is in a sellers’ market which is good news for people like Buss who have their homes for sale.

In September, there were 2,796 new listings in the Calgary market, up 4.33 per cent from a year ago but active listings at the end of the month were down by 23.08 per cent to 3,922.

Scott Bollinger, broker for the ComFree Commensense Network, said the jump in prices isn’t too surprising when you look at the underlying factors, which include a tight inventory, a close-to-zero-vacancy rental market converting many would-be renters into potential buyers, and the fact the economy’s humming along.

“What is a little surprising is that the numbers of new listings aren’t keeping pace with big jumps in prices and sales,” said Bollinger. “I think Calgarians know this is a seller’s market. It has been for months. So that tells me that population growth and demand are simply outpacing supply. Speculators who sat for years on second and third properties, waiting for a hot market, have already sold.”

Days on the market to sell in September fell from 45 a year ago to 36, which represented a 20 per cent decline.

“The economy continues to support factors that are driving housing demand forward,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “Employment in Calgary has trended up, with many full-time jobs also created.

“Latest reports also show that net migration to Alberta has been strong as well. After two quarters, net migration in Alberta has increased over 40 per cent from last year. Sales thus far are up compared to 2012 levels, and that is not expected to change by the end of the year.”

Ben Brunnen, a Calgary economic consultant, said the local real estate market should perform well this fall with a favourable economic outlook, a tight rental market and strong population growth the key factors.

“Alberta has been one of the most resiliant economies in Canada, and this gives buyers confidence,” said Brunnen.

“At the same time, supply remains tight with limited inventory to meet demand and builders trying to catch up. For the economy as a whole, strong real estate prices give homeowners confidence, and this could help boost consumer spending in Alberta.”

CREB said single-family home sales in September of 1,354 were up 20.25 per cent from last year while the average price rose by 9.25 per cent to $512,359. Condo apartment sales increased by 17.39 per cent to 324 with the average price up by 4.38 per cent to $298,765. Condo townhouse sales were up 17.79 per cent to 245 while the average sale price increased by 2.95 per cent to $339,534.

“Tight market conditions have supported price growth in the Calgary market,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist. “But the pace of unadjusted monthly growth has eased in September.

“While prices show strong year-over-year gains, if the level of new listings continues to improve relative to sales activity, prices should level off for the remainder of the year.”