Mortgages could get tougher soon = buy sooner

Boring data below – and we also have *secret* data that the government is going to make things harder for home buyers = buy sooner if you can before the program you may need no longer exists. This is true ESPECIALLY for SELF EMPLOYED people.

Jim Flaherty vows to intervene in housing market again if needed

Canada’s finance minister says he’ll intervene in the housing market for a fifth time, if that’s what’s needed, to head off any bubble.

“We have to watch out for bubbles – always – in markets around the world, including our own Canadian residential real estate market, which I keep a sharp eye on,” Jim Flaherty said today in Edmonton, where he unveiled his fall economic and fiscal update, The Globe and Mail’s Carrie Tait reports.

“And I’ve intervened four times in the last several years, and I’ll intervene again if I have to to make sure we don’t create a housing bubble.”

Mr. Flaherty’s latest move came in the summer of 2012, when he tightened mortgage insurance rules and deliberately sparked a slump in the residential real estate market.

The effect of that has faded, however, and, as The Globe and Mail’s Tara Perkins has reported, sales have rebounded, at least partly because of expectations of higher interest rates.

Canada’s housing market is seen by some groups as among the frothiest in the world, though most economists do not expect a U.S.-style meltdown.

Mr. Flaherty’s comments highlight the continuing concern among policy makers over the strength of Canada’s real estate market as families continue to juggle record debt burdens.

Indeed, the Canadian Real Estate Association is expected later this week to report another month of strong home sales in October, somewhere in the area of 12 per cent.

Canada revises its numbers
As for his fall update, Mr. Flaherty now forecasts a budget surplus of at least $3.7-billion for fiscal 2015-16, the year of the next election, The Globe and Mail’s Bill Curry reports.

Spending cuts, control of public sector wages and asset sales helped push the government to that projection from an initial forecast of just $800-million.

The government now also forecasts a 2013-14 deficit of $17.9-billion and a 2014-15 shortfall of $5.5-billion.

Going forward, the 2015-16 surplus would widen to $5-billion in 2016-17, $5.7-billion a year later and $9.8-billion in 2018-19.

“The emphasis placed on responsible fiscal management has made Canada a recognized leader on the international economic stage,’ the government said in the document.

“Canada’s total government net debt level, which includes the federal, provincial/territorial and local governments as well as the net assets of the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan, is the lowest of any G7 country, standing at less than half the G7 average in 2012, at 34.7 per cent of GDP.”

The Canadian government relies on private sector forecasts for its economic assumptions, the average of which calls for economic growth of 1.7 per cent this year, 2.4 per cent next and 2.6 per cent in 2015. Mark Herman, Calgary Alberta Mortgage Broker.