21 Feb

Canadian Inflation Slows in January Assuring a Rate Pause At March 8 BoC Meeting


Posted by: Danny Benjamin

Canadian inflation decelerated meaningfully in January despite the continued strength in the economy. Labour markets remain very tight, and retail sales continue strong. Nevertheless, the Bank of Canada’s jumbo rate hikes over the past eleven months have tempered inflation from a June ’22 peak of 8.1% y/y to 5.9% in January.

The 3-month average growth in the Bank of Canada’s preferred median and trim inflation measures – designed to look through volatility in individual product prices to better gauge underlying price pressures – are running at around 3.5% on a three-month annualized basis. That’s still above the BoC’s 2% inflation target but is well below peak levels last year.

Prices for cellular services and passenger vehicles contributed to the deceleration in the all-items CPI. However, mortgage interest costs and food prices continue to rise.

Last month, inflation excluding food and energy, rose 4.9% y/y. Prices excluding mortgage interest costs rose 5.4%. In both cases, year-over-year price growth was slower than in December. Some of the decline in inflation was due to base-year effects. In January 2022, mounting tensions amid the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, coupled with supply chain disruptions and higher housing prices, put upward pressure on prices.

Monthly, the CPI rose 0.5% in January 2023, following a 0.6% decline in December. Higher gasoline prices contributed the most to the month-over-month increase, followed by a rise in mortgage interest costs and meat prices.

Another critical factor in today’s data is that inflation in services eased to 5.3% from 5.6%.

Food prices, however, remain elevated in January (+10.4%) compared to 10.1% in December. Grocery price acceleration in January was partly driven by year-over-year growth in meat prices (+7.3%), resulting from the most significant month-over-month increase since June 2004. Food purchased from restaurants also rose faster, rising 8.2% in January following a 7.7% increase in December.

Bottom Line

The Bank of Canada must feel pretty good about today’s inflation numbers. They confirm the wisdom of their announced pause in rate hikes at the January meeting. Despite continued strength in the labour market and January retail sales, headline and core inflation measures have declined again, with a five handle now on the headline rate. That is still a long way to the 3.0% inflation forecast by the end of this year, but it is moving in the right direction.

There will be no BoC action when they meet again on March 8. Their press release will be scrutinized for a hawkish versus dovish tone. Regardless of upcoming data, there is virtually no chance of any rate cuts this year.

Please Note: The source of this article is from SherryCooper.com/category/articles/
16 Feb

Fall in Love with Your Home… All Over Again.


Posted by: Danny Benjamin

Most of us like where we live, but we might not love it. Have you fallen out of love with your home? No sweat! We have the tips to help you fall in love with your home, all over again!

Cleanse and Purge

Depending how long you have lived in your home, you have probably gathered up a number of items that you no longer need, want or use. One of the first steps to falling in love with your home again is purging your space of all that unnecessary stuff – whether it is old clothes, furniture you hate, outdated accessories – removing the old to make way for the new can have a huge effect on how you feel about your home.

Rearrange Your Rooms

Once you have purged all of the unwanted items around your home, you probably have a bit more space to work with! A great way to breathe new life into your space is by re-arranging your furniture! While not all rooms will have optimal space, you might be surprised if you just try and see how it would look with a different layout! Simply moving around your furniture will make your home feel revived, without any extra spend!

Consider a New Colour

If you’re looking for that little extra refresh, a new coat of paint is a great way to get the job done! Changing the tone of your room from darker to lighter, or warm to cool, can make the space feel brand new again! This year’s tones include purples and pink hues, matched with grey and white or pops of teal and blue for that extra 70s vibe!

Or Try a New Style

If you’ve always had a home with traditional cupboards or furniture, it might be time to mix it up! Swapping out a few old pieces for something new, perhaps with a modern twist, can revive any space. Consider starting small by swapping lamps or your coffee table and moving up to larger items like TV stands and bookshelves for that fulsome redo!

Enhance Your Lighting

Lighting has a big effect on mood, and it is the same for your home. Installing new light fixtures, adding or removing lamps, or even changing your bulbs from a bright white to warm or vice versa for a different environment. If you’re looking for that extra ambiance, try a lava lamp or a cute candle tray!

Retouch and Refinish

If you’re not interested in going all out on your home makeover, you don’t have to! There are still plenty of ways you can fall in love with your home again… such as with a little retouching and reviving! A great place to start is your kitchen cupboards. refinishing and painting your existing cabinets is easier than you may think!

Don’t Forget About the Exterior!

While we spend a lot of our time indoor our home, you don’t want to forget about the exterior! New and inviting front door lighting, a cute brick path and some new flowers can create a whole new world for you to enjoy. Consider also adding wicker furniture, an outdoor rug and hanging fairy lights or adding a water feature for that extra relaxation.

Not sure if you can afford updates to your home? Consider utilizing your home equity! Contact me today so I can tell you how.

Email: dannybenjamin@dominionlending.ca

Phone: 289-455-8801

7 Feb

4 Key Things to Know about a Second Mortgage


Posted by: Danny Benjamin

A second mortgage is a mortgage that is taken out against a property that already has a home loan (mortgage) on it. Generally people take out second mortgages to satisfy short-term cash or liquidity requirements, have an investment opportunity or to pay off higher-interest debts (such as credit cards and student loans) that a second mortgage might offer.

If you are considering a second mortgage for any reason, here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Second Mortgages and Home Equity: Your second mortgage and what you can qualify for hinges on the equity that you have built up in your home. Second mortgages allow you to access between 80 and 95 percent of your home equity, depending on your qualifications.

For example, if you seeking 95% Loan-to-Value loan (“LTV”):

House Value =                                                       $850,000
95% LTV (maximum mortgage amount)               $807,500
less: First Mortgage                                               ($550,000)
Amount Available Through Second Mortgage     $257,500

Second Mortgages and Interest Rates: When it comes to a second mortgage, these are typically higher risk loans for lenders. As a result, most second mortgages will have a higher interest rate than a typical home loan. There is also the option of working with alternative and private lenders depending on your situation and financial standing.

Second Mortgage Payments: One advantage when it comes to a second mortgage is that they have attractive payment factors. For instance, you can opt for interest-only payments, or you can select to pay the interest plus the principal loan amount. Work with your mortgage broker to discuss options and what would work best for your situation.

Second Mortgage Additional Fees: A second mortgage often comes with additional fees that you should be aware of before going into the transaction. These fees can vary widely but often are a percentage of the mortgage.  Other fees to consider include appraisal fees, legal fees to set up the second mortgage and any lender or broker administration fees (particularly with alternative or private lenders).

Second mortgages are a great option for many homeowners and, in some cases, may be a better solution than a refinance or a Home Equity Loan (HELOC). If you are interested in learning more or want to find out if a second mortgage is right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me today.

7 Feb

Change of Address Checklist


Posted by: Danny Benjamin

Change of Address Checklist.

So, you’re moving! Before you hunker down in your new home, there are a few things you will want to take care of regarding your new address.

Personal Contacts

First and foremost, if you haven’t yet, make sure to tell all your personal contacts about your address change, including:

  • Relatives
  • Friends
  • Employer
  • Schools, colleges, universities, daycares
  • Landlord (if necessary)
  • Clubs, associations and charities

Healthcare Professionals

For the purposes of keeping your health care records up to date, make sure to update your professional contacts:

  • Doctor(s)
  • Dentist
  • Veterinarian
  • Other healthcare specialist(s)

Creditors and Services

If you haven’t yet reached out to your services, you will want to do so as soon as possible for a smooth change of service from your existing address to your new address. These services include:

  • Phone, cable, internet, mobility company
  • Electricity / hydro
  • Natural gas
  • Heating fuel company (ask if you receive a deposit refund)
  • Financial institution
  • Credit card companies
  • Insurance companies / broker(s)
  • Lawyer / notary
  • Subscriptions (e.g., newspapers, books, music, loyalty programs)

Government Services

Lastly, it is vital to inform the federal and your provincial/territorial government if your address changes to ensure all your data and ID cards are updated:

  • Driver’s license
  • Health Card
  • Vehicle registration
  • Canada Post / epost
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Canada Pension Plan / Quebec Pension Plan
  • Old Age Security
  • Employment Insurance

Need assistance in your search for a new home? Contact me today!