Housing market predicted to revive in 2013 with more than 1m to move home

The housing market will finally return to life this year with more than a million people expected to move home – the highest number since the financial crisis struck.

The Ernst & Young Item Club, which uses the Treasury’s economic models, predicted that housing transactions this year will rise by 7.5% to 1m. In its spring forecast the respected economic forecaster said the chancellor’s plan to use £12bn of taxpayer funds to underwrite up to £130bn of mortgages will push home moves up a further 7.8% next year to 1.08m.

Read More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/apr/15/housing-market-revive-2013

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At Bank of Canada, all eyes on housing market

When Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened home lending standards last year, Bay Street economists shrugged.

It wasn’t the first time Mr. Flaherty had attempted to deflate the housing bubble. Nor was it the second or third. That was enough history to suggest a cycle.

Read More: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/at-bank-of-canada-all-eyes-on-housing-market/article11245027/

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Local housing market improving

Prices in Hamilton-Burlington rise 10%, but listings are still off from last year

The average home price in the Hamilton-Burlington market rose 10 per cent in March over a year earlier and that was the biggest jump in the country.

Read More: http://www.thespec.com/news/business/article/918987–local-housing-market-improving

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Echo kids are moving on — from their parents’ homes to downtown rentals

All those twenty-something echo “kids” who have been living at home in the wake of the 2008 recession seem to be finally moving out of their childhood bedrooms and into the real world now that job prospects are looking brighter.

Only problem is, they are fuelling some of the most intense demand for rental accommodation seen in Toronto in the last 20 years.

“Huge pent-up demand” among 25- to 30-year-olds, combined with more people opting to rent rather than buy since the condo market started softening last summer, is putting significant pressure on Toronto’s rental market, says Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation market analyst Shaun Hildebrand.

Demand, especially for rentals in brand new downtown condo buildings, has been unrelenting right through the usually quiet winter months and bidding wars have become commonplace as folks like Nicole Shlass, 25, prepare to move out of family homes and into the heart of the city.

“Now I feel really bad for my clients when they don’t get a place, because I know how devastating it can be,” says Shlass, a novice realtor who has helped dozens of people find downtown rentals, but was recently beat out for a two-bedroom condo on Portland St. she’d hoped to share with a girlfriend.

Source: http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2013/03/28/echo_kids_are_moving_on_from_their_parents_homes_to_downtown_rentals.html

First-time buyers find Toronto real estate market hot as ever

First-time homebuyers Jody and Michael Fegelman have heard a lot of talk over the last year about Canada’s cooling housing market. All the couple have felt is the sting of its heat.

During their 1½-year search for a home for their two young children, the Fegelmans have been on the losing end of three grueling bidding wars. They have paid for a home inspection on a place someone else got by paying $80,000 over the asking price.

They’ve felt heartache, disappointment and fear that their children Jack, 5, and Lilly, 2½, would be renters for life.

“My parents just kept saying, ‘Wait. Prices are going to come down,’ says Fegelman. “But the truth is, there is a boom going on in Toronto. I don’t think things will change or bidding wars will stop.”

Over the last four years, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has tightened mortgage lending rules in a desperate bid to bring reason to the red-hot housing market, especially in Toronto and Vancouver where prices have hit the stratosphere during the last decade, propelled largely by low interest rates.

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Canadian housing market ‘in a highly unusual place’

Toronto house prices are likely to continue to soften into next year, but will avoid a hotly anticipated major downturn, as “2013 finds the Canadian housing industry in a highly unusual place,” according to a new quarterly housing survey by Royal LePage.

The rare combination of low interest rates, flattening house prices and an improving economy “is not something we’ve seen before,” says Royal LePage president Phil Soper.

“Typically, one of these variables is moving hard in an opposite direction.”

That unusual combination of factors should give buyers some breathing space, as prices flatline and sellers gain some confidence that house values will hold strong, according to the quarterly survey, which shows that despite a significant slowdown in sales since last summer, the average price of a home in Canada increased between 1.2 and 2.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year over the same time last year. Read More News>>

Gold Trader: “Once This Bottom Is Formed, We May Never See Gold At These Levels Ever Again.”

I had the chance yesterday to speak with technical gold trader Gary Savage, publisher of the “Smart Money Tracker”, daily gold market commentary and trading service, which has outperformed most of the world’s hedge funds in 2011 and 2012.

It was a powerful conversation as Gary commented on the panic selling we’ve seen over the last few days, sharing his view that “once this bottom is formed, we may never see gold at these levels ever again.”

Despite continued and relentless selling, Gary commented that, “Gold isn’t in a bear market, it’s [just] been in a consolidation since the top of September 2011. If you pull up a 13-year chart, it shows that gold is not in a bear market, not even close. The miners however, are in bear market, and they have been for 19 months now, and they’ve lost 50%. That’s about an average cyclical bear market…[So] I think the miners are [primed] to bottom along with gold at this yearly cycle low, which I don’t think occurred today, but I think we’re within a day or two of that final bottom.“ 

When asked about valuations on mining stocks at these levels, Gary said that, “The valuations in the miners are absurd. The gold XAU ratio is higher than it’s ever been before in history. This is coming at a time where the miners have gotten the hint…management is cleaning up their act…[and] the sector is doing what it needs to do to turn itself around. [But] since the trend is down, people just invent reasons for why the miners should continue to go down. Eventually rationality is going to return, people will recognize that mining stocks are not going bankrupt, and they’re just too insanely cheap.”

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