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1 - 25 of 120

Monday, July 29, 2013 - Some costly mouths to feed

Some costly mouths to feed   Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial Farm cash receipts are hitting record highs in Alberta, but not all farmers are enjoying the good times. In fact, while strong prices for grains and oilseeds are a windfall for some farmers, they?re a hit to the bottom line for others. According to Statistics Canada?s quarterly Farm Input Price Index report, the price for livestock feed in Alberta is hitting new highs. In the first quarter of this year, the index for grain ... Full Article...

posted in Market Update at Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:10:10 -0600



Monday, July 29, 2013 - Construction keeps pace

Construction keeps pace   Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial Bulldozers, backhoes and building sites are familiar scenes to most Albertans, and they seem to be here to stay. Between April and June of this year, construction activity around the province kept up a solid pace. The value of non-residential construction in the second quarter of this year clocked in at $2.46 billion, fractionally lower than the first quarter but a small percentage higher (+0.7 per cent) than the same quarter ... Full Article...

posted in Edmonton Real Estate at Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:08:19 -0600



Monday, July 29, 2013 - E.I. benefits vary by age

E.I. benefits vary by age   Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial Through the federal Employment Insurance (E.I.) program, most workers in Canada are eligible for a certain number of weeks of E.I. benefits when they lose their jobs. The rate of E.I. collection has fallen dramatically in Alberta over the past four years, but the rate at which it has fallen varies by the age of the worker. In May of 2013, there were 28,270 Albertans receiving regular E.I. benefits (adjusted for ...

posted in Market Update at Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:06:49 -0600



Monday, July 29, 2013 - Prices rise in June

Prices rise in June   Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial Shoppers in Alberta may have found themselves digging a bit deeper into their pockets in recent months. While it is still low by historic standards, inflation has ticked higher. In June, the consumer price index (CPI) was 2.3 per cent higher than it was last June, matching the level of inflation seen in May. The CPI captures the price movements of a representative basket of goods and services purchased by a typical Canadian ...

posted in Market Update at Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:05:24 -0600



Monday, July 29, 2013 - Now hiring!

Now hiring!   Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial There are several major indicators of job market conditions, including the monthly Labour Force Survey and the Employment Insurance report. Another indicator gives some important information from the employers? side: how many jobs are currently unfilled? Here, Alberta comes in near the top of the heap. In April, the job vacancy rate in Alberta was 2.5 per cent? meaning for every 100 jobs in the province, about two-and-a-half of them are ... Full Article...

posted in Market Update at Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:58:18 -0600



Monday, July 29, 2013 - Shopping hits new record

Shopping hits new record   Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial Judging by some indicators such as manufacturing and construction, Alberta?s economy has moderated to a slower rate of growth in 2013. But at least one major indicator refuses to show any signs of slowing down?and it happens to be one of Albertans? favourite activities. In May, shoppers in the province rang up over $6.13 billion in retail sales (adjusted for seasonality). That?s up 1.6 per cent from April, and a new record ... Full Article...

posted in Finance at Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:56:55 -0600



Monday, July 29, 2013 - A deluxe apartment in the sky!

A deluxe apartment in the sky!   Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial When Albertans think of new housing construction, many automatically think of the typical single detached bungalow which has become so popular. But that?s not the only type of residential construction going on. Apartment buildings?both for rental and condominiums?are increasingly popular, especially in Edmonton and Calgary. In May of this year, there was a total investment of $137 million in new apartment-style homes ... Full Article...

posted in Edmonton Real Estate at Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:55:43 -0600



Monday, July 29, 2013 - Are earnings keeping up with inflation?

Are earnings keeping up with inflation?   Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial Alberta?s high wages have been one of the strongest drawing cards for many migrants moving to our province?and without question, average weekly earnings are far higher here, than elsewhere in the country. Yet have those wages kept pace with the rising cost of consumer goods and services over time? In May of this year, the average weekly earnings of an employee in Alberta was $1,114 (seasonally adjusted and ... Full Article...

posted in Finance at Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:54:00 -0600



Monday, July 29, 2013 - Population outpaces home building

Population outpaces home building   Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial Housing construction is an important driver of Alberta?s economy and supplying the correct number of homes to match the market demand is sometimes a challenge for home builders. However, the most recent data suggest there?s still plenty of room to build a few more. The chart below traces the gap between Alberta?s quarterly population growth and the pace of new housing completions in the province. It essentially ...

posted in Edmonton Real Estate at Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:52:52 -0600



Monday, July 29, 2013 - London (not) calling

London (not) calling   Todd Hirsch, Senior Economist, ATB Financial With last week?s arrival of little Prince George, some of us might be feeling a wee bit more British than usual. After all, the tiny tot will one day be the King of Canada! But even as the newest royal rascal captivates some Albertans, our economic ties with jolly old England and the rest of the United Kingdom are surprisingly weak. Alberta?s exports to the U.K. in 2012 amounted to about $192 million dollars, one of the lowest ... Full Article...

posted in Finance at Mon, 29 Jul 2013 16:50:47 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Home profile: Comfort and elegance -- $1.4M - Finding the right design was a challenge for home owne

Home profile: Comfort and elegance -- $1.4M Finding the right design was a challenge for home owners inspired by arts and crafts style In the late 1990s, Pierre Goulet, a book printer, bought seven hectares of wooded land overlooking a panorama of mountains, with glimpses of Lake Memphremagog in the distance. At the time, he and his partner, Yves Lévesque, a professional chef, had a second home near Magog and they commuted back and forth from their places of work. The idea behind purchasing the ... Full Article...

posted in Renovating & Decorating at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 21:49:18 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Big, bold wallpaper makes a stylish comeback - There's a whole generation that hasn't seen the wall

Big, bold wallpaper makes a stylish comeback There's a whole generation that hasn't seen the wall covering trend It was everywhere - living rooms, kitchens, stairwells, even ceilings. And then it wasn't. Wallpaper's past appeal had a lot to do with its durability and knack for covering up wall imperfections, says Edmonton interior designer Lori Elms. But its popularity also stemmed from being an easy, accessible do-it-yourself décor project for the average person.In the '60s and '70s, the ...

posted in Renovating & Decorating at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 21:45:32 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Georgian revival - Transforming the library in his 1969 Nepean home is just the start for this major

If Carl Gauthier ever needs another job, he could start designing and building Georgian-themed libraries. That's clear from the stunner he fashioned in an unlikely setting: his 1969 suburban Nepean home. Meticulously proportioned and featuring acres of wooden bookshelves, classic acanthus leaf crown moulding, and a fireplace mantel topped with antique candelabra, the elegant, 513-square-foot room inspires you to do just one thing: sit down and read. Which is not a bad thing in a library."I've ... Full Article...

posted in Renovating & Decorating at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 21:38:48 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Designing a rental unit calls for a different approach - What's yours is theirs

Dear Sam A few years ago, we bought a condo that we've been renting as an investment. We'd like to renovate and rent it as a furnished space. Are there dos and don'ts when it comes to designing a furnished condo that will be rented? Many thanks, Anita and Peter dear Anita and Peter, There are definitely dos and don'ts when it comes to designing a rental space. you'll want to consider the needs of your dream tenant, without being so specific with your design choices that you alienate good ...

posted in Renovating & Decorating at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 21:33:23 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Different ways to insure a mortgage - Protect important investment through a bank or broker

Our home is one of the biggest and most important financial assets we own in our lifetime, and our mortgage is typically one of our biggest debts. Recently, Jack and Shannon asked me if it was better to buy mortgage insurance through the bank or if they should purchase a term life insurance policy through their insurance broker. Here are some factors for Jack and Shannon to think about. The death benefit With mortgage insurance, the death benefit declines as the mortgage balance declines and ... Full Article...

posted in Mortgages at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:38:56 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Counting the ways to invest in real estate - Piece of portfolio in property is a good diversificatio

Counting the ways to invest in real estate Piece of portfolio in property is a good diversification strategy I run across many people who have become frustrated and disillusioned with investing in the stock market. After all, the 10-year period from 2000 to 2010 was one of the worst in history for stock markets around the world. Given the low, single-digit returns common during that decade, many investors are looking at alternative investments such as real estate. Here are some different ways ... Full Article...

posted in Finance at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:36:57 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Tighter rules meant to help homebuyers avoid huge debt

Home ownership is one of the cornerstones of building wealth and the major decision around buying your first home can be stressful and really exciting all at the same time. First-time homebuyers have a lot to think about and, to complicate matters, the rules continue to change and evolve. Homebuyers plan The homebuyers plan was first introduced in 1992 to help homebuyers use their RRSPs as a down payment for their first home. The plan originally allowed Canadians to borrow up to $20,000 from ... Full Article...

posted in Mortgages at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:34:38 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Paying off mortgage safer than investing the cash

Study after study suggests that Canadians are having a tough time paying off their mortgages, as debt levels continue to hit record levels year after year. Why? Could it be that there are more opportunities to spend? Could it be that some people don't want to pay off their mortgages faster? Or are some professionals advising alternate investment strategies, suggesting that paying off the mortgage is not the best financial strategy? BIG MORTGAGES AFFECT RETIREMENT Rebecca and Darcy are in their ... Full Article...

posted in Mortgages at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:33:21 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Mortgage fraud hits 'eye-opening' level in Canada, report says

Consumer credit company Equifax uncovered roughly $400 million worth of mortgage fraud in Canada last year, an "eye-opening" number industry experts estimate represents only a fraction of the cheating taking place in the country's real-estate market. Atlanta-based Equifax says many financial institutions are tightening lending and as a result, deceit in the property market is rising. According to a report the company released Tuesday, two-thirds of all the fraud it sniffed out last year was ... Full Article...

posted in Mortgages at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:31:44 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - RBC axes 2.99% discount mortgage

Royal Bank of Canada signalled a strategic retreat in the ongoing mortgage wars Monday, announcing it will stop offering its rock-bottom 2.99% discount mortgage by Thursday. Effective March 29, the special four-year fixed closed mortgage will jump to 3.49%, a 0.50 percentage point increase. RBC will also raise its five-year closed rate to 5.44%, a 0.20 percentage point increase, and its variable five-year mortgage to prime plus 0.20%, a 0.10 percentage point increase. The Bank of Montreal was ... Full Article...

posted in Mortgage Rates at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:30:07 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Think before gifting down payment on kids' home

With high real estate prices and tighter mortgage lending rules, it can be tough for first-time homebuyers to get into the market. Many new homebuyers look to parents for help, and many boomers and soon-to-be retirees are quick to help out by offering the down payment. Is this a good strategy? Many years ago, when Rick and Joan - a couple I met at a seminar I held - were buying their first home, Joan discovered that her late grandfather had set aside money for her long ago and the money was to ... Full Article...

posted in Mortgages at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:26:02 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Help children build a solid financial foundation - Money smarts begin at home, so talk openly, be a

Help children build a solid financial foundation Money smarts begin at home, so talk openly, be a good role model Did you know that November was financial literacy month in Canada? Two years ago, the government proclaimed November Financial Literacy Month. The intention is to raise awareness of the importance of acting knowledgeably and with confidence when managing personal financial affairs. HOW DO YOU LEARN ABOUT MONEY? How do most people learn about financial literacy? For most of us, ...

posted in Finance at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:24:02 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - How to squeeze equity from your house in retirement

A home is usually one of our biggest financial assets. It's also an emotional asset, tied to memories, experiences and relationships. When it comes to retirement planning, it's often difficult to decide what to do with that asset. Should we tap into it to support the lifestyle we desire? Is it better to have it as a debtfree asset? Should we pass it on through the estate to kids or grandkids? There is no shortage of options to tap into the equity of a home, but they all boil down to two basic ... Full Article...

posted in Mortgages at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:21:53 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Fire Pit Violations Prompt Safety Warning

Fire Pit Violations Prompt Safety WarningFire pits June 28, 2013 Enjoying a backyard fire is a popular summer pastime for many but it is important to ensure fire pits are safe, legal and used responsibly. Last year, peace officers responded to more than 200 complaints for fire pit bylaw violations. Fire Rescue has seen a 29% increase in fire pit related calls in 2013, compared to the same time in 2012. ?Fire Rescue attends a lot of nuisance backyard fire pit calls that are related to excessive ... Full Article...

posted in Edmonton News at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 09:25:28 -0600



Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - Construction Wraps Up on Two Major Road Projects

Construction Wraps Up on Two Major Road ProjectsPaving 66 St south of 195 Ave June 28, 2013 Final work on two major multi-year road projects is nearing completion, just in time for the long weekend traffic rush.  Work on a 66 Street connector between Anthony Henday Drive and 195 Avenue has been completed and will be open as of 5pm Friday June 28, 2013. This was the final piece of a two-year project to realign and reconstruct 66 Street between 167 Avenue and 195 Avenue. Final work on 17 Street ... Full Article...

posted in Edmonton News at Tue, 23 Jul 2013 09:24:29 -0600



1 - 25 of 120
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