Home ownership getting less affordable in Canada

TORONTO — RBC says home ownership was less affordable in most major Canadian cities during the first quarter, although Calgary and Edmonton bucked the trend.The latest RBC Economics report on home affordability says its index deteriorated sharply in Vancouver and to a lesser degree in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa — primarily due to higher real-estate prices.But the bank’s affordability index was unchanged in Calgary and improved in Edmonton compared with the fourth quarter of 2011. [np-related]The report tracks how much of a home owner’s income would be required to pay typical costs associated with owning a standard one-storey detached house.In Vancouver, RBC estimates the combined cost of mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes rose 3.1 percentage points to 88.9%.In Calgary, by contrast, only about 36.7% of pre-tax income would be required to pay for a standard bungalow — unchanged from the previous study — and in Edmonton the index improved by 0.4 percentage point to 32.4%.In Toronto, the index deteriorated by 1.2 percentage points to 53.4%; in Montreal, the cost of ownership increased 1.2 percentage points to 41.4% of income and in Ottawa it was up 0.9% to 41.8%.“It became a little tougher on household budgets to carry the costs of owning a home at market prices at the start of this year,” said Craig Wright, RBC’s chief economist said in a statement Tuesday.“Strong buyer demand was a principal driver of the modest rise in homeownership costs. While the deterioration in affordability was felt to varying degrees across the country, it was mild in most cases.”He said the challenge will likely increase once the Bank of Canada begins raising interest rates.“Exceptionally low interest rates have been the key force in keeping affordability from hitting dangerous levels in Canada in recent years,” Wright said.“Affordability headwinds are likely to increase next year, as interest rates make their way towards more normal levels.”He said RBC expects Canada’s central bank will hike rates gradually, starting in the fourth quarter.“A gradual pace of increases will allow income growth to provide some offset,” he said.Andrew Barr/National Post read more

Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey plans to stick around until December 2018

by The Canadian Press Posted May 15, 2015 12:29 pm MDT Last Updated May 15, 2015 at 3:11 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Canadian businessman and veteran media head Paul Godfrey plans to lead Postmedia Network Canada Corp. for three more years.The company says the 76-year-old president and CEO has renewed his contract with the multimedia news outlet until December 2018.Godfrey has held the top position at Postmedia since it was founded in July 2010 from the newspaper assets of the former CanWest Global Communications Corp.The publisher of the National Post, as well as other newspapers and digital content, has been trying to turn around its money-losing operations as more advertisers shift away from traditional print publications to social media sites and search engines.Throughout his career, Godfrey has worked in various media arenas, including as the former head of the Toronto Blue Jays and leader of the Sun Media newspapers in the 1990s, which were recently acquired by Postmedia.He also served as the chairman of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. and is a well-known Progressive Conservative supporter.Postmedia chairman Rod Philips said the extension of Godfrey’s contract “provides important continuity for the vision and leadership of the company.”Follow @dj_friend on Twitter. Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey plans to stick around until December 2018 read more