Thursday, October 28, 2010
Buy/Rent Ratio Shows Real Estate ‘Vulnerable’
Canadian house prices have rebounded markedly from the depths of the recession, hitting a fresh record in may and bringing the buy/rent ratio to about 1.85x. That means that, even excluding major factors such as taxes and maintenance, homeowners pay about twice what renters pay.
Housing Correction Possible: Carney
Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney agreed Tuesday that an abrupt correction in Canada's housing market is possible.Appearing before the Commons finance committee and responding to a question from Nova Scotia MP Scott Bryson, Carney said he was not predicting a significant drop in prices, but given how far prices have risen and the high level of Canadians' household debt, it could not be ruled out.
Canada's Real Estate Overvalued
Canadian house prices are overvalued, but not as much as those in Australia, Hong Kong or France, according to a new worldwide survey. The data published in The Economist magazine's annual survey shows Canadian homes cost on average 23.9 per cent more than they are worth. That's somewhere around the middle of the pack. The scale ranged from Australia at the high end, where homes are 63.2 per cent overvalued, to Japan at the low end, where houses are 34.6 per cent undervalued. Canada's house prices were up 4.5 per cent from one year earlier. And between 1997 and 2010, prices rose a whopping 70 per cent, the report said.
Canada Should Provide More Stimulus
The Canadian government and the Bank of Canada should be ready to provide more stimulus to the economy if the downside risks it now faces come to pass, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday. The multinational agency said authorities were taking the right steps by winding down Canada's fiscal stimulus plan and halting an interest rate hike campaign started in June. But the IMF warned risks to the economic outlook have increased -- including the high debt of Canadian households and the impact of housing market weakness in the United States.
China's Takes Supercomputer Crown
China has overtaken the US as home of the world's fastest supercomputer. Tianhe-1A, named for the Milky Way, is capable of sustained computing The US scientist who maintains the international rankings visited it last week and said he believed it was 1.4 times faster than the former number one, the Cray XT5 Jaguar in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. That topped the list in June with a rate of 1.75 petaflops a second. The US is home to more than half of the world's top 500 supercomputers. China had 24 in the last list, but has pumped billions of pounds into developing its computational ability in recent years. The machines are used for everything from modelling climate change and studying the beginnings of the universe to assisting aeroplane design.
Housed in the northern port city of Tianjin, near Beijing, Tianhe-1A was developed by the National University of Defence Technology. The system was built from thousands of chips made by US firms – Intel and Nvidia – but domestic researchers developed the networking technology that allows information to be exchanged between servers at extraordinary speeds.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Canadian Household Debt Rising Faster
Household debt is rising faster in Canada than in the United States and will continue to climb as low interest rates encourage consumers to spend beyond their means, warns a report from one of the country's largest banks. Canadian debt loads have become excessive as consumers become accustomed to easy borrowing, TD Economics said in the report released Wednesday. And it believes debt will continue to rise as long as the Bank of Canada keeps its key lending rate at a historically low level.
Canadian Housing Debt A Cause For Concern Report
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Kill BHP bid for PotashCorp
One of the biggest shareholders of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan has called for Ottawa to reject BHP Billiton's $38.6-billion US takeover offer for the Saskatoon-based fertilizer giant..."Whether it's Australia, Russia, China, Japan, Venezuela, Mexico, nobody except a few fools. And we have fools from sea to shining sea."
Stephen Jarislowsky, chairman of Montreal-based investment adviser Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., said he is “convinced” there’s a bubble in Canada’s housing market, fueled by government measures that encouraged consumers to take on debt. “They have basically encouraged people to buy houses based on cheap mortgages,” Jarislowsky, 84, said in a telephone interview from Montreal. “That has created the opposite effect of what was desirable.
Friday, October 1, 2010
US Medical Tests In Guatemala 'Crime Against Humanity'
US testing that infected hundreds of Guatemalans with gonorrhoea and syphilis more than 60 years ago was a "crime against humanity", Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom has said. President Barack Obama has apologised for the medical tests, in which mentally ill patients and prisoners were infected without their consent. Mr Obama told Mr Colom the 1940s-era experiments ran contrary to American values, Guatemala said. The US has promised an investigation... The experiment ran from 1932 to 1972, with President Bill Clinton eventually apologizing for it.