Toronto real estate and mortgage highlights

Real Estate Agent with Right at Home Realty Inc., Brokerage

•   Housing starts rise in January and are now 23% below their trough in April of last year.

•   Weekly jobless claims move up and barely budge on a four quarter moving average basis.

•   Headline inflation falls to 2.6% from 2.5% in December. Core inflation falls to 1.6% from 1.8%

•   The Canadian Federal Department of Finance announced three changes to mortgage insurance rules that will help to cool the Canadian real estate market.

•   Canadian Resale housing market data over the last three months suggest activity is cooling.  Homes sales fell 2.8% in January, the first decline in over a year.  However, a lack of supply continued to push upward pressure on prices, and home prices rose 22% from year ago levels.

•   Canadian headline CPI rose 1.9% in January, up from 1.3% in December, the largest increase since November of 2008. The Bank of Canada's core measure of inflation rose to 2.0%.

•   Canadian retail sales rose 0.4% in December. Stripping out price effects, the month's gain was slightly stronger at 0.6%.  The gain was broad based with 9 of the 12 components of retail spending increasing in the month, and underscores the strength in the Canadian domestic economy. 

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