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Scott Barlow

Readers should take this with a grain of salt – I'm not familiar with the source – but real estate website Zoocasa has attempted to predict the year ahead in Canadian home prices. Predictions include further weakening in Vancouver prices, a partial recovery in Alberta, and Toronto as 'the toughest' real estate market,

"The city became 3 per cent less affordable in Q3 2016 (to a total of 63.7 per cent), according to a measure cited in RBC's Housing Trends and Affordability report – the tightest conditions seen since double-digit interest rates in the early 90s. Nationally, RBC's affordability index is 44.3 per cent. This trend will only worsen next year, according to a forecast released by Re/Max. Prices will rise by another 8 per cent to $783,926 in the GTA – but it won't slow buyers down, said Cam Forbes, general manager of Re/Max Realtron Realty. "Poor and still-rapidly deteriorating affordability (especially for detached homes) does not appear to be a significant impediment for buyers at this stage," he stated to the Toronto Star."

"The Top Six 2017 Real Estate Predictions" – Zoocasa

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'Rule by Tweet' is not something anyone predicted (or asked for) but Donald Trump has roiled markets this morning by threatening a tariff on U.S. imports of General Motors vehicles from Mexico, which might mean the same treatment for Canadian made autos,

"U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted U.S. carmaker General Motors and threatened to impose a 'big border tax' for making its Chevy Cruze model in Mexico. "General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!" Trump said in a post on Twitter."

"Trump threatens 'big border tax' on GM over Chevy Cruze production" – Reuters

"GM shares wobble after Trump import tax threat" – FastFT

"GM Invests Millions in Mexico as Ford Absorbs Blows From Trump" – Bloomberg (October, 2016)

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Oil and the U.S. dollar are ramping higher this morning (they don't usually move in the same direction) on signs that OPEC nations are adhering to announced quotas.

"Oil Climbs to 18-Month High as Kuwait and Oman Fulfill OPEC Cuts" – Bloomberg

"Dollar Rally Adds to Uncertainty as Fed Weighs 2017 Rate Hikes" – Bloomberg

See also: "Solar Could Beat Coal to Become the Cheapest Power on Earth" – Bloomberg

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The Financial Times covered 'the biggest issues for markets in 2017.' These include the potential for a 'sell the inauguration' Trump sell-off, Brexit, whether global banks are finally worth investment and the potential for global oil markets to balance,

"Oil supply from the world's biggest producers will be in focus from the first trading day of January as market participants assess the extent to which countries such as Saudi Arabia and Russia reduce production following a global deal to cut supplies for the first time since the global financial crisis.

There will also be keen interest in the return of U.S. shale oil and the sustainability of supply recoveries by Libya and Nigeria, conflict-ridden nations that were left out of the output cut agreement. The outcome of these unknowns will determine when oil supply and demand come into balance in 2017 and whether prices will remain above $50 a barrel. "Until we start to get answers, the debates will continue," says Michael Wittner at Société Générale. "Until then, we believe that markets will enter a 'wait and see' mode." "

"Markets outlook: the big issues facing investors in 2017" – Financial Times

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Tweet of the day: "@SBarlow_ROB MS predicts multiple contraction, low returns for SPX" – (Research excerpt) Twitter

Diversion: This is remarkable, and very unsettling in that the story implies Canada is rife with Chinese spies, "[Canadian] Couple Held in China Are Free, but 'Even Now We Live Under a Cloud' " – New York Times

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