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Friday News Round Up: December 15, 2017

Here’s what caught our eye this week:

CREA cut its real estate outlook for 2018

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) cut its 2018 real estate forecast in light of new OSFI mortgage rules coming into effect in January. The Association attributed these changes to the decrease in affordability that will follow once the OSFI changes are implemented. CREA also cut its 2017 projections, saying that it expects a home price increase of approximately 4.2 per cent, and four per cent decline in national sales activity by the end of 2017. In 2018, national sales activity is expected to drop another 5.3 per cent, with a 1.4 per cent decrease in national average home price.

Read the full CREA release and annual projections, here: CREA Updates National Resale Housing Market Forecast

The FCC made the first move in dismantling Net Neutrality

Yesterday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal Net Neutrality regulations put in place during the Obama administration.  The laws specifically pertain to granting broadband companies and large media conglomerates the freedom to charge Americans a premium for access to high-quality service and content. The repeal of regulations is moving forward in spite of months of public outcry from internet users and influencers.

However, the fight to repeal Net Neutrality isn’t over. Pro-neutrality groups like the Free Press Action Fund, are already preparing a legal challenge against the FCC over shortfalls in fact-finding and engaging with comments before moving forward with the repeal.

Changes to net neutrality could eventually have a global impact, and will certainly impact Canadians in the long run. The CBC interviewed the executive director of Canadian think tank, OpenMedia, to find out what Canadians can expect from Net Neutrality changes.

Canadians’ debt load rose to a record high in Q3 2017

This week, Statistics Canada reported that the ratio of household credit-market debt to disposable income rose to a record high of 171.1 per cent in Q3 2017.  This was an increase from 170.1 per cent in Q2 2017.

The notable increase is of particular concern to the Bank of Canada who use the credit-market debt to disposable income ratio to measure Canadians’ debt loads. The Bank of Canada has pinpointed Canada’s  high household debt levels as the biggest source of vulnerability for the country’s economic outlook.

Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz, remarked on these numbers while addressing the Canadian Club Toronto this week.

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