Here are some stories that caught our eye this week:
Bank of Canada interest rate increased to 1%
This week’s biggest financial news story came on Wednesday with a Bank of Canada interest rate hike of 0.25 percentage point, raising it to 1%. Canada’s big banks followed suit, matching the increase.
The CBC provided a helpful round-up of how and where you’re likely to feel this rate hike as consumers, including insights on the impact on variable rate mortgages, HELOCs, credit cards and student loads.
Toronto wants to host the new Amazon HQ
Toronto Mayor John Tory openly expressed the city’s interest in hosting tech-giant Amazon’s new headquarters. The move could “bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs” to the chosen city, said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. If Toronto is chosen, it could also help solidify the city’s status as one of North America’s major tech and business hubs.
Many Torontonians cite the old Unilever soap factory or the Port Lands as potential locations for the massive Amazon campus. And massive isn’t an overstatement: Amazon’s Seattle HQ houses 33 buildings and over 40,000 employees in 8.1 million square feet of space.
GTA home prices took a tumble in August
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) released its August numbers this week which showed a significant cooling of the city’s housing market. Sales have plunged 35% year-over-year and new listings also dropped by about 7% year-over-year. While average home prices dropped from July, year-over-year prices are still up by 3%.
Some experts are attributing this to a real estate “summer slump” and suspect that the market will pick up again in the fall. These insights are supported by a TREB survey issued in the spring which found that Torontonians’ intention to buy homes remains strong despite market changes.