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Notable News of the week: March 16, 2012

Here is your Friday news round-up where we recap all the latest headlines in the mortgage and housing space of the past week. Good news for Canada as we were voted the number one most respected country in the world, even if other countries feel we are headed for a housing bubble.

The top 10 most respected countriesMSN Travel

The 2011 Country Brand Index ranked 113 nations using criteria such as quality of life, investment opportunities, heritage/culture, and tourism. Half of the countries in the top ten came from Europe. Our neighbour to the south (The USA, not Mexico) finished 6th. And the country ranked number one? Why the ‘Great White North’ of course. Time to whip out your I am Canadian shirts.


Canadian housing market flirts with bubbleMarket Watch

Economists outside Canada continue to proclaim that Canada’s housing market is dangerously close to a bubble. The article claims population growth, which helped drive housing demands before, can no longer keep up with the amount of supply being produced. “Low interest rates make people want to participate in the housing market, but with modest growth, not strong job creation, we can see negative repercussion on the horizon” said one TD economist.

[POLL] Are you willing to sacrifice mortgage features to get the lowest mortgage rate?

Our Facebook poll revealed that some of our fans believe keeping mortgage flexibility is much more important than having the lowest rate with no or very little features.

Your mortgage penalty could be tax deductibleMoneyville

Good news if you have to move more than 40km to be closer to your work or school because the Canada Revenue Agency will allow your mortgage penalties to be deducted from your tax form. They will also allow you to claim other moving costs such as notary/legal fees, advertising, and real estate commission. Depending on your tax income bracket, you could receive up to 43% of the cost of moving.

ING International survey reveals Canadian spending trendsMarket Watch

A report conducted by ING International Survey of 19 countries revealed that Canadians are more willing to pay off their personal debt using their savings than Americans and Western Europeans. One-third of Canadians are also unhappy with the amount of money they have saved, while close to half say they are saving less due to the global economic situation. A startling 27% said they are almost living pay cheque to pay cheque, with just enough to pay the bills but not much left over.

Canadians love to purchase real estate in the USThe Sacramento Bee

Purchasing real estate in the US housing market is an attractive option for Canadians based on the strength of our dollar and weak US house pricing. Canadians account for 23% of all US foreign buyers, many of which, pay cash to avoid the cumbersome US mortgage process. And the number one reason we’re buying? Canadians see it as a profitable investment.

Housing starts in Toronto cool down – The Toronto Star

Toronto is producing more condos than any other city in North America, however, condo construction is down 40% from one year ago. In general, Toronto new home construction is down 21%from last February. Overall, Canadian housing starts increased 1.5% from last month on the shoulders of condo starts in another province, Quebec. Regina saw big gains with a 5.9% increase in new house prices in January.