Canada’s housing market has cooled significantly under the pressure of higher interest rates, leaving those trying to sell their homes waiting longer and longer in many cases.
Real estate experts who spoke to Global News say patience and price flexibility are key to landing a sale in today’s market, and that waiting until spring in hopes of a better deal is far from a sure thing.
Some homeowners might still be hoping to get the prices their neighbour got last year or even last month, but WOWA.ca CEO Hanif Bayat says sellers need to be realistic about the modern market, which is seeing a dearth of buyers and growing supply of homes.
Bayat tells Global News that, to date, sellers have been slow to adjust their prices to reflect the cooling market.
“The sellers are not used to this environment … they don’t know that they don’t have that power that they had before,” he says.
Not every driver is trading over their all-season tires for winter-ready alternatives this season, but it’s not just because of the hassle.
The Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study released this week found that almost one in three drivers say winter tires are harder to buy amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.
The study commissioned by the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada does note that even with that difficulty, a large majority — 85 per cent — believe winter tires are an important investment despite the higher cost.
Michal Majernik, manager of communications with TRA Canada, told Global News that the country’s drivers have tough decisions to make as severe winter storms become more common.
“At the same time, we are sort of facing the issues of finding money to stay safe on the roads. It’s a perfect storm in some ways,” he said.
Small businesses across western provinces say they are experiencing a shortage of one key ingredient ahead of the holiday season: sugar.
A strike at one of Canada’s few sugar processing facilities is partly behind the supply issues of brown sugar and some packaged white sugars at grocery stores, bakeries and other shops.
Labour actions at Vancouver facility Rogers Sugar Refinery began on Sept. 28, with 138 workers walking off the job.
The strike’s effects are being felt across the western provinces, as businesses in Calgary and Regina struggle to stock shelves. However, others say bakers have nothing to worry about as they prepare their shopping lists this season.
“I’m looking for advice on how to know whether I should change my financial advisor. I have an advisor currently who offers both financial planning and portfolio management for a percentage of returns. I know it’s been a down couple of years on the market and I shouldn’t be expecting big returns, but I don’t really feel any closer to any of my financial goals than I was two years ago. Are there questions I can ask to know whether this advisor is doing their best with my money, and how do I explain that I’m ready for a change if it comes down to it?”
— A Money123 reader
“First of all, keep in mind that simply being dissatisfied about what has happened over the last couple of years is not a good reason to change advisors. Two years is not a long time in investing, and radical decisions should not be made based on a couple of disappointing years.
Here are some of the main questions to ask when choosing an advisor: how exactly are they compensated? Do they receive any kind of commission for selling certain financial products? If they do, beware! Do they offer low-cost index funds? These (which are offered by many different institutions) may be less profitable for the financial industry, but they should be a key element of any portfolio, and I would be suspicious of any advisor who doesn’t include them in a proposed strategy.
In the end, the key is to avoid the big mistakes: don’t overpay in costs, don’t buy and sell based on market sentiment and the whims of the crowd, and don’t put all your eggs in one basket (i.e., diversify your investments). As long as your financial advisor is helping you respect these simple rules, they’re probably doing a good job.
Finally, there is no rush! You don’t sound confident. Why not take some time to learn more about investing. Read books! The internet is not always a reliable place to learn, but there are many excellent books. Acquiring more knowledge is always a wise investment, and in case you decide it’s time to shop for a new advisor, you will have a much better idea of which questions to ask.”
A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle The Four Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein Balance by Andrew Hallam
Global News provides the information contained in this newsletter for informational purposes only and it is not to be used or construed or relied upon as financial, legal, tax, accounting or other professional advice or recommendations regarding the suitability, profitability or potential value of any particular investment, product, service or course of action.