The average price of a home sold on the Canadian Real Estate Association’s MLS service went for $604,000 in September, an all-time record and an increase of more than 17 per cent in the past year.
The group that represents 130,000 Canadian Realtors said that in addition to smashing the previous record on the price side, it was also the busiest September ever in terms of the volume of homes sold, with an additional 20,000 transactions logged on top of the previous record.
Thursday’s numbers are the latest eye-popping figures to come out about Canada’s housing market, which has defied expectations since March.
The pandemic caused home sales to crater in March and April because of widespread lockdowns but has come out on fire every month since.
Having to spend months locked down in their homes seems to have ignited a desire in buyers for more space, which is why detached properties in suburbs around major cities are driving the gains. “Home has been our workplace, our kids’ schools, the gym, the park and more,” CREA’s chief economist Shaun Cathcart said. “Personal space is more important than ever.”
CREA said its average price is not the best gauge of the market because it is easily skewed by sales of expensive homes in Toronto and Vancouver. The group said if those two cities are stripped out, the average Canadian home sold last month went for $479,000. But that figure has risen by even more than the overall average, up by more that 20 per cent in the past year.
Indeed, it’s not just Toronto and Vancouver that are seeing booming sales in the suburbs. “We have also seen increased demand for properties outside of the city in our bedroom communities, especially recreational properties,” said real estate broker Corinne Lyall with Royal LePage in Calgary. A total of 2,405 homes changed hands during the month in the city. That’s up by more than 30 per cent in the past year and almost 10 per cent in the past month alone.
Impact of lower rates
In addition to pandemic-induced demand for space, the housing market has been buoyed by record low interest rates, which can make more expensive homes feel more affordable.
A simple look at the numbers can show how. With a $120,000 down payment in hand, a would-be buyer can afford to buy a $500,000 home and pay $2,210 a month on a standard 25-year mortgage at five per cent.
But if the borrower’s rate comes down to 2.8 per cent, that same buyer can now afford a home that costs $600,000 — $100,000 more. Yet all it would cost the buyer is an extra $12 a month.
With forces like that at play, the housing market’s counterintuitive rise amid a pandemic starts to make a bit of sense.
“But the question now becomes whether this momentum is sustainable,” TD Bank economist Rishi Sondhi said.
He chalks up a big part of the current boom to pent-up demand after a muted spring selling season. But that’s largely in the past now, so “home sales are set to cool from their unsustainable third quarter pace over the next few quarters,” Sondhi said.
Husky Halts West White Rose Construction for 2021 – VOCM
Husky says it is continuing to work with the provincial government to discuss how new federal funding can support the long-term success of the White Rose project and the offshore, but admits, the possibility of abandoning the project remains on the table. This comes after word that Cenovus intends to buy out the company.
Husky cancelled construction on West White Rose for the 2021 season following a review in September.
Husky says it will continue to operate as a separate, independent company if the merger with Cenovus closes. Once that process is complete, additional work will be undertaken to review all assets and determine its go-forward business case according to Husky officials in Calgary.
Husky tells VOCM News West White Rose continues to be key to extending the life of the White Rose oilfield in the offshore, however, all options are on the table and “accelerating abandonment remains a possibility.”
Shares of Cenovus Energy are down following the merger in the oil industry while Husky’s shares are up. Husky and Cenovus, both based in Calgary, are joining forces in these troubling economic times.
The White Rose expansion project, with most of its onshore component in Argentia, was mothballed after the federal and provincial governments declined an offer to invest.
Larry Short, a portfolio manager with Short Financial in St. John’s, wasn’t surprised by the merger as it’s reflective of what’s happening in North America. There was no mention of Husky’s east coast operations in the news release announcing the merger, but Short doesn’t see that as anything significant.
Short says Husky is in a healthier position today than it was on Friday before the merger.
Cenovus shares plummet on news of its $3.8-billion deal to buy oilsands rival – CTV News
The all-shares deal by Cenovus Energy Inc. to buy Husky Energy Inc. for about $3.8 billion will likely spark more mega-mergers among Canadian oil and gas majors, according to a veteran oilsands analyst.
“This is likely just the start of big deals in Canadian energy land and thus it begs the question of who is next?” said analyst Phil Skolnick of Eight Capital in a report on Monday.
“As seen in the U.S. with the accelerated M&A activity, when there’s one meaningful transaction, there’s likely more to come.”
Several industry observers point to Calgary-based oilsands producer MEG Energy Inc. as the leading potential target, noting Husky’s failed $3.3-billion hostile takeover attempt of its smaller rival two years ago.
In his report, Skolnick presents scenarios where Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ) or Imperial Oil Ltd. buy MEG, while also outlining the numbers involved if Canadian Natural combines with Imperial or Suncor Energy Inc., and if Suncor was to merge with Imperial.
“Some (scenarios) have been asked about before and I was just bringing up some new ones — like a CNQ and Suncor merger is not something I’ve heard out there, but nor was Cenovus-Husky,” he said in an interview.
“I’m not going to give zero chance to anything anymore.”
Analysts generally applauded the surprise Cenovus-Husky hookup announced Sunday for its operational advantages but criticized the plus-20-per-cent premium in the price for Husky.
“The deal does makes strategic sense,” said Manav Gupta of Credit Suisse in a note to investors.
“Like U.S. E&P (exploration and production companies), Canadian energy companies also need to come together, cut costs and become leaner to better adapt to lower energy demand in post pandemic world.”
He said Cenovus’s reputation as an efficient operator in its steam-driven oilsands projects will help Husky overcome its struggles with operational issues, including higher operating and administrative costs.
The companies have identified $1.2 billion in annual potential cost savings which will include workforce reductions.
But Gupta added the premium is “excessive” and joined other observers in predicting Cenovus shares would trade lower, as they did, falling by as much as 15 per cent or 73 cents to $4.15 in Monday morning trading in Toronto.
Husky, meanwhile, gained as much as 44 cents or 13.9 per cent to $3.61.
Husky shareholders are to receive 0.7845 of a Cenovus share plus 0.0651 of a Cenovus share purchase warrant in exchange for each Husky common share if the deal is concluded.
Cenovus shareholders would own about 61 per cent of the combined company and Husky shareholders about 39 per cent.
The transaction must be approved by at least two-thirds of Husky’s shareholders but Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing controls 70 per cent of Husky’s shares and has agreed to vote them in favour of the deal.
The announcement Sunday came just as Calgary’s oilsands companies are about to start rolling out third-quarter financial results, with Suncor Energy Inc. set to report Wednesday and both Cenovus and Husky scheduled to report on Thursday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2020
Jack Ma's Ant Group aims to raise $34.5 billion in largest IPO of all time | Markets – Business Insider
- Ant Group will raise $34.5 billion through a dual initial public offering in November, making it the biggest-ever IPO.
- The financial services giant aims to evenly split its 1.67 billion-share debut across the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges.
- Shares will be priced at 68.8 yuan ($10.27) each in Shanghai and at 80 Hong Kong dollars ($10.32) in Hong Kong. The collective sum trounces the previous $29 billion record set by Saudi Aramco’s IPO last year.
- Ant is set to begin trading in Hong Kong on November 5, according to regulatory filings.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
Ant Group plans to raise $34.5 billion in a dual initial public offering next month, edging out Saudi Aramco’s debut to become the largest listing of all time.
The financial services company – an arm of billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba empire – will evenly split its offering, selling 1.67 billion shares each in debuts in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Shares listed on the Shanghai exchange will be priced at 68.8 yuan ($10.27) each, according to regulatory filings published Monday. The pricing implies a 114.9 billion yuan ($17.2 billion) windfall from the listing.
Shares set to trade on the Hong Kong exchange are priced at 80 Hong Kong dollars (10.32) each, setting up the other half of the listing to bring in 133.7 billion Hong Kong dollars ($17.2 billion). In total, the dual listing can value Ant at $313.4 billion should its market debut enjoy strong investor demand.
Such an IPO would also trounce the record set by Saudi Aramco in 2019. The oil titan raised $29 billion in a share sale that temporarily established it as the world’s highest-valued company.
Ant could even push its fundraising total just below $40 billion if it sells shares through so-called greenshoe options. The agreements allow the company’s underwriters to sell additional shares than initially planned. If investor demand permits, Ant can raise another $5.2 billion across both exchanges through the over-allotment options.
The financial tech firm is expected to begin trading in Hong Kong on November 5, according to the filing. It’s not yet known when shares will begin trading in Shanghai.
Ant’s debut is slated to bring tech-IPO proceeds to their highest level since the dot-com bubble’s 1999 peak. Strong demand for new offerings has lifted the market from its March slump and reinvigorated IPO dealmaking despite the bleak economic backdrop. July alone saw companies raise $19 billion through listings, the biggest one-month haul since September 2014.
China International Capital Corp. and CSC Financial will underwrite Ant’s Shanghai listing. CICC, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan will lead the Hong Kong IPO.
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