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CMHC saw 'moderate' risk of overvalued markets, stands by price forecast – Yahoo Canada Finance

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The Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) saw ‘moderate’ evidence of an overvalued housing market in the Spring of 2020.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The organization’s Housing Market Assessment report released Monday says real estate imbalances (whether the market skewed towards a buyer or seller’s market) in Canada had eased by the end of 2019.” data-reactid=”13″>The organization’s Housing Market Assessment report released Monday says real estate imbalances (whether the market skewed towards a buyer or seller’s market) in Canada had eased by the end of 2019.

In the second quarter, the Vancouver market sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) sunk from the mid-60 per cent range to mid-40 per cent, swinging it closer to a buyer’s market. For Toronto, the ratio fell to 55 per cent in the second quarter, but only because COVID-19 lockdowns temporarily hit the brakes on transactions. At the beginning of the third quarter, the market began to rebound with pent-up demand bringing the ratio back closer to 65 per cent.

However, the pandemic led to rising unemployment and reduced hours worked, which lowered income in most regions. Prices rose more than expected in areas like eastern Canada, Ottawa, Montréal, Moncton, and Halifax, considering factors like lower population growth, rising unemployment, lower income, and lower mortgage rates.

Sales fell slightly more than new listings, which tumbled at a record pace. This tipped housing closer to a balanced market, with a drop in the sales-to-new-listing ratio to 61.9 per cent from 65.8 per cent in 2019. The shock of the pandemic shutting down open houses and stalling transactions caused the average house price to fall. However, the data do not reflect the federal government supports or the record-breaking house prices the country has seen in recent months.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="August may have set another record for house prices, though the Crown corporation stands by its nine to 18 per cent house price decline forecast in May. “We stand by our forecast in the sense that I think there remain a lot of conditions in the housing market and the economy, for that matter,” said CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan over the report’s briefing call, adding that there are risks with provinces lifting their lockdowns. “There are risks related to the different mortgages that are in place right now and for the risks to come upon them going forward. So I don’t think we’re out of the woods, yet.”” data-reactid=”17″>August may have set another record for house prices, though the Crown corporation stands by its nine to 18 per cent house price decline forecast in May. “We stand by our forecast in the sense that I think there remain a lot of conditions in the housing market and the economy, for that matter,” said CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan over the report’s briefing call, adding that there are risks with provinces lifting their lockdowns. “There are risks related to the different mortgages that are in place right now and for the risks to come upon them going forward. So I don’t think we’re out of the woods, yet.”

The simultaneous occurrence of [social distancing measures and employment losses] caused the number of transactions and the number of new listings entering the market to fall at a record pace. With sales falling by slightly more than new listings, the sales-to-new-listings ratio dropped to 61.9 per cent from a recent high of 65.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019 (Figure 1). SOURCE: CMHC

Consistent with the prior tightening of the resale market, the inflation-adjusted MLS national average price experienced four consecutive quarters of growth through to the first quarter of 2020. By the second quarter of 2020, following the sudden shock to housing market fundamentals and two quarterly declines of the sales-to-new-listings ratio, the real average price had fallen. Consequently, evidence of price acceleration also remains low. SOURCE: CMHC Consistent with the prior tightening of the resale market, the inflation-adjusted MLS national average price experienced four consecutive quarters of growth through to the first quarter of 2020. By the second quarter of 2020, following the sudden shock to housing market fundamentals and two quarterly declines of the sales-to-new-listings ratio, the real average price had fallen. Consequently, evidence of price acceleration also remains low. SOURCE: CMHC

Overheating in Canada’s Major Markets

The company’s estimates for overvaluation in Toronto and Vancouver picked up as both cities saw a boost in house prices in the second quarter despite the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Heading into the second quarter, the CMHC's concerns around overheating and price acceleration eased. However, the overall assessment purports that the region may have moderate degrees of vulnerability. SOURCE: CMHCHeading into the second quarter, the CMHC's concerns around overheating and price acceleration eased. However, the overall assessment purports that the region may have moderate degrees of vulnerability. SOURCE: CMHC

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Ontario extends COVID-19 orders for another 30 days amid second wave – CTV Toronto

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Ontario has extended a number of COVID-19 orders until mid-November as the province grapples with the second wave of the disease.

In a news release issued late Tuesday morning, the Progressive Conservative government said that the extension will apply to all orders under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) except those that deal with hydro prices and access to electronic personal health information.

Orders under the ROA include the province’s ability to implement rules on public gatherings, business closures and managing outbreaks in hospitals or long-term care homes.

The extension of these orders does not change the length Toronto, Peel Region, Ottawa and York Region will be forced to remain in a modified Stage 2.

“With the cold and flu season upon us and the continuing high number of COVID-19 cases in certain parts of the province, it’s critical we continue to take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of Ontarians,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in a statement.

“We have renewed the majority of orders to ensure we have the tools in place to address any urgent public health situations and support the continued delivery of critical services.”

The orders will remain in effect until Nov. 21.

There are two orders that will not be extended or amended. The first has to do with the regulation of hydro prices, which is set to change back to time-of-use pricing in November.

The average residential customer using 700 kWh per month is expected to see their bills increase by about $2.24. Customers will also have the choice to change to a “tiered” system for more stagnant rates.

An order that allows health officials to collect electronic personal health information will also expire as of Oct. 22.

In the news release, the government also said that regulations have been amended for both Stage 2 and Stage 3 regions to allow in-person teaching and instruction for fire departments, which are “critical for public safety.”

An order for regions under the modified Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan was also amended to allow dance classes to operate, permitting they follow specified criteria.

“This change to the regulation recognizes that dance styles such as ballet, hip hop, and ballroom, can still be taught and practiced safely when certain public health measures are followed, similar to other permitted activities, such as cheerleading and gymnastics,” the province said.

The ROA was implemented in July and makes changes to about 20 COVID-19 related pieces of legislation.

Under the ROA, COVID-19 related orders put in place during the pandemic can be amended but no new emergency orders can be created.

The orders must be extended every 30 days in order to remain in effect.

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Kuwait-born CEO breaks glass ceiling to lift ailing Laurentian Bank – BNN

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Rania Llewellyn broke the glass ceiling as the first woman to lead one of Canada’s eight largest banks. Her challenge at Laurentian Bank of Canada is to revive a lender that may need capital and has struggled for years to find growth.

Llewellyn, who was named Laurentian’s chief executive officer Tuesday, comes with an unusual biography for a Canadian bank chief. Born in Kuwait, she moved to Canada as a teenager from Egypt, where her father is from, and earned a master’s degree in business administration from St. Mary’s University, a small public college in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

She joined Bank of Nova Scotia as a part-time teller and began a 26-year climb that included a stint as CEO of Roynat Capital, a unit of the bank that finances medium-sized businesses. Before jumping to Laurentian, she’d been promoted to executive vice president in charge of Scotiabank’s global payments strategy.

Canadian banks rarely hire external candidates for the top job. Montreal-based Laurentian has unique problems, though. Llewellyn, 44, will need to shore up the bank’s capital position, which is the weaker than that of the country’s largest banks, while trying to undo the damage from the company’s prior missteps, including a problem with mortgage fraud.

The bank’s results have trailed analysts’ estimates in eight of the past 11 quarters, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Among the major moves she may make include raising new equity and divesting non-core assets like the Northpoint commercial-finance business, according to analysts. No matter what she does, it will require bold action to revive Laurentian’s shares, which have dropped 49 per cent over the past five years, compared to a 12 per cent gain for the S&P/TSX Commercial Banks Index.

“An external hire brings more potential for change, which is good,” Gabriel Dechaine, an analyst at National Bank of Canada, said in a note. “A new CEO will have more flexibility to take dramatic action to put the bank on more solid footing during the current downturn and into the future.”

Laurentian shares rose as much as 1.2 per cent after Llewellyn’s hiring was announced and closed up 0.2 per cent to CUS$26.36 in Toronto. The stock had fallen 41 per cent this year through Monday.

“Rania Llewellyn is the right leader to usher in a new era at Laurentian Bank. She has a proven track record as an energetic, strategic thinker focused on customer experience and tangible results,” Michelle Savoy, the Laurentian director who led the search committee, said in a statement.

Dividend Cut

Llewellyn fills the gap left by Francois Desjardins, who stepped down in June after a five-year tenure that included an incomplete transformation plan and other woes. In 2017, the bank found customer misrepresentations on some mortgages that it sold to another firm. Laurentian said it would buy back CUS$180 million (US$137 million) in mortgages sold to the firm.

Laurentian also took a hit in May, when it slashed its dividend 40 per cent, the first payout cut by a large Canadian lender in almost three decades, and posted fiscal second-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates because of higher provisions for loan losses.

While the bank increased a key measure of its capital known as common equity tier 1 to 9.4 per cent at the end of its third quarter, that level is still “far from ‘fortress-like,’” National Bank’s Dechaine said, adding that the situation makes an equity raise possible.

The hiring of Llewellyn, who will also join Laurentian’s board, comes a little more than a month after Jane Fraser was named CEO of Citigroup Inc., which will make her the first female head of a big Wall Street bank.

While women have held some high-profile positions in Canada’s banking industry, Llewellyn will be the first female CEO of a major domestic bank. London-based HSBC Holdings Plc’s Canadian operations are run by Linda Seymour. She succeeded Sandra Stuart, who ran the operation for five years until her retirement. And Gillian Riley serves as CEO of Tangerine, Scotiabank’s online division.

Llewellyn’s appointment also is notable because Canadian banks typically choose CEOs from inside their firms.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce entertained the idea of external candidates in its CEO search in 2014 before choosing internal candidate Victor Dodig. The last time Royal Bank of Canada went outside the firm for a top executive was in 1908.

Llewellyn also isn’t a native French speaker — a disadvantage for the head of a firm headquartered in Montreal — but has committed to learning the language, according to a note from RBC analyst Darko Mihelic.

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COVID-19 outbreak declared at school in East St. Paul – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
COVID-19 outbreak declared at school in East St. Paul

A school just outside of Winnipeg has declared an outbreak of COVID-19, according to the Manitoba government’s most recent bulletin.

Bird’s Hill School, located at 3950 Raleigh St. in East St. Paul, has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The school is moving to the orange or restricted level on the province’s pandemic response system.

In a statement sent Tuesday afternoon, the River East Transcona School Division confirmed there were five cases in the school within two classrooms. The two classrooms are in the grade 2/3 levels, the division said.

The school is also taking steps to deal with the new restrictions.

“We are moving furniture to ensure the two-metre distancing is done. Deep cleaning has been done to the affected classrooms and commonly touched surfaces and staff are ensuring that students follow protocols regarding handwashing, mask-wearing (when required), and social distancing,” the statement reads. “Busing is being revised to meet the orange designation for Bird’s Hill School students. The parents will be receiving information for optional remote learning for their children while the school is in orange status.”

A provincial spokesperson said health officials have not ruled out in-school transmission at this time.

Bird’s Hill School previously reported on Oct. 11 that a confirmed case of COVID-19 was in the school on Sept. 30, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2.

OUTBREAK OVER AT WINNIPEG SCHOOL

The outbreak at John Pritchard School, which was declared last month, has now ended, the province announced on Tuesday.

The school is now at the yellow or caution level on the pandemic response system.

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