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Posthaste: Toronto, Vancouver housing markets face deepest decline in 50 years, says RBC – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Good Morning!

The toll that rising interest rates are taking across Canada’s housing markets became even more apparent this past week as reports from local real estate boards revealed the downturn was deepening from coast to coast.

“Prices are sliding fast, and the exuberance that permeated these markets earlier this year is being replaced by fear,” wrote RBC assistant chief economist Robert Hogue in a recent note.

“In the Toronto and Vancouver areas, the decline in activity is quickly becoming one of the deepest of the past half a century.”

Apart from the dive housing took in the early COVID-19 lockdown, home sales in Toronto have fallen to the slowest pace in 13 years, Hogue said.

Meanwhile, inventories are climbing quickly, up 58% from a year ago, and buyers are now managing to get “meaningful price concessions” from sellers, he said.

Since March the composite MLS Home Price Index has shed $178,000, or 13%, falling to $1.16 million. In July alone prices declined 3.9% or $47,000.

Toronto is not a buyer’s market yet, according to the sales to new listings ratio, but RBC expects home hunters in the GTA to continue to find better deals, especially in the 905 areas outside of the core where prices soared during the pandemic.

Vancouver, where home sales are down 40% over the past four months, is also experiencing a big chill. July saw an estimated 9% decline.

Home prices have fallen 4.5% since April, or more than $57,000, but RBC thinks the correction here is still in its early stages.

It expects prices to fall more rapidly in coming months, especially in the detached home sector.

The heavy hit to Canada’s two most expensive cities was predictable, but signs of the correction are now cropping up in more affordable cities as well.

“The downturn may be more contained in other markets but unmistaken nonetheless,” wrote Hogue.

Home sales in Montreal this year have been slowing gradually and by July had declined to 17% below pre-pandemic levels. That and a rise in inventories have returned the market to balance, said Hogue.

Previously this had just slowed the growth in prices, but July could be a turning point, with both single-family homes and condo prices actually declining.

“This development took place across the region, suggesting a board-based price correction may be underway,” said Hogue.

Even in Calgary, this year’s real estate star, there are signs the market is softening. Home sales remain at historically high levels, but have calmed since the buying frenzy seen at the beginning of the year.

Higher interest rates are pushing buyers to more affordable options, like condos, and demand for more expensive detached homes is down.

Calgary’s composite MLS HPI peaked in May and has slipped lower since, he said.

A speedy rise to interest rates are the reason for the cross-country correction and with rates expected to go even higher (RBC forecasts another 75 basis by the fall) it will only get worse.

“We expect the downturn to intensify and spread further as buyers take a wait-and-see approach while ascertaining the impact of higher lending rates,” said Hogue.

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THE TEAM BEHIND THE ‘NUMBER’ Canadians are in a historic, inflationary moment — the likes of which some have never seen in their lifetime. The drumbeat of grim, inflation statistics has been steadily pounding for over a year now, pushing the consumer price index to a high of 8.1% in June. But have you ever wondered who calculates “the number” and how they do it? The Financial Post’s Joe O’Connor goes behind the scenes at Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Division and meets economists like Andrew Barclay, above, to get the scoop on the price “nerds.” Photo by Statistics Canada

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  • Wayne Eyre, Canada’s chief of the defence staff, will hold a media one-on-one call back on the topic of Arctic security and international collaboration following discussions with representatives from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and the United States regarding the evolving security environment in the Arctic, opportunities for enhanced co-operation as well as Canada’s Arctic defence capabilities and initiatives
    Meeting requested by four members of the Transport, Infrastructure and Communities committee to discuss their request to undertake a study of airport delays and cancellations

  • Vic Fedeli, Ontario minister of economic development, job creation and trade, will make an announcement

  • A fireside chat with Katie Keita, Shopify Inc. senior director of investor relations, at the KeyBanc technology leadership forum in Vail, Colorado

  • Earnings: Barrick Gold, Hudbay Minerals, WSP Global, RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, Curaleaf, Hudbay Minerals

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Canada’s job numbers Friday surprised economists who had been expecting a gain in employment. Instead the economy shed almost 31,000 positions after losing 43,000 jobs in June. Many saw this as a sign that the economy is cooling, but don’t think that will stop the Bank of Canada from hiking rates. “For the Bank of Canada, the takeaway will be that while growth is clearly cooling, conditions remain drum-tight and wages are stirring,” wrote BMO chief economist Douglas Porter after the data came out Friday. “We believe this backdrop is consistent with another rate hike at the September meeting, but of a less aggressive nature than the mega 100 bp move in July. We look for a 50 bp hike at that time.”

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The rise in food prices is pushing 10% and more than two in five Canadians say they’ve been affected by rising costs.

With inflation impacting the prices of everyday goods, finding ways to save money on your grocery bill is more than welcome.

From planning ahead to buying “ugly food,” our content partner MoneyWise has six strategies to help you lower your costs the next time you go to the grocery store.

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Today’s Posthaste was written by Pamela Heaven (@pamheaven), with additional reporting from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.

Have a story idea, pitch, embargoed report, or a suggestion for this newsletter? Email us at posthaste@postmedia.com, or hit reply to send us a note.

Listen to Down to Business for in-depth discussions and insights into the latest in Canadian business, available wherever you get your podcasts. Check out the latest episode below:

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US bear market deepens: What that means for you – Al Jazeera English

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United States stocks slumped further this week as investors navigated a barrage of bad news.

Central banks around the world have been scrambling to fight soaring high inflation by increasing the cost of borrowing without hurting long-term growth prospects. Adding to the uncertainty and fear are rising tensions between the West and Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the US, the S&P 500 – a proxy for the health of retirement and college savings accounts – this week fell to its lowest level in almost two years and was set for a monthly decline of nearly 8 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 has dropped nearly 33 percent so far in 2022, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 20 percent while the world’s best-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, shed nearly 60 percent of its value. Home prices are also dropping as interest rates soar, making loans for potential buyers more expensive.

The Federal Reserve, the country’s central bank, is tasked with fighting the highest inflation in decades and has been doing that by raising interest rates. But can it increase the cost of capital to reduce demand and moderate prices without plunging the economy into a deep recession?

“It’s really a no-win situation at this point. Largely because of the number of shocks policymakers have had to deal with,” Cristian deRitis, leading economist at Moody’s, a research firm based in New York, explained to Al Jazeera.

How much further down can stocks go? What is a bear market exactly? And is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

Here’s the short answer.

I keep hearing that the US is in a bear market. What is that exactly?

A bear market occurs when a broad market index dips more than 20 percent from recent highs.

Why is the US currently in a bear market?

“Persisting concerns over inflation and the Fed’s ability to tame prices without a hard landing,” is how Peter Essele, head of portfolio management at Commonwealth Financial Network, a Massachusetts-based firm, explained it.

What’s the reason behind the high inflation and why are prices out of control?

Kenneth McLaughlin, professor of economics at Hunter College in New York, told Al Jazeera that one of the reasons is the federal government “injecting $5 trillion into the economy including through stimulus checks during the pandemic with kind of good intentions but with no plans to pay for it.”

In other words?

Think back to early 2020 when businesses shuttered and economies came to a standstill to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Millions of Americans found themselves under lockdown with nowhere to go and spend the fresh-off-the-press stimulus checks. That caused equity prices, be it stocks, Bitcoin and home prices across the US, to skyrocket. It also caused a surge in demand for goods and that, as we see now, has led to the highest rise in the cost of living seen in decades.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S
The war in Ukraine and growing tensions between the West and Russia are expected to continue to spook investors and roil markets [File: Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

How does this cause the stock market to go down?

As the Fed raises rates, which is essentially increasing the cost of borrowing in order to bring down the price of goods and services, people start to fear a slowdown in the economy. This pushes down the price of stocks and other investments.

Are the current economic conditions really just the consequence of what happened in the last 2 years?

The last two years have been unprecedented in many aspects. But what we are seeing today can also be attributed to the extremely low interest rates of the last decade when, following the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the government made it cheaper for Americans to borrow, Essele told Al Jazeera.

Didn’t the markets just have a rally?

Stocks did experience a rally in August. Things were looking up when petrol prices, which had soared in earlier months, dropped sharply. Investors held on to the hope that perhaps the Fed would ease on the interest rate hikes if the inflation numbers for August showed that consumer prices had cooled. But despite cheaper petrol, food and other essential goods, prices remained high – surging 8.3 percent in August compared with a year earlier.

Where are we now?

“Inflation is becoming more structural and investors are now concerned about stagflation,” Essele explained to Al Jazeera, suggesting that price hikes may be here to stay for the long haul. Stagflation is a mashup of the words “inflation” and “stagnation” and refers to a situation when inflation is high even as the rate of economic growth slows down.

So what does the future hold? And how long will this bear market last?

Expect above-average price pressures. The war in Ukraine and growing tensions between the West and Russia add to the uncertainty and will continue to spook investors and roil markets.

“But we are likely in three-quarters of the way through the bear market,” Essele predicted.

I don’t own any stocks, why should I care about a bear market?

While stock investors are the ones most directly affected by a US bear market, there are spillover effects to the rest of the economy primarily due to the “wealth effect”. That is, as households see the value of their retirement and stock portfolios decline, they will pull back on their spending.

“Given how dependent the US economy is on consumer spending, this impact can be significant and widespread,” Moody’s deRitis told Al Jazeera. “Discretionary sectors such as travel, leisure, and hospitality may feel the most immediate effect but other industries such as housing and retail trade will experience reduced demand as households grow cautious.”

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Ontario Securities Commission files allegations of fraud in multimillion-dollar crypto offering – CP24

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TORONTO – The Ontario Securities Commission says it has filed allegations against Troy Richard James Hogg related to a crypto token offering that raised US$51 million.

The statement of allegations says that between May 2017 and June 2019, Hogg, an Ontario resident, promoted and sold a crypto asset named Dignity token, previously called Unity Ingot, to investors around the world.

The regulator alleges that Hogg and his companies – Cryptobontix Inc., Arbitrade Exchange Inc. and Arbitrade Ltd. – defrauded investors with false and misleading statements in promotional materials, including that gold bullion supported the value of the tokens.

The OSC alleges that Hogg and his companies further defrauded investors by spending a significant amount of invested funds on things unrelated to crypto security tokens, including buying real estate and making payments to companies controlled by Hogg.

The regulator also alleges that Hogg did not file a prospectus for the token or obtain the necessary registration with the OSC to engage in trading activities.

The OSC says it was assisted in its investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which ran a parallel investigation and has levelled charges against Hogg and several U.S. residents.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2022.

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Lululemon settles lawsuit with Peloton over allegations of ‘copycat’ clothing

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Two of North America’s biggest names in fitness have settled a lawsuit over allegations of “copycat” sports bras and workout tights.

Vancouver-based “athleisure” brand Lululemon has agreed to terms with American exercise bike company Peloton after negotiating a “mutually agreeable settlement” in the patent dispute, according to a notice of voluntary dismissal filed in a California district court on Friday.

The terms of that agreement have not been made public.

Lululemon filed suit in November, claiming Peloton’s Strappy Bra, Cadent Laser Dot Legging, Cadent Laser Dot Bra, High Neck Bra, Cadent Peak Bra and One Luxe tights were all rip-offs of its own products.

“Unlike innovators such as Lululemon, Peloton did not spend the time, effort and expense to create an original product line,” the Lululemon claim read.

“Instead, Peloton imitated several of Lululemon’s innovative designs and sold knock-offs of Lululemon’s products, claiming them as its own.”

Court documents show that the dispute dates back to a 2016 co-branding deal that allowed Peloton to put its logo alongside Lululemon’s on certain Lululemon products that were sold through Peloton stores.

In its own court filings, Peloton claimed the arrangement was “burdensome and time-intensive,” leading the company to end the partnership and develop “its own private label brand of fitness apparel.”

This image is included in a lawsuit filed by Lululemon against Peloton. Lululemon claimed the average customer would not be able to tell their products apart. (U.S. District Court)

Lululemon, in turn, claimed that Peloton had simply imitated some of its garments. The yoga wear firm sent Peloton a cease-and-desist letter on Nov. 11, 2021, asking the company to “immediately stop selling its copycat product.”

According to the Lululemon lawsuit, Peloton said it needed until Nov. 24 to respond to the accusations in the letter.

Instead, Peloton filed its own lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, alleging that Lululemon was making “baseless threats” and asking a judge to pre-emptively declare that Peloton had done nothing wrong.

News of the settlement in California comes just one day after a judge in New York dismissed Peloton’s lawsuit, ruling it “an improper anticipatory declaratory judgment action,” filed with the intention of beating Lululemon to the courthouse.

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