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Thai cafe serves up crypto advice with coffee and cake

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A cafe in northeast Thailand has become home to cryptocurrency traders, adding banks of screens showing the latest market moves and dishing out investment advice alongside coffee and cake.

Behind a calm exterior of cherry blossom trees, customers of HIP Coffee & Restaurant stare at their laptops, supping nervously on iced coffee – part of a surging interest in digital assets in Thailand that has regulators worried.

“It’s exciting for me to be here because I get to meet people who share the same interests,” said Detnarong Satianphut, a 35-year-old crypto trader.

“We (traders) get to exchange information because in the trading world we are coming up against millions of people.”

Cryptocurrencies have been gaining momentum in Thailand, with as much as 251 billion baht ($7.62 billion) in digital asset traded in November, according to the latest official data.

Earlier this month https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL4N2U52CL, Thailand said it would start to regulate the use of digital assets as payments, warning of potential risks to financial stability and the overall economic system.

HIP cafe, which has been around since 2013, got its crypto makeover in 2020.

Since then, according to staff, its customers have doubled. Manager Oakkharawat Yongsakuljinda said the cafe provides alternative investment opportunities for people in the surrounding Nakhon Ratchasima province.

It offers free investment consulting and is planning on starting its own cryptocurrency coin.

Its customers say trading in the cafe offers them the best chance of success in a volatile market, in which the most well known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, hit six-month lows this week.

“Having so many screens helps a lot … We immediately know and get to analyse crashing factors and whether we should buy,” said 23-year-old trader Apakon Putnok.

 

(Reporting by Vorasit Satienlerk and Jiraporn Kuhakan; Writing by John Geddie; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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Metro Vancouver house prices plunge as interest rate rises – Business in Vancouver

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“Buyers, your time is now,” real estate agent says as home prices fall across the region | Photo: Chung Chow

A forecast from TD Bank that B.C. average home prices will fall by 8.1 per cent by next year appears too optimistic in Metro Vancouver as June sale prices dropped for the third straight month.

The June composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver was $1,235,900, down 2 per cent from May and a 2.2 per cent decrease over the past three months, reports the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Detached house prices are seeing the largest dollar decline, down an average of $37,000 per month since March to a June benchmark price of $2,058,600.

On the bellwether Vancouver West Side market, the median price for a detached house plunged $194,000 from May to $3,063,500 in June.

“We’re seeing downward pressure on home prices as we enter summer due to declining home buyer activity, not increased supply,” said Daniel John, REBGV Chairman.

Total residential sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,444 in June 2022, a 35 per cent decrease from June 2021, and a 16.2 per cent decrease from the 2,918 homes sold in May 2022.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) processed 1,281 sales in June, down 5.8 per cent compared to May and a 43 per cent plunge compared to June of last year.

“In just two months our market overall has shifted into balance, mainly due to a softening of demand for single-family detached homes,” said FVREB president Sandra Benz, who noted the effect of rising mortgage rates.

Fraser Valley detached house price dropped 3.5 per cent, or $57,855, month-to-month to a June benchmark of $1,653, 000 reports the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

The Bank of Canada, which has increased its trend-setting interest rate 75 basis points since March, is expected to jack the rate from 50 to 75 basis points on July 6 to fight inflation.

This will trigger a further decline in home sales and prices, according to TD Bank. In a June 30 report, TD forecast that B.C. will see among the sharpest corrections, with average home prices falling by 8.1 per cent into 2023.

The price drops and increased supply should be welcome by homebuyers, according to real estate agents.

“In most areas of Metro Vancouver and especially at higher price points, it is a buyer’s market now,” said Kevin Skipworth, managing partner with Dexter Associates Real Estate in Vancouver.

He pointed to the city of Vancouver strata sector as especially enticing due to increased supply and falling prices. The benchmark price of a townhouse in the city dropped nearly 2 per cent in June from a month earlier and condo prices fell 2.3 per cent month-to-month, with the biggest decline in the trendy West Side.

“Vancouver’s West Side has seen townhouses and condos go up to five-month’s supply from three months last year,” Skipworth said. “What a switch and an opportunity compared to a year ago. Buyers, your time is now.”

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Is Canada heading for a recession? – CBC News

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$65 oil on the horizon if a recession hits, Citi warns – CNBC Television

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