Home Economy: Homeowners grapple with rising costs, mutual fund investors sell low

Homeowners struggling financially: survey

A new investigation conducted by Leger for BNN Bloomberg and RATESDOTCA reveals nearly 40% of Canadian homeowners are concerned about their finances, while less than half said they could afford more than $200 in increased monthly costs. With nearly two-thirds of respondents believing they are in good financial health, low unemployment rates and rising house prices could give Canadians renewed confidence in their finances. The poll asked 1,513 Canadians about their finances as interest rates rise and inflation hits a 30-year high.

More alternative lenders are getting mortgages

Brokers say more and more Canadian homebuyers are considering private lenders or credit unions for mortgages as rates rise, especially in provinces and territories where fixed-rate mortgages have climbed to around 4% in recent months. Canadian Press reports. Credit unions and private lenders are often able to offer more competitive rates than traditional lenders, but only represent about 6% of the Canadian mortgage market. An expert says private lenders are increasingly interested in Canadians who don’t qualify for traditional sources like banks.


Again, Mutual Fund Investors Are Selling Low

Last month, Canadian investors withdrew nearly $5 billion from their mutual fund investments. That’s according to data from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC), which said mutual funds are facing redemptions for the first time in a year and a half. Dale Jackson, BNN Bloomberg personal finance columnist writes that concerns about inflation and rising interest rates have devalued major stock markets.


Aggressive Fed rate hikes set to continue

Minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting showed Fed officials agreed to raise interest rates in half-point increments at their next two meetings, continuing a cycle of aggressive measures aimed at fight against inflation, Bloomberg News reported. Concerns over the scale of the Fed’s rate hike came up against financial market volatility and lingering fears of a recession, although some investors who digested the report’s less hawkish tone than expected may have breathe a sigh of relief.


Lower car sales offset consumer spending in latest retail sales release

Retail sales remained flat in March as a slump in new car sales offset healthy consumer spending gains elsewhere, according to Statistics Canada. Total retail sales in Canada reached $60.1 billion in March, virtually unchanged from the previous month. Excluding auto sales and gas stations, retail sales rose 1.5% in March from the previous month.

ADVICE POT:

5.2%

This is how much annual profit growth in the United States economists expect to report in May. That’s down slightly from the 5.5% growth seen in April. Bloomberg News reports that these numbers are among the highest since 2007.

Dolores W. Simon