Crunch, then squeeze

It sounds like an unpleasant exercise routine. But instead, it’s this move by some major British lenders, which sets new limits on mortgage borrowing in response to the crunch the banks themselves are facing: Borrowers with little or no equity in their homes face big increases in repayments when their existing deals end after Lloydscontinue reading

It’s all a mirage

From a lexicon of housing bubble jargon, courtesy of the Irvine Housing Blog, a term whose definition has a familiar ring: · MIRAGE (Moneyed Immigrants, Rich Ancestors, Generous Expatriates): Acronym to lampoon the bulls’ argument that housing demand is being supported by cash-rich immigrants, wealthy parents and transplants from other states. February’s Toronto Life featurescontinue reading

The Urbanist’s Bankruptcy Court

I have finally got around to reading the January issue of Toronto Life. This is somewhat depressing, but nicely put: Amid the biggest development boom in the city’s history, its planning department—more overworked and understaffed than any other—cannot meet its obligations to review developer’s proposals, consult stakeholders, conduct studies and make recommendations to council. Thecontinue reading

The mean streets of Halton region

Police shoot man in Oakville park at two-thirty in the morning, Oakviller expresses disbelief that real life takes place in her Legoland-like hometown: The woman, who asked not to be named, said she usually takes her 2-and 3-year-old boys for walks in that forest. She said her family moved to the neighbourhood because it wascontinue reading

Guess the caption

   …I’m guessing yours isn’t the one currently on the website I took it from:  Jane New spends some time removing the ice build-up on her car before heading out in downtown Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007. The forecast calls for up to 10 cm of snow by nightfall. Or do helicopters come withcontinue reading

No wooden nickels here

Toronto City Council is still admirably focused on carving out savings and weeding out inefficiencies where they can. Councillor Howard Moscoe, for example, sees an opportunity in enforcing the superiority of the mighty loonie: “There’s a glut of U.S. coins being dumped in the economy,” Moscoe (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence) said yesterday. “The city’s going tocontinue reading

Boil, boil, toil and well, who knows

The unfortunate language of market madness combines “bubble” and “peak”. If a bubble is about to burst, though, wouldn’t it be “reaching its widest circumference,” or something along those lines? (No geometry critiques, please — it’s the reason I hated high school math.) So with the C$, which definitely deserves the petrodollar nomiker again, atcontinue reading

Tiny bubbles

– Am I the only person who is baffled by the parity protests? What is it that makes Joe 2-4 think that Canadian prices should be identical to those in another country, with a different size, different transportation costs, and different labour laws? And why is Flaherty grandstanding on this issue, pressuring retailers, who havecontinue reading