Canadas housing market not out of the woods yet warns Scotiabank

TORONTO — Housing prices in Canada have been relatively flat so far this year but there’s a “downside risk” going forward, according to a Scotiabank report.In particular, Scotiabank’s quarterly study on global real-estate trends says Toronto’s housing market is seeing slower sales and construction.It says Toronto residential real estate prices are also beginning to level out — especially in the condominium market where there’s an ample supply.The report says the rebalancing will be manageable if new construction slows and population in the Greater Toronto Area continues to grow.Scotiabank says housing starts in the Toronto area totalled just 28,900 units in the first four months of 2013, down about 40% from last year.Internationally, the report finds Canada and Australia at mid-point between countries such as Colombia, the United States and Chile where prices have been rising and places such as Spain, Italy and Ireland where prices have fallen. read more

China hits back in trade war with US

(BBC) China has said it will impose tariffs on $60bn (£46bn) of US goods from 1 June, extending a bilateral trade war.The move comes three days after the US more than doubled tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports.Earlier, US President Donald Trump denied that US consumers would pay for higher tariffs on Chinese imports and warned China not to follow suit.But Beijing said it would not swallow any “bitter fruit” that harmed its interests.China has raised tariffs on more than 5,000 US products, with the new rates ranging from 5% to 25%.Items affected include beef, lamb and pork products, as well as various varieties of vegetables, fruit juice, cooking oil, tea and coffee.The move was announced in a statement by the Tariff Policy Commission of China’s cabinet, the State Council.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing in Beijing that China would “never surrender to external pressure”.US markets reacted badly to the move. Within minutes of opening, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 460 points, or 1.8%, while the broad-based S&P 500 also fell 1.8% and the Nasdaq shed 2.3%.Markets in Europe were also depressed by latest round of tit-for-tat tariffs, with London’s FTSE 100 down about 0.5%, while the main indexes in Frankfurt and Paris were more than 1% lower.“China should not retaliate – will only get worse!” Mr Trump tweeted shortly before news of the Chinese decision came.Mr Trump also said China had “taken so advantage of the US for so many years”.He added that US consumers could avoid the tariffs by buying the same products from other sources.“Many tariffed companies will be leaving China for Vietnam and other such countries in Asia. That’s why China wants to make a deal so badly!” he said.The US argues that China’s trade surplus with the US is the result of unfair practices, including state support for domestic companies. It also accuses China of stealing intellectual property from US firms.The latest round of US-Chinese trade negotiations ended in Washington on Friday without a deal.Mr Trump’s approach in the dispute has put him at odds with his own top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who has said “both sides will suffer”. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related read more