White Hot North: Residential Real Estate Investment in Canada
Residential real estate is breaking records in Canada. As of Q4’2020, it accounted for 9.3% of the country’s GDP.
The purchase, sale, and construction of new homes in Canada currently makes up more of the country’s economy than it does in any other developed country.
There’s No Place Like Home
So why is there so much investment going into building residential structures? Here’s a look at just a few reasons:
- Increased immigration to Canada
- Falling mortgage rates
- Increased saving rates
The steady flow of immigration into Canada is a significant factor behind increased residential real estate investment. Prior to the pandemic, the country welcomed around 300,000 newcomers per year—increasing the demand for housing, particularly in urban hubs like Toronto and Vancouver.
Mortgage rates have also been steadily falling, making it easier to purchase a home. As of the latest 2020 data Canadian 5-year uninsured mortgage rates sat at 2.1%, compared to a steep peak in the beginning of 2019 at 3.7%.
Additionally, some individuals may have become more capable of affording a new home as increased saving rates have become a widespread trend during the pandemic, potentially adding to demand. This combined with increasingly flexible remote work options are increasing real estate activity around the country.
Higher Stress Tests
The increased demand has caused prices to skyrocket. As it stands now, if the housing bubble doesn’t burst, prices will continue to rise, and could become a major wedge separating those who can afford the increasing prices and those who cannot.
Two major Canadian cities—Vancouver and Toronto—are already among the least affordable cities in the world due to low vacancy rates and the immense demand.
According to CBC, the country’s top banking regulator is making a proposal to raise the mortgage stress test level. The idea is to raise it to 5.25% or 2 percentage points above the market rate, whichever is higher. This would be up from the current rate of 4.79% posted rate at Canada’s biggest lenders.
Borrowers will have to prove their ability to take out a loan at the higher rate, regardless of the lender’s ability to provide the loan at a lower one, in order to relieve some of the pressure on housing prices.
Euro 2020: Qualified Nations and Past Winners
After a year-long delay, the 2020 UEFA European Championship is back with new rules, reduced spectators, and fierce competition.
The 2020 European Championship Returns with New Rules
After a year-long delay, the 2020 UEFA European Championship is set to kick off what will be the largest international sports tournament to take place since the pandemic.
While the final stage of the tournament typically takes place in one or two nations, this year’s will be played across 11 different countries.
Running from June 11th to July 11th 2021, the opening game between Italy and Turkey will kick off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, and the final will take place at London’s Wembley Stadium.
COVID-19’s Impact on Teams and Spectators
Aside from the initial year-long delay, COVID-19 has changed how teams and spectators will participate in the tournament.
Squads have been expanded from 23 to 26 players, and coaches will be permitted to call up more players if COVID-19 infections force players into isolation.
For spectators, individual stadiums within host cities have announced varying capacities ranging from 20-100%, with strict stadium entry requirements across the board. Since these capacities are pre-tournament estimates, we’ll have to wait until matchday to see how many ticket-holders are comfortable attending the fixtures in person.
|Host Stadium and City||Spectator Capacity|
|Johann Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam||25-45%|
|Baku Olympic Stadium, Baku||50%|
|Arena Națională, Bucharest||25-45%|
|Puskás Aréna, Budapest||Aiming for 100%|
|Parken Stadium, Copenhagen||25-45%|
|Hampden Park, Glasgow||25-45%|
|Wembley Stadium, London||Minimum of 25%|
|Football Arena Munich (Allianz Arena), Munich||Minimum of 14,500 spectators (~22%)|
|Stadio Olimpico, Rome||25-45%|
|Estadio La Cartuja, Seville||25-45%|
|Krestovsky Stadium (Gazprom Arena), Saint Petersburg||50%|
More Substitutions and the Video Assistant Referee System
This edition of the tournament will also feature two new rule changes to the action on the field.
Coaches will now be able to make up to five substitutions (six if the match goes to extra time), a change first introduced in domestic leagues to allow players more rest as match calendars became congested.
Another key change which was already in play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup is the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system. This system appoints a match official who reviews the head referee’s decisions with video footage, and allows the head referee to conduct an on-field video review and potentially change decisions.
Strong Competition Among Euro 2020’s Favorites
Despite current world champions France remaining as undeniable favorites, bookies are putting England to win the tournament (despite a fairly young squad) partially due to the home field advantage in the semi-finals and final.
Spain, Germany, and Italy remain formidable competitors, and Belgium’s golden generation will have one final shot at silverware after their third place finish at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
European champions Portugal are another obvious threat, as Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to become the tournament’s top goalscorer of all time (currently tied with Michel Platini at 9 goals).
While the 2020 edition of UEFA’s European Championship features a variety of on-field and off-the-field changes, the trophy truly feels up for grabs and is a welcome return to international football for fans around the world.
»Like this? Then you might enjoy this article, The Top 10 Football Clubs by Market Value
COVID-19 Vaccine Prices: Comparing the U.S. and EU
Compared to America, the EU has paid significantly less for a range of COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s a look at vaccine prices in each region.
Comparing COVID Vaccine Prices between the U.S. and EU
Over two billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered around the world.
But the price governments have paid for the vaccine varies, depending on the region or country. Here’s a look at five major vaccine manufacturers, and their price per dose in the U.S. compared to the EU.
COVID-19 Vaccine Prices: Cost Per Dose
Generally speaking, the EU has paid significantly less than America for a range of COVID-19 vaccines. Pfizer has the biggest price gap, with the U.S. paying 32.1% more per dose.
|Manufacturer||U.S. Price (per dose)||EU Price (per dose)||% Difference U.S. is paying|
|Johnson & Johnson||$10.00||$8.50||17.6%|
There are a few factors that might explain the price difference. One is early funding—Germany donated millions towards Pfizer’s development.
And while the U.S. did commit to purchasing hundreds of millions of doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the country didn’t provide any funding for the vaccine’s actual development.
Moderna is the only vaccine on the list that is actually cheaper in the U.S., at $15.00 per dose. However, considering that Moderna’s CEO had initially predicted governments would be charged $25-$37 per dose, it looks like both the U.S. and EU managed to negotiate a good deal.
Immunity is the Biggest Cost Saver
At the end of the day, the cost of the vaccine itself is pretty insignificant compared to the economic and emotional toll of an ongoing pandemic.
For instance, a study out of Harvard University estimated the total economic cost of COVID-19 in the U.S. to be in the $16.1 trillion range.
»Want to learn more? Check out our COVID-19 information hub to help put the past year into perspective
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