August 6, 2010

Unemployment up, housing crisis looming

CANADA - Canada lost 139,000 full-time jobs in July, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper is ruling out more stimulus spending as a housing crisis continues to grow. The real estate bubble in Canadian cities is about to burst, which will mean hundreds of thousands of job losses when it finally hits.

Canada's unemployment rate in July went up to 8% as 139,000 full time jobs disappeared. The loss was mitigated by the creation of 129,700 new part time jobs, but the loss to Canada's economy is in the billions.

The United States didn't fare much better. The USA lost a sum of 131,000 jobs in July.

The Canadian dollar and Toronto Stock Exchange took hits as the economic news was released. The growing problem of Canada's real estate bubble bursting however is the real long term threat. Since the Bank of Canada raised interest rates 0.5% so far this year before the Canadian economy was fully recovered housing sales have dropped off dramatically.

New building permits are down 15.3% compared to June 2009, housing prices for high end Toronto real estate have dropped 10% to 12% in the last year, and home sales in Toronto saw a 34% drop compared to July 2009, marking the third straight month that home sales have dropped (they fell 23% in June and 2% in May).

The sudden 34% decline in home sales suggests Toronto's real estate market is imploding. Home prices are currently up 6% compared to the same time last year, but home buyers should expect a steep drop in prices as demand continues to fall.

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