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Condo and townhouse construction helped push up housing starts in Toronto in January, contrary to most of the rest of the country where they slipped below expectations.

In fact, the decline in starts across most of Canada were so sizable, “housing is tracking as a drag effect on the economy in the first quarter of the new year,” according to Scotiabank economics.

There’s no way of knowing how significant a role weather played, notes Scotiabank, although one thing is clearer: that the record year of condo sales across the GTA in 2011, when more than 28,000 units sold, is now playing out on the ground and bolstering building, and construction employment, across the GTA.

What does this mean for people looking for a mortgage, specifically – is a fixed or variable rate mortgage plan the better option? Unfortunately there is no concrete way to say which option is the ‘right option’ as each individual homebuyer must address his or her own personal needs rather than following remarks from economists.

Understand the differences between variable and fixed mortgage rates, which are most popular, and if a variable or fixed mortgage rate is most suitable for you. Bank of Canada affects Variable Rate Mortgages whereas Bond Market affects Fixed Rate Mortgages. One of the first decisions homebuyers and mortgage shoppers face is whether to select a fixed rate or variable rate mortgage. Both types of mortgages can be beneficial depending on many factors, including your current financial situation, your comfort level with fluctuating rates and your credit score. Learn more about your two options so you can make an informed decision.

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Most parents take the responsibility of caring for their kids very seriously, but does care mean financial support and if so, how much?

Most parents love their kids. Most kids love their parents. Most parents take the responsibility of caring for their kids very seriously, but does care mean financial support and if so, how much?

How much money is enough to retire? Only you can figure that out

It’s a financial question that people either strive to answer or choose to ignore. But since scary headlines tend to attract more attention than rosy ones, one has to wonder if all the talk of a retirement crisis is causing people who are otherwise financially independent and have enough to retire to delay retirement unnecessarily.

A Manitoba Agriculture study in 2004 estimated that the average cost to raise a child to age 18 was $166,761 at that time. A subsequent 2011 study by MoneySense pegged the cost at $243,660. Either way, it seems an annual average budget between $9,000 and $13,000 is a fair estimate. Those average costs tend to be higher in the earlier years (due to child care costs) and lower in the later years. Like many other family expenses, those with higher incomes tend to spend more on their children on average than those with lower incomes.

retiremnt plan

How will Canadian seniors deal with lack of funds in retirement?

For some, a reverse mortgage is often the only solution to financial crises

The lack of pension reform combined with seniors living longer than ever is leading to a lack of finances in old age – a troubling issue that needs to be discussed in families across the country.

That’s according to HomEquity Bank experts, provider of the CHIP reverse mortgage.

“Canadian seniors want to remain in their homes as they age. However, there are many that could lose their homes because they haven’t saved enough for retirement, some will be forced out due to a lack of information on options and many of them have the answer in front of them and don’t know it,” explained HomEquity Bank VP National Sales, Jeff Spencer.

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  • Jas Bath

    The experience with AKAL Mortgages Inc. is great!!! I recently got approved for a business loan thought them and the agent that helped me with the process was outstanding. I am impressed with the convenience and very helpful service. I hear their agents on the radio all the time making consumer aware of the options available about mortgages and loans. And, they way they do, touch my heart. So honest and ethical.

  • Oli Rubion

    My wife and I visited AKAL mortgages Inc. due to their reputation in the market. We were attended in a timely fashion to discuss our mortgage and line of credit needs. We are so glad that we were provided with great options and solutions to choose from. We are very happy and satisfied from the services provided by AKAL mortgages Inc. We definitely recommend their services to our family and friends.

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