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Dollar Parity means 18% more expensive?

BMO analyst did a survey and even with the Canadian dollar hovering around parity with it’s American cousin, prices of things in Canada are still 18% more expensive than they are in the U.S. . Is this surprising, not to me, price gouging has been going on for Canadians for a good long time, and I don’t expect parity in pricing in the next year if the Canadian Dollar stays at parity. When a CD costs $12.99 in Canada and $9.99 in the US (the same one) you can see that the Canadian market is not that important to the manufacturers. Do I sound bitter? You bet.

Tim Horton’s Savings Plan

Now with companies like Kia and Rogers using the “If you didn’t buy coffee you could buy this” in their advertising (please note I mentioned this first in the Tim Horton’s Savings Plan many years ago), maybe Tim Horton’s should start their own bank, like PC Financial. Offer points for frequent users and then they can introduce the save a nickel with every coffee, which would be their customer lock. Each time a customer buys with their Pre-paid card, 5 cents is deposited in a savings account for them (or their RRSP), Scotiabank already offers something like this as do other financial institutions.

Look for the “Bank of the Big Cajun Man” coming soon! 🙂

New Housing Price Increases Still Up

As with last month, this month’s year over year increase was lower at 5.2% and the month over month increase was Zero, which is quite interesting too. Have a look in the attached table for where you live and the new house price increase.

New housing prices increased at their slowest pace in more than two and a half years in April, despite strong markets in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

New Housing Price Indexes
April 2008 April 2007 to April 2008 March to April 2008
(1997=100) % change
Canada total 158.4 5.2 0.0
House only 168.1 4.9 -0.1
Land only 139.5 6.2 0.2
St. John’s 154.1 16.3 3.6
Halifax 148.2 11.3 0.0
Charlottetown 119.4 2.0 0.1
Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton 115.8 2.6 0.0
Québec 154.0 5.0 1.0
Montréal 159.2 4.3 -0.1
Ottawa–Gatineau 166.4 3.2 0.1
Toronto and Oshawa 145.8 4.6 0.1
Hamilton 152.9 3.2 -0.1
St. Catharines–Niagara 157.0 4.9 0.5
Kitchener 142.2 3.0 0.2
London 141.7 4.6 0.6
Windsor 103.8 -0.2 0.4
Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay 110.8 5.4 0.0
Winnipeg 174.5 14.8 0.1
Regina 238.3 34.0 7.1
Saskatoon 241.6 43.7 0.4
Calgary 251.0 2.5 -0.8
Edmonton 241.5 8.1 -0.6
Vancouver 124.7 5.4 0.1
Victoria 119.0 1.9 -0.3
Note: View the census subdivisions that comprise the metropolitan areas online.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I think one of the reasons that we pay more is due to the difference in minimum wage $5.85 per hour in the US vs $8.75 here in Ontario. If you are paying more to staff your store you have to charge more to cover the costs.

  2. I don’t think there is any bad news in the new housing index. They tried to twist it in to being bad by adding in the ‘slowest pace in X’ but really 5.4% is still over 3 times inflation for April and I believe over 2 times income growth. That’s still unsustainable over long periods of time and this should be hovering around the same in the 1-3% range just like the CPI and wage growth.

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