Following in the footsteps of UK’s Zopa and the U.S.’s Proper, Canada’s own CommunityLend is set to launch some time in Fall 2007. If you check out prosper.com for example, you can get some handsome rates of return if you’re willing to lend someone a bit of money. Even lending to someone with an AA credit rating can net you 12.5% return. I would expect that both lender and borrower gain some advantage here as they avoid the spreads from the middle-man (the banks). Instead the middle-man is a website that probably charges some low rate fee in addition to collecting revenue from advertising.
On CBC Radio this morning, I heard that Canfor will be closing the mill in the small town of Mackenzie, BC, home to 5,000 people, because of “reduced demand due to a slowed housing starts in the US.” Another article said “Canfor, like most forest companies, is facing mounting pressures including a strengthening Canadian dollar and a slumping U.S. building market.”
Not sure if anyone noticed, but there were articles out recently about new economic data from the States, including a huge drop in median housing prices: “the median price of a new home sold last month fell to $229,100, a record 11.1 per cent decline from March that indicated builders are slashing prices in an effort to move a huge overhang of unsold homes.” Apparently, “the median price dropped by the largest amount on record.” Further, “the drop in median prices in April compared with March was a record one-month decline. If the April sales price was compared to the sales price a year ago, the decline was 10.9 per cent, the biggest year-over-year drop since 1970.”
I might start blogging again soon. I got back from my vacation but since then I have been very busy with personal things, including getting a new computer to replace the one that was broken. Haven’t done any trading though. My portfolio is very boring. But in around the middle of June I will probably make a purchase as there will be $2500 in my RRSP by that time. Most likely I will buy some more US Index (VTI) as it is down and everything else is up.