Global Housing Market

+ Canada – homebuilders are now adding 200,000 annualized new homes vs the 175,000 required to meet the demand from first time buyers.

+ Royal Bank has increased 5 year posted mortgage rates by 1% over the last month, currently 6.10%.

+ Mortgage debt in the US is 80% of total household debt and nearly 75% of GDP.

+ An additional 4.8 million US mortgage holders were behind 60 days on their payments in March.

+ China is now mandating that interest rates for property loans rise, conditions tighten, and larger down payments.

Club Med (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain)

+ Sovereign Debt downgrades: Greece 3 notches to ‘junk’, Portugal 2 notches to A-, Spain 1 notch to AA.

+ JP Morgan estimates that a “bailout” package for all Club Med countries is $794 billion. (A bit larger than Lehman’s collapse)

Gulf of Mexico

+ Last week the BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico sunk, leaving the pipe in the ocean floor. 210,000 bbls of oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico and so far no remedy has been found for the leak.

Likely delays President Obama’s plans to expand offshore drilling.