February 7, 2018

On Wednesday, U.S. markets were mostly higher but ended the day down slightly.

The S&P 500 was down 0.5% while Toronto was down 0.2%.

Canadian Western Bank was up 2/0%.

Canadian Tire was up 2.6%.

Statistics Canada released data for building permits in December. I am always like to check data regarding single family home starts in Alberta given my investment in Melcor Developments. The December data shows that the number of single family dwelling permits issued was 1079 units. This is seasonally adjusted. This level has been fairly constant all year except it was higher back in April and May. I suspect the seasonal adjustment here is far from perfect. In any case these numbers confirm that the number of single family housing permits has recovered somewhat from the recession lows but is noticeably below the peak levels. In 2014 this number was about 1500 permits most months. Overall the 1079 single family home permits for December 2017 is neither a particular good number nor is it a bad number. I don’t know if Melcor would typically book a lot sale before a home permit was taken out or after. It may be right around the same time in many cases.

Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund is scheduled to release earnings before the open tomorrow (Thursday morning, that is). I am hopeful that their same store sales will be up (and that’s really the only number that matters in this case) due to to menu price increases even if the number of customers may not have risen. I know that casual type restaurants in my area are busy but there does seem to be more competition.