Here are five things you need to know this morning:

Toronto home prices inch up: House prices in Canada’s biggest housing market did something last month they haven’t done since July: inch ever so slightly higher. Data from the Toronto Region Real Estate Board released Tuesday showed that sales, listings and benchmark prices moved higher in February. February is typically not the hottest month for home sales as things normally get going in the spring months, but with anticipation for rate cuts, the region’s real estate board says activity has started picking up from an admittedly low bar. Total sales were 17.9 per cent higher than they were in February of last year, but that’s partially boosted by the leap year adding an extra day to the month’s tally. If Feb. 29 is stripped out, sales are still up by 12.3 per cent. New listings surged by 33.5 per cent and the benchmark price inched higher on a monthly and annual basis.

Mortgage delinquencies on the rise: Realtors may be trumpeting the advent of a spring market, but there are continuing signs of stress among those who’ve already borrowed to buy and are anxiously sitting on the sidelines. Credit agency Equifax reports that consumers in Ontario and British Columbia increasingly missed payments on mortgages and credit cards at the end of last year. Equifax says high interest rates are making it harder for borrowers to stay on top of payments, a trend they have observed for a while now but one that finally tipped over pre-pandemic levels in the fourth quarter. In Ontario, the mortgage delinquency rate was up 135 per cent compared to a year earlier, while B.C.’s rose by 62 per cent. While a surge in people falling more than three months behind on their mortgage is concerning, it’s important to remember that the surge is coming up from a very low baseline. According to the Canadian Bankers Association there were more than five million residential mortgages in Canada as of the end of December, and just shy of 10,000 of them were in arrears. That’s a national rate of 0.18 per cent.

iPhone sales in China plunge 24%: Shares in Apple Inc. are under pressure on Tuesday morning after a report suggested sales of iPhones in China have plummeted by almost a quarter in the first six weeks of this year. Numbers from Counterpoint Research suggest the iPhone has slipped to be only the fourth most popular smartphone in China, down from number two last year. Overall phone sales in China are down by seven per cent but Apple is losing more ground to its rivals, prompting something unthinkable by the company: discounts. Online resellers are now slashing iPhone prices by as much as US$180 in China, Bloomberg reports. The most popular smartphone in China is Dongguan-based Vivo’s, while the new number two is the Mate 60 by Shenzhen-based Huawei Technologies Co.  Huawei has benefited from a wave of patriotic buying as trade war rhetoric ratchets up. Huawei jumped to a 16.5 per cent China market share in the first six weeks, up from 9.4 per cent previously. The company that split from Huawei in 2020, Honor Device Co., was the only other major maker to show unit sales growth, at two per cent, and now enjoys 16 per cent of the market. Apple’s share is now at 15.7 per cent from 19 before, leaving the company in fourth place.

Deep freeze impacts Alberta oil: It was as recently as November that Alberta’s total oil output hit an all-time high of four million barrels a day, but new numbers for January released Tuesday show the province had its biggest monthly plunge since 2020, as total production fell by 380,000 barrels to just over 3.8 million. Most of the slowdown came from the oilsands, where production fell by 342,000 barrels to 3.23 million per day, according to numbers from Canada’s Energy Regulator. While overall activity is still forecasted to be historically strong for the rest of the year and beyond, the explanation for the January slowdown is quintessentially Canadian: the weather. A deep freeze where temperatures dipped below -30 degrees disrupted output from mines and wells.

PDAC mining conference continues: The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s annual conference is wrapping up in Toronto soon, and just as we did on Monday, we’ll have extensive coverage from the floor of one of the most important events of the year for the global mining industry. On Monday, we checked in with gold miner Wesdome, silver miner First Majestic, uranium miner Denison and embattled copper miner First Quantum. On Tuesday we’ll interview executives with Teck Resources, Alamos Gold, Ero Copper and more for their outlook on the metal and mining industry, one that is critically important to Canada’s economy. Catch all our coverage on air and online at