March 15 roundup

On an unseasonably warm real estate season, improvements in average debt ratios and a small victory for disgruntled Shoppers Optimum members.

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•It appears an unseasonably warm February kick-started Canada’s real estate market. Home sales pick up last month following two months of declines, defying predictions the market it starting to cool.

•Are Canadians finally heeding repeated debt warnings? The debt-service ratio declined to 150.6% last quarter from 151.9%, Statistics Canada said Thursday.

•A Montreal judge has granted class action lawsuit status to a group of disgruntled Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix Optimum members. The group is angry that the retailer changed its points system making every dollar spent in store worth less in redeemable rewards.

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