Here is an UPDATE to the Canadian New First Time Home Buyer Incentive Program
A Calgary lawyer recently had an opportunity to review the program and attend a basic seminar. He said he would not recommend the “down payment equity share” program to a first time home buyer for the following reasons – BUT here are our replies … and the Program DOES make sense to do.
NEGATIVE POINTS and the reasons FOR the program are below:
- It will take much longer to be approved for this program than for a normal mortgage loan and sellers may not accommodate the longer condition time.
- We normally pre-approve buyers with these files and this program in advance so there is no extra time needed at the lenders for conditions.
- The math for this program is complicated and buyers that use this program need to be pre-approved as they need the mortgage to match the affordability guidelines and to shop in the right price range.
- The extra time is at closing when 2 sets of documents are needed by the lawyer. As long as this is known in advance, the closing date can be long enough to allow for the extra paperwork to be requested and completed.
- Higher legal and appraisal costs will result as two separate mortgages have to be prepared and registered (one for the lender and one for the equity share) and an extra appraisal will have to be obtained and paid for by the owner if paying out the incentive mortgage prior to the ultimate sale of the property.
- A 1st and 2nd mortgages go on title at the same time as closing.
- Appraisal on purchase is not involved as it has to be a CMHC approved mortgage (CMHC is responsible for the appraisal in this case) and the program is based on the purchase price.
- If the owner wants to pay it off / back sooner, then an appraisal is needed at buyer cost ~$350.
- This would happen if the owner wanted to do extensive renovations to the home.
- An appraisal should not be needed on a bonafide sale, to a 3rd party, via a realtor, and when listed on MLS.
- An appraisal MAY be needed – as the owners cost – if the sale if it is a “private sale” and/ or believed to be below market value.
- (This is to stop the owner from selling the home to a family member for $1.00 and then attempt to repay the loan with $0.05.)
- The buyer has already saved many times the extra costs, savings are about $100 – $150/ month, from day 1. Paying-out at 10, 15, 20 years later … they have already saved $100 x 12 x 10 years = $12,000, in the bank, already.
- A disincentive to improve/renovate the property will exist as any appreciated value is shared with the government notwithstanding that they don’t contribute to the renovation costs.
- Upon repayment, improvements will be included when determining the market value, therefore the Homebuyer will have to consider the cost and benefit of the planned renovations, and decide whether to repay the Incentive prior to making any home improvements.
- IMPORTANT: It may be beneficial to the Homebuyer to repay the Incentive prior to conducting any major renovations to the home.
- A potential trap is being created for non-permanent residents who are legally authorized to work in Canada who can qualify to buy under this program but will have extreme difficulty in selling when their work permit expires as they will not have sufficient equity to satisfy the required withholding requirements under the Income Tax Act
- We have been the largest Mortgage Alliance brokerage in Canada for 6 years in a row, and we do about 20 deals a year for 9xx SIN buyers; 99% of our customers are unaffected by this.
- Again, this program is surgical in for who it works for. The program is not for everyone.
- It may be more difficult to refinance the property (it is not clear whether the Government will permit refinancing of the first mortgage and postpone their security to the new financing)
Updated rules have been released:
- The home CAN be refinanced without triggering repayment of the incentive, however, the shared equity mortgage will only be postponed to the outstanding balance that would otherwise be owing under the first ranking mortgage (i.e. no equity take-out will be permitted ahead of the shared equity mortgage).
- The combination of all charges on a refinance must not exceed 80%.
- This program DOES allow Assumption of the mortgage. Standard rules apply: full requalification by the parties assuming the mortgage directly with the lender. The standard on-going ramifications to the seller still apply.
- This program does NOT allow a PORT of the mortgage to another property. It would have to be paid out at that time.
- If refinancing of the first mortgage will not be possible without paying out the government’s equity share, then the first mortgage lender will have a captive borrower. The lender will have no incentive to reduce posted mortgage rates on renewal resulting in substantially higher interest rates in the second and subsequent mortgage terms for the homeowner.
- As above, the rules do allow the home to be refinanced without triggering repayment of the incentive.
- The renewal rate offered by the lender is independent of the 2nd charge on title.
Side note: We see that lenders are already applying the “Stress Test” under-the-covers on renewals when calculating the renewal rates. More on my blog here: https://markherman.ca/2019/06/
We love this New Home Buyer Incentive Program – NHBI
Mortgage Mark Herman; Best, Top Calgary Mortgage Broker
With the latest developments the Bank of Canada (BoC) has clear path to reduce the Prime rate from 3.95 to probably 3.70%
The Bank of Canada is feeling the pressure to get back into the game with a rate reduction and one obstacle has now been removed.
The bank held its rate the same for an 8th straight meeting on October 30th.
At the same time it has clearly signaled it may not be able to hold that line much longer.
The bank pointed directly at trade conflicts (such as the U.S. – China tariff war) as the key cause of a global economic slowdown and around the world more than 35 other central banks have already cut rates in an effort to keep growth up.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has made three cuts in the past several months. That has boosted the strength of the Canadian dollar which makes the country’s exports more expensive on the world market which is unwelcome.
Great news that the Bank is not concerned that a drop in interest rates will trigger a renewed frenzy of debt-funded consumer spending. It is satisfied that the biggest component of household debt – mortgages – have been stabilized by the B-20 regulations. And another big obstruction has been removed. The federal election is over so the bank can operate without risking the appearance of political favoritism.
Fixed rates are still the way to go right now.
They are close to the all time 119-year lows right now.
Mortgage Mark Herman
For the high-end buyers, we find most people have Private Wealth banks that can pretty much do anything … and we don’t win lots of deals for more than $1M+ unless it is a complicated deal.
If it is complicated, you have a private “general banker” trying to either “figure it out for the first time,” or remember how it works. Not the data a high-end buyer wants to rely on when structuring complicated trades in real estate.
SLIDING SCALE DOWN PAYMENT:
The 1 thing that does make a difference for high end buyers is the sliding scale – where their bank does 20% down on the first $750k and then 50% down on the balance. This 50% on the balance is the deal breaker.
We have Broker-lenders (totally secure, including 1st National, Canada’s largest lender with $110 Billion on the books) that will do 20% down on the entire purchase.
That could be a difference of 200k – 400k of down payment in the end. That often means selling more assets, in turn triggering more tax consequences longer term. A high price to pay for a nice home via your “private wealth” bank.
Our big advantages for high-end buyers are:
- the Sliding Scale where the bank’s “Risk Dept” will not bend on the LTV/ down payment %.
- This can save 200k in lower down payment and lower medium-term, tax consequences.
- Payout Penalties are 500% – 800% – yes 5x to 8x higher at the Big-6 banks over Broker lenders who use the “old way” to calculate the payout penalties.
- The very, very detailed math is here: https://markherman.ca/fixed-rate-mortgage-penalties-larger-than-ever/ (you have been warned… this is math city.)
Always call a mortgage broker before buying a home. Especially if you are using a Private Wealth Banker. … Mark Herman, Top Calgary Mortgage Broker near me.