- what your credit score is
- your pay and income going into your accounts
- your debt payments
- other debt balances on your credit report
- your home/ rental addresses so they can accurately guess at your home value
Highlights of the article link below are:
Canada’s biggest banks are tightening their grip … as new rules designed to cut out risky lending make it harder for borrowers to switch lenders … the country’s biggest five banks … are reporting higher rates of renewals by existing customers concerned they will not qualify for a mortgage with another bank.
“B-20 has created higher renewal rates for the big banks, driving volumes and goosing their growth rates,” said Eight Capital analyst Steve Theriault. “It’s had the unintended consequence of reducing competition.”
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the country’s biggest lender, said last month that mortgage renewal rates [are up …] due in part to the B-20 regulations and also to improvements it has made to make it easier for customers to renew.
Ron Butler, owner of Toronto-based brokerage Butler Mortgage, said the changes leave borrowers with less choice.
“Even if they are up-to-date with their repayments, borrowers may find they don’t qualify with other lenders so they’re stuck with their bank at whatever rate it offers,” he said.
Senior Canadian bankers such as RBC … and TD … voiced their support for the new rules prior to their introduction, saying rising prices were a threat to Canada’s economy.
While analysts say RBC and TD are expected to benefit from higher-than-normal retention rates in 2019, not everyone is sure borrowers will benefit.
“The banks are becoming more sophisticated in targeting borrowers who would fail the stress test and they can charge them higher rates at renewal knowing they can’t move elsewhere,” Butler said.
Link to the full article is here: https://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/canadas-big-banks-tighten-grip-on-mortgage-market-after-rule-changes
We saw the “Mortgage Renewal Trap” coming long ago when the Stress Test was announced. It is more important than ever to consider Mortgage Broker Lenders for your mortgage now.
Mark Herman, Top Calgary Alberta Mortgage Broker.
These comments below are in addition to the report last week that said that because Toronto has:
lots of in-migration,
New to Canada migration and
no other kinds of homes being built in the inner city
they do need all of these new condos and it is not a bubble. Interesting.
Economists to condo investors: Smile!
Written by Vernon Clement Jones
Condo investors in Toronto have every reason to be keep smiling, with two separate bank reports suggesting their assets are almost certain to retain their value at the same time their cash flow gets buoyed by rental demand.
“As CMHC… mentioned, capital return for investors who bought new condominiums and decided to rent them once the construction was complete, could earn superior returns than on other investment products,” reads Laurentian Banks’ July economic outlook. “Furthermore, condominiums rents are generally 40% more expensive than apartments of same dimensions in the Toronto CMA, the most important spread in the whole country.”
RBC is also weighing in on the future of Canada’s most controversial housing market, suggesting there’s no indication condos, despite what most see as a glut of inventory, are in a bubble.
Far from it.
“Based on market activity to date,” say economists for the heftiest of Canada’s big banks, “the total number of new housing units (condos) completed by builders has not exceeded the GTA’s demographic requirements and is unlikely to do so by any significant magnitude in the next few years.”
That dual analysis effectively counters concerns that T.O.’s high-rise properties are primed to fall in value as renters find themselves spoiled for choice and investors are forced to slash prices. The naysayers are also worried that even new construction will be subjected to a major price correction and in the short-term, a phenomenon directly tied to mortgage rule changes making it harder to win financing.
That could, in fact, still happen, although not likely on the scale many analysts had predicted earlier this year, says Laurentian in its analysis.
We all know interest rates are going to go up. Even after reading this the big hit we all know is coming is that variable rate mortgage payments go up right away. The rest mentioned below may come later.
Jason Heath Mar 31, 2012 – 7:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Mar 30, 2012 9:09 AM ET
For three years, the word on the street has been that interest rates have nowhere to go but up. But few Canadian commentators – other than David Rosenberg – got the call on rates right. Although the prime rate has risen since dropping to an all-time low of 2.25% in April 2009, the increase to the current 3% rate that has remained stable since September 2010 has been modest to say the least. Long-term rates, like fixed mortgage rates, have gone up and come back down during that time, such that one can currently lock in fixed rates under 3%.
York University’s Moshe Milevsky did a study in 2001, which he revised in 2007, and determined that borrowers are better off going with a variable rate mortgage instead of a fixed rate mortgage approximately 9 times out of 10. That said, we have to be close to if not already in that 10% sweet spot where fixed beats variable.
Despite the opportunity to lock in low rates today, it could actually be beneficial for the average Canadian for rates to rise. Conditions need to warrant rate increases and the Bank of Canada (which directly governs the prime rate) and the bond market (which indirectly governs fixed mortgage rates) won’t raise rates until the time is right. How soon that time comes depends partially on domestic influences, but also on our neighbours to the south and the current eurozone debt debacle.
Greece is a perfect example of why rates should rise. Greek participation in the European Union gave them access to cheap credit and helped facilitate some of the excess spending that has them where they are today. Despite bond markets demanding higher interest rates on Greek and some other European government bonds, market intervention by the EU has helped keep rates artificially low.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has been doing the same thing, buying up U.S. government treasury bills to keep U.S. rates artificially low as well.
It’s hard to justify how artificially low interest rates for an extended period are good for anything other than delaying the inevitable for some market participants.
Higher rates would have a negative impact on those of us with outstanding debt, as higher interest charges would follow. But Canadian debt levels have moved ever higher in recent years, likely a response to the low rates that have been in place in part to stimulate spending. Higher mortgage rates could protect us from ourselves by making higher debt levels more punitive and less tempting.
Furthermore, fixed income investors could benefit. The emphasis on “could” is key. Rising rates typically hurt those holding bonds because today’s bonds are that much more appealing than yesterday’s as rates go up. How much the hurt hurts is a matter of fact. But those renewing GICs or sitting on cash these days are desperately awaiting higher interest rates to help their savings grow. So higher rates could at least lead to higher returns for fixed income investors in some cases.
Higher rates could benefit stock investors. Once again, the emphasis on “could” is key. Higher rates usually mean the economy is improving and inflation is rising. This could be a good sign that corporate profits and corresponding stock prices are moving higher. That said, one has to wonder if low bond and GIC interest rates and cheap credit have pushed more money into the stock market than should otherwise be there. Rising rates could bring income investors back to the more traditional income investments like bonds and GICs from the blue chip stocks they’ve potentially flocked to in order to obtain yield.
Despite the purported uncertainty above on stocks and bonds, higher rates should at least contribute somewhat to restoring equilibrium to credit, debt and equity markets. Something seems wrong with near zero or negative real interest rates. That is, something seems wrong with a GIC investor earning 2%, paying 1% of that away in tax and 2% inflation resulting in an effective return of -1%. On that basis, something seems right about higher interest rates, whether we like it or not. What happens to mortgage debt, stocks and bonds remains to be seen.
Jason Heath is a fee-only Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and income tax professional for Objective Financial Partners Inc. in Toronto.
We love people that are New to Canada. New immigrants are 20% of our business. There are lots of tricks on what is needed to get a mortgage for them and not all banks do these files BUT WE ARE SPECIALISTS at it. I will upload our brochure for it here.
They can normally buy with:
- 5% down if they have a foreign credit report – England, most all of South America – including Mexico, Portugal or Spain.
- or 10% down. 5% from own savings and 5% from other possible sources – like relocaton allowances, gifts from home, etc.
- and a full time, permanent job.
Call to discuss these files. The one tough part is their files do not get rate holds so it is live deals – when you have an accepted offer to purchase – only.
Most Canadians feel immigrants are just as likely to be good citizens as people who were born here, a recent Environics survey suggests.
Canadians also don’t appear to have problems with dual citizenship or with Canadian citizens living abroad.
The telephone survey is, according to Environics, the first poll to directly ask Canadians their views on citizenship. Its results suggest Canadians have a broad, inclusive view of the concept and of immigrants in general.
“To be a good citizen, it means to contribute to the society, to obey the laws of the country, to help other citizens, to volunteer, and it’s a rewarding feeling when you do all those things,” said Sara Jhangiryan, an Armenian-born resident of Toronto who became a Canadian citizen last year.
“It’s not only to take what the country offers but to give back, as well.”
Although not part of the survey, Jhangiryan echoes the views of many of those who responded to the poll, a joint initiative of Environics, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, the Maytree foundation, CBC News and the Royal Bank of Canada.
When asked what makes a good citizen, the top five responses were: obeying laws, actively participating in the community, helping other people, being tolerant of others and sharing or adopting Canadian values.
But when asked to list what they did to be good citizens, respondents cited volunteer work, being kind/generous to others, paying taxes, obeying laws and voting.
The survey suggests Canadians see immigrants as their equals: nearly 9 out of every 10 respondents agreed that a person born outside Canada is just as likely to be a good citizen as someone born here.
“There’s no real evidence of people feeling threatened or a sense that, ‘Well, people can come live here from other countries, but they’re not quite the same,'” said Keith Neuman, executive director of the Environics Institute.
When it comes to immigration and citizenship, the views of the majority of Canadians born in the country and the 20 per cent born outside it are largely aligned. Canadian-born and foreign-born respondents were equally likely to feel fully like citizens (78 per cent versus 75 per cent).
Usha George, dean of Ryerson University’s Faculty of Community Services, says the survey’s findings confirm a lot of what those working with new Canadians know already.
The willingness of Canadians to not view a person’s foreign background as an impediment to citizenship is a product of the country’s multicultural policies and the visible effect of immigrants on the economy, George said.
Integration of immigrants has worked in Canada because the government has funded programs that teach immigrants about Canadian values and society has adapted its institutions to accommodate diversity.
“The mutual recognition that we should be respectful to each other and celebrate diversity in a genuine way, those values permeate the whole society,” said George, whose faculty trains many of those who provide social and other services to new immigrants.
Whatever Canada is doing, it seems to be positively influencing immigrants’ views of the country, the survey suggests: 88 per cent of respondents who were born outside Canada said they were very proud to be Canadian, compared with 81 per cent of those born here.
“Canadians who were not born in Canada are more proud than naturally born Canadians simply because we had the choice of being Canadian,” said Vikram Kewalramani, who immigrated to Canada in 2006 from India. “It wasn’t something that, literally, was a birthright. We consider it a privilege.”
For Amal Ibrahim, a Palestinian who became a citizen last year along with her two children, Canadian citizenship is primarily about respecting differences.
“It’s a great diverse culture where people learn how to live in harmony with each other while they have different ideas, different religions and different backgrounds,” she said.
Tolerance of others who are different was among the top five behaviours survey respondents considered a “very important” part of being a good citizen. Others were:
Treating men and women equally (95 per cent ranked this “very important”).
Following Canada’s laws (89 per cent).
Voting in elections (82 per cent – the same as tolerance of others).
Protecting the environment (80 per cent).
Immigrants’ views of what makes a good citizen were strikingly similar to those of native-born Canadians, said Neuman. In the majority of cases, the responses of the two groups varied at most by only a few percentage points.
“People might think … that newcomers are coming [into] this country … with their own sense of what it means to be a citizen, and they don’t really buy into the same perspective that native-born Canadians have,” he said.
“And this research pretty clearly suggests that they’re largely the same perspective, and the more somebody is in this country, the more immigrants buy into the native-born view.”
Canadians are generally satisfied with the rules for obtaining citizenship, the survey suggests. Only 26 per cent of respondents said the rules were not strict enough. Six per cent felt the rules were too strict, though that number tripled for permanent residents.
Canada’s willingness to allow multiple citizenships also got broad approval in the survey: 71 per cent of those surveyed felt Canadians should be allowed to hold dual citizenship.
That sentiment was even higher among 18- to 44-year-olds, with 80 per cent supporting dual citizenship, but lower for those 60 and over, at 58 per cent.
“I am equally proud of both citizenships,” said Natasha Nikolovska-Angelova, 32, who became a Canadian citizen last April. “Macedonia is more like my mother … the country where I was raised, and Canada is the country I chose to live in. It’s like the spouse you choose.… It’s the country of my future.”
Nikolovska-Angelova is part of the roughly 2.8 per cent of Canadians who hold at least one other citizenship.
Most of those surveyed also didn’t have a problem with Canadians living abroad. Sixty-six per cent of respondents who were born in Canada said it was generally a good thing to allow Canadian citizens to live abroad, compared to 55 per cent of respondents born outside of Canada.
The survey of 2,376 adults was conducted between Nov.18 and Dec. 17 and has an overall margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points 19 times out of 20 (+/- 4.3 percentage points for the foreign-born subsample group). Only households with landlines were surveyed.
Below is a commentary on the possible new rules for Canadian mortgages. Anyone looking at buying with 5% down (which is about 80% of our clients) or using a 30 year amortization (75% of our clients) should look at buying sooner than later.
Comparing New Amortization & Down Payment Rules
Government mortgage restrictions instituted from 2008-2011 have not achieved their goal, suggests Desjardins’ Senior Economist Benoit Durocher.
He wrote this on Thursday: “…The third series of [government mortgage rules] was announced nearly a year ago now, and we must conclude that the tightening introduced to date has not
slowed the market enough.
Under these conditions, it is likely, and perhaps even desirable, that the federal government will shortly announce a fourth series of measures to further limit mortgage credit.”
It almost sounds like Durocher has some inside info.
He adds: “Among other things, the government could be tempted to once again raise the minimum down payment on new loans (it went from 0% to 5% in October 2008).”
Many believe a down payment increase would have a more chilling effect on home prices than the other option being talked about: a reduction in the maximum amortization from 30 to 25 years.
The difference in impact would depend, however, on the degree of rule changes.
For example, raising the minimum down payment from 5.0% to 7.5% (a possibility that’s been discussed) would require that entry-level homebuyers come up with $8,700 more on a typical Canadian home purchase. For most, that’s not totally out of reach.
A five percentage point increase to the minimum down payment is a somewhat different story. Requiring 10% down equates to $34,780 on an average home. That’s beyond the means of a sizable minority of first-time buyers.
First-time buyers are essential to home price stability. They account for 1/2 of unit demand according to Altus Group research. While the latest data suggests that average down payments are somewhere around 30% (an estimated $104,000), first-time buyers put down far less.
That means stricter down payment rules could potentially hurt home values at the margin, if other things are held equal.
In terms of amortization, a government-imposed reduction—from 30 to 25 years—would lower a typical family’s maximum purchase price by roughly 9%. (That’s based on today’s 5-year fixed rates, normal qualification guidelines, median incomes, and average consumer debt.)
To put this in perspective, a reduction in amortization from 30 to 25 years would cut a typical buyer’s maximum possible purchase price by ~$31,000 (again, based on an average income, average debt, a 5% down payment, etc.).
Fortunately, most people don’t need a 30-year amortization to buy a home. Despite 41% of homebuyers choosing extended amortizations, the majority could have qualified with a standard 25-year mortgage. (That said, this doesn’t mean that cutting amortizations across the board is justified. Well-qualified borrowers deserve a carve-out in the rules because they utilize extended amortizations for legitimate cash-flow management purposes. But that’s a topic for another day.)
This is interesting.
We have always thought that the way they do their math was odd or different or something.
Another reason to use a good Calgary broker that has other options than the Big 6 banks that continue to take advantage of their own customers. Why do they do this?
CIBC class action attracts hundreds of inquiries
Lawyers spearheading twin class-action suits against CIBC over “vague prepayment terms” have fielded interest from hundreds of the bank’s mortgage clients — that as a case management judge in B.C. gets assigned to the legal action.
“There have been hundreds of inquiries about these cases to our office and that of our co-counsel in Ontario,” Kieran Bridge, a Vancouver lawyer with the Construction Law Group, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca, pointing to borrowers who paid out CIBC mortgage from April 2005 onward.
Firstline clients areamong those concerned that they may have been adversely affected by the lender’s prepayment policy.
A Case Management Judge has also been assigned, what Bridge calls a key, mandatory step in moving class actions forward in British Columbia.
“We applied in November for a judge to be appointed, in order to move the case ahead, and are pleased this has happened,” he said.
The twin lawsuits were filed in B.C. and Ontario last October, alleging some CIBC mortgage borrowers have been unfairly penalized by unclear prepayment terms giving rise to two substantive complaints.
Aside from what Bridge terms “uncertain and unenforceable language” in contracts dating as far back as 2005, he also points to the mathematical formula CIBC used to determine those prepayment charges, calling them “invalid,” or in legal speak a “miscalculation.”
The suits rely on individual representative plaintiffs in B.C. and Ontario. Each of those two notices of claim alleges CIBC applied terms and conditions to certain mortgage contracts that allowed it “unfettered discretion” in calculating mortgage prepayment penalties.
The suits also allege that the actual amounts of those penalties were themselves in breach of the mortgage contracts.
CIBC will haven’t yet filed a statement of defence against the allegations.
“Because these cases are intended class actions, the normal time limit for filing a Statement of Defence is rarely applied,” said Bridge.”There has been no Statement of Defence filed, and no substantive response from CIBC.”
The assignment of a management judge notwithstanding, the suit still must be certified in order to proceed to trial. That could take a year or more.
The collective legal action effectively echoes some of the more-perennial and broader concerns of brokers, who grapple with the widely varying interest rate differential and prepayment penalties many lenders demand of borrowers. The former, sometimes stretching into the tens of thousands of dollars, has presented a major impediment to helping clients take advantage of historically low rates by switching or refinancing clients before maturity, argue many mortgage professionals.
Those challenges have led to broker calls for industry-wide standardization of penalties.
Undoubtedly, broker-arranged mortgages through Firstline are among the thousands of transactions the dual suit is meant to address, said Bridge, at the same time expressing his support for mortgage professionals.
The B.C. lawyer led a similar case against RBC about ten years ago. It ultimately ended in a settlement, said Bridge.
CALGARY — MLS sales in Calgary rose by 22.1 per cent in August compared with a year ago — a greater year-over-year rate of growth than the rest of the country.
The Canadian Real Estate Association said Thursday that Calgary recorded 1,907 MLS sales for all residential properties during the month for an average price of $394,251, up 2.2 per cent from last year.
New listings in Calgary rose by 11.7 per cent in August to 3,819 and the sales as a percentage of new listings jumped by 4.2 per cent to 49.9 per cent.
In Canada, sales of 39,542 were 15.8 per cent higher than August 2010 and the average sale price of $349,916 was up 7.7 per cent.
New listings in Canada rose by 13.4 per cent to 73,125 and the sales as a percentage of new listings jumped by 1.1 per cent to 54.1 per cent.
“The housing market in Canada remained on a firm footing in August when compared to volatile financial markets,” said Gary Morse, president of CREA. “Through their actions, homebuyers are showing that they remain confident about the stability of the Canadian housing market, and recognize that the continuation of low interest rates represents an excellent opportunity to buy their first home or trade up.”
Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist, said economic and financial market headwinds outside Canada are keeping interest rates lower for longer.
“Those headwinds will likely persist until, and indeed after, fiscal quagmires in the U.S. and Europe are resolved,” he said. “In the meantime, the Bank of Canada will have ample reason to delay raising interest rates further, which is supportive for the Canadian housing market.”
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
- Friday, 16 September 2011
According to new data released from the Canadian Real Estate Association, housing activity in Canada remained stable in the month of August, which represents the second month in a row.
“The housing market in Canada remained on a firm footing in August when compared to volatile financial markets,” said Gary Morse, CREA President. “Through their actions, homebuyers are showing that they remain confident about the stability of the Canadian housing market, and recognize that the continuation of low interest rates represents an excellent opportunity to buy their first home or trade up.”
Looking at specific metropolitan centres, Toronto and Ottawa registered a monthly increase in activity, compared with Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver registering slight declines. Year-over-year, actual sales activity nationally rose by 15.8%.
Representing the first time that year-to-date activity has surpassed 2010 levels, 324,030 homes have traded hands, which is also in line with the ten year average.
70% of all local markets were solidly in balanced territory for the month of August, which represents the largest percentage on record. Only 12 markets reported being in buyer’s market position.
The national sales-to-new listings ratio, a measure of market balance, stood at 51.6 per cent in August, unchanged compared to July. The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes registered in at $349,916, which marks a 7.7 % increase year-over-year, which was also the lowest price point seen in 2010.
“Once again, economic and financial market headwinds outside Canada are keeping interest rates lower for longer,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Those headwinds will likely persist until, and indeed after, fiscal quagmires in the U.S. and Europe are resolved. In the meantime, the Bank of Canada will have ample reason to delay raising interest rates further, which is supportive for the Canadian housing market.”
Centres that had been hotbeds for both sales and for price appreciation, that had been having the effect of skewing national prices upwards like Toronto and Vancouver appear to have moderated somewhat, pulling price levels more in line with averages.
This is good news for those looking to buy. Prices are stable and affordable.
Owning a home in Calgary became more expensive in the second quarter of this year but housing in the city is one of the most affordable among major cities in Canada, says a report released Monday.
“The long hoped for rebound in the Calgary-area market that appeared to be on track earlier this year lost some momentum in the second quarter,” says the RBC Housing Trends and Affordability report.
“After posting two successive increases, home resales edged down during the April-June period, providing little impetus to prices, which continued to move sideways for the most part.
“With such absence of price pressure, the loss of housing affordability was minimal in the quarter. The RBC measures for the Calgary area rose between 0.4 and 1.1 percentage points, representing a smaller deterioration among major Canadian cities. Owning a home in the area, therefore, continues to be close to the most affordable that it has been in almost six years.”
The RBC Housing Affordability Measure, which has been compiled since 1985, shows the proportion of median pre-tax household income that would be required to service the cost of mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes and utilities. The higher the measure, the more difficult it is to afford a house. For example, an affordability measure of 50 per cent means that home ownership costs take up 50 per cent of a typical household’s pre-tax income.
In the second quarter, Calgary’s measures were 37.1 per cent for a detached bungalow, 38.5 per cent for a standard two-storey, and 23.0 per cent for a standard condominium. The measures increased by 0.6 per cent (bungalow), 1.1. per cent (two-storey) and 0.4 per cent (condo).
However, they are lower than a year ago by 3.1 per cent for a bungalow, 2.9 per cent for a two-storey and 1.6 per cent for a condo.
“Notwithstanding the latest bout of uncertainty, we believe that the strong economic fundamentals of Alberta and Calgary will find their way into the housing market and will support homebuyer demand in the period ahead,” says the report.
RBC says the average bungalow price in Calgary declined by two per cent year-over-year in the second quarter to $411,700 while a two-storey dropped by 1.6 per cent to $415,200 and a condo fell by 1.1 per cent to $249,000.
Sano Stante, president of the Calgary Real Estate Board, said prevailing negative economic conditions will restrain any increases in interest rates for awhile.
“Those are increases that we fully expected prior to these events and they’ve now been abated,” said Stante. “That was our biggest risk of deteriorating affordability.
“With an assurance that interest rates are going to stay low for the next 12 months anyway — and there’s somewhat of an assurance — then it really looks like we’re going to lead the nation in affordability especially when we start to get increased employment and in-migration towards the end of this year. That should really lend to a more robust real estate market.”
Robert Hogue, senior economist with RBC, said he too expects Calgary’s affordability to remain about the same.
“Previous to a few weeks ago we expected higher interest rates would start really putting more and more pressure across the board in Canada including in Calgary on the monthly costs of home ownership,” he said. “Now we’ve pushed everything out to the middle of next year.
“For the next few months or quarters I think chances are that affordability is probably will go sideways, the same as the housing market.”
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald