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How much?!?! Mortgage pre-payment penalties explained.
If you were hoping the Canadian government had introduced a new law standardizing mortgage penalties, youll be sad to learn no changes yet. Rumours swirl that something has to or will be done in regards to this issues. But, until that time were stuck with what we have. So, it is in your best interest to understand how pre-payment penalties work.
Youll be shocked to know that the average Canadian breaks their mortgages every 3.5 years, and the most common term people take is 5 years. Its easy to see why understanding mortgage penalties can end up saving you thousands. Of course, there are some simple strategies to avoid a penalty:
Wait until your maturity date to refinance, buy and sell, or switch lenders.
Porting Most mortgages include a portability features that essentially allows you to transfer your mortgage to a new property.
Early Renewal Some lenders will allow you to renew up to 6 months early without penalty.
However, when these situations dont line up, or arent available, clients are forced to pay what sometimes can be a massive mortgage penalty. For example, if you started a new mortgage exactly one year ago when rates were around 2.99% for a 5 year fixed closed term and you wanted to pay out your loan in full, here are some numbers to consider:
BMO - $4,640.00
MCAP - $2,167.00
These calculations can be done at home if you want to test your individual mortgage. Each financial institution is now required to disclose a pre-payment calculator or formula on their websites to allow Canadians to calculate their own penalty.
So, youre probably wondering how these penalties are calculated? Well its a method of two formulas, Interest Rate Differential (IRD), or 3 Months Interest. With a Variable Rate Mortgage, it is always 3 months interest. If you have a fixed mortgage, its the IRD or 3-Months Interest and it always depends on which is greater. I should note that No Frills Mortgages, or super low rate mortgages can sometimes have completely different ways of calculating a penalty. Beware of what youre signing!
IRD What it means..
Interest rate differential is the difference of your current mortgage rate and what the lender could offer in todays current market. For example, if you have 4 years left on your mortgage, the lender will compare their rate to what their current 4-year rate is.
This calculation differs between lenders in regards to how they determine what rates to compare. Banks have posted and discounted rates. If you review any mortgage documents from the Big 6 Banks, it shows you the discount offered from the posted rate.
Right now, Scotabank has a 5 year rate of 4.79%, however, you could walk in there today and get 3.09% on the same 5 year term. But, when they go to calculate the penalty, dont think they wont consider the original discount. This is huge when picking your lender, especially if you know you may need to break your mortgage.
Other lenders, especially those available through the broker channel, compare rates at face value. Meaning, the discount rate is compared to the discount rate. That is what you saw MCAP (above) with the lowest mortgage penalty.
In essence, when selecting a mortgage lender, be sure to consider all your options. It could end up saving you thousands.
Mortgage Agent in Kingston, Ontario, License #M13000201
BOC maintains overnight rate target at 1/2 per cent; projects moderate growth in Q2
The Bank of Canada is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/4 per cent.
Inflation is broadly in line with the Banks projection in its April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Food prices continue to decline, mainly because of intense retail competition, pushing inflation temporarily lower. The Banks three measures of core inflation remain below two per cent and wage growth is still subdued, consistent with ongoing excess capacity in the economy. The global economy continues to gain traction and recent developments reinforce the Banks view that growth will gradually strengthen and broaden over the projection horizon. As anticipated, growth in the United States during the first quarter was weak, reflecting mostly temporary factors. Recent data point to a rebound in the second quarter. The uncertainties outlined in the April MPR continue to cloud the global and Canadian outlooks.
The Canadian economys adjustment to lower oil prices is largely complete and recent economic data have been encouraging, including indicators of business investment. Consumer spending and the housing sector continue to be robust on the back of an improving labour market, and these are becoming more broadly based across regions. Macroprudential and other policy measures, while contributing to more sustainable debt profiles, have yet to have a substantial cooling effect on housing markets. Meanwhile, export growth remains subdued, as anticipated in the April MPR, in the face of ongoing competitiveness challenges. The Banks monitoring of the economic data suggests that very strong growth in the first quarter will be followed by some moderation in the second quarter.
All things considered, Governing Council judges that the current degree of monetary stimulus is appropriate at present, and maintains the target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent.
Canadian home sales drop in April
According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined in April 2017.
National home sales fell 1.7% from March to April.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in April was down 7.5% from a year earlier.
The number of newly listed homes jumped 10% from March to April.
The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) was up 19.8% year-over-year (y-o-y) in April 2017.
The national average sale price rose 10.4% y-o-y in April.
Home sales over Canadian MLS Systems fell by 1.7% in April 2017 from the all-time record set in March. April sales were down from the previous month in close to two-thirds of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and offset by gains in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 7.5% year-over-year, with declines in close to 70% of all local markets. Sales were down most in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, where activity continues to run well below last years record-levels. The GTA also factored in the decline, with faded activity compared to record levels set in April last year.
Sales in Vancouver are down from record levels in the first half of last year but the gap has started to close, CREA President Andrew Peck. Meanwhile, sales are up in Calgary and Edmonton from last years lows and trending higher in Ottawa and Montreal. All real estate is local, and REALTORS remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to.
Homebuyers and sellers both reacted to the recent Ontario government policy announcement aimed at cooling housing markets in and around Toronto, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. The number of new listings in April spiked to record levels in the GTA, Oakville-Milton, Hamilton-Burlington and Kitchener-Waterloo, where there had been a severe supply shortage. And with only ten days to go between the announcement and the end of the month, sales in each of these markets were down from the previous month. It suggests these housing markets have started to cool. Policy makers will no doubt continue to keep a close eye on the combined effect of federal and provincial measures aimed at cooling housing markets of particular concern, while avoiding further regulatory changes that risk producing collateral damage in communities where the housing market is well balanced or already favours buyers.