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Premiere Makes Profit 500 List
Premiere named mortgage firm of year, makes Profit top 500 list
Don MacVicar, president of Premiere Mortgages. (TIM KROCHAK / Staff)
Accolades just keep coming in forPremiere Mortgage Centre Inc.in Halifax.
The locally owned and managed mortgage brokerage firm was recently named Mortgage Brokerage of the Year by the national publication Canadian Mortgage Professional.
Just last week, Profit Magazine put Premiere Mortgage on its list of the top 500 fastest-growing companies in Canada at 69th place, with growth of 1,018 per cent over the past five years.
“It feels pretty good to get back-to-back recognition like this,” company president Don MacVicar said Monday.
“The competition is pretty aggressive in some of the other markets.”
MacVicar, a Halifax native, and some partners set up Premiere Mortgage about seven years ago after he returned to Nova Scotia with his family following a career in the banking business in Toronto.
Growth to date has far exceeded anything he had in mind, he said.
“I thought I was coming back to the Maritimes to get in a little of that more relaxed pace of life everybody was talking about.”
MacVicar said the brokerage firm plans to maintain an aggressive growth rate in Atlantic Canada and Ontario in coming years.
The company has 60 mortgage agents and originated $600 million in new mortgages in 2012, with a forecast of $700 million for 2013.
Canada’s big banks are expected to follow theRoyal Bank of Canadaand increase mortgage rates in the coming days. MacVicar said this may be good for the real estate industry.
RBC raised the rate on one-year mortgages 14 basis points to 3.14 per cent on Monday. A hundred basis points are equal to one per cent.
Two- and three-year mortgages went up 10 basis points to 3.14 and 3.65 per cent, respectively.
MacVicar said independent brokerages like Premiere can sometimes offer consumers a buffer from interest rate hikes, but he said some upward movement in rates is inevitable across the board.
“Even with these modest increases of 10 to 14 basis points, rates are at historic lows,” he said.
“The upward movement in rates might be good for the real estate industry as it may encourage consumers who’ve been sitting on the fence with rate guarantees to make a move.”
Other Nova Scotia companies on the Profit magazine list of fastest-growing companies includedMercer’s Best Built Structures Inc.of Dartmouth,Terra Beata Farms Ltd.of Heckmans Island, Lunenburg County, andJewelPop Inc.of Dartmouth.
Housing Market Digest by Will Dunning, Economist for Mortgage Professionals Canada
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) now requires that all residential mortgages by federally-regulated lenders must be stress-tested, at two percentage points above the contract interest rate (or the 5- year posted rate, if that is higher). In combination with the requirements for mortgage insurance, about 90% of all new mortgages will be tested.
This can be expected to reduce housing activity by 10-15%. It is on top of the impact from recent rises for mortgage interest rates (another 5-10% drop in activity). The combined 15-25% drop in housing activity will affect the broader economy.
In two years, employment could be 150,000-250,000 lower than it would otherwise be. There is a risk that house prices will fall. In a modern economy, a sustained drop in house prices is one of the most dangerous things that can happen: as happened in the US a decade ago, falling house prices can turn into widespread economic decline.
Resale activity recovered a bit more in September, to 492,900, due to partial rebounds in BC and Ontario. Activity is flat in most other areas.
CREAs House Price Index was flat in September. The year-over-year change is now 10.7% (down from the peak of 19.7% that was seen in April).
The sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) was 55.7% in September, slightly above the balanced market threshold of 51%. This indicator points to an outlook for stable prices (at worst). But, as noted, OSFIs stress test policy creates a risk of falling prices.
We should, in general, expect that resale activity will trend upwards over time, because the population is growing and the housing inventory is expanding. Therefore, it is useful to look at sales on a per capita basis. Recent activity is below the long-term average.
Employment increased by 35,000 in October
In October, employment rose for youth aged 15 to 24, while it was little changed for the core-aged population of 25- to- 54 year-olds, and for people 55 and older. The largest employment increase was in Quebec, followed by Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick. At the same time, there was a decline in Saskatchewan.
Employment rose in several industries, led by other services; construction; information, culture and recreation; and agriculture. Employment declined in wholesale and retail trade.
The number of private sector employees increased in October, while public sector employment and self-employment were little changed.