Why you may want to consider applying for a mortgage or refinancing your existing one before New Year?
If you are considering conventional uninsured mortgage in the next 4-5 months for either purchasing a property, refinancing, or switching lenders, it might be crucial to get approval before Jan 1, 2018.
Due to a new rule for uninsured mortgages after New Year you may qualify for $100,000-$150,000 less then you expected. That could be a problem or even a deal breaker for some people.
Assuming you have an annual income of $100,000, you do not have any liabilities (0 debts) and the property you trying to finance/refinance is in GTA or area with similar property taxes and maintenance fees, the maximum mortgage loan you qualify now for a conventional 3.39% 5 year fixed 25y amortization is about $541,000. After New Year the max amount you will qualify for the same one will be approx. $442,000 or $99,000 less. Lets see another case - if your annual income is $150,000 for the same situation the numbers are respectively $870,000 before Jan 1st and $711,000 after, so you will qualify for $159,000 less.
Again, this is only for conventional uninsured 5 year fixed rate mortgages with Loan-To-Value 80% or less. All others has been already affected by the Qualifying Stress rule introduced last year.
Also, this includes refinancing or switching an existing mortgage to a new lender.
Straight mortgage renewals are not supposed to be affected, but at the moment there is no clarity on this and most likely will depend on your lender, or the institution behind your lender, so you might be surprised even at renewal.
A mortgage approval before the end of the year will let you qualify for a bigger loan and most of the mortgages have 120 days hold period, so my advice is take advantage of this opportunity, if applicable to you.
Toronto index stopped trending down in January
In January the TeranetNational Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM rose 0.3% from the previous month, a tic higher than the historical average for January and a second consecutive monthly increase. However, only four of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed showed gains the first time since January 2016 that a rise in the Composite Index has had so little breadth. It was due mainly to a second straight monthly jump of the index for the important Vancouver market (1.2% in January on the heels of 1.3% in December). The Toronto index rose 0.2%, the Victoria index 1.0% and the Montreal index edged up 0.1%. All the other component indexes were down on the month: Hamilton (0.2%), Ottawa-Gatineau ( 0.2%), Edmonton (0.3%), Calgary (0.3%), Halifax (-1.0%), Winnipeg (1.1%) and Quebec City (2.0%). For Montreal, it was a 13th monthly increase, and for Hamilton it was a fifth decrease in a row. The rise of the Toronto index was the first in six months. The raw (unsmoothed) Toronto index  on which it is based was up for a third consecutive month. The firming of the smoothed index is due entirely to condo dwellings. The smoothed index for non-condo units fell in January for a sixth straight month, bringing its cumulative decline to 9.6%.
Click here for full release. https://housepriceindex.ca/2018/02/toronto-index-stopped-trending-down-in-january/
2018 CMHC Prospective Home Buyers Survey
In October 2017, CMHC surveyed 2,507 prospective home buyers on-line. Respondents were all prime household decision-makers who intend to purchase a new home within the next two years, including approximately 1,500 First-Time Buyers, 500 current owners, and 500 previous owners.
The survey results highlight that:
First-Time Buyers and Previous Owners share the same top motivator to purchase a home: they want to stop renting. Improved accessibility (physical obstacles and barriers) and investment opportunity were also noted as top motivators across all groups. Changes to mortgage regulations and concerns about possible future interest rate increases were not among the top motivators.
Over four-in-ten First-Time Buyers and Previous Owners say they would delay their home purchase if they were not able to find their ideal home, with a fairly similar proportion saying they would be willing to compromise on the size of the home and location.
The majority of future home buyers intend to obtain a mortgage to finance their home purchase, with First-Time Buyers showing higher incidence compared to Previous Owners and Current Owners.
Across all future home buyers groups, more than six-in-ten say they are likely to have a financial buffer in case their expenses change in the future. Furthermore, the majority of future home buyers, especially Current Owners, agree that they feel confident they have the necessary tools and information to manage their mortgage and debt load.
Among all groups, the two most common actions completed one to two years prior to the purchase of a home were saving for a down payment and determining what type of home to buy. On the other hand, in the last three months before purchasing, about two-in ten of prospective buyers pre-qualify for a mortgage.
About one-in-four prospective home buyers stated that they would be very likely to consider delaying their purchase in the event of an increase in interest rates.