Bank of Canada Increases Prime again Sept 2017
Many of us were surprised today when Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz announced another increase in the Prime rate raising it to 3.20%. This means that your mortgage rate has likely risen by the same .25%.
The Variable rate mortgage has consistently been an excellent choice because of the savings weve generated compared to the 5 year fixed rate. Those savings have not dissappeared because of a slight increase over the past few months. The variable rate mortgage still has a spread of .40-1.20% compared to the prevailing 5 year fixed rate of 3.39% today. Meaning it is still not the right time to convert to a fixed term. That being said I would be happy to discuss your specific situation.
The recent increase in interest rates is a result of the stronger than expected performance in the Canadian economy. The year over year Canadian GDP (Gross Domestic Product) jumped 3.6% in the first quarter of 2017, to 4.5% in the second quarter. This growth rate exceeds the predictions of the Bank of Canada.
You wouldnt be wrong in assuming that the Bank of Canada is pumping the brakes on our economy. The growth was unexpected by almost all. Last month in August 2017 there was a slight dip in manufacturing numbers and unemployment continues to be low. Canada actually has the best performing economy in the entire G7, and that is factoring in the downward pressure on housing, and lower oil prices. Todays increase put prime back to where it was in January 2015 just before the crash in Oil prices.
So what will happen with housing? Well I believe that you will see a continue softening of values. The likely result of todays rate increase will likely cause housing market to decrease by another 5 to 10 percent. I estimate a more normal 3 - 7% annual increase in home values beginning next year. The days of 20% year over year price increases are done for now. And that is a good thing.
When you got your Variable Rate Mortgage we did a stress test. Even a mortgage at Prime today is still about 35% lower than what we used to Qualify you for your mortgage. So please dont worry about affordability. You can expect an increase in the interest portion of your mortgage of approx 25 dollars per 100k per month. Its not money anyone wants to spend, but it is still a far better deal than a fixed rate.
I hope this information has been of value to you. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell at 905 334 9111.
Construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in Montréal continue to climb
In October, the value of permits for both single-family and multi-family dwellings increased in the CMAs of Montral and Toronto. However, in the Vancouver CMA, both residential components fell, offsetting the gains in September.
Municipalities in the CMA of Montral issued $538.1 million in permits for multi-family dwellings in October, higher than in Toronto ($409.2 million) and Vancouver ($330.6 million). In regards to single-family homes, Toronto registered $451.3 million in permits, followed by Vancouver ($148.1 million) and Montral ($122.4 million).
The Montral CMA issued permits approving the construction of 2,956 new units, stemming mainly from multi-family dwellings (2,720). October marked the fifth consecutive month where the number of units approved for multi-family dwellings exceeded 2,000. Vancouver approved the construction of 1,860 new units for multi-family homes, while Toronto (1,691) approved fewer despite having a higher value for the component.
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.