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What is your Best Rate?
Recently I had some good friends of mine ask what the going interest rates are and more importantly what is the best rate could I get them. Obviously not an uncommon question in my line of work but this is no longer a quick and easy question. Last year if I wanted to be a little cheeky (depending on who was asking) Id respond with a question of my own, like whats your credit score? 9 times out of 10 there would be an awkward pause and blank stare followed by a does it matter? Yes, yes it does. Once we got through that portion of the conversation Id then begin talking about the rates. But that was 2016, and now that it is 2017 the rate game has become a little like the did you see what Trump just tweeted conversation that is making people yearn for the days of old. Last October Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced significant changes* to our industry which included new securitization rules and qualification requirements. These changes forced lenders to adjust their pricing models to account for the increased costs of doing business and those costs have been handed down to you the borrower. Prior to that announcement I had a nice simple rate sheet that told me what every lender was offering. Now my rate sheet could easily be 5 pages long and it would still be incomplete. Credit scores were once the driving factor in your interest rate, now Mortgage Brokers should be asking you a laundry list of questions to determine what mortgage is best suited for you long before they tell you the best rates. Here are some questions you need to be prepared to answer before you can start asking about the interest rate. Is this a purchase or refinance? What is the loan to value percentage? What term and amortization would you like? What type of property are you wanting to mortgage? Can you prove your income? Can you stomach the idea of a very large penalty if you need to break the term? These are just a few of the questions your Mortgage Broker needs to ask when you to properly evaluate what the best rate for you is. Do you want to know where you fit into the new world of mortgage rates? Please give me a call or send me an email and I would be happy to help. *Industry Changes: Department of Finance and Article from the Globe and Mail Mortgage Tip: Do you know what is on your credit report? Check your report for free.
Record December caps record year for Canadian home sales
Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales set another all-time record in December 2020. Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS Systems jumped by 7.2% between November and December to set another new all-time record. Seasonally adjusted activity was running at an annualized pace of 714,516 units in December 2020 the first time on record that monthly sales at seasonally adjusted annual rates have ever topped the 700,000 mark. The month-over-month increase in national sales activity from November to December was driven by gains of more than 20% in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Greater Vancouver. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity posted a 47.2% y-o-y gain in December the largest year-over-year increase in monthly sales in 11 years. It was a new record for the month of December by a margin of more than 12,000 transactions. For the sixth straight month, sales activity was up in almost all Canadian housing markets compared to the same month in 2019. For 2020 as a whole, some 551,392 homes traded hands over Canadian MLS Systems a new annual record. This is an increase of 12.6% from 2019 and stood 2.3% above the previous record set back in 2016.
Mortgage Deferral Agreements and Their Impact
CMHCs Fall 2020 Residential Mortgage Industry Dashboard discusses mortgage deferral agreements and their impact. At the end of the second quarter, credit unions, mortgage finance companies (MFCs) and mortgage investment entities (MIEs) have allowed mortgage deferral agreements for about 6%, 7% and 7% of their respective residential mortgage portfolios. Chartered banks have allowed 16% of mortgages to go into deferral since the beginning of the pandemic. Of these, close to 2 out of 3 borrowers had resumed payments on their mortgages at the end of the third quarter of 2020. In the coming months, we could see higher delinquency rates if some borrowers are unable to resume their payments; these mortgages will have to be booked as arrears. These deferral agreements have affected financial institutions cash flows, with reductions of: 4% in scheduled mortgage payments 3% in non-scheduled payments (accelerated monthly payments and lump-sum payments) While remaining at low levels, mortgages in arrears (90 or more days delinquent) have increased slightly between the first and second quarters of 2020 from: 0.24% to 0.26%, on average, for chartered banks 0.23% to 0.25%, on average, for non-bank mortgage lenders We also observe an increase in early-stage delinquencies (31 to 59 days and 60 to 89 days), which suggests that arrears could continue on an upward trend. Source: CMHC