So whether you're buying a home, renewing your mortgage, refinancing, renovating, investing, or consolidating your debts — I’m the VERICO Mortgage Advisor who can help you get the right financing, from the right lender, at the right rate.
What You need to Know about a Reverse Mortgage for Seniors
If you are a homeowner or aspiring to be one in the coming months, then the term mortgage may not be a new concept to you. It is a form of a loan that is mainly issued to either buy or construct a home whose ownership entirely passes to you after you have paid to your last installment. A reversed mortgage in Canada is no different, only that it comes with some exceptions that make it somehow different. Some of these exceptions include no monthly installments which mean that no credit or income/debt requirements, only accessible to seniors ( 55 years and above) and the borrowers ability to settle the loan are not a primary concern. Lets take a closer look at the requirement of a Reverse Mortgage and emphasize on what you ought to know.
Monthly repayment of mortgage: The Canadian law on a reverse mortgage is very clear, no monthly payments of the mortgage. Nobody should mislead you out there, not even the internet that most people trust to give them perfect information. Note that in Canada, we deal with reverse mortgage differently from other countries. Therefore, if you have to do any research or seek clarification on the same, ensure you base your findings within the Canadian context to avoid getting the wrong information. Unlike other forms of mortgage, with a conventional mortgage on your home, the borrower owes more that he initially borrowed as the interest is added back to the outstanding amount. If you are willing, you have the option of paying some or all interest once in a year; although it is not a MUST.
What makes reverse mortgages attractive is its flexible requirement. Where else will you find a mortgage that allows you to hold it for 5 to even 25 years without any monthly installments? The good thing about such terms is that in as far as the reverse mortgage in Canada loan accrues over time, the value of the house in Canada also tends to increase with time which gives you a win-win situation.
Apart from that, we all know that the Canadian money market is subjected to a lot fluctuation in interest rates which may end causing the borrower to spend more than the fair market value of the common loans but not with Canada reverse mortgage. Therefore, as a senior, you dont have to worry about your debt exceeding the fair market value in future due to such external factors which are very normal.
Finally, reverse loan mortgage in Canada is only given by one institution in Canada which means that there will be no need for the rate on shopping. However, note that unlike in regular mortgage, the rate in reverse mortgage is slightly higher due to the long duration involved.
Minister Morneau announces new benchmark rate for qualifying insured mortgages
For many Canadians, their home is the most important investment they will make in their lifetime. That is why the Government of Canada has introduced measures to help more Canadians achieve their housing needs while also taking measured actions to contain risks in the housing market. A stable and healthy housing market is part of a strong economy, which is vital to building and supporting a strong middle class.
Today, Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, announced changes to the benchmark rate used to determine the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages, also known as the stress test. These changes will come into effect on April 6, 2020. The new benchmark rate will be the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus 2%.
This follows a recent review by federal financial agencies which concluded that the minimum qualifying rate should be more dynamic to better reflect the evolution of market conditions. Overall, the review concluded that mortgage standards are working to ensure that home buyers are able to afford their homes even if interest rates rise, incomes change, or families are faced with unforeseen expenses. This adjustment to the stress test will allow it to be more representative of the mortgage rates offered by lenders and more responsive to market conditions.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) also announced today that it is considering the same new benchmark rate to determine the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages. OSFI is seeking input from interested stakeholders on this proposal before March 17, 2020.
The Contagion of Fear
Fears of a possible coronavirus pandemic are sweeping the world. Markets are jittery with little hard data to go on.
With the first case now reported in Canada, many are recalling the 2003 SARS where Canada was one of the epicenters. Arguably the biggest (economic) lesson from that experience is that fear is the biggest risk to the outlook.
The impact of the SARS pandemic on the Canadian economy is difficult to estimate, confounded as it was by the slowing US economy, the invasion of Iraq and other events, but the Bank of Canada estimated -0.6ppt hit to annualized growth in Q2-2003, or just over 0.1% on the level of GDP.
While it is premature to predict the path of todays coronavirus outbreak, we estimate that a SARS-equivalent pandemic today could have a similar impact on the Canadian economy with an estimated hit of just over 0.1% on the level of GDP by mid-2020, at which point a pandemic should be contained. This estimate is subject to a significant degree of uncertainty with risks skewed to a potentially larger impact.
The effect should not be significant enough to trigger a broader economic malaise, but could this finally push Governor Poloz over the line to proactively stimulate the economy in his next rate call?