I provide my clients choice, through my extensive lender network and work daily within the Prime and Non-Traditional Markets to secure the best available mortgage. This enables me to deliver un-biased navigation of rates, terms and mortgage products, while working with my clients to ensure that they are educated on the financing process.
Pre-Qualification Purchase Builds & Draws Purchase + Improvements
Spousal Buyouts Refinances Debt Consolidation Equity Take Outs
Second Mortgages Combination Mortgages Reverse Mortgages Interest Only
Whether you have challenges with income, bruised credit, current or former bankruptcy, owe income taxes or GST or have no challenges at all, I have great products and rates that can maximize your mortgage and financial goals.
There is a Crack in Mortgage Qualifying – Do You have a Plan B when the Banks Say NO?
As most of us know, Banks, Credit Unions, Trust Companies and even Insurance Companies offer great discounted mortgage rates and wonderful products but only IF you can actually qualify for them. What does it take to qualify for this type of Discounted Mortgage, also known as an A or Prime Mortgage? You must be able to afford the mortgage based on the Bank of Canadas Qualifying Rate, also referred to as the Benchmark Qualifying Rate. Todays Qualifying Benchmark Rate is 5.19%. What does this mean? It means that despite your contractual discounted rate your bank, credit union, trust company or insurance company is giving you, you MUST qualify within the affordability calculations using the 5.19% rate for a High-Ratio Mortgage or the greater of the Qualifying Benchmark Rate or your Contract Rate Plus 2% if you are seeking a conventional mortgage. A conventional mortgage is when you are financing 80% or less of the propertys approved value. It is becoming more and more difficult for Canadians to qualify for a Prime Mortgage and this is why the Mortgage and Real Estate Industries are continuing to petition the Federal Government to change the Mortgage Qualifying requirements. Canadians may qualify for their mortgage when using the actual mortgage contract rate but are turned away once the Qualifying Benchmark Rate is used.
When the Banks tell you NO; What do you do then?
There is a crack in the Banks, Credit Unions, Trust and Insurance Companies so Canadians need to be aware of what other options are out there when they decline your mortgage request. Most of these lenders do not offer the ability to seek alternative types of financing but Licensed Mortgage Professions most certainly do. A Licensed Mortgage Professional has access to numerous other lenders who make up the Alternative Mortgage Market, also known as B Lending. These lenders offer much more flexibility with their clients and the qualifying requirements to get Canadians into their Dream Home, Buy that rental property or use their existing equity to consolidate debt, do a renovation among other things where a mortgage is needed. Alternative Mortgage Lending offers numerous benefits to Canadians so they can secure their desired financing. Such examples are:
Expanded Debt Service Ratios
Willingness to accommodate damaged credit history and lower credit scores
Ability to accommodate a wider variety of income forms (BFS, Tips, Commission, etc)
Naturally, these alternative type of lenders are working with higher risk type of financing so they quite often charge a fee for the mortgage. This also exists with the broker you are working with. Alternative Lending can involve more work to complete the mortgage, a different skill set is required from the broker and there are usually more requirements needed by the lender such as an appraisal. Though the rates are not discounted, Alternative Lenders tend to charge interest that is based around their posted interest rates and their assessment of the risk the mortgage may bring. Many of these aspects can be discussed prior to your broker submitting your mortgage application and is always disclosed upfront with the Conditional Mortgage Approval your broker receives from the lender.
There are times when Alternative Lenders cannot fill the void left by the Prime Lenders saying No and a mortgage broker, once again, can access the Private Mortgage Markets to find a different type of lender who will fulfill the mortgage request.
The key to maximizing the efficiency of your time, money and energy, is to connect with a Licensed Mortgage Professional right out of the gate so that they can properly assess your financial position and provide the correct feedback on what lender market you will fit in and explain the applicable expectations and overview of that market. Taking this step is the best one for any Canadian as the mortgage professional is the expert in the field with access to ALL three mortgage markets that the banks, credit unions, trust companies and insurance companies rarely have the ability to offer. Now, not all Licensed Mortgage Professionals offer or are properly versed in the Alternative and Private Mortgage Markets so ensure you connect with one that is as it can certainly save you time and money.
It continues to be tough out there to secure mortgage financing in the Prime Market so make sure you have a Plan B in place or know where to explore it if you need one. There are numerous options still available if Prime Lenders have said NO to your mortgage financing.
About The Author
Chris Stewart has worked in the Financial Services Industry for over 25 years and has been a License Mortgage Professional for over 16 years where he has gained extensive and dynamic experience in mortgage brokering. Chris has trained mortgage brokers in the Alternative and Private Markets and offers his clients the best knowledge and experience to achieve their best Plan B options.
Similar Housing Demand Conditions in Canada and US
Housing markets in Canada and the US are sizzling. Recent headlines have used superlatives to describe housing market conditions in both countries and the data do back this up. Still, a closer look reveals some interesting distinctions as well. Home price and sales metrics show that while the US market is hot, Canadas is hotter. For example, existing home sales, which make up the majority of overall sales in both countries, is well above historical averages, but Canadian home sales have outperformed. As of March 2021, home sales in Canada were 75% higher than the average over 2018 and 2019, while it was 13% above in the US. Likewise, home prices also spiked. In Canada, the average home sold was 32% more expensive than what it was a year ago, and it was 17% higher stateside.
From a high level, the list of commonalties across markets during the pandemic is longer than the areas of difference, particularly on the demand side. Perhaps the most influential demand-side driver has been historically low mortgage rates. Responding to the impacts of the pandemic, the Bank of Canada and the Federal Reserve slashed rates and enacted large quantitative easing programs early last year, resulting in a sharp drop in borrowing costs. Given that the US conventional mortgage rate is a 30-year rate compared to Canadas 5-year benchmark, borrowing costs fell faster in America as flight to safety flows lowered longer term yields at the onset of the pandemic.
CANADA HOUSING MARKET and new stress test
Canadian home sales took a turn in April 2021, declining by 12.5% (sa m/m) from the highest level on record in March 2021. Listings followed suit, falling by 5.4% (sa m/m). While both sales and listings decreased in April, the smaller decline in listings further eased the national-level sales-to-new listings to 75.2% from record high readings earlier this year (the highest being 91% in January). While this is a move in the right direction towards a better supply-demand balance, the ratio is still significantly higher than its long-term average of 54.5%. As a result of this persistent tightness in the housing market, the composite MLS Home Price Index (HPI) rose by 2.4% (sa m/m). This is a deceleration in price gains from paces observed over the last two months, owing in the most part to a slowing in prices for single-family homes and townhouses. Apartments, which had remained relatively close to pre-pandemic levels before accelerating earlier this year have maintained momentum in April.
Movements in the housing market this month continued to be broad-based rather than market-specific, as declines in sales were spread out across much of the country.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) also announced that, effective June 1, the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages (i.e., residential mortgages with a down payment of 20 percent or more) will be the greater of the mortgage contract rate plus 2 percent or 5.25 percent.