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MORTGAGES By Mehboob Sheriff, B.Comm., LL.B. The Spectrums in Mortgage Lending Even though I have been in the Real Estate and Mortgage fields for over 40+ years- all I can muster as an answer to what is the Mortgage Rate? is a weak depends. Our topic for this article is Spectrums in Mortgage Lending. Basically, a spectrum is a range just like the rainbow has a spectrum of colours similarly in mortgage lending we have a range of borrowers, lenders, terms and properties. Each has its own spectrum which in turn determines the rate. The Borrower Spectrum: There are many types of borrowers but for underwriting purposes they are evaluated by the 5 Cs of Credit which serve to form both a quantitative and a qualitative measure for lending. The five-Cs-of-credit are summarized as: Character: This is mostly obtained from the Credit Report. The two credit reporting agencies in Canada are Equifax and TransUnion. The reports detail the loans you have and how good/bad are you in keeping to your commitments. These are then calculated into a score (referred to Beacon or FICO rating), which range from 300 to 900. Normally a score of 650 or above should qualify you for a standard loan. Capacity: This measures the borrowers ability to meet his commitments. This is done by comparing the income against his debt or other recurring expenses called the DTI (debt to income ratio). As an aside, recently studies find that both Vancouver and Toronto are facing high DTIs. Usually, a lender would like to see DTI below 35% but may consider as high as 43%. We will discuss this more when we study the Spectrum of Lenders. Capital: How much money does the borrower have and how much is he willing to put as a down payment on the property? The larger the down payment more security for the lender. The down payment also determines if a conventional or insured mortgage is obtained. Collateral: What is the loan against? In other words what is the property value and what is the loan that a borrower is seeking. For this purpose, a lender would require an appraisal to determine the value of the property and the subsequent loan to value ratio (LTV). An LTV of 80% or less would be a conventional mortgage. Conditions: What is the purpose of the loan, what is the term of the loan, are there options to prepay, interest only or blended payments, etc., all come under conditions. These terms and conditions help a lender match and determine the interest rate charged. The Lender Spectrum: The lenders can basically be categorized as follows: A Lenders: If you meet the lenders requirement of Character Capacity they would be your best bet for a low interest rate. They like a good credit rating (650, preferably higher) and good income ratio. Capital is not as important for if you do not have the down payment they would simply offer you an insured mortgage. Remember you pay the premium and their loan is insured! B Lenders: They might be your second-best alternative to get a reasonable interest rate perhaps .50 to 1% above the A Lenders. You may have to approach them if you are a bit weak in your credit report or income. Alternate Lenders: These are a very important section of lenders for those borrowers who for whatever reason cannot meet the criteria of the A B lenders. This could be because of the type of property, documentations, income verifications, Stress Tests, etc. They are more expensive than the first two and could be anywhere from 1% to 3% above the A lenders plus likely that they would charge a Lenders fee. Private Lenders: The have always been a part of the Lenders Spectrum but they seem to be playing more and more role recently because of the stress test and types of properties like raw land, development land, gas stations, 2nd or 3rd mortgages on hotels, restaurants, etc. Their term is usually shorter say up to 1 year, and the rates can vary greatly. Lender fess of 1 to 2% are very common. To keep this article short, we will not discuss the Spectrum of properties in this article. In my opinion the mort important element in borrowing is the interview itself. A good, experienced mortgage broker will help you see where you are in the mortgage spectrum and which lender would be the best match for you. Also, if there are any shortfalls in your application this can be identified and explained in a manner that helps your case. No sense going from lender to lender for the lenders can see your history. Do it once, properly!
LISTINGS FALL AGAIN TO END 2019, PUSHING PRICES HIGHER
Canadian Real Estate Association data show that national-level home sales fell 0.9% (sa m/m) in December 2019 after rising in the previous nine months. Limited availability looks to be increasingly weighing on sales activity. The month saw another broad-based decline in new listings18 of the 31 centres for which we have data witnessed fallsthat lifted the national sales-to-new listings ratio to 66.9%. It was the highest ratio since 2004 and a third straight month of supply- demand conditions tilted in favour of sellers (after data revisions). Fourteen cities reported sellers market conditions; the rest were balanced. The aggregate MLS Home Price Index (HPI) rose 3.4% (nsa y/y), its best gain since March 2018. Montreal remained Canadas tightest local market, with rising sales and falling listings leading to yet another record-high sales-to-new listings ratio and the citys steepest y/y MLS HPI gains since 2005. Ottawas ratio also reached a new high as new listings plunged by more than 20% (sa m/m), driving a record 12.5% (nsa y/y) MLS HPI increase. Toronto also crept into sellers market territory for the first time since March 2017as in Montreal, home purchases rose and new listings felland its 7.3% (nsa y/y) HPI rise was the sharpest since 2017. Click here for more. Source: Scotiabank Economics
Story in 2018 and early 2019 was weak sales; story in 2020 will be lack of supply
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Systems of Canadian real estate boards and associations this year and for 2020. Evidence suggests housing activity will continue to improve into 2020, with prices either continuing to rise or accelerating in many parts of Canada. Indeed, many housing market indicators continue to support this outlook. Economic fundamentals underpinning housing activity remain strong outside of the Prairies together with Newfoundland and Labrador. The national resale housing market outlook continues to be supported by population and employment growth while consumer confidence is benefiting from low unemployment rates outside oil-producing provinces. Additionally, the Bank of Canada is widely expected to not raise interest rates in 2020. Mortgage interest rates have declined, including the Bank of Canadas benchmark five-year rate used by Canadas largest banks to qualify applicants under the B-20 mortgage stress-test. Though the decline in the benchmark rate has been modest, it is helping to improve homebuyer access to home purchase financing.