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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!
Forecast Update: Economies Shutting Down
Rapidly evolving developments necessitate an update to the forecasts we published just last Friday. Additional quarantine or shut-down measures have been put in place in a number of countries in the last few days. As a result, we now anticipate global GDP growth to be 0% in 2020, followed by a sizeable rebound in activity in 2021 given our view that economic activity will rebound quickly once the virus is no longer a serious threat to public health. At present, we believe activity will begin to return to normal in the third quarter, except in countries where containment measures were aggressively deployed in the first quarter (essentially the Asian economies), where activity resumes in the second quarter. In Canada, the closure of non-essential business in Quebec and Ontario announced earlier this week will have large economic consequences. At present, we believe Canadian economic activity will fall by 28% in Q2 as these measures are felt. If other provinces follow, the fall in Q2 economic activity would be in the 35% range. We now assume that economic activity resumes by the start of the third quarter and that growth rebounds sharply at that time. However, the 20% drop in US economic activity in the second quarter will restrain the rebound in Canadian activity in the third quarter owing to the usual lags between US and Canadian economic outcomes. Under these assumptions, Canadian GDP would fall by slightly more than 4% in 2020 and rebound by 5.1% in 2021. Though we have not included any additional measures in this update beyond those already announced, we believe a substantial ramping up of fiscal support measures in Canada is forthcoming. There is a chance that aggressive virus management measures are required beyond Q2 to ensure the virus is truly well-contained. Evidence in Asia this week suggests that even in countries where aggressive management measures have been put in place, COVID-19 can come back quite quickly. If measures in Canada are not lifted by the end of Q2, growth would fall again in Q3, and GDP would fall by 6.3% in 2020 instead of the 4.1% we currently expect. A key question for forecasters is the length of the virus-related restrictions on firms and households. As noted above, a shift of one quarter in the resumption of normal operating conditions can have a large impact on growth outcomes. Since we do not have a good handle on the ultimate length of the interruptions, we consider it more informative to assign probabilities to the time at which virus containment measures end. At this time, we believe there is a 75% chance that activity resumes by Q3 and a 25% chance that activity returns to more normal levels by Q4. How officials manage virus containment internationally, as well as the evolution of the virus, will inform our assessment of probabilities going forward. Source: Scotiabank Economics
Home resale market was gaining momentum prior to Covid-19
At the national level, resale home prices were gaining momentum in February. The 0.4% monthly gain in the Composite index was double the average of the previous ten years for a month of February. In particular, after 12 consecutive monthly declines, Vancouver HPI rose in each of the last five months, reflecting the fact that Vancouver resale market recently returned to balance. Sure, we still saw weakness in other regions, such as the Prairie Provinces (Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) where markets were still favorable to buyers. But CREA just reported a rather generalized increase in home sales in February, including for Calgary and Edmonton. Unfortunately, then came the outbreak of Covid-19 and its impact on oil prices and disruptions in the supply chain. The unprecedented sanitary measures imposed by the authorities to tackle the pandemic will severely impact business activity and jobs over the coming months. In that situation, the home resale market should be heavily curtailed for the coming months. Source: Teranet Inc., and National Bank of Canada