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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!
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? Source: https://www.scotiabank.com/content/dam/scotiabank/sub-brands/scotiabank-economics/english/documents/insights-views/2020-01-27_IV.pdf