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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!
Virtual Tours and Live Streams a Hit on REALTOR.ca
While staying home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Canadians are spending more time looking at properties on REALTOR.ca, Canadas No. 1 real estate platform*. During the week of March 9, visits to REALTOR.ca dropped by 30%; however, since April 12 traffic has crept back up by 14% and consumer inquiries to REALTORS through the site rose by 25%similar to levels during the same period last year. Despite the pandemic, REALTOR.ca has seen a 14% increase of visitors during the first quarter of 2020. As COVID-19 is limiting how buyers can visit homes that interest them, REALTOR.ca makes it possible for Canadian REALTORS to virtually showcase listings by integrating video and 3D tours from 10 of the most popular services. Since April 7, REALTORS can also schedule and promote live stream open houses using popular platforms such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom and YouTube. If theres one thing 30-plus years in this business has taught me, its that as an industry we are early adopters of technology, said Costa Poulopoulos, Chair of the Canadian Real Estate Association. With restrictions on how we can continue to serve our clients, Im proud that weve been able to add features for REALTORS that allow them to continue to show homes to interested buyers.
Canada's Manufacturing heavily impacted in March
Manufacturing shipments fell 9.2% in March after climbing 0.4% the prior month. This result was more than double the drop expected by consensus (-4.5%). Lower sales were registered in 17 of the 21 industries surveyed, including transportation (-26.5%), petroleum and coal products (-32.2%), and plastics/rubber products (-10.9%). Alternatively, shipments increased for food manufacturing (+8.2%) and paper manufacturing (+8.4%). With the price effect removed, total factory sales decreased 8.3% m/m, while inventories grew 0.8%. As a result, the real inventory-to-sales ratio rose from 1.56 to 1.72, a bad sign for future production. Manufacturing sales came in much worse than expected in March, matching their largest one-month decline on record (December 2008). Sales retraced all the way back to their level in June 2016. It should come as no surprise that disruptions from COVID-19 were the chief cause of the decline. Indeed, 78.3% of manufacturing businesses reported being impacted by the pandemic. Transportation saw a significant decline owing to plant closures, while refineries lowered production as demand and prices waned. Not everyone experienced an adverse shock, as evidenced by marked increases for food (groceries) and paper manufacturing (toilet paper) in the month. This will likely be transitory, however, as households rushed to stock up in March. Eight of the ten provinces reported lower sales, with Ontario and Quebec posting the largest declines. All told, given that confinement measures had been in place for only two weeks in March, the April manufacturing picture can be expected to be even worse. Home sales fell 56.8% from March to April, to the lowest level recorded since the inception of seasonally adjusted data in 1988. The fall was generalized to all the 26 major markets tracked by CREA except Newfoundland and Labrador, where sales rose 13.6%. New listings also fell sharply (-55.7%) but active listings only 8.7%. Therefore, the active-listings-to-sales ratio (our preferred gauge of market conditions) skyrocketed from 4.3 months of inventory in March to 9.2 in April, the largest since the 2008-09 recession. Source: National Bank of Canada