Month: October 2017

30 Oct

5 SIMPLE STEPS TO OWNING YOUR OWN HOME

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

Often, the route to owning your own home can seem like a trip to the moon and back.

Really though, it comes down to five key steps:

1 – Manage your credit wisely.
If there is one thing that will gum up the purchase of that perfect home, it’s an unwise purchase or extra credit obtained. Keep your credit spending to a minimum at all times, make every payment on time and most of all pay more than the minimum payment. Remember that if you just make the minimum payment on your credit cards, chances are you will still be making payments 100 years from now.

2- Assemble a down payment.
At first glance, the challenge of finding a down payment can seem insurmountable. In fact, you just need to consider all the sources for down payment funds. yes, you will have saved some but remember you can also, in some situations, use RRSP funds, grants ( BC Home Equity Partnership for example ) and non traditional sources like insurance settlements, severance and of course, gifted funds from a family member. Don’t forget that you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ve had the funds on deposit for up to 90 days and also that you have an additional one and a half percent of the mortgage amount for closing costs.

3- Figure out how much you can afford.
It’s at this point that most people usually stop and scratch their heads. Some even try and tough it out, using the raft of online calculators to figure it out, but new mortgage rules can make even that a challenge.
If you talk to a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage specialist ( like me! ) though, they can help you figure it out and even go as far as getting you a “pre-approval” from a financial institution. This can give you the confidence you need to actually start looking around.

4- Figure out what you want.
You’ll want to make a list of things your new home has to have and what the neighbourhood has to have. Things you want to think about are the things that are important to you now; is there access to a dog park? Is there ensuite laundry? Divide the list into things you can’t live without and things you’d like to have. It’s way easier to look when you know what you want to look at.

5- Look with your head, buy with your heart.
The final step is, with the help of a realtor, look at properties that meet your requirements. Yes, the market is a little frenzied at the moment, but remember, if your perfect property is sold to someone else, the next perfect property will soon appear.

When you do finally buy, chances are, you’ll buy with your heart.

The decision which home to buy is a tricky thing, it should be made with your head and heart. Deciding, while balancing what you think and feel, really is rocket science.

I know that this may seem to be an oversimplification but really, the thing that complicates the process is your own emotions.

For any more info please contact Iko @ 647-200-0723

or imaurovski@gmail.com

27 Oct

TIME TO LOCK IN A VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE?

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

Approximately 32 per cent of Canadians are in a variable rate mortgage, which with rates effectively declining steadily for the better part of the last ten years has worked well.

Recent increases triggers questions and concerns, and these questions and concerns are best expressed verbally with a direct call to your independent mortgage expert – not directly with the lender. There are nuances you may not think to consider before you lock in, and that almost certainly will not be primary topics for your lender.

Before accepting what a lender may offer as a lock in rate, especially if you are considering freeing up cash for such things as renovations, travel or putting towards your children’s education, it is best to have your mortgage agent review all your options.

And even if you simply wanted to lock in the existing balance, again the conversation is crucial to have with the right person, as one of the key topics should be prepayment penalties.

In many fixed rate mortgage, the penalty can be quite substantial even when you aren’t very far into your mortgage term. People often assume the penalty for breaking a mortgage amounts to three months’ interest payments, which in the case of 90% of variable rate mortgages is correct. However, in a fixed rate mortgage, the penalty is the greater of three months’ interest or the interest rate differential (IRD).

The ‘IRD’ calculation is a byzantine formula. One designed by people working specifically in the best interests of shareholders, not the best interests of the client (you). The difference in penalties from a variable to a fixed rate product can be as much as a 900 per cent increase.

The massive penalties are designed for banks to recuperate any losses incurred by clients (you) breaking and renegotiating the mortgage at a lower rate. And so locking into a fixed rate product without careful planning can mean significant downside.

Keep in mind that penalties vary from lender to lender and there are different penalties for different types of mortgages. In addition, things like opting for a “cash back” mortgage can influence penalties even more to the negative, with a claw-back of that cash received way back when.

Another consideration is that certain lenders, and thus certain clients, have ‘fixed payment’ variable rate mortgages. Which means that the payment may at this point be artificially low, and locking into a fixed rate may trigger a more significant increase in the payment than expected.

There is no generally ‘correct’ answer to the question of locking in, the type of variable rate mortgage you hold and the potential changes coming up in your life are all important considerations. There is only a ‘specific-to-you’ answer, and even then – it is a decision made with the best information at hand at the time that it is made. Having a detailed conversation with the right people is crucial.

It should also be said that a poll of 33 economists just before the recent Bank of Canada rate increase had 27 advising against another increase. This would suggest that things may have moved too fast too soon as it is, and we may see another period of zero movement. The last time the Bank of Canada pushed the rate to the current level it sat at this level for nearly five full years.

Life is variable, perhaps your mortgage should be too.

As always, if you have questions about locking in your variable mortgage, or breaking your mortgage to secure a lower rate, or any general mortgage questions, contact  Iko M. @ 647-200-0723

Your Interest is my Only Interest

26 Oct

DON’T ‘FIX’ IT IF IT ISN’T BROKEN

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

By now the media, along with multiple mortgage brokers’ social media feeds, have likely let you know that more changes to your ability to get a mortgage are arriving soon. But so what? Should you care?

SHORT VERSION; Probably Not.

LONG VERSION; The five ’W’’s follow to help answer the above questions and more;

Who is affected?

Nobody simply renewing an existing mortgage. No changes for you.
Nobody buying with less than a 20% down payment. No changes for you.

Group 1 – Current homeowners with more than 20% equity who want to access that equity.

Mind you we are still talking specifically about people wanting to borrow more than 80% of what they currently qualify for. This is less than 10% of my own clients.
And even then, often there will still be a way; co-signors, alternative lenders, etc.

Group 2 – Buyers with 20%+ down payment who specifically planned on borrowing more than 80% of what the currently qualify for.

What does this mean for the market? Is meltdown imminent?

Um. No.

Where?

These changes are unlikely to have a significant impact on the Vancouver or Toronto markets due primarily to higher than average household incomes and higher than average net worth of our parents if they live locally.

In small town Canada where average household incomes and average net worth numbers are lower, the impact of these changes could in fact be much more pronounced. Rather than a slight dip in specific price brackets and specific property types as might be seen in the GVA (Greater Vancouver Area), one might expect as much as a 10% drop in values in smaller communities.

When?

Jan 1, 2018***

Who picks these dates?

People who believe that mortgage brokers, lenders, and underwriters don’t deserve and sort of holiday break at all.

The changes themselves are poorly thought out as it is. But the date of implementation appears to have been generated by the coldest, loneliest, most robotic person in government today.

Why not Dec 15? Or why not Feb 1?

Seriously? Jan 1?

***If you believe these changes may affect you take action well before Dec 1, 2017.
Lenders will be implementing the new rules early, they always do.

Why did the Government make more changes?

Because they can.

For one reason only. OSFI aka the ‘Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions’ has a singular mandate.

It’s not to calm prices, it’s not to protect consumers from themselves.

OSFI’s mandate is purely ‘to protect the stability of the CDN banking system’

Period.
The end.

It is not about you, me, consumer debt, bidding wars, subject free offers, runaway property prices, etc. No, it’s all about protecting the banks.

Conclusion

We are at a point where for ten years running the government has made significant changes to the mortgage lending market every single year.

What’s happened to prices pretty much every year for ten years running?

What’s happened to market activity pretty much every year for ten years running?

At this point it feels a bit like we have an impatient child smashing their toy against the ground because it’s not working to their liking.

It was/is actually working fine, but after the tenth hit maybe it may well start to falter, perhaps government should have paused after the ninth hit and seen if things were falling into place (they are), but no – here we go again.

I’d like to say hopefully they are not winding up for yet another hit. However, sadly, all indications from inside the machine indicate that they are in fact winding up for yet another hit. More on that one if and when it happens.

If you are a buyer in the 500K – 1M$ zone watch for some opportunities as that may be where things soften slightly.

Otherwise, business as usual.

If you have any questions, contact Iko  Dominion Lending Centres

647 -200-0723

imaurovski@gmail.com

Your Interest is my Only Interest

25 Oct

HELPING CHILDREN WITH A DOWN PAYMENT

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

applyAlthough home prices in Toronto and Vancouver seem to have stabilized recently, they are still at historical levels.

 The average home price in these  two major Canadian
cities are still well over $1 Million.
Unsurprisingly, first-time homebuyers are finding it increasingly difficult to get onto the “property ladder”. It is now harder than ever for first-time homebuyers to own a home; so what are they to do? Studies have shown that more and more millennials are turning to the bank of mom and dad for help with their down payments.

According to the latest statistics from Mortgage Professionals Canada, down payment gifts from parents have increased significantly in the last 16 years, going from 7% in 2000 to 15% for homes purchased between 2014-2016. The average gift amount has skyrocketed as well. Industry experts have seen many down payments in the six-figure range – $100,000 to $200,000. The trend is expected to continue, as 2017 is predicted to be “the most difficult year for a first-time homebuyer in the last [decade]”, according to James Laird, co-founder of RateHub, a mortgage rate comparison website.

How can you help your children climb the property ladder?
With soaring property prices, you may be asking about your options to help your children break into the housing market. One way is by getting a reverse mortgage on your home. The CHIP Reverse Mortgage from HomEquity Bank has seen a growing number of senior Canadians over the years access their home equity in order to give a financial gift to their family members to help them with big purchases such as a down payment for a house. “We definitely see a growing trend of this at HomEquity Bank.

How does it work?
A reverse mortgage is a loan secured against the value of your home. It allows you to unlock up to 55% of the value of your home without having to sell or move. The money you receive is tax-free and you are not required to make any regular mortgage payments until you move, sell or pass away.

Why should you give an early inheritance as a down payment now?
Life Expectancy – According to Statistics Canada, for a 65-year old couple there is a one-in-two chance that one of them will reach the age of 92. Do your children really need an inheritance when they are in their mid-to-late 60’s?
Create memories now – After you are gone, you will have missed out on seeing your children build a family in their new home. Giving a down payment now will enable you to create lasting memories while your health allows you to.

Find out more about this incredible opportunity to use a reverse mortgage to give the gift of a down payment to your loved ones today. If you’re 55 years or older and want to learn more about your financial options, including a reverse mortgage,

Please call Iko 647-200-0723

Your Interest is my Only Interest

 

23 Oct

SELF-EMPLOYED? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MORTGAGES

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

Why, why, why it is so challenging for entrepreneurs to obtain a mortgage in Canada?
If you’re among the 2.7 million Canadians who are self-employed, regrettably your income is not as easy to document as someone who’s traditionally employed.

Since 2008, mortgage regulations in Canada have made it more challenging for those who work for themselves to qualify for a mortgage due to tighter restrictions on “stated income” loans. In 2012, Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) introduced Guideline B-20, which requires federally regulated banks to evaluate applications for residential mortgages and home equity lines of credit with more scrutiny. These rulings made it more challenging for the self-employed to prove income.

Here’s what Self-Employed home buyers need to know:

1. Most self-employed are motivated to decrease their earnings to avoid paying tax through legitimate expenses and personal deductions.
-Therefore, much of one’s self-employed income does not show up on paper.

2. I’m sorry… but you can’t have your cake and eat it too! If you choose to write off as much of your income as legally possible to avoid paying taxes, claiming low take-home pay, you will end up paying a higher interest rate on your mortgage.
– i.e. home buyer is a tradesperson, they earn $70,000/year and legitimately write off their business expenses to $40,000/year on Line 150 of their tax return. Lenders use income from Line 150… not gross income to determine affordability.
– Some lenders allow you to “gross up” your declared taxable income (as opposed to stated income) by adding up to 15%.
– i.e. if your declared income on your Notice of Assessment (NOA) is $40,000, the lender could add 15% for a total of $46,000. In most cases this doesn’t really help the business owner, as their income is still too low to qualify for the mortgage they want.

3. The new mortgage rules mean the assessment of a self-employed applicant’s income has become far more rigorous. Lenders now analyze the average income for the industry a self-employed candidate works in, and study the person’s employment history and earnings in the field. Their stated income should be reasonable, based on:
– industry sector
– type of business
– length of time the operation has been in business

4. Work with professionals. You need to hire a qualified book keeper and a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). Their job is to know the ins and outs of taxes so that you can put your focus on growing your business.
– You need to keep all your financial affairs up to date. That means getting the accountant prepared financials, filing your annual tax returns and most importantly paying your taxes. Government always gets first dibs on any money. Lenders won’t be interested in you haven’t paid your taxes.
– I recommend having a discussion with your CPA. Let them know that you want to buy a home. Come up with a budget of what income you need to be able to prove on your tax returns.

Suggestion: you could choose to pay more personal income tax this year, to push your line 150 income up and help you qualify for any mortgage transactions you hope to make. Please note: most lenders will want to see 2 years history, to prove consistency in earnings.

5. For self-employed borrowers, being able to document income for the past 2-3 years gives you more lending options. Some of the documents your lender may request include:
– Credit bureau (within 30 days of purchase)
– Personal tax Notice of Assessment (NOA) for the previous two to three years.
– Proof that you have paid HST and/or GST in full.
– Financial statements for your business prepared by a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).
– Contracts showing your expected revenue for the coming years (if applicable).
– Copies of your Article of Incorporation (if applicable).
– Proof that you are a principal owner in the business.
– Business or GST license or Article of Incorporation

6. If you have less than 20% down payment, Genworth is the only option of the 3 mortgage default insurers that still has a stated income program.

Self-employed home buyers, who can document proof of income, can generally access the same mortgage products and rates as traditional borrowers.

Tips for self-employed applying for a mortgage to ensure the process goes smoothly:

1. Get your finances in order. Pay down your debt!!
– Every $400/month in loan payments lowers your mortgage eligibility by $100,000
– Every $12,000 in credit card debt lowers your mortgage eligibility by $100,000
– Do you see a theme here? Pay down your debt! Resist buying/leasing a new vehicle or taking on any additional debt prior to buying your home

2. 3 “Rules of Lending” what Banks look at when you apply for a Mortgage in Canada
– Debt-service ratios are a major factor in a loan-approval assessment based on your provable income (Line 150 – what you paid taxes on)
– Maintain good credit. Solving the Puzzle – 5 factors used in determining your Credit Score
– Consider a larger down-payment.
– If you run into difficulty qualifying on your own, consider having someone co-sign for your mortgage. Would a Co-Signer Enable You to Qualify for a Mortgage?

3. Have two to three years’ worth of your self-employed supporting documentation available so your mortgage broker can work with you to set up your Mortgage Preapproval.

4. Be consistent and show stability. Lenders prefer self-employed borrowers who work in a business that’s established and have expertise in that field.

What happens if the banks still don’t want you for a conventional mortgage?

Many high net worth business owners with low stated incomes turn to private mortgage lenders for financing, since they can’t prove their income.
It is difficult to navigate which lenders specialize in self-employed mortgages. Using a mortgage broker has obvious advantages, since mortgage brokers have access to multiple lenders and have a broad knowledge of the mortgage market.

If you have any questions, contact me Iko 647-200-0723

Your Interest is my Only Interest

19 Oct

Canadian Housing Activity Stabilizes Well Below Peak Levels

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales in September rose modestly from the previous month but remained below levels recorded one year ago. Resale activity was 12% below the record set in March, before the April announcement of a 15% foreign buyers’ tax and a sixteen-point program to enhance housing affordability in the Ontario provincial budget.
The number of homes sold edged up 2.1% last month, building on an even smaller gain in August. Activity was up in about half of all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), London and St. Thomas and Barrie. In and around the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, activity was mixed as some markets posted monthly sales gains while others continued to be near recent lows or fell further.Actual (not seasonally adjusted) existing home sales were down 11% in September compared to one year ago. Actual sales were down from year-ago levels in close to three-quarters of all local markets, led by the GTA and surrounding housing markets.

New Listings

The number of newly listed homes increased by almost 5% last month following three consecutive monthly declines. The rise in listings was mostly reflective of a jump in new supply in the GTA. With new listings rising by more than sales in September, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 55.7% compared to 57.2% in August. A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is consistent with a balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

About two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory last month based on a comparison of sales-to-new listings ratio. The number of months of inventory is another measure of housing market tightness. There were five months of inventory on a national basis at the end of last month, unchanged from August and broadly in line with the long-term average for the measure.

At 2.4 months of inventory in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, this was a sharp increase from the all-time low of 0.8 months reached in February and March. However, it remains below the region’s long-term average of 3.1 months.

Price Gains Diminish Nationally

Price appreciation continued to moderate year-over-year. The Aggregate Composite MLS Home Price Index (HPI) rose by 10.7% y-o-y in September 2017, representing a further deceleration in y-o-y gains since April. The slowdown in price gains mainly reflects softening price trends in Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index. Price appreciation was strongest in condos and weakest in ground-level benchmark homes.
Price gains diminished in September among the ground-level benchmark homes tracked by the index and accelerated slightly for apartment units. Condo units again posted the most significant y-o-y gains in September (+19.8%), followed by townhouse/row units (+13.5%), one-storey single family homes (+7.9%), and two-storey single family homes (+7.2%).

The MLS Home Price Index provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to be strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

Toronto Area

Resales in Toronto in August and September rose 18%, which only partially retraces the 44% plunge in existing home sales between April and July of this year. New listings surged by almost 19% last month, which was good for buyers. Prices remained under downward pressure for the fourth consecutive month.

Vancouver Area

After slowing earlier this past summer, activity recovered further in the Vancouver area in August and September. The 6.1% gain in September resales was the strongest among Canada’s larger markets. This increase exceeded the substantial rise in new listings, which tightened demand-supply conditions, adding more upward pressure to prices. Vancouver’s benchmark price accelerated to 10.9% year-over-year in September from 9.4% in August. Given the current market tightness, we expect further acceleration in the months to come.

Calgary

Calgary’s housing market is back on the recovery path. Home resales rose for a second consecutive month by 2.8% in September. However, high condo inventories remain a dampening issue, keeping condo prices on a downward trend. Calgary’s overall benchmark price continued to rise year-over-year in September, but the 0.6% rate was minimal. There’s little scope for stronger appreciation until those inventories decline sharply.

Montreal

Montreal’s housing market continues strong with home prices rising further.

Outlook for a Continue Soft Landing

While the economy in Canada peaked in the second quarter and housing has slowed appreciably, we are likely in the early stages of an extended cooling process in Canadian residential real estate. Rising interest rates and the possible introduction of tighter mortgage stress testing for uninsured borrowers will continue to drive down resales this year and next. Overall this year, house price gains of around 10.5%-to-11.0% are likely, down sharply from the 20% year-over-year pace posted in April. For 2018, we expect composite house prices nationwide to rise only 3%, declining about 4.0-to-5.0% in the GTA in 2018.

17 Oct

OSFI is reinforcing a strong and prudent regulatory regime for residential mortgage underwriting

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

News Release

For Immediate Release

OTTAWA – October 17, 2017 – Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada

Today the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) published the final version of Guideline B-20 − Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures. The revised Guideline, which comes into effect on January 1, 2018, applies to all federally regulated financial institutions.

The changes to Guideline B-20 reinforce OSFI’s expectation that federally regulated mortgage lenders remain vigilant in their mortgage underwriting practices. The final Guideline focuses on the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages, expectations around loan-to-value (LTV) frameworks and limits, and restrictions to transactions designed to circumvent those LTV limits.

OSFI is setting a new minimum qualifying rate, or “stress test,” for uninsured mortgages.

  • Guideline B-20 now requires the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages to be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the contractual mortgage rate +2%.

OSFI is requiring lenders to enhance their loan-to-value (LTV) measurement and limits so they will be dynamic and responsive to risk.

  • Under the final Guideline, federally regulated financial institutions must establish and adhere to appropriate LTV ratio limits that are reflective of risk and are updated as housing markets and the economic environment evolve.

OSFI is placing restrictions on certain lending arrangements that are designed, or appear designed to circumvent LTV limits.

  • A federally regulated financial institution is prohibited from arranging with another lender a mortgage, or a combination of a mortgage and other lending products, in any form that circumvents the institution’s maximum LTV ratio or other limits in its residential mortgage underwriting policy, or any requirements established by law.

 

13 Oct

WHAT IS AN INTEREST RATE DIFFERENTIAL (IRD)? HOW DO YOU CALCULATE IT?

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

A mortgage in its simplest form is a contract. It has terms, conditions, rights and obligations for you and the lender. When you sign on the dotted line, you are agreeing to those terms for the length of time laid out in the contract. However, sometimes life throws us an unexpected event that brings around the need to make key decisions and changes. One of these changes, for whichever reason, might be needing/wanting to break your mortgage contract before the end of the term. Can you do that? What are the penalties? Let’s take a look!

To answer the initial question of can it be done, the answer is yes. Most mortgage lenders will allow this provided they receive compensation. Compensation is known as an Interest Rate Differential or IRD. When you started your fixed rate mortgage you had a rate of xx.x%, but the best they can lend to someone else right now is 1% less, so they want the difference. Seems fair, right? However, like most contracts, the fine print tells the true tale. The method in which the IRD is calculated is what borrowers should be aware of.

Let’s examine a few different calculations that can be used for IRD.

Method “A” -Posted Rate Method – Generally used by major banks and some credit unions

This method uses the Bank Of Canada 5 year posted rate to arrive at the formula to calculate the penalty. It also considers any discounts you received. These are the ones you will commonly see on their websites or when you first walk into the Bank or Credit Union. Now, rarely does anyone settle on that rate-there is a discount normally that is given. This gives you the actual lending or contract rate. When this method is used, you will be required to pay the greater of 3 months interest or the IRD. What that looks like is:

Bank of Canada Posted Rate for a five-year term: 4.89%
You were given a discount of: 2%
Giving you a rate of 2.89% on a five-year fixed term mortgage.

Now you want to exit your contract at the 2-year point, leaving 3 years left. The posted rate for a 3-year term sits at 3.44%. The bank will subtract your discount from the posted 3-year term rate, giving you 1.45%. From there your IRD is calculated like so:

2.89%-1.45% =1.44% IRD difference x3 years=4.32% of your mortgage balance.

On a mortgage of $300,000 that gives you a penalty of $12,960.

For most, that is a significant amount that you will be paying! It can equate to thousands and thousands of dollars, depending on the mortgage balance remaining. So what other methods are used? Let’s take a look at the second one.

Method “B”-Published Rate Method – Generally used by monoline (broker) lenders and most credit unions

This method is more favourable as it uses the lender published rates. Generally, these rates are much more in tune with what you will see on lender websites and appear to be much more reasonable. Again, let’s look at an example.

Your rate: 2.90%
Published rate: 2.60%

Time left on contract: 3 years

Equation for this: 2.90%-2.60%=0.30% x3 years=0.90% of your mortgage balance. A much more favourable outcome. On a $300,000 mortgage that would equate to only $2,700.

The above two scenarios operate under the idea that the borrower has good credit, documented income, and a normal residential type property. It is also a fixed rate mortgage, not a variable one. For variable rates, if the contract needs to be broken, generally the penalty will be a charge of 3 months interest, no IRD applies.

So, if you do find yourself in a position where you need to end your contract early get in touch me to review your options. To avoid any surprises all together though, it is advised to consult with a mortgage professional right from the start. I am committed to ensuring that you make an educated decision when selecting a lender. Yes, I want to get you the best rate, but we also want to make sure you are taken care of.

12 Oct

OSFI stress test could harm lender competition says Fraser Institute

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

Another organisation has added its voice to those opposing OSFI proposals to introduce tougher lending restrictions for uninsured mortgages and warns it could harm competition in the mortgage industry.

The Fraser Institute says that requiring a stress test with a margin of 2 percentage points above the agreed rate for those homebuyers with at least a 20% downpayment, is unnecessary and could negatively affect buyers across Canada.

In a study called Uninsured Mortgage Regulation: From Corporate Governance to Prescription, author Neil Mohindra says there are several potentially negative effects from the proposed rule-tightening:

  • Access to mortgages may become more limited, especially for buyers in high-price markets;
  • Buyers may be forced to abandon preferred homes for less-desirable options;
  • Increased use of unregulated lenders with higher interest rates;
  • Buyers may opt for shorter term variable rate loans.

The report also suggests that the mortgage industry could become less competitive from the OSFI rule as those lenders that are niche players in the residential market may find their business is impaired.

This, the report concludes, runs counter to the federal government’s objective of promoting more competition from smaller lenders.

“OSFI’s emphasis on corporate governance worked well during the financial crisis. Shifting towards more prescriptive rules is an ominous sign,” Mohindra said.

Your Interest is my only Interest

Iko

10 Oct

KNOWING WHEN LESS IS MORE

General

Posted by: Iko Maurovski

No one wants to be told that they are not allowed to have something. We live in Canada; as Canadians, our focus has always been to strive for better and for more. That said, there appears to be a growing trend around co-sharing which means people are increasingly moving away from owning their own cars, bikes, offices and, even, homes.

Don’t believe me? Watch this video about communal pod-shares, or this one about a car-sharing company in Edmonton. The trend is here and growing.

While this lifestyle is not for everyone, it speaks to an interesting trend about doing more with less.

In Edmonton, we have the luxury of living in a city that offers affordable housing in every corner of the city. Although we have the benefit of local properties that give us more bang for our buck, times are changing.

The federal government made some changes last year that greatly affected people’s ability to qualify for a mortgage. This month, more changes are expected which will make it even that much more difficult to qualify for a mortgage. New and existing homeowners are rushing in droves to secure five-year fixed mortgage rates ahead of future Bank of Canada rate hikes, and others regulation changes.

The government is essentially continuing its stress-test for all uninsured mortgages (those with a down payment of more than 20%), which will affect a small percentage of new homeowners.

For those looking to get into their first home, however, this might be a good opportunity to look at the growing trend of doing more with less. Qualifying for a mortgage on a home worth more than $500,000 will likely be unattainable on a single, or even double, income. Looking at homes that offer more bang for you buck, including smaller starter homes could get your real estate investment off on the right foot.

We’ve been able to enjoy low interest rates for many years now. Unfortunately, they are up and will likely continue to increase. As such, your $500,000 mortgage in five years could actually cost you more in monthly payments – even as you pay down your premium. It is simply a reality that many cannot afford and should be taken into account as you take the plunge into buying property.

To discuss your mortgage rates, and to secure a low rate for 120 days, do not hesitate to call 647-200-0723

Iko Maurovski