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Blog by Micah Verceles

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First- and Second-Home Buyers Can Expect Discounts in 2019

January 14th, 2019

Data: Knight Frank research; Douglas Elliman; S&P Case-Shiller Corelogic; ImmobilienScout24

The luxury real estate market in 2018 wasn’t great for many people. Sellers in cities as far apart as London, Los Angeles, and New York found themselves facing daunting macro- and microeconomic headwinds, while buyers, on the other hand, had to contend with overpriced stock and rising interest rates—a ...

What would it take for Canadian interest rates to drop in 2019?

January 11th, 2019

Like many other market observers, Central 1 expects the Bank of Canada will hike its influential key interest rate this year — but the credit union also presents a possible scenario that could see rates sink lower.

“The next Bank rate move is expected to be a quarter-point increase in late October 2019 on the expectation that oil prices have stabilized at a higher level, U.S.–China trade tens ...

Vancouver home prices in 2018, and where they might go in 2019

January 10th, 2019

Development consultant Michael Ferreira of Vancouver-based Urban Analytics says financial stress tests have impacted first-time buyers.

Calling the timing and extent of a market correction can be a mug's game, but when it comes to the Vancouver housing market, economists and experts are pulling together all kinds of indicators to say where prices will go.

Vancouver’s home prices remain dizzy ...

Bank of Canada Remains on Hold, Revising Down Oil Market Outlook

January 9th, 2019
The Bank of Canada left the overnight benchmark policy rate at 1-3/4%, as expected. In another dovish statement, the Bank of Canada acknowledged a slowdown in global economic activity and highlighted that oil prices are roughly 25% lower than what they had assumed in the October Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The lower prices primarily reflected sustained increases in U.S. oil supply and inc ...

Staying Cool in the 2019 Housing Market

January 8th, 2019
With each New Year, comes the promise of renewal. But for some, the changing calendar can bring anxiety. Especially when it comes to finances. And if you’re getting all worried about mortgage rates after seeing frequent increases the last 18 months, you really shouldn’t fret, and here’s why.

We’ve been spoiled as borrowers for years. Interest rates have been at generational lows for some ti ...

Rate rise unlikely this week but could a cut happen in 2019?

January 7th, 2019



The Bank of Canada will be making its latest interest rate decision Wednesday but there is not much expectation that Governor Stephen Poloz will announce a hike.

But with the announcement comes the Monetary Policy Report and the markets will be paying close attention to the language used and any hint of what the BoC’s next move may be.

CIBC economist Avery Shenfeld says that decidi ...

December Housing Reports Show Plummeting Home Sales in 2018 in Toronto and Vancouver

January 4th, 2019
In separate releases, the local real estate boards in Canada's largest housing markets released data this week showing home sales fell to decade lows in 2018 reflecting rising interest rates and stricter mortgage rules.

Sales in the GTA fell 16% in 2018 while the average price declined 4.3%, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported today. That is the worst year for sales in Canada's largest c ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - December 2018 Stats

January 3rd, 2019
Metro Vancouver home sales decline below historical averages in 2018


Metro Vancouver* home sales in 2018 were the lowest annual total in the region since 2000.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 24,619 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2018, a 31.6 per cent decrease from the 35,993 sales rec ...

Vancouver single family home assessments dip, while commercial properties soar

January 2nd, 2019
Lululemon founder Chip Wilson’s home on Point Grey Road topped the list of most expensive properties in Vancouver yet again.
Photograph By JENNIFER GAUTHIER

Typically an exercise in abject frustration and sadness, this year’s press release from the BC Assessment Authority contains terms like “softening,” “modest change” and “moderation.”

Indeed, the Vancouver housing market appears to have ...

Residential Market Commentary - A softened stance on future rates hikes

January 1st, 2019
Back in October it was “clear sailing, all ahead full”. Now the forecast is calling for headwinds and choppy seas and poor visibility.

When the Bank of Canada bumped its trend setting rate to 1.75% the economic statement spoke of full capacity, full employment, growing wages and rising inflation. The Bank and market watchers were confident interest rates would continue their measured, upwar ...

OSFI wants big banks to hike reserves amid elevated risks

December 17th, 2018
Canada’s biggest banks – those deemed ‘too big to fail’ – will need to increase the size of their emergency funds in 2019.

OSFI has announced that the Domestic Stability Buffer will increase from the current 1.5% of total risk-weighted assets to 1.75% in April 2019 for those FIs designated as Domestically Systematically Important Banks (D-SIBs).

The regulator notes that Canada’s current cre ...

Big banks tighten grip on mortgage market after rule changes stifle competition

December 14th, 2018
Canada’s biggest banks are tightening their grip over the country’s $1.5 trillion (US$1.1 trillion) mortgage market as new rules designed to cut out risky lending make it harder for borrowers to switch lenders, with some analysts betting on more gains for the country’s biggest two banks.

The rules, which stress-test borrowers’ ability to make repayments at 200 basis points above their contr ...

Toronto, Vancouver most 'vulnerable' to interest rate hikes: CMHC

December 13th, 2018
Canadians living in the country's two largest cities may find themselves more "vulnerable" to interest rate increases as personal debt levels in Toronto and Vancouver continue to hit record levels, warns a Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation report.

The housing agency says the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio for those living in Vancouver climbed to 242 per cent in the second quarter ended June 3 ...

Vancouver-area home prices to fall 3% in 2019: RE/MAX

December 12th, 2018


Home prices could fall — or at the very least, fall flat — in 2019, according to projections from two realty firms looking at our market.

That could mean opportunities for buyers, at least in some Vancouver-area communities.

We’ll see a three per cent drop in prices, according to a forecast from RE/MAX.

Royal LePage isn’t quite as pessimistic. It expects prices will rise, but probably by less ...

The devil is in the details

December 11th, 2018


Canada’s November employment numbers were stunning. Economists had projected about 10,000 new jobs. The economy created an amazing 94,000 jobs for the month, most of them fulltime. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.6%, down 2 basis points from October and down 3 bps from a year ago.

Numbers like that usually set the stage for a lot of speculation about more interest rate hikes by the Bank ...

Bank of Canada's Dovish Tone

December 5th, 2018
As was universally expected, the Bank of Canada's Governing Council held overnight interest rates steady at 1-3/4% as it heralded a weaker outlook for the Canadian economy. The dovish tone in today's Bank of Canada statement is in direct contrast to its attitude when it last met on October 24. Since that time, the global economy has moderated, and oil prices have fallen sharply. Troubling p ...

Thinking of Buying a Leasehold Property? Read This First

December 4th, 2018

What the Heck is a Leasehold Property?

A leasehold property means that the owner owns the house/townhouse/condo itself but not the land it is built on. That land is leased to the home owner by the land owner. Leasehold land is basically a plot of land that has been rented out to a developer, who then builds on the land and rents the property for a certain sum of money (or a portion of it as ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - November 2018 Stats

December 4th, 2018
Metro Vancouver homes sales down across all property types

Home buyer demand remains below long-term historical averages in the Metro Vancouver* housing market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales totalled 1,608 in the region in November 2018, a 42.5 per cent decrease from the 2,795 sales recorded in November 2017, and an 18.2 per cent de ...

Is it time for a mortgage checkup?

December 4th, 2018
It’s coming up on the end of the year. It’s most likely been another busy year for you; when is it not right? While there’s so much to do as we get into the holiday spirit, this is a great time to reflect on your finances, more specifically your mortgage. Maybe you’ve had your mortgage for a couple years and it’s not top of mind. But things have not only changed in the mortgage industry, bu ...

CMHC forecasts higher rates, slower housing

December 3rd, 2018
The conditions are right for further interest rate increases and that will blunt home sales and slow price acceleration.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation predicts the economy will continue to grow at a moderate pace well into next year. The housing agency expects that will keep pressure on the Bank of Canada to raise rates which will, in turn, increase the debt service costs for ...

Q3 Canadian GDP Growth Slowed On The Back of Weak Housing and Business Investment

December 2nd, 2018
This morning, Stats Canada released the third quarter GDP figures indicating an expected slowdown to 2.0% growth (all figures quoted in annual rates), compared to a 2.9% pace in Q2. Over the first three quarters of this year, quarterly growth has averaged 2.2% which is down from the 3.0% annual growth recorded in 2017. The Canadian economy is at or near full capacity, so slower growth is no ...

Many mortgage renewers can expect better rate in 2019, despite recent hikes: poll

November 30th, 2018
Most homeowners who are renewing their mortgage in 2019 are set to land a new deal at an equally good interest rate, according to a survey of Canadian homeowners by RateHub.ca.

This is despite the Bank of Canada raising overnight rates three times in the past year alone, and five times since July 2017.

Of the 19 per cent of homeowners surveyed who are renewing their mortgage in 2019, 82 per ...

'We're at a crisis and we don't even realize it': The dark side of Toronto's housing boom

November 29th, 2018


Debbie Ross has the same chance of snagging an affordable apartment in Toronto as she does picking a long-shot at the Kentucky Derby.

Ross is hoping to win one of 75 rental apartments in a lottery run by the city’s public housing agency. She’s up against 3,779 others, so the odds of winning are only about 50:1 but figures it’s as good a chance as any of finding a place to live.

Long priced o ...

Canadians are obsessed with housing affordability — so why isn't Ottawa talking about it?

November 28th, 2018
Housing may be the topic you’re most likely to hear discussed at the local coffeeshop or see on the neighbourhood Facebook page, but it’s not dominating question period.

It may seem like a slam dunk political issue for either the government to solve or the Opposition to make some hay out of, but housing affordability is a multi-jurisdictional issue that doesn’t lend itself to easy answers. ...

Bank of Canada takes a holiday from rate increases

November 27th, 2018
The Bank of Canada gets one more chance to raise interest rates before the end of the year but market watchers are betting against a Christmas increase. 

The October inflation numbers, which came in above expectations, would normally be seen as green light for the Bank to go ahead with another quarter-point increase. Headline inflation for October came in at 2.4%, with analysts having called ...

The Verge + Curbed | Building the Home of the Future w/ Grant Imahara

November 26th, 2018

The Verge  and Curbed have teamed up to build the home of the future. Join host Grant Imahara as he examines the renewed trend of prefabricated modular home construction.

"Figuring out what tomorrow’s technology will look like is what we try to do every single day on The Verge, and smart home tech is an increasingly big part of that. So finally, we decided to just build a home and see how ...

Big lenders resilient in housing crash test: Bank of Canada

November 23rd, 2018
Canada’s six biggest lenders would absorb losses from a housing crash in Vancouver and Toronto without falling short on their minimum required capital reserves, a central bank study found. 

Bank of Canada researchers ran a simulation where home prices dropped 20 per cent nationwide, and found cumulative earnings at the biggest lenders would be 14 per cent lower over three years compared with ...

Higher interest rate target? Expanded mandate? Bank of Canada explores options

November 22nd, 2018
OTTAWA—The Bank of Canada is studying whether it should make changes to the framework that has underpinned its policy decisions — such as interest-rate movements — for nearly four decades.

In a speech Tuesday, senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said the current inflation-targeting approach has improved the economic and financial well-being of Canadians since it was established in 1991. ...

Vancouver expects $30 million in first year of empty homes tax

November 21st, 2018
VANCOUVER — The City of Vancouver says it has collected $18 million from the first year of its empty homes tax and another $12 million could still flow into its coffers.

The city says in a news release that it expects to generate a total of $30 million from the first year of the tax which is applied to vacant residential properties in a bid to ease Vancouver's near-zero vacancy rate.

The cit ...

Canada’s Housing Market Shows Increasing Signs of Soft Landing

November 20th, 2018
Canada’s once-lofty housing market is achieving a best-case soft landing for policy makers trying to cool things down without triggering a collapse.

The latest string of data indicates the market is experiencing only a modest adjustment in prices in the face of higher interest rates and tougher regulations brought in to tackle a boom that saw values more than double in Toronto and Vancouver ...

Kasita | The Future of Affordable Housing?

November 19th, 2018
Professor Jeff Wilson wants to create the "iPhone for housing". He thinks we need to shed our preconceptions of housing as dependent on land and instead consider his plug-and-play shelter.

His Kasita units are not just tiny homes- the prototype is 208 square feet-, but they fit onto a “rack” to become part of “a vertical, high-end, design-yet-affordable, urban trailer park”. “Think about an ...

Average Canadian house worth $496,800 last month, down 1.5% in past year

November 16th, 2018
 
Canadian Real Estate Association says number of transactions dropped in more than half of local markets

Canadian home sales fell in October, as the number of transactions dropped in more than half of all local markets led by dips in Montreal, Edmonton and the Hamilton-Burlington, Ont., area.

The Canadian Real Estate Association says national home sales through its MLS system dropped by 1.6 ...

Financial fretting among Canadians

November 15th, 2018
This is Credit Education Week in Canada and a new report from credit card company Capital One and the credit counselling organization Credit Canada Debt Solutions suggests a lot of Canadians worry about their money. It indicates that a striking 44% of Canadians are so stressed about their finances they feel it is hurting their mental health.

The study finds that, on average, Canadians spend ...

Why your neighbour's kid is getting a better mortgage rate than you

November 14th, 2018

How did a 27-year-old kid How did that kid get a 3.39% mortgage while I'm paying an extra 0.45% a year?

I used to think paying down debt and having a good credit rating would reward me.

Then I went to renegotiate my mortgage and was told that my five-year fixed mortgage rate would be 3.84 per cent. I thought that was pretty good until the neighbour’s 27-year-old kid told me the rate on his m ...

How Much Do You Know About Credit Ratings?

November 13th, 2018
As many of you have always wondered of the importance of Credit Scores in getting your mortgage approved. Credit Scores is indeed an important factor but "While your credit score is important, it is only one of several pieces of information an organization will use to determine your creditworthiness. For example, a mortgage lender would want to know your income as well as other information ...

Residential Market Commentary - Canadians concerned, but comfortable with their debt

November 11th, 2018
Canadians are in debt. It is a well-known and troublesome fact that, as a nation, Canadians owe about $1.70 for every dollar they take home.

In a recent, week-long series the CBC took an in-depth look at Canadians and debt. It showed two things: Canadians are determined to manage their debt and meet their obligations, and they are worried about how they will do that as interest rates rise. ...

Vancouver housing market forecast to see moderation over the next 2 years: CMHC

November 9th, 2018
Short of a downturn, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has forecast a ‘moderation’ in Metro Vancouver’s housing market in 2019 and 2020, according to its latest Housing Market Outlook.

The federal agency says the local housing market can expect lower sales, higher inventories of homes for sale, and slightly lower home prices compared to the recent market highs experienced in th ...

Market Update: Banks Calculating Lines of Credit

November 9th, 2018

Both TD & RBC this past week implemented new calculations on how they will deal with existing secured lines. In the past they would do a stress test payment based on the outstanding balance. Now they are basing the payment ON THE AVAILABLE LIMIT in qualifying.

Obviously, this will reduce borrowing. Immediate impact will be for those borrowers who are buying another place but have an existin ...

How Much Higher Will Canadian Mortgage Rates Go?

November 8th, 2018
The Bank of Canada has signalled that rates will continue to rise - but for how long given larger economic data trends?

Last week the Bank of Canada (BoC) raised its overnight rate by 0.25%, as was widely expected, and that means that variable mortgage rates (and line-of-credit rates) will increase by the same amount in short order.

What really caught the market’s attention was the Bank’s d ...

Get used to rising interest rates

November 7th, 2018
OTTAWA — Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz says the eventual destination range for his key interest rate target — estimated by his team at between 2.5 and 3.5 per cent — is in fact "sufficiently uncertain" and could glide up or down.

Poloz's remarks Monday came with his central bank on a clear rate-hiking path. It's been signalling it will raise the benchmark from its current level of 1 ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - October 2018 Stats

November 6th, 2018
Home listings at four-year October high as sales remain below typical levels

Home sale activity across Metro Vancouver* remained below long-term historical averages in October.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,966 in October 2018, a 34.9 per cent decrease from the 3,022 sales recorded in October 2017, and a 23.3 ...

Vancouver home supply up as sales drop below historical average in October

November 5th, 2018
VANCOUER, B.C. -- The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says home supply is rising and reaching levels not seen in roughly four years, even as the average price inches up year-over-year.

The board says the composite benchmark price for all homes was $1,062,100 in October -- up one per cent since October 2017, but down 3.3 per cent over the last three months.

Sales of all types of homes ...

Lender Insights from the 2018 National Mortgage Conference

November 2nd, 2018
Mortgage professionals from across Canada descended on Montreal last weekend for the annual National Mortgage Conference.

Hosted by Mortgage Professionals Canada, the annual gathering was once again well attended, with about 1,200 participants and 60+ exhibitors at the Exhibitor Expo.

The two-day event featured a mix of educational sessions, industry updates, networking events and keynote s ...

CMHC’s Evan Siddall Addresses B-20 at National Mortgage Conference

November 1st, 2018
In what must have felt like walking into the lion’s den, CMHC head Evan Siddall addressed concerns about recent regulatory changes in front of a crowd of over 1,000 mortgage professionals on Monday.

Siddall attended Mortgage Professionals Canada’s annual conference in Montreal, answering questions posed by President and CEO Paul Taylor.

The discussion revolved around federal mortgage rule c ...

Vancouver Real Estate Bubble - Causes and Reasons

October 31st, 2018
A really interesting perspective of Vancouver's real estate market from realtor Jamie Hooper

Interest rate signs point up

October 30th, 2018
As expected the Bank of Canada has boosted its trend-setting overnight rate by a quarter of a percent to 1.75%. It is the 5th hike since rate increases began in mid-2017. The bank rate is now above 1.5% for the first time since December 2008. 

The central bank has also signaled its intention to continue raising rates. In the statement that accompanied the October 24th setting the Bank droppe ...

Working With A Mortgage Broker

October 29th, 2018

Working Directly With a Bank vs. Working

With a Mortgage Broker When it comes to applying for a mortgage, Canadian consumers have two options; work directly with a bank or enlist the help of a mortgage broker. Depending on your wants and needs, either option can provide you with the support you need, whether you’re a first-time home owner or a seasoned expert.

Keep reading to learn how to d ...

One-third of Canadians fear bankruptcy ahead of expected interest rate hike

October 25th, 2018
Canadians are bracing for another interest rate hike and many are reporting they fear they are being pushed to the financial brink. 

It’s widely expected that the Bank of Canada will raise its benchmark interest rate Wednesday to 1.75 per cent from 1.5 per cent. The bank has already raised that key rate four times since the summer of 2017.

One in three respondents to a new Ipsos survey condu ...

Housing stress test disproportionately harms young homebuyers: mortgage industry

October 24th, 2018
A recently toughened stress test is making it more difficult for young people and newcomers to the country to buy homes, Canadian mortgage industry leaders say.

The stress test requirement came into effect in January. Anyone taking out an uninsured mortgage must be able to prove that they could continue to make their payments if their interest rate rose by two per cent, or to two per cent m ...

First-time homebuyers are maxed out, but confident

October 23rd, 2018
Canadians are not holding back when it comes to buying their first home. The annual mortgage consumer study by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation finds that 85% of first-time buyers are maxing-out their home-buying budgets.

The CMHC study indicates that affordability is the most important factor for both first-timers and repeat buyers, ahead of things like the condition of the home, th ...

October 2018 Canadian Rent Report

October 19th, 2018
Overall, 17 Canadian cities saw an upward trend, 4 downward, and 3 remained flat last month. Burnaby took the largest rental dip, down 4.2%, while Montréal saw the largest monthly rental growth rate in the country with a 5.2% increase. The top 10 cities stayed relatively stable with the biggest changes at the bottom. Calgary and Oshawa both climbed into the top 10, tied for 9th, and kicked ...

B.C. government moves ahead with speculation tax on vacant homes

October 18th, 2018
B.C.'s finance minister has introduced legislation to move ahead with a controversial speculation tax on vacant or underutilized properties.

The bill ends months of speculation about how the province planned to use the new levy to help deal with runaway housing prices in some B.C. communities, outlining a range of tax rates from 0.5 to two per cent and a number of exemptions.

If the legisla ...

Tech companies have a strong appetite for Vancouver’s offices

October 17th, 2018
A steady influx of investments by major technology companies is pushing Greater Vancouver’s commercial real estate market in a steady forward march, according to RE/MAX Western Canada regional executive vice president Elton Ash.

This is despite the region’s commercial sales activity going down from 886 transactions in Q1 2017 to 523 in the first quarter of this year – a trend that RE/MAX We ...

Residential Market Commentary - The growing concern around affordable housing

October 16th, 2018
In the various provincial and municipal elections across the country, over the past year or so, affordable housing has become a top campaign issue. Affordability has been a growing concern since the last federal election and it promises to be front-and-centre again in the next one, which is set for about a year from now.

Taxation and regulation efforts by all three levels of government seem ...

Vancouver leads Canada's first home sales decline in five months

October 15th, 2018
Condo flipping was never pervasive in the Vancouver and Toronto housing booms and that sliver of the market has faded over time, suggesting tougher measures to curb speculators won’t make those cities more affordable.

Just 3.4 per cent of Vancouver condominiums sold between April and June were units that had already been sold over the previous year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg f ...

Canadian housing starts fall to lowest in almost two years

October 12th, 2018
Canadian housing starts fell to the lowest in almost two years in September, led by a drop in British Columbia, a government report showed.

Builders began work on an annualized pace of 188,683 units last month, down 5.1 per cent from August, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said. It was a third straight monthly decline and the lowest since November 2016, driven by an 8.9 per cent drop in u ...

OSFI to take new measures to address equity-based mortgage loans

October 10th, 2018
A federal regulator says it will have to take further action to address mortgage approvals by Canadian banks that still depend too much on the amount of equity in a home, and not enough on whether loans can actually be paid back.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions telegraphed the move in an update released Monday on the effectiveness of new underwriting rules it anno ...

Canadian housing starts slower in September

October 9th, 2018
The annual pace of Canadian housing starts in September slowed compared with August.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the seasonally adjusted annual rate came in at 188,683 units in September, down from 198,843 in August.

Thomson Reuters Eikon says economists had expected an annual rate of 210,000 for September.

The annual rate last month slowed as the pace of urban starts fell by 5.9 ...

The Latest in Mortgage News – Home Prices and Rate Hikes

October 5th, 2018
Interest rates, and more specifically the growing certainty of higher rates to come, have been dominating headlines following the announcement of a new trade agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

With the expectation of rising interest rates, many eyes are also on the developments in the real estate market, particularly in the Greater Toronto and Vancouver areas. This week we recei ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - September 2018 Stats

October 3rd, 2018
More supply and less demand seen across Metro Vancouver housing market

The supply of homes for sale continued to increase across the Metro Vancouver* housing market in September while home buyer demand remained below typical levels for this time of year.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 1,595 in September 2018, ...

New CMHC guidelines could open doors to financing for self-employed

October 2nd, 2018
Muhammad Arif Omari, a driver from Edmonton, was set to renew his mortgage in September when he was told he wouldn’t be able to switch to a new lender offering a lower rate because he was self-employed.

Mr. Omari, a truck driver who did not like the long stretches away from home, quit his job over the summer after many years, with plans to become a self-employed cab driver. But he soon lear ...

Rendering of The New Tallest Office Tower in Vancouver

September 30th, 2018
A 530-ft-tall office tower in downtown Vancouver has been dubbed ‘The Stack’ given its unique form of a twisting, stacked box design.

Oxford Properties announced today that its office tower at 1133 Melville Street is proceeding, with anchor tenants Erns & Young (E&Y) taking up 60,000-sq-ft, law firm Blakes taking up 80,000-sq-ft, and law firm DLA Piper taking up 67,000-sq-ft within the top ...

Bridging the Gap Between MICs and Brokers

September 29th, 2018
They’ve been around since the early 70s, but for many—the public and brokers alike—Mortgage Investment Corporations remain relatively unknown.

But work is underway to change that.

There’s no denying Mortgage Investment Corporations, or MICs, have come a long way since their inception by the federal government in 1973 through the Residential Mortgage Financing Act.

And thanks to new governme ...

B.C. government cuts automatic 2% increase in annual rent allowance for 2019

September 28th, 2018
The B.C. government is capping rent increases in the province at the rate of inflation, a move that will drastically cut the maximum annual rent hikes that had been allowed under the old formula.

The province dropped the automatic two per cent increase in annual rental costs for renters around the province, starting next year.

The increase will now be limited to the annual rate of inflation ...

Luxury-home sales are booming in Toronto, tumbling in Vancouver

September 27th, 2018


Canada’s luxury-home market has a split personality: East versus West.

Sales for $1 million or more in the Toronto region bounced back after a slowdown earlier this year, climbing 19 per cent in July and August from the same period in 2017, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada said Wednesday. The increase was even greater -- 34 per cent -- for a subset of transactions priced above $4 milli ...

Number of mortgages fell 3.4% in second quarter as stress test rules keep young buyers out

September 25th, 2018
With high prices, rising rates and new mortgage rules, millennials are taking 18% fewer mortgages

The number of new mortgages taken up in Canada in the second quarter of the year fell by 3.4 per cent compared to a year earlier, according to credit agency TransUnion, and younger borrowers seemed particularly discouraged from entering the housing market..

There was a decrease of 18 per cent i ...

Livestream: B.C. rental housing task force to announce recommendations

September 24th, 2018

Members of B.C.'s rental housing task force are set to announce recommendations aimed at helping tenants. 

Task force chair Spencer Chandra Herbert, NDP MLA for Vancouver-West End, along with Saanich North Green MLA Adam Olsen and Ronna-Rae Leonard, NDP MLA for Courtenay-Comox, have scheduled a press conference in downtown Vancouver at 9:30 a.m. PT.

CBC will stream the event live HERE

The t ...

Vancouver councillors move ahead with policy for duplexes on detached home lots

September 20th, 2018
Vancouver councillors have ended two days of public hearings by voting to allow duplexes in most city neighbourhoods currently restricted to single-family homes.

Mayor Gregor Robertson says the decision is another step toward adding homes in the city for the so-called "missing middle," which includes young families pushed out of Vancouver by soaring property prices.

A news release from the ...

Rising Interest Rates a Headwind for Canada’s Housing Market

September 19th, 2018
Rising interest rates and tighter mortgage lending rules may dampen the Canadian housing market in the coming months by reducing affordability for prospective buyers.

That’s the latest outlook from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), which revised its fall housing forecast, saying now that sales will drop 9.8% and prices will soften 2.8% to $494,900.

“The new stress-test on mortgag ...

Government Intends to Empower FICOM as a Crown Corporation

September 18th, 2018
Over the last six months, CMBA-BC has been in discussions with the BC Government concerning FICOM's transition to a Crown Agency and incorporating the Mortgage Broker registration program into the FICOM structure.

CMBA-BC's concerns over this transition are contained in our June 2018 letter to the Ministry of Finance.

As a result of today's announcement, we do not expect to see major change ...

Consumer Report Finds Homeownership is the Affordable Alternative as Rent Costs Continue to Soar

September 17th, 2018
Mortgage Professionals Canada is today releasing their comparative report, Owning versus Renting a Home in Canada. In the report, Will Dunning, Mortgage Professionals Canada's Chief Economist, compares the expected costs of housing of Canadians who will chose to rent versus those who chose to own. In the 266 scenarios examined in the report, taken from a broad cross section of regions throu ...

Homeownership Rates Dropping in Most Major Canadian Cities

September 14th, 2018
Home prices aren’t the only aspect of the housing market waning these days.

For the first time in over 45 years homeownership rates are also on the decline in Canada.

The share of homeowners is dropping in 11 of 13 provinces and in 88 of the country’s largest 100 cities, according to an analysis conducted by Point2 Homes based on 2016 Statistics Canada data.

The national homeownership rate ...

Cooling of Canada’s real-estate market expected to continue: poll

September 13th, 2018
Canada’s real estate market is expected to slow further, with rising interest rates and more stringent mortgage rules set to cool home sales and price rises, a Reuters poll of property market analysts showed on Monday.

Among once-hot markets, the outlook for Toronto home prices improved somewhat from the previous poll in June, while the prospects for Vancouver, which has some of the most ex ...

Q3 2018 Bank Earnings

September 12th, 2018
The dust has settled following the latest round of big bank earnings, which unveiled another solid quarter and record earnings.

The new B-20 regulations and higher interest rates so far appear to be having little effect on mortgage growth, with RBC reporting that customers are “self-adjusting” to the new landscape.

One big gift delivered to the banks courtesy of the B-20 guidelines is turni ...

Decreasing certainty for an increase in rates

September 11th, 2018
Market watchers have now fixed their gaze on October 24th as the most likely date for the next rate move by the Bank of Canada. As of the setting last week, that saw no change, the betting was about 75% in favour of a hike in October, but that certainty seems to be slipping.

The latest employment numbers from Statistics Canada will likely have the Bank carefully considering any move toward ...

Residential Market Commentary – The key reason for the decline of new mortgage loans

September 5th, 2018
A new report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation confirms what we have all suspected: there were fewer mortgages taken out in 2017 compared to 2016. The key reason for the decline suggests 2018 will see more of the same.

Using data from credit monitoring agency Equifax, CMHC reports just shy of 960,000 new mortgage loans in 2017, down 6.5% from 2016.

Of the five categories of borro ...

Market Memo: Affordability challenges for the young and the old

September 5th, 2018
Even with stabilizing home prices, rising interest rates are causing an on-going erosion of housing affordability in Canada.

Affordability is a well-established problem for young, millennial, first-time buyers. As markets have over heated and home prices have soared they have struggled to put together ever increasing down payments while meeting ever tougher borrowing requirements. It is als ...

Bank of Canada holds rates steady as it eyes NAFTA fallout

September 5th, 2018
The Bank of Canada is taking a breather from its efforts to push up interest rates as it watches the fallout from the country’s trade showdown with the U.S.

The central bank opted to leave its key rate at 1.5 per cent Wednesday in spite of unexpectedly good economic conditions this summer.

“The bank is . . . monitoring closely the course of NAFTA negotiations and other trade policy developm ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - August 2018 Stats

September 5th, 2018
Home buyer demand stays below historical averages in August

The Metro Vancouver* housing market continues to experience reduced demand across all housing types.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,929 in August 2018, a 36.6 per cent decrease from the 3,043 sales recorded in August 2017, and a 6.8 per cent decline co ...

World's priciest home market pushes millennials beyond the law

August 31st, 2018
Hong Kong’s stratospheric property prices are pushing some residents beyond the law.

A small, but significant, number of younger people are living in industrial buildings, trading comfort and convenience for cheap rent. Along with irritations such as rust-tainted water and intermittent blackouts, there’s one major drawback: Such living arrangements are illegal.

It’s a risk 32-year-old photo ...

Fallout of High Home Prices

August 30th, 2018
Despite slowing price gains in Vancouver and a moderation in Toronto, average home prices are still notoriously expensive.

So how are these prices affecting the lives of residents in these two cities? Thanks to a new comprehensive survey released this week, we finally have some answers:

READ MORE

Bank of Canada governor hints he will raise interest rates even if he doesn't have to

August 27th, 2018
Disruption caused by digital technologies is making the job of central bankers harder.
That was the essence of a speech by Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz at this weekend's annual shindig for central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

In a speech titled "The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Central Banking," the governor hinted at an interest rate hike.

Digital ...

Home Capital, Street Capital & First National's Q2 Review

August 23rd, 2018
The country’s largest broker channel lenders wrapped up their second-quarter earnings, which provided a little more insight into the ongoing effects of this year’s new stress test.

This year’s second-quarter results are thought to be a more accurate year-over-year comparison to gauge the stress test impacts than the first-quarter results, which the lenders say were impacted by a rush of bor ...

'Cube house' on Vancouver's Point Grey Road sold for $7.95 million

August 22nd, 2018
After being listed on the market for over a year, the daringly-bold, so-called ‘cube house’ at the northeast corner of Point Grey Road and Alma Street in Vancouver’s Westside has been sold for $7.95 million, below the final asking price, according to BC Assessment.

This 2016-built, sharp contemporary home at 3691 Point Grey Road – right across from Hastings Mill Park – has drawn some contro ...

Big banks poised for strong quarter amid housing stability, rate hikes

August 20th, 2018
TORONTO -- Canada's biggest banks are expected to report yet another strong quarter as the country's housing market shows signs of stability and rising interest rates add to their bottom line.

Royal Bank of Canada is the first lender to report its fiscal third-quarter results on Wednesday, and most analysts are expecting "solid" growth across the industry, with estimates of earnings-per-sha ...

New Housing Data Shows Strengthening Sales, Rising Prices

August 17th, 2018
New housing data released in two separate reports this week paints a picture of strengthening sales activity across the country, along with moderate price gains in most markets.

The MLS Home Price Index released by the Canadian Real Estate Association was up 2.1% to $634,300 this July from July 2017. This index is a more accurate way than averages to measure price progression among the 15 c ...

Six Months was What it Took to Absorb Latest Mortgage Changes!

August 17th, 2018
Ever since the US 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis, we’ve seen a never-ending string of change. Mortgage lending rules have become tougher and tighter. Underwriting is stricter and more thorough. (As usual, the government has not missed an opportunity to stick their nose into your business by making lenders ask for more income documentation.)

The rule of change is that it takes around six mon ...

Bank Mortgage Specialists Advertising As Mortgage Brokers

August 17th, 2018
Your best mortgage advice comes from a Mortgage Broker.

From time to time, we do see concerning cases where bank-based mortgage specialists have held themselves out as Mortgage Brokers in their advertising. This tactic is especially troubling, as bank employees owe a duty of loyalty to the bank and not to the borrower. It also erodes the public perception of Mortgage Brokers as purveyors of ...

Is Mandatory Securities Registration Looming For BC MICs & Mortgage Syndicators?

August 16th, 2018
The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) announced a change in policy yesterday that will impact mortgage syndicators and MICs.

BCSC has indicated that they will not be renewing the Exemption from Dealer Registration Requirement for Trades in Securities of Mortgage Investment Entities (BCI 32-517), which provides conditional registration relief in BC for mortgage investment entitie ...

Insurance Premiums May Rise in 2019

August 16th, 2018
OSFI is tightening mortgage lending again. But this time, it’ll be less impactful for consumers.

The banking regulator issued its final Mortgage Insurer Capital Adequacy Test (MICAT) guideline last week. MICAT is the “framework for assessing the capital adequacy of mortgage insurance companies,” OSFI says, and it takes effect January 1, 2019.

According to National Bank Financial (NBF) analy ...

The price-to-income ratio needed to buy a home across Metro Vancouver

August 15th, 2018

There should be no surprise which city in British Columbia ranked dead last in affordability for single-person households.

A new report by Zoocasa, a Toronto-based real estate brokerage firm, found that the City of Vancouver had the worst house price-to-income ratio for single individuals, with a staggering ratio of 32 to acquire an average priced property of $1.229 million on a median incom ...

New Renderings Of Oakridge Centre Show Surreal Architecture

August 15th, 2018

The design of the planned redevelopment of Oakridge Centre is said to draw inspiration from medieval towns like San Gimignano, Italy, and it will become a hilltop town or “micro city” with a skyline of its own.

That is how the proponents of the redevelopment described the project in their recent development application to the City of Vancouver. A rezoning proposal for the project was previou ...

3 Canadian cities make top 10 on global ranking of most livable cities

August 14th, 2018
Three Canadian cities ranked among the top 10 in this year's list of the world's most livable cities, while Melbourne held on to top spot for a seventh year in a row.

Analysts at The Economist's Intelligence Unit released the 2017 edition of their Global Liveability Report, which ranks 140 cities based on their quality of life across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and ...

Is the Housing Market Turning a Corner?

August 13th, 2018
While Vancouver area home sales are still posting year-over-year declines, signs are appearing in the Greater Toronto Area that the worst of the housing correction is now over.

Experts say that likely won’t be enough to stave off a slowdown in national GDP growth, however, which in part will be impacted by the housing market’s weak performance over the first half of the year.

Is the Housing ...

80% of Canadian Boomers Choosing Renos Over Moving

August 9th, 2018
TORONTO - A new study finds that some 80 per cent of Canadian baby boomers plan to stay put in their homes in the next five years as a majority consider their local housing market unaffordable for retirement.

The Leger and Royal LePage survey of 1,000 Canadians aged 54 to 72 suggests that six-in-ten boomers are opting to renovate their current house rather than buy a new home.

That leaves s ...

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's July 2018 Report

August 3rd, 2018
July’s residential housing sales in Metro Vancouver* reached their lowest levels for that month since the year 2000.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,070 in July 2018, a 30.1 per cent decrease from the 2,960 sales recorded in July 2017, and a decrease of 14.6 per cent compared to June 2018 when 2,425 homes so ...

Langley Woman Overpaying Taxes Gets Money Back

August 2nd, 2018
When McLaughlin on Your Side interviewed Lori Sowerby last August, she was fuming over the taxes her late mother had paid on her Walnut Grove home for nearly 20 years.

The home’s property assessment had included a finished basement, which didn’t actually exist. That simple error meant Sowerby’s mom, Joyce, had overpaid thousands of dollars taxes to the Township of Langley and Lori wanted th ...

Residential Market Commentary - An easing burden of debt

July 30th, 2018
The good news is: the Canadian household debt to disposable income ratio is shrinking.

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada put debt to income at 168%, or $1.68 owing for every dollar available to spend, as of the end of the first quarter this year. That is down from 170% in Q3 and 169.7% in Q4 of last year.

Credit market debt rose by just 0.3% in Q1, while wages rose 1.3%. Compared to ...

Stress Test Impacts Measured

July 26th, 2018
The government’s latest mortgage rule changes have caused an imbalance between supply and demand in almost every region of the country, and will result in an estimated 200,000 fewer jobs being created over the next three years.

Those are among the findings of Mortgage Professionals Canada’s newly released Report on the Housing and Mortgage Market in Canada.

“…the cumulative impact of rising ...

British Columbia toughens requirements for property purchased by corporations, trusts

July 26th, 2018
British Columbia will soon force people who use corporations or trusts to buy property in the province to disclose more complete information, a move the government says will close a loophole that has allowed speculators to evade real estate taxes.

Starting Sept. 17, new property-transfer-tax forms will require people to report additional information, including their name, citizenship and so ...
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