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Free Professional Advice

Why choose Micah? Because I provide valuable professional advice and it’s FREE!

Why pay more than needed? Get my rate specials. Let me negotiate the best rate for you and save money.

Slide 2

Best Rates

Let me shop the major banks and top lenders for you.

Let me negotiate the best rate. Remember I work for you, not the banks.

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Get Approved

My approval rating is high.

With my portfolio of lenders, I can find you a program that works for you.

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Lower rates equals thousands in savings.

Why pay more than needed? Get my rate specials. Let me negotiate the best rate for you and save money.

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When the banks are closed, I am not.

I work for you and I am at your service 7 days a week.

Blog by Micah Verceles

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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:


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 ...

CMHC wants to make it easier for self-employed Canadians to get a mortgage

July 25th, 2018

CMHC is giving lenders more guidance and flexibility on determining whether a self-employed person qualifies for a mortgage

OTTAWA — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is making changes intended to make it easier for the self-employed to qualify for a mortgage.

The national housing agency says it’s giving lenders more guidance and flexibility to help self-employed borrowers.

Self-employe ...

B.C. real estate group says market balancing out amid new mortgage rules, lower demand

July 24th, 2018
The British Columbia Real Estate Association says tighter mortgage rules and lower demand are bringing the provincial housing market into balance.

The association says 7,884 units were sold within the Multiple Listing Service across the province in June, a 32.5 per cent decrease from the same month last year.

The average residential price was down 1.3 per cent from June of 2017 for a total ...

After the Hike: Fixed or Variable?

July 24th, 2018

It’s the perennial question homebuyers ask themselves and one that’s getting a lot of attention these days: should I go fixed or variable?

And the answer may have just become a little more complicated now that the Bank of Canada (BoC) has raised its overnight target rate to 1.50%.

The rate increase, which affects variable rate mortgages and Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs), as well as the ...

How resilient is Canadian housing to a U.S.-style crash? Plunging oil prices? Here's the CMHC stress test result

October 19th, 2017

With trade wars a possibility, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. added anti-globalization to its list of worst-case scenarios that could impact the country's property sector

Read More

10 things not to miss at the Vancouver Home + Design Show

October 16th, 2014

The Vancouver Home + Design Show kicks of today at 4pm at BC Place Stadium. Here is the Vancouver Sun's 10 things not to miss.

The Layered “S House” by Yuusuke Karasawa Architects

October 15th, 2014
The S House, reminiscent of M.C. Escher’s piece ‘Relativity’ combines the use of negative space and layered interconnectivity to present an homage to a physical representation to our cyber lives. Despite its levels of complexity, the structure flows effortlessly from the basement floor to the rooftop deck. This is literally an architectural representation of the adage: ‘You must see it to bel ...

Canada may need tougher rules to slow overvalued housing market, IMF warns

October 9th, 2014

The IMF report said that Canadian house prices are 10% above “fundamental values,” and “housing market risks should continue to be closely monitored.”

Canada may need tougher rules to slow gains in the housing market, the International Monetary Fund said.

Experts warn of danger ahead when these young people, who have no experience in interest rate shocks, face a spike in mortgage payments. Read on “High household debt and a still-overvalued housing market remain important domestic vulnerabilities,” the Washington- based group said Tuesd ...

Canada's Housing Future Exceeds Expectations According to Mortgage Insurer

August 1st, 2014

The country’s largest private mortgage insurer reported its second quarter results on Tuesday, including one key statistic that might leave housing skeptics second-guessing themselves.

Genworth MI Canada (MIC.TO 38.63 -0.91 -2.3%) posted its lowest loss ratio in seven years—12 percent—meaning that the insurer only paid $12,000 in claims for every $100,000 in premiums that it charged. In othe ...

‘Ferris Bueller’ House Sells for $1.06 Million

June 3rd, 2014

The midcentury modernistic steel-and-glass house in Highland Park and the nearby auto pavilion that together are commonly known as the Ferris Bueller home for their prominence in the 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” sold on Thursday for $1.06 million.


And the buyers, an investment banker and a lawyer, are nearby residents and Northwestern University alumni.

The deal brought to a clos ...

Bank of Canada is unlikely to change course on interest rates

June 2nd, 2014

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz speaks during a news conference upon the release of the Monetary Policy Report in Ottawa January 22, 2014. Mr. Poloz scheduled to make rate announcement on Wednesday. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

It wasn’t long after Stephen Poloz started publicly fretting about disinflation that consumer prices began to creep up in Canada.

Not dramatically so, but most definitely higher. In April, the consumer price index matched the central bank’s 2-per-cent target for the first time in two years, pushed higher by rising gasoline and natural gas prices.

more from The Globe & Mail



The Most Expensive Home in the World

May 14th, 2014

India’s wealthiest man Mukesh Ambani’s 27-story skyscraper home in Mumbai has topped the Forbes List of the most expensive billionaire homes in the world. The 400,000-square-foot house is named Antilia after a mythical island in the Atlantic.

Read the article HERE 

Kohler Touchless Toilet

May 8th, 2014

Kohler has created a conversion kit that will upgrade your toilet to touch-free & self-flushing. Just wave your hand over the sensor and say farewell without ever touching the can. This might be a nice little upgrade to your bathroom to give a high end "touch"

Obviously, touch-free toilets have been around for ages at this point, but up until now, contactless flushing mechanisms were typical ...

10 Things You Should Know About Pre Approvals

May 1st, 2014

Putting your full faith in a mortgage pre-approval is like betting on a heavy favorite in a horse race. You’ll probably win but there’s room for major disappointment.

Sure, pre-approvals have benefits.

  • The best ones accurately measure your qualifications and how much house you can afford.
  • Their 90- to 120-day rate guarantees protect you if rates rocket up while you’re home hunting.
  • ...

CMHC cutting back on what it covers with mortgage insurance

April 30th, 2014

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., the Crown corporation that controls the vast majority of mortgage default insurance in the country, says it plans to get out of the market for second homes and is adding restrictions for self-employed Canadians.

Effective May 30, CMHC said it will discontinue insuring second homes and will require self-employed Canadians to have third party income income ...

Virtual Tour of the new Ronald McDonald House BC

April 4th, 2014

I have been involved with the Ronald McDonald House for the past year and am very excited to see the new facilities. Have a look at the Virtual Tour of the future Ronald McDonald House BC - see all the in's and out's of our new Home-away-from-Home on BC Children's Hospital property!

Canadians paying off their mortgages

April 2nd, 2014

A study released Tuesday, indicating a healthy mortgage industry, may stop Finance Minister Joe Oliver in his tracks

“The dream of mortgage freedom is less than 10 years away for 37 per cent of Canadian mortgage holders, according to Scotiabank's Mortgage Landscape Study,” an official release from Scotiabank states. “More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of mortgage holders have taken steps to ...

Bank of Canada expected to lag Fed in rate hike timing and pace

April 1st, 2014

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz
The Bank of Canada could lag the U.S. Federal Reserve in starting to raise rates, but it may also lag behind in terms of the pace of hikes during the upcoming cycle, says a Scotiabank outlook.

Are lower rates going to linger for a little bit longer than expected? Read the entire article HERE

Banks Show Restraint on Mortgage Rates

March 4th, 2014
This year, there is little evidence of a battle for market share among mortgage lenders. (Tim Fraser For The Globe and Mail)

A year after being admonished for cutting mortgage rates too aggressively, banks are demonstrating a new, self-imposed restraint.

In March, 2013, Bank of Montreal dropped its five-year mortgage rate to 2.99 per cent, spurring Manulife Bank to follow suit as the all-important spring housing season kicked off.

Read the full article HERE

Second Mortgage Insurer Follows Suit and Raises Premiums

March 3rd, 2014

One major mortgage insurer wasted no time announcing its own premium changes, following CMHC’s major statement Friday.

"We believe this new pricing is prudent and more reflective of increased regulatory capital requirements," Brian Hurley, chairman and CEO of Genworth Canada said in an official release. "These pricing actions are supportive of the long-term safety and stability of the Canadi ...

CMHC to hike mortgage insurance premiums May 1

February 28th, 2014

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation ( CMHC ) complex in Ottawa on Thursday Oct. 9, 2008. (Sean Kilpatrick/Globe and Mail)

CMHC is increasing its premiums for homebuyers with less than 20% downpayment on new applications submitted on and after May 1, 2014....depending on the loan amount this works out as $5-20/month cost to borrower. No word yet whether the other two insurance companies Genworth & CanadaGuaranty will follow suit.

Premiums will still be lower than they were in 2003. Read the story HERE

B.C. property market hazy after 'millionaire visa' scrapped

February 12th, 2014

More from CBC

TD Bank overtakes RBC to become Canada’s largest lende

January 14th, 2014

Toronto-Dominion Bank surpassed Royal Bank of Canada as the country’s largest lender by assets for the first time after a decade-long expansion in U.S. consumer lending. Read the article HERE

CMHC cuts 2014 housing starts forecast, signalling slowing market

November 9th, 2013

TORONTO — Canada’s federal housing agency has bumped up its forecast for housing starts in 2013 but trimmed its forecast for 2014, setting an essentially flat outlook for a once-roaring market.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said on Thursday housing starts will be in a range of 179,300 to 190,600 units in 2013, with a point forecast, or most likely outcome, of 185,000. That is up f ...

Why no rate hike means variable mortgages are safe again

November 7th, 2013
A signal from the Bank of Canada that it’s not raising its key lending rate any time soon, coupled with the likelihood of falling mortgage rates, could be enough to keep the latest housing rally going.
There have been signs the housing market is in recovery mode with year-over-year sales rising in many markets, albeit generally below 10-year averages. Analysts have called it a short-t ...

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - October 2013 Statistics

November 6th, 2013
VANCOUVER, B.C. – November 4, 2013 – Home buyer and seller activity continues to mirror 
historical averages in the Greater Vancouver housing market. These trends have helped keep the 
region in a balanced state for the last nine months. 
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential property sales in Greater 
Vancouver reached 2,661 on the Multiple Listing Servic ...

Are you "House Poor"?

November 4th, 2013
About a quarter of Canadians spend too much on housing costs, Statistics Canada says. But how can you tell if you’re house poor, aside from the fact that your bank account is hemorrhaging funds? To answer that question, dig deep, and we’re talking in your soul, not your piggy bank.
“Your first sign is that you’re beginning to resent your house,” says Certified Financial Planner Scott ...

Low-rate pledge revives fears of hard reckoning for Canada’s housing market

November 2nd, 2013

TORONTO — The Bank of Canada’s surprising signal last week that it will not raise interest rates any time soon will lift the housing market and give indebted households breathing room, but it leaves many apprehensive there will be a hard reckoning.
Canada sidestepped the worst of the financial crisis because it avoided the real estate excesses of its U.S. neighbour, and a post-recessi ...

Flaherty won’t intervene in housing market but keeping close tabs

November 1st, 2013

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says he has no intention of interfering in the housing market “at the time being” but plans to meet with developers to learn more about what could be driving the sector’s recent steam

Following a meeting in Ottawa with private sector economists, Mr. Flaherty said he was urged to take a closer look at the sector.
With commitments to near zero interest ra ...

Extreme Homes - Bond Style Villa

October 31st, 2013
A hideaway cool enough for a secret agent hidden high up amongst the clouds above Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Footage from the 2012 television show, "Extreme Homes".

Bank of Canada drops rate guidance, lowers growth forecast

October 30th, 2013
OTTAWA — There has been a sea change at the Bank of Canada.
No longer are policymakers setting a specific monetary course for interest rates. Instead, for the first time in 18 months, they have dropped any reference to borrowing costs eventually rising — adopting a neutral position and waiting to see which way economic winds blow.
What hasn’t changed, however, is the central bank’s bigges ...

Would You Live in a $25,000 Vancouver Micro Home?

October 29th, 2013

Micro condos are nothing new to Vancouver, but if you were given the opportunity would you live in a micro house? Check it out via VancityBuzz

Brilliant small apt fits everything

October 26th, 2013

An amazingly designed small apartment under 500 sq feet with a huge amount of storage and awesome art - Michael Pozner, former Head of Retail for American Apparel, and his architect Darrick Borowski, from Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture ( re-imagined his tiny space to fit his needs.

5 key things to ask when buying a new home

October 25th, 2013
Many people will buy their first home from a builder, whether it’s a detached home, townhouse or condominium unit.
Click here for the five questions you need to ask when buying a new home to help avoid mistakes courtesy of The Star.

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 per cent

October 23rd, 2013

Ottawa - 

The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.

The global economy is expected to expand modestly in 2013, although its near-term dynamic has changed and the composition of growth is now slightly less favourable for Canada. The U.S. ...

10 Ways to Cut Your Moving Costs

October 22nd, 2013

Moving can be a very chaotic and expensive task, one that needs to be accomplished very carefully. A move carried out in haste can bring about several unnecessary problems. Almost everyone looks for cheap movers. After all, most of us want to save on out of pocket expenses but there are several disadvantages of selecting cheap movers. There are professional moving companies, who offer compe ...

Sale and listing activity continues to follow historical averages

October 21st, 2013

Home buyer and seller activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market continues to far outpace 2012, yet is in line with the region’s 10-year averages.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,483 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September 2013. This represents a 63.8 per cent increase compared to ...

Canada’s housing market shows continued muscle as sales climb

October 18th, 2013
While the market has been gaining steam the Canadian Real Estate Association pointed out Tuesday that about 340,980 homes have traded hands so far this year, a number that remains 1.8 per cent below sales in the same period last year. (Gloria Nieto/The Globe and Mail)
The housing market’s strength continued in September, with sales of existing homes across Canada coming in 18.2 per cent higher than a year earlier.
The number of homes that sold last month was slightly above the 10-year average level of sales for the month of September, indicating that the market has fully bounced back from the slump that ensued in the summer of 2012 after Finance Mi ...

No Bank of Canada rate hike till 2016?

October 17th, 2013

In the span of a week, two banks have pushed back their forecasts of a Bank of Canada rate hike to 2016.
The latest one comes from Joshua Dennerlein, economist with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Mr. Dennerlein said he now predicts the Bank of Canada will hike its benchmark rate sometime in the first half of 2016, more than a year later from his earlier forecast of a hike in the fourth q ...

Two thirds of Canadian homeowners likely to renovate in the next 12 months: Scotiabank study

October 16th, 2013

Some 65% of Canadian homeowners are planning renovations in the next 12 months and expect to spend an average of $8,992 according to the recent Scotiabank Home Renovations Poll.
Among the provinces, homeowners in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the most likely to renovate (74%) in the next year and plan to spend the most with an average spend of $12,920. The province least likely to ren ...

Why a Mortgage Broker is Your Best Option

October 15th, 2013

Whether it’s your first time or your fifth time, shopping for a mortgage can often be confusing and even frustrating. Besides, who really has the time to research and compare mortgage lenders to ensure the best deal? Then there are all those crazy terms and acronyms – Beacon scores, LTVs, IRDs and porting – it can make your head spin! Isn’t there an easier way?
There is indeed, and th ...

TD Economics Data Release: Housing starts better-than-expected in September

October 14th, 2013
  • Canadian housing starts rose a better-than-expected 5.3% in September to 194,000 units on an annualized basis. Housing starts are a volatile indicator, so we focus on the trend level of starts. September’s increase took the 6-month moving average slightly higher to 190,000 units from 188,000 in August.
  • The increase was mainly driven by a 5.9% rebound in multi-unit construction, ...

New York City Dumpster House

October 13th, 2013

September CMHC 2013 Housing Starts in Canada

October 12th, 2013

OTTAWA, October 8, 2013 —
 Housing starts in Canada were trending at 190,492 units in September compared to 188,440 in August, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts.
“The trend in total housing starts edged up slightly in September, while remaining clos ...

7 things you need to know about the U.S. budget crisis

October 9th, 2013
 Protestors join Rev. Jesse Jackson (2nd from Right) during a march to call for an end to the federal government shutdown on October 8, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.
 (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The US government budget crisis weighed heavily on investors after President Barack Obama said Tuesday he would not negotiate with the Republicans under the threat of “economic chaos.”
Investors are still hopeful Congress can avert an unprecedented US government default by agreeing to lift the debt ceiling before an October 17th deadline.
“Any sane person obviously believes the US ...

Government of Canada Poised to Remove Low Rate Stimulus

October 7th, 2013
Interest rates in Canada have not been as low as we have seen in the past 5 years, since the Great Depression.  These historic low rates were initially the response to the global financial crisis that broke out in 2008.  Last month Canadian Banks began raising interest rates on fixed-term mortgage by small increments. This in part was due to our U.S. neighbor's consideration in removing t ...

Fighting Mortgage Fraud

October 6th, 2013

Mortgage fraud in Canada has increased by a staggering 50% in recent years, according to Equifax.

While accounting for only 13% of attempted frauds in 2011, mortgage fraud was responsible for two-thirds, or $400 million, of the estimated dollar amount of financial fraud in Canada. According to John Russo, Vice President of Equifax, that number jumped to $600 million in 2012.

First par ...

SFU Westhouse - The sustainable laneway home

October 4th, 2013

This energy-efficient, green Laneway Loft House built by Smallworks was showcased at LiveCity Yaletown, David Lam Park, one of two City of Vancouver celebration sites, during the 2010 Winter Games.

Smallworks’ founder Jake Fry joined the Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, along with representatives from SFU and the Government of Canada to officially open the doors to West House, at 1 pm ...

Bank of Canada won’t raise interest rates until 2016: Scotiabank

October 3rd, 2013


OTTAWA -- The Bank of Canada won't pronounce on interst rates until later this month, but Scoticabank economists are jumping the gun speculating Canadians won't have anything to worry about until 2016.

The economists say remarks by the central bank’s senior deputy governor earlier this week suggest the bank’s view is now that the economy’s spare capacity may remain into sometime in 2016.


Booming Vancouver housing market a matter of opinion

October 2nd, 2013

The country’s most expensive market is either red hot or still recovering. It depends on your vantage point.
If you compare the market to a year ago, the recovery is spectacular. September Vancouver sales climbed 63.8% from a year ago. Compare those same 2,483 September sales to a month earlier and they are down 1.2%.
“While sales are up considerably from last year, it’s important t ...

What a U.S. government shutdown means for Canada

October 1st, 2013
If U.S. politicians fail to resolve their differences over spending, a shutdown of non-essential government services could grind that economy into the ground — just when a sustained recovery appeared to be in reach.

OTTAWA — Once again, Canada’s economy is being overshadowed by our big neighbour.
Despite data on Monday showing a strong rebound in growth here, it’s the funding crisis in the United States that dominates the spotlight.
How the current U.S. shutdown threat compares to past ones
OK, gridlocked politicians we’re used to. But why padlock the Statue of Liberty?
You don’t see ...

Five Reasons To Get Pre-Approved For A Home Loan

September 30th, 2013
ou’ll know how much you can afford.
Due to increased restrictions on the mortgage industry, what you could borrow five years ago may not be 
the same as it is today. You can minimize anxiety and last minute loan surprises if you know what you 
qualify for before you begin to shop. 
Spend more time looking at the right homes.
Before you spend hours of your time house hunting, its importan ...

Canada's soaring real estate market: Feel good now, pay later

September 27th, 2013
House prices have appreciated by about 6 per cent annually during the past 15 years, triple the rate of inflation. (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

It’s a bad thing for Canada if housing prices keep rising.
Soaring house values are the most significant financial event of the past decade for the typical household. Now, it’s time to question how much good has come of it.
The housing boom has certainly been a major contributor to our economy, which came through the past five difficult years in comparatively good shape on a globa ...

Flaherty Talks Mortgages With CAAMP

September 26th, 2013

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty met with CAAMP last week in Toronto. The Minister meets annually with stakeholders such as CAAMP and, as can be expected, housing and the mortgage market topped the agenda.
The objective of the meeting was to discuss the health of the industry as assessed by CAAMP.
Click here for details about the issues raised and discussed courtesy of CanadianMortga ...

Vancouver Special Renovations

September 23rd, 2013

The Loft Cube

September 22nd, 2013
The loft cube is designed for people on the move. When they change locations they can take their home with them. Mobile living units, which can be placed on flat roofs by helicopters or cranes, designed by Werner Aisslinger.

A clear mortgage policy

September 21st, 2013

The Canadian housing and mortgage markets receive extensive attention by economists, analysts and the media. The purchase of a home, after all, is the largest financial commitment that an individual will make in his or her lifetime.
Since 2008 and the height of the financial crisis, the federal government has been active from a policy perspective in making sure that the housing market ...

Consumers turned around the housing market

September 20th, 2013
August sales numbers seem to reflect the trend as they rose 2.7% from July on a seasonally adjusted basis. On a year over year basis, sales were up 11.1% in August.
Gerry Kahrmann/Postmedia NewsAugust sales numbers seem to reflect the trend as they rose 2.7% from July on a seasonally adjusted basis. On a year over year basis, sales were up 11.1% in August.
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Self-employed? Prepare for a long conversation with your mortgage broker

September 19th, 2013

If you’re self-employed and about to apply for a mortgage, be prepared for some serious form-filling. Getting financing isn’t as easy as it used to be, say mortgage brokers — and for the 15% of Canadians who earn money for themselves without a steady employer’s salary, it’s harder still.
“Back in the day, five years ago you could hold up three fingers and say ‘I promise I earn $100,000, ...

TD Economics: Canadian National Balance Sheet Accounts - Q2 2013

September 18th, 2013

Data Release: National balance sheets remain relatively stable
  • Canadian national net wealth advanced 3% in the third quarter, mostly driven by increased residential real estate gains and a better international net debt position.
  • While net worth advanced for all sectors of the economy, both households and governments became more indebted, while the corporate sector remained the o ...

CREA: Canada’s home sales to beat expectations as buyers rush to lock in low rates

September 16th, 2013

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association raised its outlook Monday for homes sales this year as it reported a 11.1% jump in August sales compared with a year ago.
The industry organization said it now expects sales of 449,900 homes this year compared with a June forecast of 443,400.
CREA reported 454,573 sales in 2012.
The association said sales across the country have im ...

Luxury home sales expected to climb: study

September 14th, 2013
Sales of luxury homes will likely gain momentum in the fall, fuelled by demand from international investors, according a new report from real estate sales and marketing company Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

Sales of luxury homes will likely gain momentum in the fall, fuelled by demand from international investors, according to a new report from real estate sales and marketing company Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
The company said Tuesday that sales of high-end homes worth at least $1 million were up in major Canadian urban markets in the first half of the year compared with the ...

Already record home prices rise further 2.3%, but no bubble seen

September 13th, 2013
Canadian home prices are at record highs as the real estate market rebounds, climbing 2.3 per cent in August from a year earlier.
On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.6 per cent in August from July, according to the Teranet –National Bank house price index released today.
As The Globe and Mail’s Tara Perkins has reported, Canada’s housing market has bounced back smartly since the government mo ...

OSFI to consult public before making changes

September 12th, 2013


OSFI has held off on further tweaks to underwriting rules, but amid speculation that it may soon spring into action, one representative has assured the public - including brokers - will be allowed their say.

“If we decide to revise Guideline B-20 we will undertake public consultations,” Annik Faucher of OSFI told “No decisions have yet been r ...

Luxury home sales expected to heat up this fall, as high-end condo sales pick up in Toronto

September 11th, 2013

TORONTO — Sales of luxury homes will likely gain momentum in the fall, fuelled by demand from international investors, according a new report from real estate sales and marketing company Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
The company said Tuesday that sales of high-end homes worth at least $1-million were up in major Canadian urban markets in the first half of the year compared with the ...

Mortgage Rates, What Now?

September 10th, 2013

economic-cycleWe’re at one of those points in the economic cycle where mortgage rates get especially confusing.

On the one hand, we see the Bank of Canada confirming that it has no plans to raise short-term interest rates for several months (maybe several quarters). And on the other hand, we have bond traders pushing up long-term interest rates to two-year highs.

That's got many wondering:

a) whic ...

Mortgage Rates to Rise

September 9th, 2013
The Federal Government of Canada allocates $85 Billion to insure mortgages in Canada through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.  With the Real Estate market's increased activities this year CMHC has used upwards of $66 Million to help lenders guarantee repayment on their mortgage-backed investments.
As of August 2013 CMHC is limiting the dollar amount of total mortgages insured to ...

Why real estate doomsayers continue to be wrong

September 8th, 2013
Mandy Coz needs a lead. She isn’t the first sales rep from a nearby real estate brokerage to cold call my parents’ home in the suburbs on behalf of a family that badly wants to become our neighbours. But she’s the most recent and she’s on the hunt for a new seller. Her clients “lost out” on another property on our street.
“This summer has been a bit unusual,” says the RE/MAX Premier Inc. sal ...

Owning a home became less affordable in the second quarter

September 7th, 2013

Owning a home in Canada became slightly less affordable in the second quarter of 2013, according to RBC Economics Research’s latest 
Housing Trends and Affordability Report.
Erosion in affordability didn’t hinder activity as home resales and housing starts have shown renewed vigour since the spring across the country, reversing part of the cooling that took place in the second half of ...

Vancouver house sales roar back

September 6th, 2013

Greater Vancouver home sales roared ahead 52 per cent last month, raising the prospect of a new phase of stability in Canada’s most expensive housing market.

The number of properties sold on the Multiple Listing Service reached 2,514 in August, up from 1,689 sales in the same month a year earlier, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Wednesday. The increased activity marks the ...

Price of Canada’s ‘most expensive’ house plummets

September 5th, 2013
Canada's Most expensive Home

Owners of the West Vancouver house once listed as Canada’s most expensive have dropped their asking price to $12.9 million from $37.9 million. 

They also appear to have switched real estate agents in their bid to sell the fixer upper at 3810 Marine Drive.

The aging house on the half-acre of prime oceanfront real estate remains on the market seven months after the whopping price tag firs ...

Regulator eyes tighter mortgage rules

September 4th, 2013

Canada’s banking regulator has been gathering detailed mortgage information from financial institutions, in what could be a precursor to changes in the rules for home loans.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has spent months considering a tightening of mortgage rules for lenders, a decision that’s being weighed as the housing market begins to pick up after ...

Why Your Mortgage Term Matters

September 3rd, 2013
Choosing the mortgage term that’s right for you can be a challenging proposition for even the savviest of homebuyers, as terms typically range from six months up to 10 years.

By understanding mortgage terms and what they mean in dollars and sense, you can save the most money and choose the term that is best suited to your specific needs.

The first consideration when comparing various mort ...

Change coming to Vancouver’s Commercial Drive

September 2nd, 2013

Commercial Drive is an old Vancouver working class neighbourhood where community street festivals are the norm and Grandview Park doubles on weekends as an informal flea market. It’s the antithesis of Robson Street or Fourth Avenue, where consumerism rules.

But no neighbourhood is immune to change, and city planners have spent a large part of their year coming up with a community plan th ...

Rate Hikes and Housing: TD Research

September 1st, 2013

rates-mortgagesIn just a few short months, long-term mortgage rates have burst higher by almost ¾ of a percentage point.

People naturally want to know if the hikes are sustainable, and how they’ll affect the overall housing market.

TD Economics weighed in on these points in a report last week. Here’s a quick overview of the implications TD foresees, and some observations of our own…

  • Future Ra ...

Why there’s no reason to panic about rising rates

August 28th, 2013
There is a simple answer to all this hysteria about mortgage rates going up.

There is a simple answer to all this hysteria about mortgage rates going up. Don’t lock in your rate.

I know it’s almost heresy to have a floating rate in a mortgage world dictated by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who thinks nothing about calling up the banks and telling them their rates are too low.

But the reality is that a variable rate mortgage tied to prime can still be had ...

As rates rise, brace for mortgage renewal time

August 27th, 2013

The era of pleasant surprises for people renewing their mortgages is over.
After five years of trending lower, mortgage rates have reversed course and started to rise. Aspiring first-time home buyers are being priced out of the market by these increases, but at least they’ve avoided a costly mortgage entanglement. Existing homeowners may simply have to pay more.
Current fixed rate ...

Wealthy Chinese snap up homes in Southern Europe as governments offer visas for buying

August 24th, 2013

Villas in Cyprus. Cyprus is already “booming with Chinese investors,” said Nikolas Michalias, a property valuer at G&P Lazarou in Cyprus who spends half the year in China promoting golden visas tied to real estate investments.
Southern Europe’s cash-strapped governments are courting wealthy Chinese homebuyers, seeking to bolster their battered real estate markets by offering visas to those who purchase prime properties.

8 surprising things that wealthy Chinese invest in

We put together a list of eight peculiar things that wealthy Chinese people invest an exorbitant amount of money in.

Continue reading.

Cyprus ...

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