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Blog by Micah Verceles

Bank of Canada Rate Biases

May 31st, 2013

Road to Higher Interest Rates - Words on StreetWhen the Bank of Canadatalks rates, analysts hang off of every word. They pay special attention to biases in the Bank’s wording (i.e., which way the Bank is leaning on interest rates).

The media loves to pump commentators for predictions on whether the BoC will keep its rate “bias,” not keep its bias, do something unexpected with its rate bias, and on and on. It’s quite the drama over wh ...

CMHC keeps shrinking business as Ottawa limits housing-market exposure

May 30th, 2013

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is continuing to shrink its business, as the government seeks to reduce its exposure to the housing market.
The amount of insurance that the Crown corporation had in force ticked down by $3.5-billion, to $562.6-billion, during the first three months of the year. The figure falls as consumers pay down insured mortgages and rises when CMHC sells new insura ...

End-of-the-party feel to BMO results

May 29th, 2013
Bank of Montreal Wednesday reported a profit for the second quarter of $975-million, down 5% from the same period last year on slimmer net interest margins and higher expenses offset higher loan volumes.

The cake has been devoured, the drinks consumed and now all that’s left to look forward to is the clean-up and maybe the hangover — that pretty much sums up the the feel of the latest bank results.

Bank of Montreal Wednesday reported a profit for the second quarter of $975-million, down 5% from the same period last year on slimmer net interest margins and higher expenses offset ...

Yields Spike. Fixed Rates May Follow

May 28th, 2013

Bond-Yields-RiseIf you’re house hunting or thinking of refinancing, and you don’t have a mortgage rate hold, consider getting one.

Canada’s 5-year bond yield just pierced a 3-month high. That means—barring a big reversal—there’s a good likelihood that fixed rates will ratchet higher. (Bond yields steer fixed mortgage pricing, most of the time.)

A few lenders have already announced higher rates earlier ...

April 2013 Housing Market Update

May 19th, 2013

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Housing Market Update for April 2013 with REBGV president Sandra Wyant.

Canadian housing market not that bad for banks

May 16th, 2013

The impact Canada’s cooling housing market is having on loan growth will undoubtedly be an area of focus when the country’s big banks start reporting second-quarter earnings next week.
However, while housing resale activity continues to struggle (3% lower than levels this time last year), the numbers for April demonstrate Canada’s real estate market remains stable.
“A slow down in the C ...

Flaherty dismisses worries over housing market amid ‘healthy’ correction

May 14th, 2013

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says he is pleased that the condo market in big cities, particularly Toronto and Vancouver, has moderated.

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is dismissing fears about Canada’s housing market, saying the current slowdown is welcome news and that there is no need for further government intervention.

While some observers are expressing fears that a steep correction is underway that will bring down housing values and possibly affect bank credit ratings, Flaherty said Tuesday that he believes gov ...

OSFI Considering Mortgage Amortization Changes

May 13th, 2013

House price squeezeFederal policy-makers are exploring additional mortgage rule tightening, CMT has confirmed.

A spokesperson from Canada’s banking regulator, The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI), verified that it is looking at the issue of limiting amortizations to 25 years onconventional mortgages (those with 20%+ equity). Currently, those “low-ratio” mortgages can hav ...

Death Sentence for Extended Amortizations?

May 12th, 2013

No-26 Housing commentator Garth Turner cites insider info that long-term amortizations are about to go extinct, at least where the federal government has jurisdiction.

In a blog post today, he writes:

Last week the CEOs of the monster banks were given a clear message that 30-year mortgages need to be wiped away. Completely. In fact, they’ll be banned. That letter will go out next w ...

What housing crisis? Many homeowners would be spared in major correction

May 9th, 2013

What you have with a mortgage is an enforced savings plan that, at worst, is still better than putting money in the bank or a GIC.

If, say, you bought a house in Toronto 10 years ago, there’s a good chance your property has almost
doubled in value, especially if it was considered “affordable” back then. A $275,000 house in 2003
is probably getting $500,000 today, maybe more in a desirable area. That’s a $225,000 gain on
paper. Further, let’s suppose you weren’t foolish enough to take a 40-year amortization — since

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market: April 2013

May 8th, 2013

Now is not the time to ask the moon for your Greater Vancouver home. The lowest April sales total since 2001 indicates that there aren’t the usual spring hordes of buyers out there right now. But there are more of them than there were in March.

The benchmark price for all homes is down 3.9 per cent from April 2012, but it’s been creeping up all year, and that might be just enough to nudg ...

Not All New Rules Are Old Rules

May 7th, 2013

mortgage-rules-2012In the last four and a half years, federal regulators have instituted more than two dozen mortgage-related policies and regulations. It’s a well-intended attempt to engineer a market correction (the proverbial “soft landing”) and add stability to the housing market.

There’s been much debate over the extent of recent rule tightening. But only time can tell if Ottawa’s policy-induced ...

Canadian housing: Bursting bubble or gentle landing?

May 5th, 2013

TORONTO — It’s looking like an unsettling spring in Canadian housing, a market that has proven far more even-keeled and less scary for investors in recent years than in the United States.
In what is traditionally the best season of the year for real estate agents, Toronto agent Ecko Jay says the industry is seeing far fewer buyers, a result of tighter lending rules, high prices and fear ...

It’s love at first sight for most new homebuyers

May 3rd, 2013

TORONTO — Looking for a perfect home can be an emotional roller-coaster, but a new study suggests finding the right property often comes down to love at first sight.
In its report titled Psychology of House Hunting, the Bank of Montreal found that 80% of prospective homebuyers know if a house is the right one for them the moment they step inside.
But it’s usually a long journey before t ...

Stephen Poloz Named Bank of Canada Head Replacing Carney

May 2nd, 2013

Canada named Stephen Poloz, the head of the nation’s export-financing agency, to lead the Bank of Canada in a surprise appointment to replace Mark Carney.
The central bank announced the appointment, effective June 3, in a statement today from Ottawa. Carney is due to depart June 1 and take over as Bank of England Governor a month later.
Poloz, 57, is chief executive officer of Export De ...