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Blog by Micah Verceles

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

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 ...