Diane Birk

Love Where You Live.......Real Estate in Vancouver

The Bank of Canada announced today that it is keeping the overnight rate unchanged as they monitor the evolution of NAFTA negotiations and the outlook for inflation. Household debt levels are improving, the housing market is stabilizing, and business investment and exports are “growing solidly”. The Bank noted that higher rates will be warranted but they “will continue to take a gradual...

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As many economists expected, the Bank of Canada announced today that it is increasing the overnight rate .25 per cent, the fourth increase since last summer, given strong economic improvements. The economy and job market are performing well, housing is beginning to stabilize, oil prices have gone up, exports are strong and businesses are spending. The Bank also wants to keep inflation near target. The...

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A mortgage pre-approval can be an important part of your pathway to building wealth, giving you a real-world picture of your options: that is, your opportunities as well as your limitations.


A mortgage preapproval will tell you how much you qualify for (you may be pleasantly surprised), what your mortgage payments will be, and you’ll get an interest rate that will be held for a specific time period,...

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It’s easy to get caught up in home buying frenzy and just focus on finding that perfect home. During all that excitement, be sure to take some time to get acquainted with a few key terms. Here are the four types of insurance you’ll encounter.


HIGH-RATIO MORTGAGE INSURANCE
If your downpayment is between 5% and 20%, you are required to have “high-ratio mortgage insurance”. This...

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The Bank of Canada announced today that it is holding the overnight rate steady after raising it twice this past summer. The Bank noted that the recent strength of the Canadian dollar has slowed inflation and export growth, and that there is “substantial uncertainty” around geopolitical developments and the renegotiation of NAFTA. The Bank has therefore deemed that “the current stance...

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Effective January 1, 2018, home buyers who don’t require mortgage insurance — those with a down payment of 20 per cent or more — must qualify for their mortgage at a higher rate.

 

This new stress test won’t apply to people renewing their uninsured mortgage.

 

Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced these rule changes today....

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When you find the condo or house of your dreams and want to make an offer, do you need a financing condition? Unless you can pay cash for the home, then yes you do. That little phrase – “conditional on financing” – is an important protection for buyers.

 

When an offer to purchase is made “conditional on financing”, we gain the time needed i.e. 3 to 5 days to...

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As widely predicted, the Bank of Canada announced today that it is holding the key rate steady. While noting that “economic growth has been faster than expected”, the bank said it’s too early to determine if the economy is on a “sustainable growth path”, citing weakness in export growth, business investment and employment. The Bank’s three measures of core inflation,...

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(Article by Invis -  Canada's Mortgage Experts™)

 

This is why mortgage rates are suddenly way more complicated.

 

 If you’ve been shopping for a mortgage lately, you’ll have figured out that rates can be all over the map. That’s because you’re not comparing apples to apples anymore. Thanks to new mortgage rules, the mortgage pricing matrix is much more complicated, and quick online mortgage quotes are less reliable. That’s why it’s important to have a basic understanding of the mechanics behind mortgage rates. Here’s a quick guide: 

 

Variable mortgages and lines of credit hinge on the Bank of Canada’s “overnight rate”. Eight times a year the Bank of Canada determines if they are changing this rate. While they may hold the rate, they will increase it when the economy strengthens and inflation is a concern, and decrease it if they need to get the economy moving. It’s a careful balance. The chartered banks base their prime lending rate on this overnight rate because it influences their own borrowing. So if the central bank changes the overnight rate, it’s sending a signal to the banks to change their prime rate, which in most cases they will, passing on some or all of the change to their variable/line of credit clients.

 

Fixed-rate mortgages are different. Lenders use Government of Canada bonds to establish pricing for fixed-rate mortgages so you need to watch bond yields to determine where fixed mortgage rates are heading.

 

Whether it’s a fixed or variable-rate mortgage, the new mortgage rules mean lenders now have different rules and rates for insurable vs. uninsurable mortgages. If a mortgage is insurable, it will qualify for the best rates. Most homebuyers know that if they have less than 20% downpayment, they need to pay for mortgage insurance as a way to protect the lender. In order to obtain the lowest cost of funds, some lenders use this insurance to insure mortgages with more than 20% equity.

Mortgages that are “uninsurable” can include rental properties and second homes, switch mortgages that move to another lender, 30-year amortizations, refinance mortgages, mortgages over $1 million, and even some conventional 5-year mortgages. These mortgages are charged a rate premium and some lenders no longer offer them. Additionally, interest rate surcharges are often charged if it’s difficult to prove your income or you have bad credit, the property is in a rural location, you want a long rate hold, you want the best pre-payment privileges and porting flexibility, and you don’t want refinance restrictions. As a result, be wary of rates you see online, because you might not qualify for them.

 

Without a doubt, insurable vs. uninsurable has made the mortgage landscape significantly more confusing. Getting good solid advice is critical, and Mortgage Brokers have never been more important in the home financing process. We have access to all the lenders we need, and the experience and knowledge to get you the best mortgage for your situation. We are here to help you!
 

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 If you’re in the market for an insured mortgage, then you might want to get that mortgage before March 17, 2017. 

 

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is raising premiums for insuring mortgages on Canadian homes for the third time in three years. Canadian homebuyers are required to have mortgage insurance if they have less than a 20 per cent downpayment. The insurance...

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(Source:  Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver)

The federal government announced regulation changes for new government-backed insured mortgages on October 3, 2016. Effective October 17, 2016, insured homebuyers will have to qualify at the posted five-year qualifying rate. Previously, only variable rate mortgages and mortgages with terms less than five years were subject to a higher qualifying rate.

To qualify for mortgage insurance, a homebuyer's debt servicing ratio must be no higher than: 

• Gross Debt Service – 39 per cent of household income, including mortgage payment, taxes, and heating costs.

• Total Debt Service – 44 per cent of household income, including mortgage payment, taxes, heating costs, and all other debt payments.

These changes will apply to new mortgage insurance applications received on October 17, 2016 or later. Mortgage insurance applications received after October 2, 2016 and before October 17, 2016 are also not affected by the rule change, provided that the mortgage is funded by March 1, 2017. Homeowners with an existing insured mortgage or those renewing existing insured mortgages aren’t affected by this measure.

These changes also won’t apply to mortgage loans where: 

• the lender made a legally binding commitment to make the loan; 

• the borrower entered into a legally binding agreement for the property against which the loan is secured. 

The federal government is also instituting new eligibility rules for low-ratio (higher than 20 per cent down payment) mortgages backed by government insurance. As of November 30, 2016, to be eligible for government insurance, new mortgages must meet the following requirements: 

1. A loan whose purpose includes the purchase of a property or subsequent renewal of such a loan; 

2. A maximum amortization length of 25 years;

3. A maximum purchase price below $1,000,000 when the loan is approved;

4. For variable-rate loans that allow fluctuations in the amortization period, loan payments that are recalculated at least once every five years to conform to the original amortization schedule; 

5. A minimum credit score of 600 at the time the loan is approved;

6. A maximum Gross Debt Service ratio of 39 per cent and a maximum Total Debt Service ratio of 44 per cent at the time the loan is approved, calculated by applying the greater of the mortgage contract rate or the Bank of Canada conventional five-year fixed posted rate; and,

7. A property that will be owner-occupied.

These new criteria, in particular requiring a maximum purchase price below $1 million, will essentially make the majority of single family homes in Metro Vancouver ineligible for government issued insurance for low-ratio mortgages. 

The government also announced measures to ensure that the exemption from capital gains tax on the sale of a principal residence is available only in appropriate cases.

 

 
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Diane Birk
Office: 604-408-9311
Fax: 604-408-6648