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Here you will Victoria, BC and Canadian mortgage trends, news and information. We are your Mortgage Broker Victoria, so please feel free to contact us for any more details on the ever-changing mortgage market. Whether you are a first time buyer, a business owner or a sophisticated investor we have a wide range of quality products available to ensure you get the ideal mortgage product for your unique goals and financial situation.
Understand Discounted Rates and Understand the Possible Penalties. The truth about the Best Mortgage Rates in BC. If it’s too good to be true it often is… Sometimes you’ll see a you found a deeply discounted rate advertised in BC. Is the broker local in Victoria or in another city and can you go and meet with them to discuss the critical details? Is it a national bank offer or and can they clearly explain the penalty structure to you? We pride ourselves on offering the best rates, on mortgage products that are client-friendly, meaning flexible and low-fee. Our clients often hear of national ‘rate sites’ promoting rates that are ultimately not available, and people have wasted a lot of time and created more stress than is required, at an already stressful time. A large number of Canadians are forced to terminate their mortgage contracts early due to an unforeseen […]
New “Stress-Test” 2017 / 2018 Mortgage Rules Changes Explained Recently as you have probably heard in the major news media, like Global News and CBC, late in 2016, new rules were announced by OSFI with respect to residential home mortgages. The decisions leading up to these new rules are primarily driven by ‘expert’ concerns about rising home prices in a few Canadian markets Vancouver, and Toronto. Prices in Victoria, BC are up significantly as well but our demand continues to outstrip supply even after the first wave of new rules have been implemented. The thinking behind making it more difficult for Canadians to buy and refinance is that it might calm down the housing market, and specifically limit price increases. I’m not going to get into it too deeply here but the thinking behind these new rules is counter-intuitive, and possibly quite damaging to Canadian families and the Canadian economy […]
When you’re house hunting anywhere in the greater Victoria area; from James Bay to Oak Bay, from Saanich to Langford, it’s a great idea to know the mortgage amount you qualify for, your monthly payments, and that your interest rate will be held for a specified period of time i.e. 90 to 120 days. In some cases the pre-approval and rate-hold period can be even longer. This way you can shop within your price range, you don’t have to worry about rates rising, and both realtors and sellers will know you’re a serious buyer. This is particularly important in a tight market where inventory is low and there is competition between several buyers. Be realistic and make sure you can afford that pre-approved amount; review all of your home ownership expenses and your monthly budget including property taxes and regular upkeep. Keep in mind that not all pre-approvals are the […]
So you’re one of those buyers who absolutely loves older homes: the character, the unique architecture, the settled neighbourhood… and maybe the great value. Maybe its James Bay, or Fairfield or Oak Bay. Sometimes older homes with “great bones” sometimes need a little renovation to turn them into the home of your dreams. The Victoria market has many older homes that can benefit from a great renovation and there is the very real possibility of turning your hard work and vision into increased home equity. Unfortunately, sometimes on top of the home purchase price, a few costly renovations can be a big burden on your savings or even worse, your credit cards. We have good news. We can bundle the cost of those immediate renovations right into the mortgage: so instead of sky-high credit card and line of credit bills… you’ve got your mortgage and renovations looked after in one […]
What is a collateral charge mortgage? Here’s how it works: the bank registers the mortgage for more than the value of the home at closing. So if you have a $400,000 mortgage and a $700,000 home, the bank will register a charge up to $875,000. This has several side-effects, including locking you in to the lender, their limited products an their rates. We’re not big fans of the collateral charge mortgage – because we’re all about keeping your options open. Collateral charge mortgages are very difficult to transfer to another lender. So you might see a great rate or mortgage feature at another lender, but it’ll cost you to switch. Generally, you would need to start from the beginning of the process all over again, including time and paperwork, and pay new legal fees. There are some lenders who only offer collateral charge mortgages, with catchy marketing terms they like […]
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) recently announced that as of May 30th, it will stop insuring both second homes and self-employed borrowers who don’t have standard documents to prove their income. Canada’s private mortgage insurers did not follow suit, although putting limitations on their second-home programs. Other new rules currently under review could mean the complete elimination of cash-back down payments. There have been many changes to the mortgage landscape in the last few years, making it more important than ever to get expert and timely mortgage advice and access to as many options as possible. If you’re concerned about how changing rules might impact your home ownership goals, let’s talk!
Victoria Real Estate Board – Basic Stats from APRIL 2018 vs APRIL 2017 Net Unconditional Sales APR 2018: 775 Net Unconditional Sales APR 2017: 885 Active Listings End of APR 2018: 2.002 Active Listings End of APR 2017: 1,690 In most price ranges throughout the greater Victoria Real Estate Board it continues to be a ‘sellers market’. Inventory continues to build slightly. The new NDP government punitive real estate related taxes combined with the national mortgage stress-test changes has made it more difficult to buy in theory but what we are seeing is the continuation of multiple-offer situations and aggressive low or no condition offers from buyers. If family or income properties are priced correctly they sell almost immediately. With almost zero vacancy rate and residential rental rates ranging from steady to higher investors continue to see value and purchase residential properties for income generation. Your May 2018 Mortgage Market […]
The NDP provincial government has released its new budget. From a housing perspective here are the highlights (or lowlights depending on your perspective). 1. Speculation Tax This new, annual property tax will apply to foreign and domestic homeowners who do not pay income tax in BC, including those who leave their properties vacant. The new tax will initially apply to homes in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and capital regional districts in Victoria and Nanaimo, Kelowna and West Kelowna. In 2018, the tax rate will be 0.5% of assessed value. In 2019, it will rise to 2.0% of assessed value. 2. Victoria Area Foreign Buyers Tax Effective Wednesday February 21, 2018, the government will increase the foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20% and extend the tax to the Fraser Valley, the capital regional districts in Victoria and Nanaimo and the Central Okanagan Regional Districts. What is a foreign buyer? See […]
The Canadian Press Posted: Apr 15, 2017 10:10 PM PT Victoria makes it easier and cheaper for homeowners to build garden suites: Previously garden suite applications were evaluated by council on case-by-case basis Victoria city councilors have voted to allow garden suites in all single-family homes in a move to increase rental housing options. The city says there are 6,700 single family homes in Victoria and allowing more garden suites could alleviate the very tight rental market. “It has the potential to be a very large step, we hope homeowners will consider it,” said Victoria mayor Lisa Helps. Until now, garden suite applications were evaluated by council on a case-by-case basis. Only 18 garden suites have been built in Victoria since 2011, far fewer compared to cities such as Vancouver. The city says the change doesn’t override regulations for privacy and safety for building garden suites, but it will make […]
March 14, 2017 The Bank of Canada left their overnight rate unchanged at 0.50% as Canada’s economy continues to operate with excess capacity. Recent changes by the government to stabilize our housing market will temper residential investment and our broader economy. This will help keep inflation low and bodes well for continued low interest rates in the foreseeable future. After trending higher in the last few months, bond yields have stabilized with mortgage interest rates now hovering in the 2.24% – 2.94% range OAC. In the USA the US Federal Reserve signaled they may raise their overnight lending rate March 15th. 77% of analysts are expecting an increase unless last minute data from non-farm payrolls and average hourly wages fall dramatically this week. This should drive the US Dollar higher and help Canada’s exports as long as trade negotiations with the Trump administration don’t cause a disruption. This uncertainty remains […]
BC Budget Announcement: First Time Home Buyer Property Transfer Tax Full Exemption Raised to $500,000 FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX EXEMPTION Property Transfer Tax should not be confused with Property Tax. The Property Transfer Tax is a one time tax paid to the Provincial Government by purchasers of real estate. The Property Tax is the tax paid on an annual basis to the local City/Municipality. “First Time Home Buyers” who qualify, may be exempt from the British Columbia Property Transfer Tax. This tax is normally 1% of the first $200,000.00 of market value and 2% of any amount above $200,000.00. The following are some guidelines to determine if you are eligible for the first time home buyers exemption. Please consider if you meet the following criteria: * You are purchasing a residential property within the province of British Columbia which has a fair market value that does not […]
Residential Market Commentary – week of February 6, 2017 Feb 6, 2017, 11:25 AM by Maria Broekhof – First National Real estate boards across the country are releasing their January numbers and they seem to be telling a story of pain and gain. Government efforts to cool the market appear to be working in the Greater Vancouver Area. Sales, for all housing types continued to drop, falling nearly 40% compared to January 2016. The MLS composite benchmark price also continued to slide, dipping 0.2% compared to last January. Prices are off nearly 4% in the past six months. That’s the pain. On the gain side Victoria and Toronto may be capitalizing on Vancouver’s loss. Victoria saw its benchmark price jump more than 24% compared to last January. Sales slipped 11% on a 39% drop in inventory. In Toronto, sales jumped nearly 12%, led by condos. The composite benchmark price […]
Do you qualify for the BC Down Payment Loan Program? You can find all the eligibility details – CLICK here. VICTORIA — The B.C. government will loan first-time home buyers some of the cash they need to afford their down payment, Premier Christy Clark announced Thursday. The program will provide a government-backed loan of up to $37,500, or five per cent, of the purchase price of a home for qualified buyers, starting Jan. 16, 2017. The goal is to match part of a person’s down payment to help them afford to buy their first home, as long as they already qualify for a mortgage under federal rules and the home is worth less than $750,000. The 25-year loan is interest-free for the first five years, and does not require the homeowner to even pay down the principal during those first five years, as long as they keep the home as […]
Canadians are definitely talking about the housing market – what do the new mortgage rules mean, is this the right time to buy, have mortgage rates bottomed out, is a lender’s renewal offer the best available, and on and on! For many, it feels like some uncertain times ahead. Often it’s just a few sensible strategies that can help you survive and thrive in the current climate: Take care of your credit. It’s so important to have good credit behaviours so you always qualify for the best mortgage rate. Pay your bills on time. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 50% of the credit available. Before you cancel any credit cards, get advice. And don’t apply for a store card just to save on your purchase that day! Let renters help pay your mortgage. A home with a rental suite can be a great option for homebuyers, especially if the […]
From amortization periods to how happy Canadians are with being homeowners, in a recent survey by the Mortgage Professionals of Canada they took a look at the numbers: For homes purchased between 2014 and 2016, the average contracted amortization period is 22.4 years. For homes purchased between 2014 and 2016, 84% have amortization periods of 25 years or less. Each year, more than one-third of mortgage holders take actions that will shorten their amortization periods. When asked why they do not own a home, Canadians aged 18-34 stated they need more time to save for a down payment (43%), while those aged 55+ feel renting is a better option (45%). Among borrowers who took out a mortgage in 2016, 43% used a mortgage broker. The average mortgage interest rate for homeowners is 3.02%, and for homes purchased during 2016 the average rate is 2.76%. On average, first-time buyers make down […]
If you are like me, then you are going to enjoy quickly reading the state of mortgage industry in Canada. In the Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada they combined various data from the consumer survey and estimated that: By year-end, about 690,000 households will live in homes that they purchased during the year (newly-constructed or resale). The average price is $376,000, for a total value of $259 billion. Of these, about 75,000 did not take out any financing. Out of the 615,000 who took out financing (a mortgage and/or HELOC), 510,000 took out a mortgage only, 25,000 took a HELOC only, and 80,000 took out both a mortgage and a HELOC. The total amount of financing (mortgages plus HELOCs) for these recent buyers is $172 billion. The average loan to value ratio (including mortgages and HELOCs) of these recent purchasers is 66%. Among these recent homebuyers, […]
Hi everyone. Not sure if you have heard but on December 15th the BC Premier announced a new program to help first time home buyers. We are still working out the details but the basics are as follows. The government will lend the buyer funds equal to the down payment up to $37,500, or 5% of the purchase price. The loan will be secured by a second mortgage with no payments over the first 5 years. The amortization period for the second mortgage will be 25 years, and payments will start in year 6. Buyers must be pre-approved for an insured high ratio first mortgage and use the property as their principal residence. Applications do not start until Jan 16, 2017 and loans advanced from Feb 15, 2017 to March 31, 2020. The Buyer must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least 5 years, resided in BC […]
In the “Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada” some very interesting mortgage stats were released…see how your mortgage stacks up: The average homeowner mortgage interest rate is 3.02%, a small drop from the average of 3.07% recorded a year ago. For mortgages on homes purchased during 2016, the average rate is 2.76%. For mortgages renewed this year, the average interest rate is 2.70%. Looking further, for borrowers who renewed a mortgage during 2016, a majority (64%) saw their interest rate drop. Among all borrowers who renewed in 2016, on average their interest rates fell by 0.40 percentage points. Mortgage rate discounting remains widespread in Canada. So far this year, the average actual rate for 5-year fixed-rate mortgages (2.72%) has been 1.94 percentage points lower than “posted” rates (which have averaged 4.66%). If you are looking to lock into a lower rate, please don’t hesitate to contact me! […]
Yes, new mortgage rules have made it harder to qualify for a mortgage, whether you are a first-time buyer or looking to renew or refinance your mortgage with a new lender. That’s why you should get yourself mortgage ready well in advance. Here are 5 tips to help you do just that: Get your credit report. Getting a copy of your credit report will let you know how you will be viewed by lenders. You can order yours for free through the mail or for a small fee online at www.equifax.ca. If you spot a problem, contact Equifax to resolve the issue. Polish your credit. You can boost your score by several points fairly quickly with continual good credit habits. Most importantly, pay your bills on time, every time. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 50% of the credit available. Before you cancel any credit cards, get advice. And don’t […]
I like to open doors… not build walls. If you’re self-employed, you may have already experienced “the wall”. There are new mortgage rules that have made it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage at the major banks. I can help; with professional advice that includes the following five important tips, there is a way around that mortgage wall: Use tax returns, notices of assessment and financial statements to demonstrate your earnings. Document your assets, liabilities, and expenses. Your lender wants to understand your business. A professional on-line presence helps. Have a good credit rating. The bigger the down payment, the better! You’re a pro. So usea pro. After all, this is my business, and I take it seriously. Self-employed borrowers are actually one of my specialties: I have access to lenders that specialize in self-employed mortgages, and can anticipate the challenges you might face. No walls in the way here; in fact, I’ll hold […]
Could have, would have, should have! Learn from the most common mistakes people make when it comes to purchasing (or not purchasing) real estate so you can avoid the same regrets. 1. Misunderstanding the Buying/Selling Process According to a survey by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), 38 per cent of homeowners wished they had a better grasp on the buying and selling process when purchasing their home. Make sure you’re well versed on the intricacies of making a real estate purchase before you get pressured into a deal. 2. Not Buying Sooner According to a TD Canada Trust First Time Home Buyers Report, 55 per cent of home buyers wish they would have purchased a home sooner to avoid wasting money on rent. 3. Not Making a Bigger Down Payment On the contrary, 60 per cent of new home buyers wish they would have made a bigger down payment, which would likely require […]