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Category Archives for Mortgage Broker Victoria BC Trends

May 2017 – Victoria Real Estate Market Update

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 […]

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NDP Government Changes BC Housing Landscape

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 […]

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Victoria makes it easier and cheaper for homeowners to build garden suites

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 […]

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Gifted Down Payment and CMHC

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 […]

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Residential Market Commentary – week of February 6, 2017

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 […]

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9 Sensible Strategies to Help you Thrive in 2017

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 […]

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Buying a fixer upper? Looking to renovate?

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 […]

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Residential Mortgage Market in Canada

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 […]

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BC Housing and Mortgage Activity During 2016

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, […]

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Victoria, BC: Interesting Mortgage Stats!

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! […]

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Understanding the “Collateral Charge” Mortgage

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 […]

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Opening Doors, Not Building Walls

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 […]

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Top 10 Most Common Real Estate Regrets

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 […]

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New Mortgage Rules

On October 3rd, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that new mortgage rules will include more stringent “stress testing” for borrowers. The new rules are designed to lower debt levels, enforce some belt-tightening, and protect the housing market over the long term. Here’s how these new rules will affect Canadians. THE HIGH-RATIO RULE There has been a long-time rule that you must have “high-ratio mortgage insurance” if you have less than 20% downpayment. This insurance is there to protect the lender, and the premium is almost always added to your mortgage amount. What’s changed? If you require an insured mortgage, you must qualify for your mortgage using the Bank of Canada qualifying rate (currently 4.64%) regardless of what your actual mortgage rate will be. That means that – although I can find you a much better mortgage rate – you’d still need to show you can handle the mortgage using the […]

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You Can Be Mortgage Free

Housing market activity continues to be an important driver of the Canadian economy. Housing activity creates jobs in the construction and real estate industries, and trickles down to impact the many industries that support construction and real estate through related goods and services. Home equity wealth is enormous in Canada and currently sits in the range of $3 trillion. Homeownership can  be  considered a “forced saving’s plan”, according to Mortgage Professionals Canada’s  Annual State of the Housing Market Report. Mortgage payments are a blend of interest payment and repayment of principal. As interest rates have fallen, the share of the payment that goes to principal has increased sharply. At today’s rates, and assuming a 25-year amortization period, 50% of the first payment is principal repayment. A decade ago the share would have been 31%. This implies the following: Faster repayment of principal means increased equity. This may be the reason […]

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Which renovations go right to your bottom line?

Whether you are looking to buy a fixer-upper or renovate your existing home to improve the quality of life for you and your family, it’s worthwhile to understand which home renovations can help boost the value of your home and go straight to your bottom line. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC), the top four renovations with the highest return on investment (ROI) include: Updated kitchen – the kitchen is almost always the heart of the home, so it’s no surprise that kitchen renovations consistently provide the best return on your renovation investment. If payback is important to you, keep the project in line with the style and quality of the rest of the house and neighbourhood. A sparkly bathroom  – bathroom renovations are also very reliable when it comes to boosting the overall value of your home. Fresh painting – whether it’s inside or outside, a fresh […]

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Update: Mortgage Changes Oct 2016

Breaking News – Qualification Guidelines Drastically Changed By now, you will have seen the October 3rd announcement from Finance Minister Morneau outlining mortgage insurance and qualification changes effective October 17 2016. To sum up the most important change to borrowers: All ‘insured’ mortgages will now need to qualify at the Bank of Canada benchmark rate, currently 4.64% instead of the contract rate offered on their commitment and they must qualify at a 25 year amortization regardless of the actual contract amortization. This change is scheduled to come into effect on October 17, 2016, but more practically you will need to have the lender and insurer approval by October 14, 2016 if you are planning to qualify at the contract rate and amortization for a fixed rate mortgage, current ranging from 2.34% to 2.49%. What does this mean in a practical sense? Here are some of the scenarios in which you […]

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5 Ways to Plug the Money Leaks

The brisk back-to-work attitude of September makes it a great time to review your finances and particularly your spending. Whether you are saving to buy a home or pay one off, your “money leaks” can add up to some big bucks over time. Here are five ways to find some of your missing money: Spending while unconscious. Track your spending and consider your impulse buys at the grocery, gas station, convenience and other stores; the services you are being charged monthly for that you don’t really use; or your brand name buying when generic will do. Look for the leaks, and then resolve to spend consciously. If impulse buying is a big culprit, always make a list and stick to it, only grocery shop once a week and never on an empty stomach! Convenience costs.  It’s a lot easier to spend more than you intend to when you exclusively use […]

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The Bank of Canada’s key Interest Rate Remains Unchanged

The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate remains unchanged at 0.50%. The Bank of Canada is still anticipating a “substantial rebound” in the second half of this year as the economy gets a lift from federal spending, rebuilding from the Alberta wildfires and recovering oil production. The current rate is expected to stay where it is well into 2017. For those of you with variable rate mortgages your payments will remain unchanged. In the meantime, if there is anything that I can help you with, please let me know! We’re Your Mortgage Broker Victoria

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Build your dream home

Build It! Two mortgages to help you build your dream home Completion Mortgage. Just like it sounds, this is for situations when you don’t need to actually come up with full funding until the home is complete and move-in ready. You’ll need to provide a downpayment when you make an offer to purchase the planned home, and then the mortgage you are approved for is advanced to the builder at possession. Progress Draw Mortgage. This mortgage will give you funds at specific intervals as the house is built. Generally, you’ll need to provide a progress report and have an inspection in order to secure the next “draw” of funds. While the number of draws can vary, it is common to have three draws: one at rough-in, one at completion, and a final draw when you take possession of the home. Once the home is completed, the mortgage will be converted […]

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