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Residential Market Commentary – Glimpses of optimism

Things are looking up, a little, as Canadians navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.  The latest measure of confidence delivered by Bloomberg and Nanos Research suggests Canadian consumers are feeling better about the economy, the recovery and home prices. The confidence index has been on a steady rebound, climbing for seven consecutive weeks, since plunging to record lows in April.  In the latest survey it stands at 42.86, up nearly 3 points from the previous tally.  (The surveys averaged 57 in the year before the pandemic.) The survey suggests Canadians increasingly feel that the worst of the pandemic-induced downturn is over, but the pessimists still outnumber the optimists by more than three-to-one.  About 20% of those surveyed feel the economy will be stronger in six months [...]

By |2020-06-24T14:54:16+00:00June 24th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

National Bank of Canada Weekly Economic Watch

Housing starts rose from 166.5K in April to 193.5K in May (seasonally adjusted and annualized). Urban starts improved 22K to 181.1K on increases in both the multi-unit (+14.9K to 135.9K) and the single-detached (+7.1K to 45.3K) segments. At the provincial level, urban starts shot up in Quebec from 0K in April to 56.3K as social distancing measures were eased but plunged 37.1K to 56.5K in Ontario. June results should provide a clearer snapshot of the post-lockdown residential construction industry in Canada. Projects delayed on account of the Covid-19 pandemic might sustain starts at a relatively high level for a short while but the longer-term horizon looks less promising in light of much higher joblessness and reduced immigration. Moreover, tougher CMHC standards for mortgage insurance will [...]

By |2020-06-24T14:51:06+00:00June 24th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

CMHC takes a bite out of purchasing power

While forecasting a collapse in house prices of as much as 19% over the next 12 months, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is tightening the rules for its mortgage insurance. As of July 1st, applicants will need a bigger credit score, a smaller debt load and more, real money up front for CMHC insured mortgages.  It could be seen as an effort to squelch any growth in demand triggered by improved affordability. It is important to note that these changes are not Federally mandated and there are two private mortgage insurers available, Genworth and Canada Guarantee, that have not made any changes.  To date Banks and Mortgage Lenders have not made any changes and continue to select the appropriate Insurer for approval. CMHC is upping [...]

By |2020-06-09T13:34:33+00:00June 9th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

New Housing Measures Announced

April 20th Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a comprehensive package of housing reforms, ahead of the provincial budget aimed at cooling the GTA housing market. The release can be found here. The announcement follows extensive media coverage about the serious concerns with the over-heating markets. Mortgage Professionals Canada has been engaged with the Ontario government and many MPPs through our lobbying activities and our recent Queen’s Park Advocacy Day. We are pleased to see measures that will increase supply, improve data collection and curb speculation within the market place, which we have been asking the government to do. However, we are disappointed that there is no additional support for first-time buyers in this package, and we suggest caution that a foreign buyer tax will not have [...]

By |2018-05-09T16:44:17+00:00May 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on New Housing Measures Announced

One weekend spring cleaning tips

Get a head start on decluttering, organizing and simplifying your life with these tasks you can complete in just a couple of days. The one year rule. Pick an area in your home — your closet, cupboards or bookcase — and apply the one year rule. If you haven't worn it or used it in any way over the last twelve months, donate or toss it. You can make an exception for souvenirs or sentimental items. Organize your entertainment. Sort your books, magazines, DVDs, records, and games in a way that makes sense for everyday use. Put those for the kids on lower shelves for easy access, and sell or donate any they (or you) have outgrown. Monitor expiry dates. Check your medicine cabinet, beauty [...]

By |2017-03-02T17:28:26+00:00March 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on One weekend spring cleaning tips

Spring into action: Protect your home

The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing and our homes have a bad case of the winter blues. “Spring cleaning” is a tradition that serves a very useful purpose - it rids your home and exterior property of build-up left from the winter months. “The winter season brings a lot more headaches than just bitter cold weather and snow,” says Glenn Cooper of Aviva Insurance. “Many side-effects of winter are noticed when spring comes along. It's important to take care of those problems before they lead to serious property damage.” Cooper offers four simple tips to help make exterior spring cleaning a breeze this year: 1. Inspect your property: Frozen ground can cause shifts in your landscaping and patios. If left unattended, it can [...]

By |2017-03-02T17:21:53+00:00March 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Spring into action: Protect your home

Canadian Housing Starts Trend Increased in January

The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 199,834 units in January compared to 197,881 in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts. CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of Canada’s housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next. The standalone monthly SAAR for all areas in Canada was 207,408 units in [...]

By |2017-02-10T17:55:31+00:00February 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Canadian Housing Starts Trend Increased in January

RRSP Contributions: lump sum payments or monthly withdrawals?

We’re in full RRSP season and many Canadians wonder what the best option is between lump-sum payments every winter and monthly withdrawals. Contributing to you RRSP has several advantages: aside from the obvious retirement savings, RRSP contributions are deductible and can be used to reduce your tax. An RRSP also gives you a certain degree of flexibility in your financial future, and you can tap into your RRSP for the Home Buyers' Plan that gives first-time home buyers the opportunity to withdraw up to $25,000 for their down payment. Both options (lump-sum or recurrent) work to contribute to your RRSP, but regular deposits are definitely preferred. Contributing regularly forces you to save every month, and you can also set up a pre-authorized withdrawal from your [...]

By |2017-02-07T18:44:23+00:00February 7th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on RRSP Contributions: lump sum payments or monthly withdrawals?

Maximize Your Mortgage by Refinancing

Mortgage rates are dipping and homeowners in Ontario are seriously thinking about the relationship between a new mortgage and savings. For those who are working with adjustable rate mortgages, the allure for the certainty offered by the fixed rate option has never been stronger. If your fixed rate dates back to 2010 or earlier, I am almost certain the current mortgage rates in Ontario are much lower than your rate. This alone should motivate you to refinance. Definitely, there are other benefits too as we will see.   Reasons to Refinance and how much you can potentially save Interest Rates Do you have a five-year mortgage with a few years, say three, to go? Refinancing the mortgage can save you thousands of dollars and reduce [...]

By |2016-02-10T19:33:30+00:00February 10th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Maximize Your Mortgage by Refinancing

Feeling the Pinch of Financial Debt; You’re Not Alone

If you are feeling the pinch of Financial Debt, take heart, you are not alone. In Canada, Consumer debt is on the rise and about 80 to 87 percent of that is mortgage debt. Homeowners that are most affected are in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta where house prices have escalated. Are feeling overwhelmed by debt? Sometimes we don’t consciously recognize we have debt problems, but at times can feel a gnawing feeling of being afraid or a general angst.   Even if we are aware of an issue with debt, it can be a tough thing to admit, let alone get help. At times it’s due to knowing something needs to change, we are embarrassed, acknowledging it makes it real or at times just have [...]

By |2016-01-19T19:33:45+00:00January 19th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Feeling the Pinch of Financial Debt; You’re Not Alone