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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

Is now the right time to buy?

Like many Canadians you're probably wondering if now is the right time to buy?  However, thanks to the corrective measures taken by the government, estate prices seem to have come down. The twin cities of Toronto and Vancouver have always been notorious for their high real estate prices. In response to the reforms being undertaken and despite rising mortgage rates, you might just be able to afford you home now. As a rule, higher mortgage rates should bring housing prices down. But, for the time being, the soaring rates are only making buying a home a lot more expensive. Homeowners May Need to Watch for Dropping Prices If you’re looking to buy your home, keep in mind that the drop in real estate prices could offset [...]

By |2017-08-24T17:04:18+00:00August 24th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Is now the right time to buy?

New Mortgage Rules Amidst Red-Hot Property Market

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) recently reported that February home sales across Canada rose 5.2 percent on a month-over-month basis to reach a level that’s just 0.8 percent below the highest peak ever seen in April 2016.   Earlier this year, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced its plan to increase homeowner mortgage loan insurance premiums that just came into effect last week. CMHC introduced new insurance premiums that took effect on March 17, 2017, to reflect OSFI’s new capital requirements. When announcing the changes, CMHC indicated that it didn’t expect any significant impact by the new rates on the ability of Canadians to buy a home. For the average CMHC-insured homebuyer, the changes will increase their monthly mortgage payment by approximately $5. [...]

By |2017-03-23T19:03:07+00:00March 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on New Mortgage Rules Amidst Red-Hot Property Market

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?