Category Archives: Canada

Everybody wants to help you buy a house

Pointed out by southseacompany: all the major political parties want to help you buy a house and the promises are piling up.

They all love the idea of taking taxpayer money to drive up house prices, the current government even wants to get in on the speculation and help out with a 5-10% shared equity program.

The government also confirmed that, because the program gives it an equity stake in the mortgage, it will share any gains or losses in the value of the home over the life of the loan. Any money the government makes on the program will go back into general revenues.

Read the full article here.

The good side of falling real estate prices

Over at the Globe and Mail commenters are ‘feeling the schadenfreude‘ over falling Vancouver real estate values.

JP Beauchesne:

As a 32-year-old, I am definitely feeling the schadenfreude here. Housing prices are unrealistically high across much of the country, and I would like few things better than to see that market crash so that I can have a shot at buying a decent house myself

Read all the select comments here.

One half year into a decline

It’s not just Vancouver, sales are falling across the nation marking the first March decline since the recession.

Prices fell in seven of the 11 markets in the index, led by a 1.5 per cent drop in the capital region of Ottawa-Gatineau. In Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city, prices were down 1.1 per cent, with Vancouver prices down 0.5 per cent.

Canada’s once-hot housing market has softened since the start of last year, as tighter mortgage rules and five interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada since July 2017 have curbed buyer spending power.

Read the full article here.

Mortgage brokers stuck in the middle

Mortgage brokers make their money by getting people mortgages. In a softening market this can present a challenge.

FICOM is the agency that regulates mortgage brokers and they are issuing a warning:

Brokers should not overleverage their clients; this may be done by fudging applications – overstating the income of a borrower to obtain a bigger loan (and hence a bigger commission), said Carter, who also warned brokers of working with unregistered fixers.

Carter told brokers in Vancouver that the days of “how to get to yes” are over with new market uncertainty, and slumping sales and prices. Now, brokers need to be extra vigilant and learn “when to say no.”

He said Canadians could be in for a rude awakening if real estate prices fall and they’re still saddled with big mortgages and even loans against their equity, suggested Carter. And the brokers who brought loans to those homebuyers will face extra scrutiny, he said, which is why he’s calling on the industry to ease back the throttle on new mortgages that may be contrary to the best interests of the public.

Read the full article here.