Category Archives: Canada

Is more supply the answer?

Southseacompany posted a link to this story about housing supply in the Vancouver area.

“What’s causing the supply shortage is the restrictive single-family home neighborhood zoning on 85% of our residential land base. That keeps out young families, middle income earners and renters, who can’t afford single-family homes,” said Anne McMullin, president and CEO of the Urban Development Institute, Pacific Region.

“We clearly need a regional housing strategy with more homes for more people,” she added. “That means more high-rise apartments along rapid transit corridors and more townhomes, rowhomes [and] multi-family low-rises.”

But recent studies show the reverse is true: fewer people can afford to buy condominiums in the Metro suburbs that have seen the greatest increase in supply over the past two years.

Read the full article here.

Mortgage carrying costs to rise 8% next year

Scotiabank is forecasting a big bump in mortgage carrying costs:

New buyers can expect home ownership to become even less affordable next year as mortgage costs rise, while current owners will be largely insulated from higher rates.

Add it all up, and the bank forecasts that Canada’s housing market seems to have “peaked” and is expected to cool down from its recent breathtaking pace.

Read the full article here.

CMHC looks to make mortgages easier to get

The CEO of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation has said that requiring new Canadians and the self employed to prove income is ‘discriminatory’ and they are looking to make mortgages easier to get:

“Right now, under our mortgage insurance policies, you have to be able to document income to get mortgage insurance, to a level of specificity that discriminates against new Canadians, because they can’t do that,” Evan Siddall, the CEO of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said in a wide-ranging interview with The Canadian Press.

“It discriminates against entrepreneurs, as well, because they can’t prove their income as well, so we’re looking at our own policies to try and make sure that there is more equity in our mortgage insurance programs,” he said.

Read the full article here.

Vancouver leads nation in low income families

We’re number one when it comes to inequality and percentage of low income families!

The study was released following recent discussion in the Lower Mainland about the under-reporting of income for tax avoidance. There are areas in north-west Richmond that are sharp anomalies, with very low-income levels despite high home values.

But, Yan emphasizes, the study also highlighting pockets of low-income populations throughout Metro Vancouver and, increasingly, the suburbs, where there are higher levels of poverty compared to the rest of Canada.

Others who have looked into the census data agree that both dynamics are at play.

Read the full article here.

New regulation lead to 44% drop in CMHC mortgages

If you’re buying with less than 20% down, you’re a ‘high-risk’ borrower and you’re probably using CMHC insurance on your mortgage. New regulations are having a big impact on buyers in this zone with new CMHC mortgages dropping by 44%. Bullwhip29 pointed out this article in BIV:

Through the first half of 2017, CMHC-insured mortgages had dropped to 95,000, down from 118,000 in the first half of 2016.

In October 2016, the federal government began a stress test for approving all high-ratio insured mortgages with terms of five years or more. It required such borrowers to prove they can handle payments at the Bank of Canada’s posted five-year rate, which is about twice as high as the lowest lending rates available.

Read the full article here.