Category Archives: economy

The Triple Rate Hike Year

It’s been so long since rates were rising we’ve forgotten what it’s like, and yet it seems the tide is turning. Southseacompany points out this article over at the Financial Post: Three rate hikes this year?

The Bank of Canada raised interest rates on Wednesday, surprising many, and left the door open to more rate hikes in 2017 even as it pledged to pay attention to how higher borrowing costs would hit Canada’s indebted households.

To find out what a bunch of economists think, read the full article here.

Mortgage rules are working to cool market

Pointed out by SouthSeaCompany: Mortgage rule changes are cooling housing market: Morneau

“Finance Minister Bill Morneau says last October’s sweeping mortgage rule changes aimed at cooling Canada’s housing market have successfully dampened high-risk borrowing.”

“But despite a report urging Ottawa to look at ways of boosting support for Canadians entering the housing market, the Minister ruled out any new measures along those lines, expressing concern that such an approach would encourage higher house prices.”

Read the full article over at the Globe and Mail.

Falling interest rates drive gains

From the ‘duh’ files: falling interest rates contribute to rising home prices.

A recent study points to yet another powerful, if-often-ignored, driver of home prices — falling interest rates.

Despite the recent, small interest-rate increase by the Bank of Canada, real mortgage interest rates have fallen precipitously since 2000. In 2000, typical mortgages were obtained at an interest rate of seven per cent. Last year, they averaged 2.7 per cent — almost two-thirds lower.

What has this meant for the purchasing power of Canadians?

Interest-rate declines reduce the amount that income borrowers must spend on interest payments, which gives them greater capacity to borrow with the same amount of income. Consider that the average Canadian family income was $50,785 in 2000 (including couples and singles). With mortgage rates at seven per cent, the maximum mortgage amount this family could secure was $180,949. At 2016 rates (2.7 per cent), the same family could borrow $276,610, an increase of 53 per cent.

Read the full article here.

Your car insurance is going up.

BC Drivers pay some of the highest car insurance rates in the country while receiving the lowest payouts, and yet somehow ICBC is out of money.

A recent report from Ernst & Young painted a dire picture at the Crown corporation, concluding that rates must increase by 30 per cent by 2019 to cover costs. A separate forecast released last November by ICBC indicated rates would need to increase by 42 per cent over the next five years to make up for expenses.

McCandless pointed to a footnote in the ICBC report that an additional $1.5 billion is required in “capital from other sources” between 2017 and 2020. He calculated the cumulative rate hike to be closer to 117 per cent over four years.

Continue reading Your car insurance is going up.

New mortgage rules hit Genworth hard

New mortgage insurance rules are having an impact over at Genworth:

Genworth MI Canada Inc., which provides mortgage insurance for home buyers and financial institutions, said the total value of new insurance it wrote in the second quarter of 2017 was down 81 per cent to $6.1-billion from $31.7-billion in the same period last year.

Most of the decline was the result of a 96-per-cent drop in the value of portfolio insurance written in the quarter, which is bulk insurance bought by financial institutions for their portfolios of uninsured mortgages. New portfolio insurance fell to $1.1-billion from $25.9-billion in the second quarter last year.

Read the full article here.