Category Archives: equity

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.

Vancouver condo prices go negative

Sales down, inventory up and prices are down for condos in the greater Vancouver area :

The price of a condo in Greater Vancouver is coming down. REBGV reported a benchmark price of $658,600 in January, down 0.8% from the month before. This represents a 1.7% decline compared to the same month last year. In the City proper, condo apartments in Vancouver East fell to $530,500, down 3.9% from last year. In Vancouver West prices fell to $783,400, down 3.6% from last year. Prices are falling, but they still have a long way to go for typical incomes.

Read the full article here.

CRA Freezing and Seizing Tax Cheat Assets

The CRA is now using ‘proceeds of crime’ provisions to freeze assets and seize property of tax cheats.

Tassé said the proceeds-of-crime provisions can also be used to seize property outside of Canada. For example, if the CRA believes that someone has engaged in offshore tax evasion and used the proceeds to buy a vacation home or a yacht, the CRA could freeze or seize those assets.

Using the proceeds-of-crime provisions also can block tactics used by some tax evaders, such as declaring corporate bankruptcy to avoid paying the taxes, said Tassé.

Read the full article here.