Category Archives: foreclosure

Banks would rather not take on more risk

southseacompany pointed out this article in the financial post:

Canada’s banks are pushing back against taking on more mortgage risk

“Canada’s financial industry is urging the federal government to consider alternatives to proposals that could require them to take on a greater share of mortgage defaults through a deductible — calling it one of the biggest shakeups to hit housing finance in 50 years.”

Read the full article here.

Sunshine coasts largest developer files for Bankruptcy

Last week over at VancouverPeak Skook posted about the bankruptcy filing of Wakefield Construction.

We missed that posting here at VancouverCondo.info, but it’s got some interesting details about the impact to the economy and a number of subcontractors on the sunshine coast, Vancouver, Whistler and Bowen Island.

There are no winners in this situation – not the employees, not the subcontractors, not the local businesses nor suppliers, not the community and not Lance Sparling. As the list of “Unsecured” creditors shows, he borrowed from himself, too, to keep the ball rolling. His waterfront home was put on the market a year ago and remains unsold despite a -25% drop in the list price; but, as we know those million dollar plus properties have been slow to move on the Sunshine Coast – only 17 sold in 2014 out of a total of 123 listed – that’s barely 14%.

Skook also relates a personal memory:

Like so many others living in and north of Sechelt I wondered what would replace the old “Wake-in-the-Field” Inn and then was fascinated by those uniquely curved roofs of that replacement – the Wakefield Beach development. When I moved down to Sechelt, I had the opportunity to walk through the project and it is a very special and attractive development. The company, Wakefield Construction, was born from that development and at least in this instance the company name lives on.

While Skooks posting is almost nostalgic in tone, the first major media to pick up this story is Business in Vancouver. In their story the Realtor is surprised:

“They ruled the world up here,” said Sechelt realtor Susanne Jorgenson,” “I don’t know how they could have failed.”

..The chamber of commerce is shocked:

“I was shocked,” said Kim Darwin, president of the Sechelt and District Chamber of Commerce. “[The Coast] has a number of new construction projects coming up, so I hope our smaller contractors can step up.”

And the customer is angry:

“They screwed a lot of people,” said Brad Copping, general manager of South Coast Ford Sales Ltd., which had hired Wakefield Construction to complete a 9,000-square-foot addition to its Sechelt dealership. Copping is now paying three of the former Wakefield employees to continue work that is now half complete.

“This will cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars,” said Copping, whose company is not on the creditor list. “They [Wakefield Construction] over billed us and then didn’t pay their sub-contractors. So we are paying twice for the same work.”

Read the full article over at Business In Vancouver.

 

As oil, so goes Real Estate?

Over at the CBC Don Pittis notes that what goes up can also go down.

Specifically, he notes that in the oil market there were a number of ‘experts’ with access to detailed data and analysis, yet seemed to be as surprised as anyone at the drop in oil prices.

Canadas housing market is of course a completely different beast, and we don’t really lack for ‘experts’ noting that prices are a bit out of sync with reality.  When the Finance Minister speaks up and the Bank of Canada estimates that real estate is as much as 30% overpriced nationwide that’s not exactly ‘without warning’.

Pittis notes another key difference between oil and housing is of course the liquidity of the market:

This is one example of how housing is different from oil. While oil trades on big, well-informed central trading desks by large corporations, housing is a market made of individual, many of whom have only bought and sold a house once in their life.

Partly because of that, housing is an illiquid market. Unlike stocks or oil, you can’t just sell a house at today’s price and get out. You have to go through the long process of finding another individual who wants to buy your exact house at a price at which you are willing to sell.

In previous housing downturns that has meant a stock of overpriced houses builds up because buyers are unwilling to pay the price sellers expect.

At that point, prices in the market are set by people who have to sell immediately and will take the price offered. Sudden divorces. A new job across the country. A death in family. People who can’t afford to keep up their payments. Overpriced properties waiting for their price actually fall in value while the seller waits.

Read the full article here.

So many reasons not to buy in a strata

Imagine that you own a nice apartment.

It’s cozy and comfortable with good neighbours.

Then these people move in upstairs.

With more than 1,100 complaints dating back to 2006, the strata council of the development in the 15200-block of Guildford Drive went to court to force Jordison to sell. While Jordison and her son Jordy obeyed a court injunction to move out, she appealed a B.C. Supreme Court decision forcing her to put her unit on the market — which would be the first such sale in B.C.

Residents alleged the Jordisons contravened the strata bylaws with excessive noise, abusive language, threats and harassment. Jordison also refused to pay $20,000 in fines.

Emmi brought up an interesting question on this bit:

She had been about $8,000 in arrears on her strata fees but her mortgage holder, TD Bank, paid those fees and added it to her bill. The bank halted its foreclosure hearings on the property pending the outcome of the case.

So . . . if the fee doesn’t push the total owed over the original mortgage amount, does CMHC cover this whole new amount for the bank?

Mortgage brokers warn about new rules

Canadian mortgage brokers are freaking out about new refinancing rules proposed by the OSFI which has taken over responsibility for the CMHC. Reasonably enough, they’re asking for clarification about proposals to require banks to check income and current house value before refinancing.

Currently, when mortgages come up for renewal, banks tend to focus on the borrower’s payment history. They rarely appraise the property again and not all banks will check the borrower’s updated income level, Mr. Murphy said.

“CAAMP strongly recommends that this concept be clarified so that mortgages continue to be renewed at maturity without requalification,” the industry association said in a submission to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).

“If not, homeowners who have been in compliance may no longer qualify. This would result in a number of properties hitting the market at the same time and thereby driving down prices.”

Such a phenomenon could add further fuel to a real estate downturn if lower house prices and higher unemployment caused more people to lose their homes upon renewal, Mr. Murphy suggested.

Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.