Tag Archives: brokers

Tiny lenders chop rates to grab mortgage customers

Rates have dropped and that means better deals on mortgages. The big banks have dropped discount rates to an average of 2.79% on a 5 year mortgage.

Meanwhile the smaller lenders are hungry for more business so they’re cutting profits to compete on lower rates.

Mortgage Brokers are also taking cuts on commission to compete in the race to the lowest rate:

The rate war is even more intense among mortgage brokers, many of whom are shifting away from the traditional full-service model that saw brokers spending hours working with clients to select the best mortgage and earning hefty commissions. These days, more borrowers are turning to online and “self-service” brokerages that compete on volume, offering less personalized service and sacrificing some of the commissions they earn from lenders in order to discount rates even further.

Not everyone is a fan of the model. Some are worried that with interest rates already so low, brokers are having to dig deep into their commissions to offer meaningful discounts, a model that some brokers argue could threaten the industry as a whole.

“The majority of people don’t like what we’re doing and it’s a troublesome thing for us to digest because ultimately it’s the best for the consumer,” said Jeff Mark, co-founder of Spin Mortgage, an 18-month-old online brokerage that is advertising a five-year fixed rate at 2.49 per cent, well below the typical bank rate, by sacrificing some of its commissions. “We make less money per deal. I don’t know how that isn’t a good thing for the market.”

Read the full article here.

CMHC wants to conceal foreclosure information

The CMHC tends to have some pretty rosy forecasts for the future of Canadas housing market.

But if all is well, why are they now trying to get real estate agents to hide foreclosure status from potential buyers?

After recent stories about deceptive marketing practices, it’s heartening to hear that a group of Realtors in Quebec have raised issues of an ethical breech after the CMHC asked them to conceal foreclosure status on properties for sale.

The Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards, which oversees the 12 real estate boards in the province, says it challenged CMHC about the change requiring them not to report on a detail sheet that properties for sale were part of a foreclosure, despite the fact that information is considered mandatory when loaded by brokers onto the selling system of local boards.

“Because the repossession field is currently a mandatory field in the brokerage system you have no choice by to indicate ‘no’, which goes against ethical rules stipulating that real estate brokers are obliged to publish information that is truthful and verified,” the group said in a statement to members.

The two sides resolved the issue by making it no longer mandatory to reflect the foreclosure status of a home, based on the seller’s instructions.

So why does the CMHC not want you to know about foreclosure status? Because then you might be tempted to bid on cold logic rather than emotion.

“Look at what is going on right now in financial institutions and everybody is ratcheting up their loan-loss provisions,” said Ben Rabidoux, a Canadian analyst for California-based Hanson Advisors, a market research firm whose clients are institutional investors. “Everybody expects loan losses to rise. I can’t imagine CMHC is in the dark on that. My suspicion is they want to limit any loss on that hits their books.”

By limiting the information on whether a property is part of foreclosure, the Crown corporation would potentially avoid a situation in which a buyer knows it has to sell. In the United States, foreclosed properties have sold at huge discounts.

Read the full article here.