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CategoryMortgage News

Introducing the new TD mortgage…hand-cuffs included

The rumors are true…TD Canada Trust will begin registering all mortgages as collateral charges after October 18.    (No official release from TD yet but a source inside TD has confirmed this to us).

What does this mean for the consumer?  Well, there is some good but mainly it’s bad..

  • a collateral mortgage is normally registered for floating or revolving debt such as a secured line of credit.  It allows for the balance to float up or down.
  • TD will register a collateral charge for 125% of the loan amount… this will allow the client to come back at a later date and apply to increase their mortgage if needed….
  • in theory, it sounds great…no legal fees required in the future if you need to refinance… and easy approval…

BUT HOLD ON…

  • a COLLATERAL MORTGAGE is NOT really portable…meaning you cannot transfer to another institution…that’s because no other Bank or Lender is accepting collateral mortgages for transfer… including TD…you will lose some leverage to negotiate the rate when your mortgage matures…
  • and if you wanted to increase your mortgage in the future, you would need to reapply for approval…let’s suppose you don’t qualify in the future..not because your situation changed but because the Bank’s lending policy changes…this happens regularly….you would now have to seek out an entirely  new 1st mortgage as no other lender would register a 2nd mortgage in behind a collateral first mortgage (at least none that I am aware of)…  that could mean penalties, definitely legal fees and other costs….
  • It’s obvious that a big reason TD would be doing this is to improve mortgage retention.. this makes it less appealing to leave TD because of the costs….
  • BOTTOM LINE…this type of mortgage limits your options..it doesn’t expand them.. you MAY save on legal fees..but that’s not a big enough reason to go with this product..

My advise to anyone looking at a TD mortgage is to be careful…make sure you understand all the terms, conditions, the differences and the limitations…you be the judge… is this a good thing for the client or is it a good thing for the Bank??  Will other Banks follow?  Some might say this is like putting handcuffs on the client… I tend to agree…

Govt pondering tightening mortgage rules further?

The Federal Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, made some comments about possible mortgage tightening policies…. see both Winnipeg Free Press, Reuters, and the Financiap Post.  The govt is concerned about a possible ‘overheating’ of the housing market.

The honorable Minister just needs to wait for September’s figures to put that concern to rest.   The numbers aren’t out yet, but early indications show that the housing market has definitely slowed down.  Prices are flat and in some cases, have decreased.

Further tightening of Canada’s mortgage policies are not necessary in my opinion… but this does bring up an interesting situation for anyone that is refinancing their mortgage or looking to buy a house…

My advice…get your mortgage preapproved immediately….no need to chance any possible rule change….

School’s in for Bank of Canada

To all the kids…. including my son…..”Have a great year at school.. make it fun… make it count”.

Tomorrow is the 6th of 8 scheduled meetings for 2010 by the Bank of Canada…a time when they set the Target Rate or Overnight Rate, which directly affects the Bank Prime Rate and your Variable Rate Mortgage.

The original plan called for Mark Carney, Governor of Bank of Canada, to raise interest rates steadily over the next year or so by as much as 3.00%… but it’s become a little tougher to make that move.

Less than impressive economic news in the U.S., Canada and the rest of the world has given concern about a double dip recession…. raising the rates during a period of uncertainty is risky business.   Right now, experts are calling for a 60% chance of a rate hike but then a pause to see how this will affect the economy.

Longer term forecasts have been amended for more modest rate hikes in 2011….  all good news for Borrowers…  stay tuned as we continue to monitor the latest reports…

Bottom line, new Variable rate mortgages can be had for around 2.05% to 2.10%… so even a 1.50% increase would  beat out a 5 year fixed rate….

When should I lock in my Variable rate mortgage?

A thought on the minds of many, with all the talk of ‘Historical low fixed mortgage rates’ and ‘rising Variable rates’.   “When should I lock in my Variable rate mortgage?”

Here’s a quick suggestion and rule that I follow… We only want to lock in our Variable rate mortgage when we think Variable rates will go way up and for an extended period of time…

But we must also look at what we can lock into… if you are in a 2.10% Variable rate mortgage, would you lock into a 3.89% fixed mortgage rate?   I’m not sure I would…. I think it will take a few years before my Variable rate mortgage approaches today’s Fixed rate…..  why pay more today when you don’t have to?

For me, I can’t see Variable rate mortgages underperforming Fixed Rates over the 12 to 17 years that it will take us to pay our mortgage off.  Having said that, we are always evaluating the Market Trends and will adjust our strategies when needed.  A mortgage is a huge debt and deserves a solid strategy to retire this debt with the lowest cost.

Ultimately, it will come down to risk tolerance, your personal budget and what you believe will be the better strategy.  Consult your Mortgage Broker to better understand the differences.

By the way, you might be interested in knowing that certain Banks and Trust companies have recently started to pay us more to offer fixed rate mortgages over Variable rate Mortgages…Good Mortgage Brokers don’t let the compensation dictate which product they recommend.  They recommend what they believe is right for the client.

3 year fixed mortgage rates under 3.00%

Fixed mortgage rates are sitting at around 3.89% for a 5 year closed and 2.90% for a 3 year closed.  These are definitely attractive rates and are at or near historical lows…

Why?  The Bond market has dropped significantly over the past 3 months…. this has come as a surprise to many but not all…  The economic recovery isn’t as certain as we once thought… with mixed data coming out about our economy, this uncertainty will cause interest rates to stay low…

Once trend that has caught our eye is that lenders are now offering Mortgage Brokers a higher commission to sell a 3 year and a 5 year fixed rate product… and although that may attract more busy from some, I’m still recommending the Variable Rate mortgage, even though we get paid less.. it’s always about doing what’s in our client’s best interest.

Variable rate has been a proven winner over the past 25 years… I don’t think our economy is as strong as some would think….There has been improvement but we have a long way to go before we can say we are out… Hence the lower fixed mortgage rates… Variable rates will increase but it will be a slow, steady climb… with current Variable rates at 2.10%, Variable has a long way to go before it is not cost-effective.

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