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CategoryMortgage News

Banks are not without blame in mortgage fraud.

Now here’s a strange twist….   Read this report about a claim filed in BC that states BMO and RBC were “willfully blind” when approving mortgages for a marijuana grow-op…. The report says that a ‘cook’ and a ‘cashier’ owned this particular house at different times… Makes you wonder how a ‘cook’ or a ‘cashier’ could afford a house in Vancouver where average house prices are close to $1,000,000.

There’s an old saying, “when times get tough, the garbage will hit the fan”…. maybe there is another word used besides garbage, but you get the point.

During the last big recession in 1989-90, there were numerous reports about mortgage fraud.    It’s not that fraud only occurred during this time, it’s that Banks finally lost money when property values stopped increasing and started declining.  Fraud occurs all the time but it’s not something that the Banks want to report on for fear it will diminish their credibility in the eyes of investors and the public.

I have a suggestion.   Maybe the Banks should start to look within and see how they compensate their staff….Most banks now tie in their employee’s compensation directly to sales.  Credit cards, loans, lines of credit, bank accounts and mortgages. Every time the Banker sells one of these products they are compensated according to the sale….

What’s even worse are the 100% commissioned bank employees that sell mortgages… the so-called ‘Mortgage Specialists’… These sales people are paid based on the mortgage amount, the product, term and the interest rate.   It sure would be nice if ‘Mortgage Specialists’ were regulated like Mortgage Brokers… held accountable for all mortgage transactions under the Provincial government regulations….These regulations carry severe penalties for fraud….Just a thought?

Watch for more stories like this to unfold in the coming months…  hopefully, this won’t be an excuse for the Banks to charge more fees or raise the cost of borrowing…

Lower housing and condo sales in the forecast

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has lowered it’s housing forecast again… they now forecast 459,600 resales in 2010..this is a 1.2% drop from 2009..

We’re also seeing signs the Condo market is starting to cool off… it’s been 16 years since condo prices have not increased.. 16 years!    We are certainly overdue for a cooling off period…

But this is just another sign our economy is not as ‘Red Hot’ as some first thought…  and it’s good news for interest rates…  The Bank of Canada is less likely to increase their rates as fast we once thought…

Give Variable rate more consideration.. Fixed rates have come down slightly… 5 year fixed rates are hovering around 4.09% to 4.19%…but Variable rates are available at 2.10%…

Sounds like a broken record…5 yr Bond rates remain low as do mortgage rates..

We’ve reached the middle of summer and there is very little to report… hey, that’s a good thing.. remember, boring is good when it comes to mortgage rates..

Remember those Experts that called for people to lock into a long-term fixed rate at or around 4.00% last year?.. Variable rates have been under 2.00% for over a year and recently went above 2.00%….   I do understand why some would call for us to lock in….but I’m glad I wasn’t one of them…

Look at today’s 5 year bond rate and it’s 2.29%… WOW!   That’s unbelievably low… the 5 year fixed rate is priced from the Bond market and normally, we will see a spread of 1.20% to 1.40% above that… so really, we should be seeing fixed rates as low at 3.50% but the Banks are taking advantage of the spreads and maximizing their profits…..

Let’s not be in too much of a hurry to improve bank profits….

Watch for possible increases in fixed and variable rates later this year.. but remember, we’re still near record low rates.. they will go up, but slowly… no need to panic… yes, this is boring news.. but boring is good…

Here come the calls to lock into a Fixed Rate

Last week we saw the Bank of Canada raise the Key Rate by 0.25% and the Banks quickly raised Bank Prime lending rate to 2.75%.  For those in a Variable rate mortgage, the question of whether to lock into a fixed rate is coming up again.

No surprise, the media has started the fear mongering and the so-called ‘Experts’ are suggesting that it’s time to lock into fixed rates, once again….  This article came out today and I’m not surprised that these ‘Experts’ have quickly jumped on the band wagon with talk of ‘rates hikes’ and ‘higher housing costs’ to get their name in lights…  click here and judge for yourself.

The real question is ‘how much does the Bank of Canada need to raise the Key Rate to control inflation and economic growth?’   And earlier this year, we reported on Ben Tal’s, Senior Economist with CIBC, forecast that the Bank Prime only needs to increase by no more than 3.00%….and that this is the most it should increase… but it will take around 2 years or longer to get there… if they get there at all….   click here for the full report.

So why would anyone lock into a mortgage at over 4.00% today, when they could enjoy rates of just over 2.00% and slowly see their rates rise?   If you know that answer, please share with me…

We all have different needs and there isn’t a ‘one size fits all mortgage’…  seek professional, unbiased advice…get a strategy in place…. monitor the market and stay informed and you’ll always make the right decision.

Bank of Canada rate up by 0.25% and personal debt levels down.

BANK OF CANADA RATE UP

July 20th, 2010….an interesting day.  This was the 5th of 8 scheduled Key Interest Rate announcements… No real surprises… the Key rate went up by 0.25%…. the second increase this year…

The new Bank Prime rate is now 2.75%.    Variable rate borrowers will see a 0.25% increase in their mortgage rate… but don’t feel too bad… your mortgage is probably just over 2.00%….. that’s much lower than even the lowest 5 year fixed rate mortgage of 3.69% which was being offered mid last year….and recent reports are calling for a very slow and gradual interest rate hike…click here for the latest.

PERSONAL DEBT LEVEL DOWN

Remember the reports about the high personal debt levels that Canadians had?  We were spending like fools… according to many “Experts”… And bank on May 13, I questioned these reports….

Now we are seeing that Canadian Personal Debt levels are down….Come on… we didn’t change overnight.. we  have just been taking advantage of these record low rates to invest or spend wisely…and what’s wrong with that?..  see the latest stats…


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