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Will the Housing Market Cool Off?

From the stock market to the way we work, nothing is exactly “normal” right now. It’s impossible to look at a dramatic societal shift and not attribute it to the pandemic. But the housing market is a little bit of a different story. 

Yes, many Canadians flocked to buy homes as interest rates dropped to record lows. Many chose to buy new homes in response to their new lifestyle, no longer needing to live in certain areas, or needing more space to work. No doubt, these COVID-related factors had a huge impact on the housing market. But they don’t tell the whole story of its explosive growth.

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Interest Rates to Stay As-is for Now. But When Will They Rise Again?

The Bank of Canada governor, Till Macklem, made no change to interest rates on April 21st, the 3rd of 8 annual meetings dates. This comes as no surprise, though, There wasn’t a chance of an interest rate hike anyway. You can read more on this here .

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New, tougher mortgage stress test?  What will this do to our red hot real estate market?

There is big news that was announced earlier this month and it might affect home buyers in the market for a mortgage. The Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released a proposal to increase the qualifying mortgage rate for uninsured mortgages. Uninsured mortgages are ones where there is more than a 20% down payment.

The new qualifying rate will increase from the posted 5 year fixed rate, which is currently 4.79%, to the contract rate plus 2% or 5.25%, whichever is greater. This would effectively qualify consumers for 4% less mortgage. On a $1,000,000 purchase with a $200,000 down payment, buyers would qualify for around $755,000 vs $800,000.  

Many are concerned that this could have an effect on our market by slowing it down. 

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No Conditions with an Offer… Is This the New Normal?

The real estate market is more active and more competitive than any time in history. The results? Pure chaos.

It used to be normal for people to insert a few conditions when making an offer to purchase a home. The standard conditions used to be along the lines of obtaining satisfactory financing within 5 to 10 business days and obtaining a satisfactory home inspection. The lender would go through an in depth underwriting process, then verify income, down payment, credit, and finally the property would get reviewed and appraised to ensure it meets the lender’s criteria and lending value. 

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