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MLS changes not enough according to Competition Bureau

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) members voted for some changes in it’s annual meeting in Ottawa.   The changes were brought in after the Competition Bureau challenged CREA that rules to list on the MLS were too restrictive…..

There were 2 major changes:

-a property can be listed on MLS for a flat fee.

-the agent must now pass along the seller’s phone to the prospective buyer, if the seller chooses.

But the Competition Bureau said these changes didn’t go far enough… click here to read more as reported on CTV.ca.

We’ll be following this story closely… this appears to be a first step in making the MLS more public….stay tuned.

Interest rate hike coming… no need to panic…

We’ve seen a lot of media coverage about the interest rate hikes coming this summer.. yes, it’s true… The Bank of Canada will raise their overnight rate very soon.. By how much? Maybe 0.75% by the end of the year.. or maybe 1.00% like this these Economists are forecasting as reported in the Globe and Mail.

Think about it.. if you arranged your variable rate mortgage before Oct 2008, then you have been enjoying interest rates below 2.00%… WOW!…I mean come on, are you kidding me?  What’s wrong with that…?

So let’s assume rates go up by 1.00% or even 2.00% like some think it will over the next few years… that would still mean your mortgage is below 4.00%…. And the record low for a 5 year fixed mortgage rate is just below 4.00%…

That’s right… even if rates increase by 2.00%, you would still be in historical low rates when compared to a 5 yr fixed rate…..So why is this so bad or going to be such shocker??

And by the way, competition and improved investor confidence is bringing variable rate mortgage pricing closer to normal levels…..the good old days…!

To qualify for a variable rate mortgage you had to qualify at the 3 year fixed rate…posted rate for most lenders…

I hope you are seeing a pattern here…. the New Mortgage Rules coming into effect April 19 will mean you must qualify at the Chartered Bank 5 yr POSTED rate….Banks would love for all their clients to take a 5 yr fixed rate as these are the most profitable product for them…(would you rather pay 1.85% or 3.79%??)

Don’t be in too much of a hurry to get yourself into a higher rate…a fixed rate… you are only buying insurance… and very costly at that…..

For some of us, a fixed rate is worth the peace of mind and is important for us to know what our budget is … Discuss with a mortgage broker…. get the facts…

Is Affordability better or worse?

Here’s an interesting statistic…  5 years ago, a 5 year fixed rate mortgage was around 4.35%… and the maximum amortization was 25 years…. a $250,000 mortgage would cost you $1363/mth.

Today, a 5 year fixed rate mortgage can be found at 3.89% (and lower)… and the payment is $1300/mth….. let’s increase the mortgage to $300,000 and use the new maximum amortization of 35 years… new monthly payment is $1303/mth….

Affordability is better than ever… these historical low rates will not be here forever.. make sure you are taking full advantage…. talk with your Mortgage Broker for full details…

HST is coming this summer…

We received an update from the Independent Mortgage Brokers Association informing us that they are still unclear about the effects of HST on the housing and mortgage market…..  that it was still somewhat confusing…so they have engaged a consultant to get some answers… watch for our updates on this.

I was sent this interesting link the other day…. http://www.unfairtaxgrab.com/home.html.    It’s a site with the Provincial NDP leader sharing her thoughts on the impact of the HST for Ontarians…. A sobering message but one worth reading……

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