Mortgage Brief.. Mortgages rules explained… and why didn’t the govt consult experts?

Bill Morneautrudeau

They say we don’t read emails or articles anymore.. we just skim through them.   But some things can’t be understood with a quick glance.  The new mortgage rules will impact EVERYONE!

If you want to understand how they impact you, continue reading… If you don’t care or want to be oblivious, take the blue pill and move on.

I’ve put together a list of the mortgage rules so that you can understand what they mean and how they will impact you.   Hey, let’s give The Federal govt some credit… they’ve been transparent about a few things, right?:

  • They want house prices to drop.
  • They don’t want anyone to have a mortgage if their home is worth more than $1,000,000.
  • They don’t want you to ever refinance your mortgage.  You should only require a mortgage when you buy a house.
  • They don’t want you to buy a house and rent it out.  You should only buy a rental property if it has 2 or more units.
  • Mortgages should not be amortized for longer than 25 years.
  • They want rates to go way up.

Here we go.. Forget the data and stats being reported today.  Those stats don’t matter!  We want to see the stats after March 30th, 2017.

Remember the mortgage rule changes of October 17th?  How about the ones on November 30th?  Get ready, we won’t see the full effect of these changes until after March 30th 2017.

That’s when the last of the mortgage approvals will have closed, that were done under the old rules. And all the new mortgage closings beyond this date, will have had to been qualified with the new rules.  This is when we’ll begin to see the impact of these rules… And we’ll begin to see just how many Canadians will be have been impacted.

If you think I’m wrong, read the rule changes below and tell me what other conclusions you can come up with. Read the rest of this entry »

Mortgage tricks… and treats!

halloween-moneyHappy Halloween! And before the kids knock on your door.. just thought I’d send a quick mortgage trick and trick..

TRICK..  ‘Stress Test’ for mortgage qualifying.  The Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, blindsided Canadian Banks, Financial Experts and consumers when the govt introduced mortgage rules making qualifying even tougher.  The new rules mean consumers must qualify at the posted bank 5 year fixed rate.

TREAT... The reality of the new mortgage rules is that it’s not going to affect that many.  One of Canada’s biggest mortgage lenders told me, confidentially, that over 95% of their portfolio would easily pass the new stress test.  The REAL devil here is the Canadian Press.  Unfortunately, they are making this latest change sound like a death-blow for the real estate market.  Gauging my own clients profiles, I would say that even fewer than 5% would be affected.

If you’ve followed my site, you’ll know I’m a huge Variable rate advocate.  More than 90% of my clients have been in a Variable rate product.  And guess what?  They’ve always been able to qualify using the posted 5 yr fixed rate.

The govt wants to slow the housing market and property value increases.  I agree, we don’t want to see house prices continue unsustainable increases.   Not sure this latest change is the correct move.  Perhaps, this rule could have apply for higher priced homes only..?   Exclude homes less than $600k or $700k? Just a thought..   I’m also unsure the lack consultation or input from industry experts, was a wise move.  More open discussion is needed.  Just my opinion..

Happy Halloween.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Mortgage brief… New Liberal govt mortgage rule changes..and what it means.

Bill Morneauthumbs down Yesterday, Federal Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, announced tighter lending rules.  The big focus is on the new ‘stress test’. To sum it up, here’s what’s gonna happen and how it will affect you.

First, let me say this..   IT’S NOT THAT BAD… It will affect those with tighter budgets, but not the vast majority of buyers.

NEW RULE:

-As of October 17, everyone must qualify using the Bank posted 5 year fixed rate.  Today, that’s 4.64% (well over the discounted 5 yr, which is averaging around 2.59%..lower with most Brokers).

-borrowing less than 80% of the value of your home allows you to extend your amortization to 30 years…. but not any longer..it now be capped at 25 years.

There were some other changes, but these are the ones that will affect us most.  So here’s some other facts the media may not be telling you:

-You remember I said it wasn’t that bad?  It’s true.  Over 90% of my clients are qualifying already, using the Bank 5 yr posted fixed rates.  I suspect that most homebuyers can qualify just as well on October 17, as they can today.

-I’ll repeat…Most homebuyers can qualify easily with a 25 year amortization, but choose to extend that to a 30 year amortization as a fail safe or preventative measure, just in case their incomes are affected in the future … job loss, family illness, child school fees, other financial crisis.

-The govt wants to stop house prices from rising in Toronto, Vancouver and other major urban hotspots.   But if you are an investor, earning good income, or have a good down payment, this won’t affect you.   Yes, some homebuyers will no longer qualify under traditional lending policies….

-But watch out for the secondary lenders.  Secondary lenders AREN’T offering loan shark rates, contrary to what the media might have you believe.  They will gain market share as traditional lenders can’t help these borrowers.  I’m talking about financial institutions that specialize in that gray market where borrowers don’t quite qualify but can still afford it.  They will pay 4% or 5%  on their mortgage.  (wasn’t that long ago that 4% was a fully discounted AAA rate).

More on this follow..   stay tuned.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Higher minimum down payment coming.. relax, it’s just political posturing.

Bill MorneauAs expected, and as I had predicted back on October 21st, the Federal govt made their first major announcement last week.  All new govts want to make a major announcement early… It shows they are doing something….So, here it is.

The new Federal Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, broke the news on Friday.   A change to the minimum down payment rules.   That’s right, the minimum down payment to buy a house is going up…. well, sort of… Okay, that’s the headline … but now, keep reading for the real facts.   Here’s a link to The Star’s article by Susan Pigg quoting yours truly…. Read the rest of this entry »

When this guy can’t qualify for a mortgage, you know the mortgage rules are too tight!

BernankeFORMER US FED CHAIRMAN CAN’T GET A MORTGAGE.

Anyone remember this guy?  Ben Bernanke.   He’s just the former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank. He served two terms from 2006 to 2014.   Earlier this month, he revealed that he was declined for a mortgage refinance.  Now, just to put this in perspective, he used to make a nice 6 figure salary.  And today, he is paid an estimated $250,000 per speaking engagement.

How can he not qualify?  Clearly, the mortgage rules tightening process has gone waaaaaay overboard.   But this isn’t just happening in the US.   Canada’s mortgage lending rules have always been tighter than the US.  And over the past 6 years, the Canadian govt has brought in numerous changes to tighten the rules even further.  (Actually, experts agree that they went way overboard.  And we are only now seeing the effects of the rule changes.. Look out.  You’re in for a big surprise the next time you need mortgage money).

CANADIAN MORTGAGE RULES ARE EVEN TIGHTER!!

Canada’s Banking industry has been the envy of the world.  We came out of the 2008 US sub-prime mortgage crisis with no visible scars.   Read the rest of this entry »

The Star article on private lenders

Some comments I made about the changing lending landscape.  Click on the link below.

Private lenders step into Mortgage void left by banks.

The article was good and shed some light on just how much the federal government has tightened the Mortgage rules in Canada.  But the article excluded one very important fact.

loan sharkYes, I agree that the govt has gone overboard with their rule changes, and has forced qualified mortgage borrowers to pay higher rates and fees by having to go to alternative lenders.  But, consumers don’t necessarily have to go from an “A” lender with the best rates (currently at around 3.00%),  to a “C” lender with rates of around 12% to 15%.

There are “B” lenders that offer mortgages with only slightly higher rates. Usually 1% to 2% higher than “A” lenders.   I think it’s important to point this out.

A recent example is where one client was self employed, had a slightly bruised credit score of 602 (a good score is between 680 and 720), and his net income was not high enough to qualify (remember, self employed show a lower net income because they can write off more expenses). We found this client an 80% loan to value mortgage at 4.00% with some fees.   His net annual rate was 4.25%.  

So the message is, ‘There are ‘B’ lenders to fill the void left by the BANKS’…. and their rates are only slightly higher..  There are also ‘C’ lenders that fill a need for even harder to place mortgages…. These products come with much higher rates and fees.. But most consumers will either fit into an ‘A’ or ‘B’ product.   Only a small handful of applicants need to go to a ‘C’ Lender..

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Top Banking regulator stepping.. OSFI’s Julie Dickson leaving in 2014

Julie Dickson Julie Dickson, the head of OSFI (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions) will not be back when her term expires in July 2014.  She’s decided to not to stick around after making more lending rule changes in 2012, than I have ever seen, during my entire 23 year career working in financial services.   OSFI is a regulatory body that provides regulation and supervision to 152 Banks, Trust companies and other Lenders.   In short, they are auditors.  Here’s a link to the major changes made just last year including putting CMHC under OSFI control.. more on that later..

Some say her claim to fame is that she was in charge during the worst banking and mortgage crises in history.  And that Canada came out of this global financial collapse way better than any other country.   It’s true, we did come out of this very well compared with the rest of the world…   But what does Ms. Dickson and OSFI have to do with it?  For me, this had more to do with luck, govt intervention and Canadians being our normal conservative selves.   We were a little slower to adapt to U.S. style lending policies… Ask any financial expert and they will tell you we were just a few years behind the U.S. with regards to their wild mortgage lending guidelines… Read the rest of this entry »

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