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Genworth Regional Risk Report

Some great stats just came out in Genworth’s regional risk reports. Here are a few of the highlights.

As expected, Ontario’s housing market has been very healthy and active and has been picking up steam over the last 2 years.

Alberta’s economy has been hit hard over the past 3 years due to the inability to bring its biggest resource, oil and gas, to the market. We’ve all read and heard about the pipeline debacle. However, the housing market is rebounding as is shown in the stats. Let’s hope action is taken to get our western Canadians some positive changes.  

Continue reading “Genworth Regional Risk Report”

New record low fixed rates… how low can they go?

record low rates5 yr fixed rates just got better.  With last weeks U.S. Fed chair, Janet Yellen, saying these low rates are the ‘new normal’, the markets reacted.

Bond yields are down and that has moved fixed rates lower.   The best full featured, no handcuffs 5 yr fixed rate is 2.49% (yes, some fast closing specials exist but 2.49% is the best today).  (oh, by the way, Yellen wasn’t the first govt rep to say this.  Our own Senior Deputy Governor for the Bank of Canada, Carolyn Wilkins, said this 2 yrs ago.. Go Canada!)

Hard to believe they keep going lower.  Does that mean we should jump into a 5 yr fixed?  For some, yes. But for many of us, no.    For over a decade, I’ve recommended Variable rate or a short term priced products.   History has proven that short term priced products result in lower cost to the borrower.

However, there is something to be said for peace of mind.  Many of us want to set it and forget it.   For those that can’t sleep at night or for those that are borrowing to invest, then perhaps, 5 yr fixed makes sense.

If you really want to know what’s best for you and your situation, you must speak with an unbiased mortgage professional.   A Mortgage Broker doesn’t work for any one Bank.  They work for you.  They will give you unbiased, neutral advice and they can offer hundreds of different products.

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

International Mortgage Trends…. first edition

Consumer confidence is everything…  If you feel confident about your job, the economy and housing market, then you probably feel confident about buying a home and being able to pay your mortgage.   Measuring consumer confidence isn’t easy to do…   How about measuring the attitudes of homebuyers from 8 different countries?

Here’s the first edition of International Mortgage Trends, by our friends at Genworth Financial.  This report assesses homebuyer’s attitudes and sentiments from 8 countries spread out over 4 continents.

Surprisingly, the report puts India in the top of most categories, but Canada, Australia and Mexico also shared top spot in many categories.  Ireland, UK, Italy and the U.S. homebuyers were not as optimistic about home ownership and mortgage debt.   Here are some highlights from the report:

  • India and Mexico felt the most confident about how their national economies would do in the next 12 months…Canada and Australia were not far behind.  Ireland and the UK were at the bottom (no surprise there).
  • India and Mexico were also the most confident about their personal financial situation….Australia and Canada were next…Italy and Ireland were most concerned.
  • Rising fuel costs and living expenses seemed to be top concerns for many in almost all countries except Mexico.
  • India and Mexico had fewer problems paying their mortgage debt over the past 12 months… Canada was in the middle of the pack (this was a surprise to me).
  • Living with your parents stat(reminds me of that movie ‘Failure to launch’… I have a cousin that’s in this situation)… But this can save you money… Over 80% of First time homebuyers (FHB) in India and Mexico share the home with more than one generation… and it’s also more common in other European and Asian countries…..   Canada, UK, and the US are much less likely to house multiple generations under one roof.
  • Average age of the FHB keeps going up… it’s now 31.58 years of age… compare this with 26.6 years of age in the 1970’s… (in Canada, it’s 30.26 years of age).
  • Affordability…42% of FHB feel it’s a good time to buy a home…. 47% for Canadian FHB…and only 6.4% for India (this stat puzzled me after all the other positive outlooks by India’s FHB)
  • Only 30% of all those surveyed were positive about the state of the economy… In Canada, it’s 38%

There’s a lot of data in this report… I recommend taking a few minutes to review…. Scroll to 18 to see each country’s summary stats and see how Canada compares… In short, Canada seems to have a cautiously optimistic outlook.  Our conservative reputation stands out in most categories.

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