Category Archives: Blog

Freehold, Condo, Leasehold or Co-operative

When purchasing a home most buyers only distinguish between freehold and condominium.  This normally doesn’t pose a problem because 98% of land ownership is held in one of these 2 forms.  Some buyers will take title to their new home as leasehold or as a co-operative without knowing the facts and this could spell disaster down the road. Under leasehold ownership you typically take full ownership of the building, but … Read More

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The Real Estate Divide

Canadians have always been proud of our capitalist society with a strong middle class.  As we gain wealth nationally we’ve improved the standard of living of all our income bands.  We’ve avoided the great divide between the rich and the poor that exists south of the boarder.  The new economy however threatens all of that. Our elected officials are governing us as if we all have the same net worth … Read More

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CREA Cuts Forecasts

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) cut its home sales forecasts for 2012 and 2013 and lowered its national average price predictions in a report issued earlier today. The new forecast eliminates 8,900 transactions from the previous 2012 forecast, but still calls for growth of 1.9% over 2011.  Of bigger concern is the 1.9% reduction in transactions forecast for 2013 bringing us back two years to the 2011 activity of … Read More

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Strong Loonie Keeps Mortgage Rates Low

The Canadian dollar rallied to a 13 month high against the US greenback on news that the Federal Reserve plans to purchase bonds.  The US central bank indicated that it would maintain interest rates near 0.0% until 2015 and begin buying mortgage securities to fuel economic growth.  That announcement spurred investors to dump low yielding US assets in favour of more lucrative Canadian investments.  One Canadian dollar buys $1.03638 US. … Read More

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Hidden Mortgage Fees

  If you’re like most borrowers you just want the best mortgage rate.  After all, aren’t the other terms the same?  Wrong. Banks and other mortgage lenders are businesses looking to maximize their profits and although there are regulations on stating fixed mortgage rates, the other terms are fair game and buyer beware. One example of a hidden fee is the reinvestment fee. This is similar to a restocking fee … Read More

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Toronto Housing Prices Climb Out of Reach

In a report issued late last week, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) announced that Toronto real estate prices were up 6.5% for the month of August compared with the same month last year.  The price growth was primarily driven by the low rise segment of the market which grew at an annual rate of 15%. 15% price appreciation is a crazy rate of growth especially given the predictions of … Read More

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No More Cash Back Mortgages

The second significant mortgage rule change imposed by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is the elimination of “Cash-Back” mortgages.  These mortgages offer the borrower a cash incentive or bonus once the mortgage closes.  The amounts are significant and usually represent 5% of the mortgage balance.  On a $300,000 mortgage this amounts to $15,000!  A much better gift than a new toaster. If it sounds too good … Read More

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BOC Maintains Low Mortgage Rates

The Bank of Canada announced yesterday that it’s keeping its target for the overnight rate at 1% which will in turn maintain the variable mortgage prime rate at 3.0%.   This announcement comes with no surprise and was expected by every mainstream economist weighing in on the issue. The much anticipated upward pressure on interest rates has not materialized and is no longer on the radar.  Recent revelations of economic slowdowns … Read More

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HELOC Changes Imminent

One of the proposed mortgage rule changes coming down the pipe is lower limits on Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC’s).  Earlier this year the Department of Finance not only lowered maximum amortizations and restricted the limits on mortgage refinances, they also initiated several mortgage rule changes for federally regulated financial institutions.  Although many of the proposals were discarded, a couple of significant changes are nearing implementation, one of which … Read More

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Toronto Condo Prices on the Rise

Toronto condo prices are expected to jump a healthy 2.50% in 2013.  For the average $305,000 condo this equates to an increase of $7,625.  These findings were released in a report authored jointly by Genworth Canada and the Conference Board of Canada.  The report focused on 8 major Canadian cities and forecasts price increases in all markets except for Vancouver, the countries priciest market. “This data corroborates our view that … Read More

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