Category Archives: Government Policy

NOA revisions, already up for re-revisions?

Are the recent revisions the Canadian Revenue Agency made to the Notices of Assessment (NOA) really that bad?  Well no, they’re really quite good.  In the way that they have become user friendly that is.  They have become simpler and less cluttered, and all around easier for the general public to understand.  However, there is some speculation (specifically with the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association or CMBA) that the revisions have … Read More

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10% Minimum, Raising the Wrong Bar

If you’ve been in the market for a mortgage in the last couple of months there is almost no chance you haven’t noticed the talk of an increased minimum down payments from 5 to 10% on loan amounts over $500,000.  What this means for you?  Well if you’re buying a house under 500k, nothing, if you’re buying a house over 500k?  Simple, instead of putting a down payment of 5% … Read More

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Life is Short, Make your Mortgage Shorter

One positive consequence of the tighter mortgage rules is shorter amortizations.  While extending your mortgage over 40 years may make your payments more manageable and allow you to qualify for an even bigger home, you may never live to see your mortgage burning party. In pricier markets, the rational has been that you will enjoy significant capital appreciation that can contribute to your retirement savings.  Many are also under the … Read More

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CMHC Cutting Programs

Effective May 30th, 2014 CMHC will be discontinuing 2 existing mortgage programs and  further tighten Canada’s mortgage market.  Self-employed borrowers will no longer be eligible for CMHC insurance unless they are able to verify sufficient income through traditional sources.  Also being cut, is the the 2nd home mortgage program. CMHC’s rationale for this move is that these programs are no longer core to the insurer’s objectives, and only represent a … Read More

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Bank of Canada Stands Pat

Yet again, the Bank of Canada decided to stand pat when it comes to interest rates. The Bank announced it would maintain its target for the overnight rate at 1% – a decision that spells good news for variable rate holders.  The primary reason for the decision was low inflation – something that is expected to continue for the remainder of 2014. While consumer energy prices and a low Canadian … Read More

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CMHC Mortgage Premiums Set to Soar

Despite billion dollar profits, stricter lending guidelines and a robust housing market, CMHC is spearheading an increase to mortgage insurance premiums.  These premiums are a necessary evil for home buyers with less than 20% downpayment.  The new premiums take effect May 1st, but don’t impact mortgage applications that have been submitted prior to the May 1 deadline regardless of the actual closing date.  As is standard practice in this oligopoly, … Read More

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BOC Hints at Rate Decrease

Last week’s Bank of Canada (BOC) rate announcement was a stunning departure from the Bank’s long held position that rates had nowhere to go but up.  Since Stephen Poloz took over as BOC Governor he’s been steadily moving away from his predecessor’s position that a rate hike was imminent, but this recent announcement took many by surprise. Official Bank of Canada announcements are carefully drafted with subtle wording to prepare … Read More

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CMHC Confirms Housing Market Strength

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) dropped their provisions for claims by $19 million dollars during the third quarter citing lower expectations for bad loans.  Loan loss provisions which now stand at $895 million are sufficient to withstand a catastrophic market downturn. According to Brian Naish, CMHC’s CFO, “We have seen improvement in the economic indicators that underlie all of that, so for example, unemployment has improved and home price … Read More

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Stephen Poloz Balances the BOC

As expected, the Bank of Canada (BOC) kept the prime lending rate at 3% yesterday.  This decision moves the clock to 3 years and 1 month with no change to the overnight lending rate and in turn the prime lending rate.  Currently set at 1% the overnight rate is well below its 10 year average of 2.07% and significantly below the high of 4.50% hit in July of 2007.  The … Read More

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Time For A CMHC Price Cut

It’s time for CMHC to reduce it’s insurance premiums.  These premiums, charged to purchasers with less than 20% downpayment, insure lenders against default.  The 3 mortgage insurers in Canada have been reaping substantial profits on the backs of Canadian homeowners for a decade.  Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has held the lions-share of the market (typically 70%) and has reported an average annual net income in excess of $1.1 … Read More

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