Tag Archives: Mortgage

Increase Your Mortgage Payments

Paying off your mortgage is a common goal for homeowners.  The monthly obligation of mortgage payments is usually a family’s biggest financial burden, and the sooner it’s gone the better.  Getting rid of your mortgage is a little like pulling off a Band-Aid.  You can minimize your mortgage payments today and make your cash flow as comfortable as possible or you can put everything you have towards your mortgage to … 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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My Mortgage Ministry

My business is my mortgage ministry, and the title that best describes my work is Mortgage Minister.  When most people think of the word ministry they think of a preacher or a pastor.  Ministry is actually defined as the act of serving or ministration.  Government departments designed to serve the public also use these terms, as in, the Ministry of Finance, or the Prime Minister. My mortgage ministry is my … Read More

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Fixed Mortgage Rate Forecast – 2014

It appears that an era of consistently low mortgage rates with no significant prospects for increases is about to come to an end.  At least for long term fixed mortgage rates. Mortgage rates are directly tied to the market yield for government bonds of similar duration, and a significant economic stimulus program is beginning to wind down. The US Federal reserve began a bond purchase program in November of 2008 … Read More

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A Look Back at 2013 5 Year Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates were a hot topic throughout 2013.  Governments intervened in money markets to manipulate mortgage rates in both Canada and the US.  While the US’ quantative easing (QE) program was focused on keeping rates low, Canadian policy makers were busy threatening rate increases and chiding banks for low mortgage rates.  Looking back at 2013 we can see that the US won the rate manipulation game. Quantative easing used the … 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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High Housing Costs Hurting Canadians

A letter from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities cites the high cost of housing as the most urgent financial issue facing Canadians today.  “Housing costs and, as the Bank of Canada notes, household debt, are undermining Canadians personal financial security, while putting our national economy at risk,” quotes the document addressed to Stephen Harper. The letter was put forth by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, who represent over 90% of … Read More

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Variable Mortgage Rate Forecast

Variable mortgage rates are expected to remain at their current levels well into 2014.  Variable mortgage rates are tied directly to the banks’ prime lending rates which are in turn tied directly to the overnight rate set by the Bank of Canada. The Bank of Canada, in September’s scheduled announcement proclaimed that it has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at its current level of 1%.  It … Read More

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Mortgage Rates Stabilize

Ben Bernanke and the US Federal Reserve (Fed) shocked markets this week with the announcement that it will continue with it’s bond buy-back program.  This program, known as quantative easing or QE, is designed to keep bonds liquid and to force down yields or borrowing rates for bond issuers.  The net effect of lower bond yields is lower long term mortgage rates in Canada. Earlier this summer Mr. Bernanke hinted … Read More

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How Much Mortgage Debt is Too Much Debt?

The Canadian government is concerned about our level of consumer debt, including mortgage debt, and so are most Canadians.  When surveyed however, the vast majority of Canadians feel comfortable with their own level of debt.  The question remains, how much debt is too much debt. The yardstick our Department of Finance has been using is the ratio of debt to disposable annual income.  Let’s look at that at the household … Read More

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