Thursday, 25 October 2012

Mark Carney to give ample notice of any interest rate hikes

The Bank of Canada decided once again to hold the benchmark rate at 1%, a decision that didn't come as a surprise to Canadians. The most significant change in this announcement was that the bank's governor, Mark Carney, omitted his usual statement about the necessity to raise rates in the future. Previous to the bank's announcement, Carney gave a speech in Nanaimo, B.C., and pledged to Canadians that going forward,  he will be transparent regarding the central bank's decisions - thus limiting the uncertainty many are feeling.

This piece from CBC news cites the example Carney gave in his speech; that if the decision to raise rates was made, he would make it clear how long the measure would take to work. He added that raising rates remains a "hypothetical question" at this point, yet the bank is not ruling it out. It is the Bank of Canada's intent to supply Canadians with a sense of security when it comes to planning their finances. The hope is that this transparency will give Canadians this confidence. The bank's main concern has been household debt, however recently introduced mortgage regulations have proved to have their desired effect, thus eliminating the immediate need to raise the benchmark 1% rate.

Carney also spoke about the resiliency of the Canadian economy, pointing out that in the wake of the global financial crisis, it has strengthened. "As Canadians, we need to focus on what we can control," stated Carney. "We can improve Canada's low productivity growth and sharpen our focus on emerging markets. And we can continue to invest in our greatest resource - our people."

Click here to read the full article from CBC News.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Canadian home sales in September

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) released their monthly statement this week detailing resale home activity for the previous month. According to this report, Canadian resale housing activity saw its first monthly increase since the spring, up 2.5% from August. The activity is positive news, marking a recovery from the drop the market experienced in the wake of new mortgage legislation initiated earlier this summer.

Markets reporting an increase in activity include Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Quebec City. Despite the new mortgage regulations slowing national sales activity, CREA President Wayne Moen advises not to rely heavily on national sales figures. " ... national figures mask diverging trends in different markets, with activity down in some places while sales elsewhere remain strong. As always, all real estate is local, so buyers and sellers should talk to their Realtor to understand how the housing market is shaping up where they live or might like to."

As new mortgage legislation is likely to make many buyers reassess their dreams of home ownership, it is recommended to talk to a qualified Mortgage Broker, who can assist in creating a realistic budget and examine if now is the time to buy.

Click here for the full article from The Canadian Real Estate Association.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Canadian Mortgage Broker Launches a Mobile Mortgage App

Mortgage Brokers City has officially announced the launch of a free mortgage calculator app with access to live up-to-date mortgage rates, information and mortgage advice. Available on all Android, Blackberry and iPhone devices, the app allows users across Canada to have a seamless mortgage experience from start to finish.

One of the most valuable features of the app is the live rate feed, that gives users access to a real-time representation of the lowest mortgage rates available. Unlike other apps, which may post default rates or higher rates, the Mortgage Broker City app gives users a real representation of what their mortgage payments will cost, allowing them to plan accordingly and build a budget. Sheri Creese, Vice President of Sales and Service for Mortgage Brokers City said: "This app gives instant answers to the two questions we get most often from our clients; How much will my payments be, and how much will it cost up front, including my down payment?" In addition, the app provides province specific calculations that incorporate Land Transfer Tax and PST, some of the most commonly overlooked inclusions in the cost of a mortgage.

Users of the app that wish to have additional information or advice can contact Mortgage Brokers City at the touch of a button. Licensed representatives are able to assist clients in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

To download any version of the free app, visit or click on the appropriate link below:

Mortgage Brokers City App for Blackberry:

Mortgage Brokers City App for iPhone:

Mortgage Brokers City App for Android:

Click here for the full press release from Marketwire.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Mortgages for the self-employed

There are many challenges to being self-employed, but home ownership shouldn't be one of them. For self-employed individuals, the process of applying for a mortgage or refinancing is likely to be more complex than it is for salaried workers. Proof of income is an essential part of the qualification process, and obtaining this proof is not always easy for those who own a business and do not have the same income from week to week. This can be not only challenging when approaching a lender, but frustrating for the applicant. This article from the Globe and Mail provides readers with a helpful basis to better prepare for the application process.

When a lender deals with a client who is self-employed and cannot provide what is referred to as verified income, they instead must rely on stated income. Stated income can be proven to a lender through tax returns, notices of assessment, and financial statements. Although the mortgage is for the individual, the lender is examining the business in addition to the applicant. Simply put, the applicant must show the strength of the business to prove they will continue to have the income to pay the mortgage in the future. The more information an applicant can provide to their lender, the easier it is for the lender to make an objective decision to approve or decline the mortgage. Other information it may be prudent to provide can include: proof that HST or GST payments are up to date, business contracts to show expected revenue, personal and business credit scores, and proof of assets owned by the business.

An easy way to make the somewhat complicated process a little smoother is to consult a qualified Mortgage Broker, an individual who will not only cultivate a relationship with the client, but their business as well. A Mortgage Broker will navigate the process with the client, find out exactly which documents the lender will need, and handle any negotiations.

Click here to read the full article from the Globe and Mail.