11 May

25 Secrets Your Banker Doesn’t Want You to Know

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25 Secrets Your Banker Doesn’t Want You to Know.

Twenty-five or thirty years can sound like an impossibly long time to service a loan – and for many of us, it is. If you are looking to pay off your mortgage faster, here are some tried-and-true tactics to get you to financial freedom that much sooner!

  1. Make a Double Mortgage Payment: A double payment once a year can shave over four years off the total life of the mortgage! Better yet, if your mortgage allows for double-up payments, another option is paying an extra $100 into your mortgage – per month. This can save you over $26,000 in interest on a 5.5% fixed-rate, 25-year amortized mortgage.
  2. Increase Your Payment Frequency: Changing your mortgage from monthly to bi-weekly accelerated payments can shave over three years off your mortgage. At $2,000 a month, three years of no payments is worth $72,000 (not to mention the interest saved!).
  3. Increase Your Payment: Did you know? A one-time 10% increase can shave four years off the mortgage. That’s $96,000 in savings! Imagine if you bumped the payment 10% every year from the get-go. You would be mortgage-free in 13 years—start to finish! Can’t do it? How about 5% every year? You would be mortgage-free in 18 years! You can also consider increasing the payment by the amount of your annual raise.
  4. Lump Sum Payments: This is another option to become mortgage-free even faster! Even just one extra payment a year equivalent to one monthly payment will give you similar results as #2 above. Annual work bonuses or other extra-income is a great option for this.
  5. Renegotiate When Rates Drop: Revisiting your mortgage is a good idea when rates drop. However, it is always best to get expert advice from a mortgage broker to ensure it makes sense for you. If so, the benefits can be huge! For instance, a 1% reduction on a $300,000 mortgage will save $250 a month—times five years, that’s $15,000.
  6. Maintain a High Credit Rating: Even if you have already qualified for the mortgage you want, don’t let your credit rating slip. Pay your bills on time and keep balances low in relation to limits on credit cards, lines of credit, etc. Ideally, using 30% or less of your available credit will garner the highest results (assuming you pay the balances in full every month). Even if you’re filling your card to its credit limit max and paying it off in full each month, it will look like you are maxing out your credit limit and your credit score will drop accordingly.
  7. Increase Your Mortgage: Increasing your mortgage for the purpose of debt consolidation can be helpful for paying off credit card debt, line of credits, car loan and so on for a better rate and a set payment plan.
  8. Make an RRSP Contribution: By making an RRSP contribution, you can then use your income tax refund to pay down your mortgage!
  9. Switch to a Variable Rate: Switching your mortgage to variable-rate while keeping your payments the same as if on fixed can help you pay your mortgage faster. Since variable rates are typically lower, you will be paying more to your principal loan versus the interest.
    • Caution: Variable rates are not for everyone. Always be sure to seek the help of a mortgage broker to find out if variable-rates are the best choice for you.
  10. Take Your Mortgage With You: When you move, switch your old mortgage to the new property to avoid a penalty or higher rate on a new mortgage. This is called “porting”, however not all mortgages have this feature so be sure to ask! It is not widely known but could save you a ton of money.
  11. Set Up Automatic Savings: Even setting aside $10 per paycheck can help! When your extra savings reaches the amount of one mortgage payment, apply it to the mortgage! This concept goes nicely with #4.
  12. Unhook From The Money Drip: Stop paying with your fancy points credit or debit card. These make it way too easy to overspend. Go old school, go off the grid and pay cash. It works and can help you stay on track!
  13. Don’t Buy on Layaway: You know, those don’t-pay-for-six-month “deals”, well a lot can change in six-months and you’ll still be on the hook. If you cannot afford it now, don’t buy it. Wait until you are financially able to make the investment.
  14. Downsize Your House: Are you living in a 5-bedroom family home but your kids are grown up and moved out? Consider downsizing to a smaller house. It will save you money on your mortgage payments and maintenance fees in the long run!
  15. Rent Out the Basement: Not ready to move? Consider converting spare rooms to rental and use the income to pay down debt.
  16. Make Your Mortgage Tax-Deductible: If you are self-employed, own rental property or have investments, this is likely possible. Check with your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker to see if this option is right for you!
  17. Prioritize Your Payments: Define your various debts by category. This can help you see where you spend your money and also help you pay off your debt faster.
  18. Start With the Highest-Interest Rate: Pay off loans with the highest interest rates first, as these are the ones eating into your extra income!
  19. Leave Tax-Deductible Until Last: Pay the non-tax deductible loans first and fastest and leave tax-deductible debt to the end.
  20. Focus on Ugly Debt First: Debt such as credit card balances are the worst on your credit rating. Pay these off first.
  21. Pay Off Bad Debt Next: Debt for items that depreciate in value, such as car or boat loans, should be the next on your priority list.
  22. Clear Good Debt Last: Loans such as mortgages or investments for assets that should appreciate in value are the least harmful to your net worth and can be paid out last.
  23. Buy a New Car – Outright! Finance it if you have to but don’t lease, unless you are self-employed in which case leasing makes more sense.
  24. Use Your Secret Stash: If you have $20,000 in a bank account for a rainy-day or vacation and yet owe $20,000 on a line of credit, you need to reconsider. The bank account is paying you next to no interest (which is taxable income) and the line of credit rate is way higher (and not tax deductible). You know what to do. You can keep the line of credit open and on standby for a rainy day. Make it the secret line of credit that you have but never use.
  25. Give your Banker More Money: No, really. Keep enough in your chequing account to meet the minimum requirement to waive your service charges. Some banks charge a fee for transactions and nothing, zero, zilch, zip if you keep $2,500 in the account. Let’s see, $10 x 12 is $120 a year to pay off debt. I’d have to earn 5% with the $2,500 in my savings account to come out ahead. No-brainer here. Oh yeah, if you need more than 25 transactions a month, see #12 above.

Let’s face it, your financial future will not get any brighter if you continue to run deficits forever. Unlike a bank or big company, you won’t get a bailout! Stop procrastinating and take charge of your own finances with the above tips!

If you are looking for expert advice about your mortgage and how to pay it down faster, contact a Dominion Lending Centres professional to discuss YOUR situation and options.

BORROWER BEWARE:

It is always important to take things with a grain of salt. This is especially important when it comes to too-good-to-be-true, ultra-low-rate mortgages. These “no frills” mortgages are often loaded with restrictions such as pre-payment limitations, fully-closed terms, stripped-out features or unusual penalties. If you’re not looking at what you’re giving up, you may regret it in the future. These hidden terms alone could prevent you from taking advantage of tips #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 16 and 22!

7 May

10 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

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10 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes.

As a first-time buyer, there are some homebuyer mistakes you should avoid to ensure a smooth and successful experience:

THINKING YOU DON’T NEED A REAL ESTATE AGENT

You might be able to find a house on your own, but there are still many aspects of buying real estate that can confuse a first-time buyer. Rely on your agent to negotiate offers, inspections, financing and other details. The money you would have saved on commission can be quickly gobbled up by a botched offer or overlooked repairs.

GETTING YOUR HEART SET ON A HOME BEFORE YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK

The house that’s love at first sight may not always be what it seems, so keep an open mind. Plus, if you jump in too fast you may be too quick to go over budget or you might overlook a potential pitfall.

CHOOSING A FIXER-UPPER BECAUSE THE LISTING PRICE IS CHEAPER

That old character home may have loads of potential, but be extra diligent during the inspection period. What will it really cost to get your home to where it needs to be? Negotiating a long due-diligence period will give you time to get estimates from contractors in case you need to back out.

COMMITTING TO MORE THAN YOU CAN AFFORD

Don’t sacrifice retirement savings or an emergency fund for mortgage payments. You need to stay nimble to life’s changes and overextending yourself could put your investments—including your house—on the line.

GOING WITH THE FIRST AGENT WHO FINDS YOU

Don’t get halfway into house hunting before you realize your real estate agent isn’t right for you. The best source: a referral from friends. Ask around and take the time to speak with your potential choices before you commit to a realtor.

DIVING INTO RENOVATIONS AS SOON AS YOU BUY

Renovations may increase the value of your home, but don’t rush. Overextending your credit to get upgrades done fast doesn’t always pay off. Take time to make a solid plan and the best financial decisions. Living in your home for a while before renovating will also help you plan the best functional changes to the layout.

CHOOSING A HOUSE WITHOUT RESEARCHING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

It may be the house of your dreams, but annoying neighbours or a nearby industrial zone can be a rude awakening. Spend some time in the area before you make an offer and talk to local business owners and residents to determine the pros and cons of living there.

RESEARCHING YOUR BROKER AND AGENT, BUT NOT YOUR LAWYER

New buyers often put all their energy into learning about mortgage rates and offers. But don’t forget that the final word in any deal comes from your lawyer. Like finding a real estate agent, your best referral sources for a lawyer will be friends and business associates.

FIXATING ON THE LOWEST INTEREST RATE

A reasonable interest rate is important, but not at the expense of heavy restrictions and penalties. Make a solid long-term plan to pay off your mortgage and then find one that’s flexible enough to accommodate life changes, both planned and unexpected. Be sure to talk your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional to learn more.

OPTING OUT OF MORTGAGE INSURANCE

Your home is your largest investment, so be sure to protect it. Mortgage insurance not only buys you peace of mind, it also allows for more flexible financing options. Plus, it allows you to take advantage of available equity to pay down debts or make financial investments.

If you are ready to search for your first home, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional today for expert advice you can count on.

27 Mar

Bank of Canada Cut’s Rates 50bps to 0.25%

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Bank of Canada takes unscheduled emergency action today to cut rates 50 bps to 0.25% and to announce large-scale purchases of commercial paper and government securities to improve liquidity and assure credit availability.

Bank of Canada Moves to Restore “Financial Market Functionality”

The Bank of Canada today lowered its target for the overnight rate by 50 basis points to ¼ percent. This unscheduled rate decision brings the policy rate to its effective lower bound and is intended to provide support to the Canadian financial system and the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic (see chart below).

Strains in the commercial paper and government securities markets triggered today’s action to engage in quantitative easing. The Governing Council has been meeting every day during the pandemic crisis. Market illiquidity is a significant problem and one the Bank considers foundational. These large-scale purchases of financial assets are intended to improve the functioning of financial markets.

Credit risk spreads have widened sharply in recent days. People are moving to cash. Liquidity has dried up in all financial markets, even government-guaranteed markets such as Canadian Mortgage-Backed securities (CMBs) and GoC bills and bonds. The commercial paper market–used by businesses for short-term financing–has become nonfunctional. The Bank is making large-scale purchases of financial assets in illiquid markets to improve market functioning across the yield curve. They are not attempting to change the shape of the curve for now but might do so in the future.

These large-scale purchases will create the liquidity that the financial system is demanding so that financial intermediation can function. Risk has risen, which creates the need for more significant cash injections.

At the press conference today, Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins refrained from speculating what other measures the Bank might take in the future. When asked, “Where is the bottom?” She responded, “That depends on the resolution of the Covid-19 health issues.”

The Bank will discuss the economic outlook in its Monetary Policy Report at their regularly scheduled meeting on April 15. In response to questions, Governor Poloz said it is challenging to assess what the impact of the shutdown of the economy will be. A negative cycle of pessimism is clearly in place. The Bank’s rate cuts help to reduce monthly payments on floating rate debt. He is hoping to maintain consumer confidence and expectations of a return to normalcy.

The oil price cut alone would have been sufficient reason for the Bank of Canada to lower interest rates. The Covid-19 medical emergency and the shutdown dramatically exacerbates the situation. All that monetary policy can do is to cushion the blow and avoid structural problems to the economy. The overnight rate of 0.25% is consistent with market rates along the yield curve.

High household debt levels have historically been a concern. Monetary policy easing helps to bridge the gap until the health concerns are resolved. The housing market, according to Wilkins, is no longer a concern for excessive borrowing by cash-strapped households.

At this point, the Bank is not contemplating negative interest rates. Monetary policy has little further room to maneuver, given interest rates are already very low. With businesses closed, lower interest rates do not encourage consumers to go out and spend money.

Large-scale debt purchases by the Bank will continue for an extended period to provide liquidity. The Bank can do this in virtually unlimited quantities as needed. The policymakers are also focussing on the period after the crisis. They want the economy to have an excellent foundation for growth when the economy resumes its normal functioning.

Fiscal stimulus is crucial at this time. The newly introduced income support for people who are not covered by the Employment Insurance system is a particularly important safety net for the economy. There are many other elements of the fiscal stimulus, and the government stands ready to do more as needed.

The Canadian dollar has moved down on the Bank’s latest emergency action. The loonie has also been battered by the dramatic decline in oil prices. Canada is getting a double whammy from the pandemic and the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The loonie’s decline feeds through to rising prices of imports. However, the pandemic has disrupted trade and imports have fallen.

The Bank of Canada suggested as well that they are meeting twice a week with the leadership of the Big-Six Banks. The cost of funds for the banks has risen sharply. CMHC is buying large volumes of mortgages from the banks, which, along with CMB purchases by the central bank, will shore up liquidity. The banks are well-capitalized and robust. The level of collaboration between the Bank of Canada and the Big Six is very high.

The Stock Market Has Had Three Good Days

As the chart below shows, the Toronto Stock Exchange has retraced some of its losses in the past three days as the US and Canada have announced very aggressive fiscal stimulus. As well, the Bank of Canada has now lowered interest rates three times this month, with a cumulative easing of 1.5 percentage points. The Federal Reserve has also cut by 150 basis points over the same period. In addition to lowering borrowing costs, the central bank has also announced in recent days a slew of new liquidity measures to inject cash into the banking system and money markets and to ensure it can handle any market-wide stresses in the financial system.

The economic pain is just getting started in Canada with the spike in joblessness and the shutdown of all but essential services. Similarly, the US posted its highest level of initial unemployment insurance claims in history–3.83 million, which compares to a previous high of 685,000 during the financial crisis just over a decade ago. These are the earliest indicator of a virus-slammed economy, with much more to come. All of this is without precedent, but rest assured that policy leaders will continue to do whatever it takes to cushion the blow of the pandemic on consumers and businesses and to bridge a return to normalcy.

Dr. Sherry Cooper
Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres
drcooper@dominionlending.ca

24 Mar

Covid-19 Resource Page

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We have had many inquiries regarding mortgage deferral and relief programs over the last week. We understand these are very important questions. There is some good news in this very stressful time for people who are worried about making their mortgage payments.

Canadian mortgage insurers are backing the current crisis and are working with our lenders to develop policies to either skip or defer mortgage payments.

However, it’s important to know that these are on a case-by-case basis so please, reach out to your lenders directly. You also may not receive an answer right away. As each case is different, it may take 2-4 business days for a response.

 

Click here to learn about financial measures put in place by our Federal Goverment:

 

As well visit the Dominion Head Office page for a detailed page on covid-19 lender number’s  and an overview of the changes we are currently seeing. Both pages update frequently and will not have outdated information.

Again – if you have having trouble finding a number to contact your lender at go here.

Follow these steps.

 

 

 

4 Mar

March 2020 Bank of Canada Rate Drop

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Interest rates hit record lows. 5-year yield in Canada plunges to 0.82%.

How will the Bank of Canada Rate Drop affect my Mortgage

 The Bank of Canada Brings Out The Big Guns

Following yesterday’s surprise emergency 50 basis point (bp) rate cut by the Fed, the Bank of Canada followed suit today and signalled it is poised to do more if necessary. The BoC lowered its target for the overnight rate by 50 bps to 1.25%, suggesting that “the COVID-19 virus is a material negative shock to the Canadian and global outlooks.” This is the first time the Bank has eased monetary policy in four years.

According to the BoC’s press release, “COVID-19 represents a significant health threat to people in a growing number of countries. In consequence, business activity in some regions has fallen sharply, and supply chains have been disrupted. This has pulled down commodity prices, and the Canadian dollar has depreciated. Global markets are reacting to the spread of the virus by repricing risk across a broad set of assets, making financial conditions less accommodative. It is likely that as the virus spreads, business and consumer confidence will deteriorate, further depressing activity.” The press release went on to promise that “as the situation evolves, the Governing Council stands ready to adjust monetary policy further if required to support economic growth and keep inflation on target.”

Moving the full 50 basis points is a powerful message from the Bank of Canada. Particularly given that Governor Poloz has long been bucking the tide of monetary easing by more than 30 central banks around the world, concerned about adding fuel to a red hot housing market, especially in Toronto. Other central banks will no doubt follow, although already-negative interest rates hamper the euro-area and Japan.

Canadian interest rates, which have been falling rapidly since mid-February, nosedived in response to the Bank’s announcement. The 5-yield Government of Canada bond yield plunged to a mere 0.82% (see chart below), about half its level at the start of the year.Fixed-rate mortgage rates have fallen as well, although not as much as government bond yields. The prime rate, which has been stuck at 3.95% since October 2018 when the Bank of Canada last changed (hiked) its overnight rate, is going to fall, but not by the full 50 bps as the cost of funds for banks has risen with the surge in credit spreads. A cut in the prime rate will lower variable-rate mortgage rates.

Many expect the Fed to cut rates again when it meets later this month at its regularly scheduled policy meeting, and the Canadian central bank is now expected to cut interest rates again in April. Of course, monetary easing does not address supply-chain disruptions or travel cancellations. Easing is meant to flood the system with liquidity and improve consumer and business confidence–just as happened in response to the financial crisis. Expect fiscal stimulus as well in the upcoming federal budget.

All of this will boost housing demand even though reduced travel from China might crimp sales in Vancouver. A potential recession is not good for housing, but lower interest rates certainly fuel what was already a hot spring sales market. Data released today by the Toronto Real Estate Board show that Toronto home prices soared in February, and sales jumped despite low inventories. The number of transactions jumped 46% from February 2019, which was a 10-year sales low as the market struggled with tougher mortgage rules and higher interest rates. February sales were up by about 15% compared to January.

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Dr. Sherry Cooper
Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres
drcooper@dominionlending.ca

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21 Feb

Morneau Eases Stress Test On Insured Mortgages

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Minister Morneau Announces New Benchmark Rate for Qualifying For Insured Mortgages

The new qualifying rate will be the mortgage contract rate or a newly created benchmark very close to it plus 200 basis points, in either case. The News Release from the Department of Finance Canada states, “the Government of Canada has introduced measures to help more Canadians achieve their housing needs while also taking measured actions to contain risks in the housing market. A stable and healthy housing market is part of a strong economy, which is vital to building and supporting a strong middle class.”

These changes will come into effect on April 6, 2020. The new benchmark rate will be the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus 2%.
This follows a recent review by federal financial agencies, which concluded that the minimum qualifying rate should be more dynamic to reflect the evolution of market conditions better. Overall, the review concluded that the mortgage stress test is working to ensure that home buyers are able to afford their homes even if interest rates rise, incomes change, or families are faced with unforeseen expenses.
This adjustment to the stress test will allow it to be more representative of the mortgage rates offered by lenders and more responsive to market conditions.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) also announced today that it is considering the same new benchmark rate to determine the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages.

The existing qualification rule, which was introduced in 2016 for insured mortgages and in 2018 for uninsured mortgages, wasn’t responsive enough to the recent drop in lending interest rates — effectively making the stress test too tight. The earlier rule established the big-six bank posted rate plus 2 percentage points as the qualifying rate. Banks have increasingly held back from adjusting their posted rates when 5-year market yields moved downward. With rates falling sharply in recent weeks, especially since the coronavirus scare, the gap between posted and contract mortgage rates has widened even more than what was already evident in the past two years.

This move, effective April 6, should reduce the qualifying rate by about 30 basis points if contract rates remain at roughly today’s levels. According to a Department of Finance official, “As of February 18, 2020, based on the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate from insured mortgage applications received by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the new benchmark rate would be roughly 4.89%.” That’s 30 basis points less than today’s benchmark rate of 5.19%.
The Bank of Canada will calculate this new benchmark weekly, based on actual rates from mortgage insurance applications, as underwritten by Canada’s three default insurers.
OSFI confirmed today that it, too, is considering the new benchmark rate for its minimum stress test rate on uninsured mortgages (mortgages with at least 20% equity).
“The proposed new benchmark for uninsured mortgages is based on rates from mortgage applications submitted by a wide variety of lenders, which makes it more representative of both the broader market and fluctuations in actual contract rates,” OSFI said in its release.
“In addition to introducing a more accurate floor, OSFI’s proposal maintains cohesion between the benchmarks used to qualify both uninsured and insured mortgages.” (Thank goodness, as the last thing the mortgage market needs is more complexity.)

The new rules will certainly add to what was already likely to be a buoyant spring housing market. While it might boost buying power by just 3% (depending on what the new benchmark turns out to be on April 6), the psychological boost will be positive. Homebuyers—particularly first-time buyers—are already worried about affordability, given the double-digit gains of the last 12 months.

 

Dr. Sherry Cooper
Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres

30 Oct

Bank of Canada Holds Policy Rate Steady Amid Global Uncertainty

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It is rare for the Bank of Canada and the US Federal Reserve to announce rate decisions on the same day, but today’s announcements highlight the stark differences in policy in the two countries. The Bank this morning announced they would maintain their target for the overnight rate at 1.75% for the eighth straight meeting. The Fed is widely expected to cut its target for the fed funds rate by another 25 basis points, taking it below the key rate in Canada for the first time since 2016. More than 30 central banks have cut interest rates in the past year and the Bank of Canada in today’s Policy Statement highlighted the weakening in the global economic outlook since the release of its July Monetary Policy Report (MPR).

In today’s MPR, the Bank revised down its forecast for global economic growth this year to below 3.0%, reflecting a downward revision in growth in the United States to 2.3% (from 2.5%), the Euro area (to 1.1% from 1.2%), oil-importing emerging market economies and the rest of the world. China’s growth pace remains at a 30-year low of 6.1%.

Trade conflicts and uncertainty are weakening the world economy to its slowest pace since the 2007-09 economic and financial crisis. The slowdown has been most pronounced in business investment and the manufacturing sector and has coincided with a contraction in global trade (Chart 1). Despite the manufacturing slowdown, unemployment rates continue to be near historic lows in many advanced economies, as growth in employment in service sectors has remained resilient.

Growth is projected to strengthen modestly to around 3.25% by 2021, with a pickup in some emerging-market economies (EMEs) more than offsetting slower growth in the United States and China.

Canada has not been immune to these developments. Commodity prices have fallen amid concerns about global demand. Despite this, the Canada-US exchange rate is still near its July level, and the Canadian dollar has strengthened against other currencies.
Growth in Canada is expected to slow in the second half of this year to a rate below its potential. This reflects the uncertainty associated with trade conflicts, the continuing adjustment in the energy sector, and the unwinding of temporary factors that boosted growth in the second quarter. Business investment and exports are likely to contract before expanding again in 2020 and 2021. At the same time, government spending and lower borrowing rates are supporting domestic demand, and activity in the services sector remains robust. Employment is showing continuing strength and wage growth is picking up, although with some variation among regions. Consumer spending has been choppy but will be supported by solid income growth. Meanwhile, housing activity is picking up in most markets. The Bank continues to monitor the evolution of financial vulnerabilities in light of lower mortgage rates and past changes to housing market policies.Canadian Economy Boosted By Housing

The Canadian economy grew at a moderate pace over the past year, supported by a healthy labour market and the recent turnaround in housing. However, global trade conflicts and related uncertainty dampened business investment and export activities, and investment in the energy sector continued to decline. The impact on growth of both global headwinds and energy transportation constraints is expected to diminish, and the pace of economic expansion should gradually pick up in 2020 and 2021.

In 2020 and 2021, Canada’s economy is anticipated to grow near potential. Consumer spending is projected to increase at a steady pace, and housing activity to continue its ongoing recovery. Overall, investment and exports are anticipated to grow moderately. In the energy sector, investment is forecast to stabilize, and oil exports should improve as pipeline and rail capacity gradually expands.

In today’s MPR, the Bank states that housing resales have been catching up to underlying demand (see chart 7 from the MPR). Housing markets generally reflect regional economic conditions. Housing starts and resales have been particularly robust in Quebec and Ontario, where labour markets have been strong. These provinces will likely continue to be the main drivers of the growth in residential investment. In Alberta, where the oil industry is expected to stabilize, modest improvements in housing are expected. In British Columbia, residential investment has recovered in recent months and should remain near current levels, reflecting the creation of new households.

Bottom Line

The dovish tone of today’s policy statement suggests that the Bank of Canada has become more cautious in its holding pattern amid a weakening global economy. The central bank “is mindful that the resilience of Canada’s economy will be increasingly tested as trade conflicts and uncertainty persist,” policymakers led by Governor Stephen Poloz said in the statement. “In considering the appropriate path for monetary policy, the Bank will be monitoring the extent to which the global slowdown spreads beyond manufacturing and investment.”

The statement and the fresh batch of more pessimistic growth forecasts will raise questions about the central bank’s commitment to a neutral stance on rates, particularly in the face of global easing in many other countries that has made the Bank of Canada an outlier. If the Federal Reserve lowers its interest rates later today, as expected, the Bank of Canada would have the highest policy rate in the industrialized world.

It may well be that the Bank of Canada cuts rates early next year. Mitigating this prospect is that the Bank was more bullish on consumption and housing–fueled by the robust labour market. Another source of future growth is additional fiscal stimulus from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newly elected Liberal government, which has promised to implement new spending and tax cuts next year. For now, the Bank is maintaining a neutral stance.

 

Dr. Sherry Cooper
Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres
drcooper@dominionlending.ca
6 Aug

Mortgages are like Coffee

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What’s your best Rate?

The most common question we get for mortgages is “what is your best rate?” Now imagine we walked into our local coffee shop and asked “what is your best price?” Doesn’t happen. There are all kinds of different coffees and lots of ways to make them. The same goes for mortgages.

Getting a coffee at the lowest price is usually not going to get you the coffee that meets your needs. You want quality beans, flavour, extra features like a shot of caramel, maybe make it a macchiato, froth on the top, an alternative milk option, and the list goes on.

The same goes for mortgages. Lowest rate mortgages may come with a lack of portability, the inability to make extra payments, and they may lock you into a good rate today without the flexibility for better rates in the future. They may be the lowest rate without the lowest monthly payment amount, they may be for term lengths that are too long and have significant penalties when the mortgage needs to be broken.

The lowest rate mortgage may be collateral charge mortgages that allow a bank to foreclose on your property because you were delinquent on your credit card payments while you went on an extended vacation in Europe and forgot to keep track while you were having so much fun drinking coffee at a popular little hole in the wall café in some small ancient village. The 4 strategic priorities that every mortgage needs to balance are lowest cost, lowest payment, maximum flexibility, and lowest risk.

So the next time you need a mortgage, treat it like your coffee order, don’t ask for the best rate, ask how you can get the best mortgage for you.

Todd Skene

Your Grande Prairie Mortgage Brokers have different types of mortgages for you to choose from. Simple and complex blends available!

Best coffee shop in Grande Prairie or the best mortgage rate in Grande Prairie. Choosing the best sometimes depends on you.

TODD SKENE

Dominion Lending Centres – Mortgage Professional
Todd Skene is the founder of DLC Home SMART Mortgage with DLC Pilot Mortgage Group based in Vancouver, BC.

19 Jul

Mortgage Qualifying Rate Drops!

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Exciting news for borrowers!  The Bank of Canada Qualifying rate has decreased from 5.34% to 5.19%. This is the first decrease that we’ve seen in the qualifying rate since September of 2016. If you did a little happy dance, that’s understandable….so did we!

Ribfest 2019 Grande Prairie with HT Mortgage Group . (Shown here Alycia, Gert and Carmen)

 

What does the decrease mean for your mortgage pre-qualification? The change would increase a client’s buying power.  Call us today for more information.

780-513-6611