Posted in Bank of Canada, Bank of canada rates, BC Mortgages, Canadian Housing Market - Lisa Alentejano, Canadian Mortgage News, Debt, Home Loans, Interior Mortgage Expert - Lisa Alentejano, Jim Flaherty, jim flaherty mortgage rules, mark carney, Mortgage Affordability, Mortgage Broker Kamloops, Mortgage Language, Mortgage Rates, new mortgage rules canada, Protecting your biggest investment your mortgage, Refinance Your Mortgage, Renewing your mortgage

New Mortgage Rules Coming Effective July 9, 2012

Some changes that will come into effect on July 9, 2012.   How will this affect homebuyers or home owners in terms of dollar amounts… Heres a quick snapshot below;

Payments based on a 25 year amortization vs a 30 year amortization would cost the borrower  a difference of $52.48 per month per 100K in mortgage.   In terms of borrowing power the homeowner that could buy a home for $300k would now only be able to afford a $266K home, a difference of approximately $34k based on the above changes from 30 year amortization to 25 year.  If your in the market for a mortgage or a refinance, I would consider firming those details up before July 9, 2012 to take advantage of our current options.

READ ON; After speaking in Halifax just hours after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced a series of changes that come into effect next month, Mr. Carney reiterated his concerns about the effects that his ultra-low interest rates have had on the behaviour of both borrowers and lenders, warning the economy cannot “depend indefinitely” on debt-fuelled spending, especially as incomes stagnate.

At the same time, Europe’s growing crisis is expected to keep the central bank on hold for a long time yet, leaving regulation as the only real avenue for reining in housing-related investment, which Mr. Carney said now makes up “an unusually elevated share” of the economy.

“In this context, Canadian authorities are co-operating closely to monitor the financial situation of the household sector, and are responding appropriately,” Mr. Carney, who was almost certainly involved in Mr. Flaherty’s decision, said in a speech to the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.

“Today, federal authorities have taken additional prudent and timely measures to support the long-term stability of the Canadian housing market, and mitigate the risk of financial excesses.”

Last week, Mr. Carney and his policy team warned that Europe’s worsening drama could slam Canada with a “major shock” if it is allowed to spread out of control and further infect healthier regions, particularly the still-fragile U.S. economy. They also warned that more Canadian households could find themselves under water with their debt payments if a big unemployment shock were to result, and sharpened their warnings about Toronto’s booming condo market.

Some investors are betting that the situation in Europe and the failure of the U.S. economy to gain more traction could force the central bank to cut interest rates from the current 1-per cent level sometime later this year. However, in his speech, Mr. Carney strongly hinted that he is not even considering a reduction in rates, echoing much of the language on the economy from his last interest-rate statement on June 5, indicating his domestic outlook hasn’t shifted much since then.

“Despite these ongoing global headwinds, the Canadian economy continues to grow with an underlying momentum consistent with the gradual absorption of the remaining small degree of economic slack,” said Mr. Carney, whose next decision is scheduled for mid-July. “To the extent that the economic expansion continues and the current excess supply in the economy is gradually absorbed, some modest withdrawal of the present considerable monetary policy stimulus may become appropriate.”

Still, Mr. Carney left himself the same wiggle room from recent statements, saying that the “timing and degree” of any rate hikes would depend on how things play out.

There’s good reason for him to be cagey, and not just outside of Canada’s borders. Despite the worries about consumers over-borrowing, recent economic data suggest the housing market is already slowing down, and a report from Statistics Canada today showed that in April, retail sales fell – both in terms of prices and volumes.

Some analysts have already warned that the mortgage moves could be too effective and spark a slowdown in a key area of strength before the economy is ready for it.

Earlier Thursday, Mr. Flaherty confirmed that Ottawa will reduce the maximum amortization period to 25 years from 30 years, and will cut the maximum amount of equity homeowners can take out of their homes in a refinancing to 80 per cent from 85 per cent. Also, the availability of government-backed mortgages will be limited to homes with a purchase price of less than $1-million, and the maximum gross debt service ratio will be fixed at 39 per cent, and the maximum total debt service ratio at 44 per cent. All the changes will take effect on July 9.

Mr. Carney’s speech, meanwhile, was largely a re-hash of his views on what is needed to foster the more balanced and sustainable global economy on which export-heavy Canada’s fortunes largely depend, including an “open, resilient” financial system. The central banker, who is also chairman of the Group of 20-linked Financial Stability Board, again warned against delaying the implementation of reforms designed to make international finance safer for the global economy.

“The current intensification of the euro crisis has only sharpened our resolve,” he said, adding that a system that restores confidence will need to “rebalance” the relationship between government regulation and financial markets, and in which policy makers realize they must help do what’s good for the world rather than taking a simply national approach.

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Bank of Canada Hold Key Rate “household debt” remains biggest risk

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate on hold Thursday, as expected, but said while the outlook for the Canadian economy has “marginally improved,” household debt “remains the biggest domestic risk.”

The central bank acknowledged, in the statement accompanying its rate decision, that “heightened uncertainty around the global economic outlook has decreased,” since its monetary policy report in January.

“With tentative signs of stabilization in European bank funding and sovereign debt markets, conditions in global financial markets have improved and risk aversion has decreased,” it said.

“However, the global economy is still expected to grow below its trend rate as the deleveraging process in advanced economies proceeds.”

The Bank of Canada said the outlook for the domestic economy “is marginally improved” since its January report. “Although the economy will likely grow faster than forecast in the first quarter due to temporary factors, underlying economic momentum remains around trend, balancing domestics strength and external weakness.”

As for inflation, the bank said “the profile . . . is somewhat firmer than previously anticipated as a result of reduced economic slack and higher oil prices.”

“After moderating in the second quarter, total inflation is expected, along with core inflation, to be around 2% over the forecast horizon, . . . “

The central bank has held its benchmark lending rate at a near-record low 1% since September 2010, in an effort to bolster the economic recovery from the 2008-09 recession.

But cheaper borrowing costs — especially for mortgages — have led to record high consumer debt. Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, along with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, has urged consumers not to borrow beyond their needs, as interest rates will eventually begin rising again.

“Canadian household spending is expected to remain high relative to GDP as households add to their debt burden, “which remains the biggest domestic risk,” the bank said Thursday.

The Bank of Canada’s next interest rate decision will be on April 17.

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Calculating your mortgage penalty…

Todays market is bringing alot of questions about whether you should consider refinancing your mortgage for a better rate.  There are many different reasons people might re-negotiate their current mortgage.   You may be considering using some of the equity in your home you have built up and use it to buy a rental property,  Make and RRSP contribution or investment, pay off some high interest rate debt or just renegotiate your current rate for a better more competitive rate and lower monthly payment.

Below are some ways in which you can get a good idea on what kind of penalty you may be faced should you want to refinance your current mortgage.  Again these are used simply as a guideline and are in no way exact.   The lending institution you are currently dealing with will give you the exact amounts relating to your specifac situation.

Calculating Payout Penalties & Interest Rate Differentials (IRD)

Many closed mortgages include a clause stating that the payout privilege on the mortgage will be a three-month interest penalty, or interest differential, whichever is greater.

For the calculations below,  using the following scenario:
  • $300,000 remaining on the mortgage
  • 3 years into a 5-year fixed term at 5.5%
  • Today’s interest rate: 3.5%

We’ll just be using the simple interest amount – the actual amount of the penalty could be a little less than the amount quoted in the examples.

Three Month Interest Penalty :

Mortgage Balance X Interest Rate X 3 months

Plugging in the variables above, we would get:

=   $300,000   X   0.055    X   0.25                (5.5% = 0.055,  3/12 = 0.25)

= $4125.00 would be the 3 month interest penalty

Now we have to calculate the interest differential – and that’s where penalties can be quite substantial – especially since interest rates have dropped considerably lately.

Interest Differential Penalty:

Current Mortgage Balance  X Interest Rate Differencial  X Time remaining

=$300,000 X 0.02  X 2

(0.02 = 2% which is the difference from 5.5%-3.5%, and 2 years left in term)

=$12,000.00 would be the Interest Differential Penalty

In the example above, the bank would then use the Interest Differential Penalty since that amount is the greater of the two. Remember that the way banks calculates their penalties sometimes is a mystery to me and can be greater than the figures above so make sure you ask.

Please remember that its not always about RATE,  although important,  there are other important steps you need to take into consideration when considering paying a penalty and shopping for a mortgage.  Let a mortgage expert, put strategic steps and the right product in place that will ultimately make sure its in your best interest to pay a penalty and that your saving money.

I would also invite you to take a look at this link.  I am part of a community of mortgage brokers that created a forum to get our best ideas together a create a simple and educational strategy  showcased here on this website.    A program I implement with all my clients, wherever they are in the mortgage process.  Its a program created in mind to help consumers pay more attention to their mortgage and implement simple easy steps to save thousands of dollars.   When was the last time  your bank phone you up at any time to show you how to save money on your mortgage.  I think i know the answer…..Please click the link and learn something valuable  today then contact me to get started.

http://www.moneyinyourmortgage.com/af/194/lisaalentejano/about

I am a licensed mortgage broker with years of financial experience,  able to help you with your mortgage  any where in Canada and Alberta. Remember my services are free and never should you feel there is any obligation.   So please pick up the phone and contact me directly I would love to hear from you 1-888-819-6536. If your more comfortable with email please feel free to email me your questions at lisa@mortgageplayground.com

Expert, unbiased advice is what i offer to all of my clients.

Author, Lisa Alentejano

Posted in advice on locking in your mortgage, Bank of Canada, Bank of canada rates, BC Mortgages, Best Rate Mortgages, Canadian Economy, Canadian Mortgage News, Debt, fixed or variable rate or both, Fixed rates, Interest \rate Increases, Jim Flaherty, Kamloops broker, Kamloops First Time Home Buyer Tips, kamloops mortgage, Kamloops Mortgage Broker, Kamloops mortgage consultant, kamloops mortgage financing, Kamloops Mortgages, Kelowna Mortgage Broker, Kelowna Mortgage Financing - Lisa Alentejano, Low Interest Rates, mark carney, Mortgage Affordability, Mortgage Broker Kamloops, mortgage financing kamloops, Mortgage Language, Mortgage Rates, Mortgages - Get a second opinion, paying a penalty to break my mortgage, Pre Approval Mortgage, Protecting your biggest investment your mortgage, rate fixed mortgage, Real Estate Market, Refinance Your Mortgage, Renewing your mortgage, salmon Arm mortgages, should you lock in your mortgage, variable rate mortgages, Vernon Mortgage, Why use a mortgage broker

Mortgage Rates – How to protect yourself when they increase – Video message!

Heres a video I personally did on how to take a proative approach to protect and prepare yourself with rising interest rates in the future and save thousands of dollars! Click below to view video

Inflation Hedge Strategy - Learn to protect yourself from rising rates

Lisa Alentejano

Posted in Bank of canada rates, BC Mortgages, Canadian Economy, Canadian Housing Market - Lisa Alentejano, Canadian Mortgage News, Debt, Fixed rates, Kamloops Mortgages, Mortgage Affordability, Mortgage Broker Kamloops, mortgage financing kamloops, new mortgage rules canada, rate fixed mortgage, Real Estate Market

Mark Carney signals long pause in rate hikes

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney held his benchmark interest rate at 1 per cent Wednesday and suggested his year-long pause will last much longer as a bleaker outlook for the global economy quashes any urgency to make it harder to borrow and spend.

In explaining the decision to leave borrowing costs alone for an eighth meeting, as expected, the central bank said it believes Canada’se conomy is growing again after stalling in the second quarter, but painted a troubling picture for the United States and Europe, and said exports will be a “major source of weakness.”In light of slowing global economic momentum and heightened financial uncertainty, the need to withdraw monetary policy stimulus has diminished,” the central bank said.

“The Bank will continue to monitor carefully economic and financial developments in the Canadian and global economies, together with the evolution of risks, and set monetary policy consistent with achieving the 2-per-cent inflation target over the medium term.’’

Without doing so explicitly, the central bank also left the door open for an interest-rate cut should the external backdrop deteriorate further, in part by reiterating it is less worried about inflation than just weeks ago when policy makers hinted they might raise rates by the end of the year.

Still, the Canadian dollar made a small gain against the U.S. currency after Mr. Carney’s decision. And economists generally interpreted his language as suggesting he will stay on hold until mid-2012 or later, but reckoned he will eventually need to raise rates if the rebound survives the current turmoil.

“Once again, the tug-of-war between offshore and internal factors is holding the Canadian economy and Bank of Canada policy in limbo,’’ Michael Gregory, a senior economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns, said in a note to clients. “We still judge (as does Carney & Co.) that at least modest growth will resume in(the second half of 2011) and push the Bank’s policy bias back to the tightening side.’’

Policy makers did not include new projections for growth and inflation in their statement, tracking closely to comments Mr. Carney made on Aug. 19, when he appeared with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty before an emergency meeting of the House of Commons finance committee. The recovery has likely resumed, the bank said, after gross domestic product shrank at a 0.4-per-cent annual rate in the second quarter, and growth will be led by business investment and household spending.

However, policy makers said, “lower wealth and incomes will likely moderate the pace of investment and consumption growth,” even as the supply and cost of credit for both businesses and households “remain very stimulative.”

Financial conditions have tightened some and could continue to do so should the global situation worsen, the bank said. Plus, net exports – the difference between what Canadians buy from overseas and what they sell abroad – will be a big drag on the economy, both because of weaker demand around the world and because of “ongoing competitive challenges” like a currency that, while weaker in recent weeks, is still near parity.

Several of the “downside risks” the central bank has identified for the global rebound’s trajectory have come to fruition, policy makers said.

“The global economic outlook has deteriorated in recent weeks,” the bank said. “The European sovereign debt crisis has intensified, a broad range of data has signalled slower global growth, and financial market volatility has increased sharply.’’

The fiscal and financial strains linked to Europe’s crisis have caused upheaval in markets as investors shy away from risk, and “could prompt more severe dislocations” in global markets.

Resolving those strains, the bank said, “will require additional significant initiatives by European authorities,” – an obvious yet significant comment given that in July the central bank said its outlook for the economy at that point assumed that Europe would be able to contain the crisis.

South of the border, Canada’s main export market will see weaker growth than the central bank was anticipating, policy makers said, and household spending “will be even more subdued in the face of high personal debt burdens, large declines in wealth and tough labour market conditions.”

Moreover, the stimulus spending that propped up the U.S. recovery from its worst downturn since the Great Depression will soon give way to restraint and cuts that will undoubtedly crimp U.S. growth.

And although growth in emerging markets like China and India is still “robust” and commodity prices will remain “relatively high,” as those rapidly-expanding economies lift the rest of the world, they too will be affected by sluggishness in the developed world, as consumers and businesses everywhere retrench.

The global recovery’s decline in momentum will keep Canadian inflation in check, the bank said, as energy and food prices ease, wage growth “stays modest” and Canadian companies improve their productivity in the face of the slowdown.

The central bank’s decision comes in a potentially pivotal week that features a bevy of central bank policy meetings, a major speech by U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and a nationally televised address by U.S. President Barack Obama before a joint session of Congress, where he is expected to unveil a $300-billion (U.S.) plan to kick-start hiring in the world’s biggest economy.

The week concludes with a gathering of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven nations in Marseille, France, on Friday and Saturday.

Mr. Carney’s next interest-rate decision is scheduled for Oct. 25, and he will release an updated forecast for the Canadian and global economies the following day.

 

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Canadian consumers expected to remain cautious as interest rates set to rise

Higher food and gasoline prices and hefty debt loads likely to be made worse by interest rate hikes will impact consumers’ buying habits going forward, say those who track retail spending.

It’s going to be tough for consumers who have depended on a low interest rate environment, said TD Bank economist Francis Fong, adding that rates are expected to go up this summer.

“The rising interest rate environment, this high household indebtedness situation — that’s all going to impede the ability of consumers to spend going forward,” Fong said Thursday from Toronto.

Statistics Canada said retail sales increased 0.4 per cent in February to $37.3 billion, giving retailers some relief after declining sales at the start of the year.

Consumers filling their tanks with higher-priced gas, along with those buying furniture and clothing, pushed sales higher in February.

But Fong said consumer spending will no longer be the same driving force going forward as it has been throughout the economic recovery.

The Retail Council of Canada said consumers are “still hanging back a little bit,” especially now that they have to spend more of their incomes on food and gas.

“Clearly, if they’re going to have spend a little bit more on basic necessities, they may pull back a little bit on the nice-to-haves, but not on the need-to-haves,” said spokeswoman Anne Kothawala.

Consumer confidence is soft and that mirrors spending, she added.

“Gas and food prices are actually very closely related. It costs more to transport goods,” Kothawala said.

Statistics Canada said the largest contributor to February’s increase in retail purchases in dollar terms was gasoline sales, which increased 1.3 per cent.

Gasoline prices have been surging along with crude oil, which began rising sharply in February with the outbreak of unrest in Libya, an OPEC member that accounted for about two per cent of the world’s crude output before civil war there.

As of Thursday, the Canadian average price compiled by GasBuddy.com was 129.6 cents per litre, up from about 118 cents per litre at the end of February.

But lower retail sales in Quebec — a 0.8 per cent decline — contributed the most towards the dampening of national retail sales, Statistics Canada said.

“The decline reflected, in part, lower sales of new motor vehicles in the province,” the federal agency said. “This was the second decline in retail sales in Quebec following six consecutive monthly gains.”

Quebec also increased its provincial sales tax to 8.5 per cent in January, up a percentage point.

Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores were up 2.5 per cent, offsetting a decline in January. Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores grew 2.1 per cent in February, helped by gains in real estate sales.

Prof. Ken Wong of Queen’s University business school said once consumers pay down debt and spend more money on food and gas, there isn’t much left for anything else.

“You have to ask yourself what can be delayed and what can’t be delayed,” Wong said of consumer purchases.

“We cannot rely on interest rates remaining as low as they are as long as they have been going forward,” said Wong, who teaches business and marketing strategy.

Geographically, retail sales in February gained in six of 10 provinces, powered by Ontario where sales increased 0.7 per cent after two consecutive monthly declines.

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Young Money, Striking a balance after graduation

A great read here for you.  Finances, savings and investments for the future seems to be the furthest things from our young peoples minds after graduation.  Its a great opportunity to start education our younger generation before they graduate and introduce them to simple and small steps on how to apply and build their credit, saving for their future and what it takes to apply and be approved for a mortgage later down the road when they need one.

Personally I would love to see a mandatory life skills/financing course be offered earlier on in life, like high school, to teach and prepare our younger generation on these important topics.  Its sets them up for success later on in life and teaches them the importance of managing credit early on.  Its also a good time for us as parents to take the lead role and have a conversation and teach our kids the importance of managing money and credit responsibly.  I’m guessing that alot of us simply leave it for them to figure out on their own.  Here is a great place to start, simply click on the link below, here you will find numerous topics of interest to help guide you about, the best bank accounts that are free,  the lowest rate credit cards, mortgage calculators and the list goes on.   Of course if you have any questions about financing or credit, please feel free to contact me directly.

http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/eng/default.asp

University graduation is a significant milestone. Being a student means a few things; studying hard, spending frugally, developing friendships, sleepless nights, and dreaming of what’s next.

It only seems right that graduation be the end culmination of some of these habits. With year-round employment income, no longer does one have to pass over the weekend Vegas trip, the spring break in Mexico or the purchase of a new car. Right?

As a financial advisor, I am fortunate to meet a significant portion of the population who have recently completed their studies, they’ve landed their first job and they’re eager to continue learning, with a newfound emphasis on personal finances. In our industry, for the benefit of the individual, it is common to place individuals amongst various stages in the financial life cycle. Placement in these stages is broad, but adequate, and helps bring clarity to preparation for tomorrow and beyond. For ease purposes, let us consider a recent graduate, an occupant of the “young adult” life stage. Young adults are currently employed and have little monthly expense obligations. What is most important for young adults is considering the near future, for most, marriage, home purchase and children are on the horizon. These are three distinct life events that all come with significant financial consequences, this next stage entails some of the largest expenses one is likely to incur in their entire life; the importance of preparation is obvious.

Young adults have a window of opportunity for great savings, though it is mainly true that these are their lowest income-earning years, expenditure obligations are also at their lowest. All too often individuals ignore this opportunity, lured instead by the vast availability of credit, nights on the town, vacations and all the newest consumer goods.

It’s easy to lack budgetary awareness when excess funds are only a credit limit increase away. In no time at all balances accumulate and instead of heading into the next life cycle stage fully prepared, they often go into it well-behind, strung down by these outstanding balances and sometimes even a poor credit score. Down the road in this instance, seeking a mortgage approval to house a young family becomes a fierce obstacle, not to mention the difficulty in saving for a down payment. Why not go into that stage armed and ready. Having significant savings and a clean slate of credit can mean a quick approval, possibly a larger down payment, significantly decreasing the interest one pays, unlocking even more savings.

This solid financial foundation may also put one in the position to bargain for a much lower mortgage rate, again more saving. In regards to mortgages, interest rate, amortization and down payment all greatly affect total payback amount (the amount that actually comes out of your pocket in the end).

Getting the ball started on savings is critical, but how one saves is also important. Young adults are extremely lucky to have the TFSA at their disposal. It is a plan geared to help individuals save faster, by not paying taxes on any and all accumulated gains (interest or capital), one can keep more money in their pocket. What makes this demographic so lucky is they have time on their side, a 22 year old graduate today has the potential benefit of 40 years worth of tax-free savings between now and age 62 (a very general assumption for an age of retirement), the plan does not break down either, the funds can be kept TFSA sheltered for even longer if desired. An individual in their 40’s does not have the benefit of this extensive time frame. The TFSA does not have to be retirement oriented, withdrawals are not limited (though re-contributions are over-contributions face penalty fees) so if the time comes to make a significant purchase, funds in your TFSA can be made available.

An individual contributing $400 monthly for five years into a no-interest savings account would accumulate $24,000. That same $400 contribution put into a TFSA, earning a modest 4.5% annual average, would achieve an amount of $27,100. The importance of interest, and more specifically, the importance of tax-free interest, is seen in the extra $3,100.

$400 is a great starting amount. Firstly, it sets up well in regards to TFSA contribution restrictions, the $4,800 annually that you contribute falls within the current $5,000 maximum. Further savings can be kept in non-registered accounts or deposited to an RRSP (for further tax advantage). TFSA contribution maximums have the potential to increase in the coming years, so an increase to the $400 may soon be of option as well. Secondly, it’s an amount that, added with a young adults current monthly rent amount, is lower than what ones monthly shelter cost would be on a mortgage. It is important to consider mortgage payment (principal, interest and insurances), utilities, property taxes, condo fees, etc. when calculating shelter costs. This could be considered experience gained towards the budgetary constraints that will someday come along with future mortgage costs.

Doing the things that you were forced away from during school is still important. Strike a balance between spoiling yourself and saving. It is best that the balance be savings heavy, spoiling yourself should never come at the expense of one’s credit or savings.

I know it’s difficult, I’m living it, I graduated one year ago this month. I wasted hours of study time daydreaming of my future lifestyle, fast cars, Vegas villas, and a lot of golf. I overlooked many of the costs that were to come.

Reality sure can hit a person, but I’ll choose being hit now while I can handle it, as opposed to ten years from now when it’s possible my wife and children also have to take the brunt.

Kyle Baranyk is a Financial Advisor at Servus Credit Union Ltd. in Calgary