Knowledge is power, and when it comes to making a major life decision, you want to make it a powerful one that you’ll feel great about. Our blog is designed to communicate the latest news about industry changes, as well as our thoughts on smart purchasing. Keep up to date with the latest news from BRMC right here–because we’re not going anywhere, and mortgage news never gets old or stops.

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Canadians Reach Highest Debt Service Levels to Date

Chilliwack, BC – Alarming statistics were released stating that Canadians are paying the highest percentage of their income, towards debt. Although the headline may seem alarming our Chilliwack mortgage brokers are advising that it’s in fact not as frightening as it sounds.

Yes, Canadians will have less disposable income left to spend on life outside of servicing their debts. The difference is that a significant amount of that debt payment is going towards principal pay-down rather than interest. In the early 90’s over 95% of debt payments went towards interest, whereas now 50% of our debt payments are going towards interest – that’s a 45% decrease in the percentage of that payment going towards interest while the remaining 50% is going directly towards paying down the principal amount on said debt owed.

The percentage of our income has barely budged for servicing mortgage debt, in fact majority of the increase in debt has been obtained outside of residential mortgages.

When talking to consumers, it appears that the mortgage payment itself isn’t core of financial stress for home–owners. The culprit causing this overwhelming amount of debt really derives from car loans, credit cards and lines of credit.

We think it would be beneficial for the government to consider regulating these industries in the same way they regulate mortgage financing.

For more information check out our Facebook page for a video of our founding partner and licensed mortgage expert, Jordi Browne – as he sheds some light on the topic.

Elections & Changes For Canadian Home Buyers

With elections six months away, Canadian home buyers are hopeful for a solution to address the housing affordability issue and so are we. It’s undeniable that certain rule changes have made housing unaffordable for several home buyers across Canada, but these changes not only affect those trying to buy, they also affect Canadians who have been home owners for several years.

Often referred to as the “stress test”, home buyers and home owners are required to qualify for a mortgage on the greater of either: 2% above their contracted rate or the posted benchmark rate. This mortgage stress test drastically limits funds available to those trying to buy, refinance and even renew their homes. It is likely that our government will take action to hopefully make housing affordable again, we just don’t know how beneficial those changes will be to Canadians.

There are rumors of a proposed change that could cost Canadians an extra $40,000 of interest on the average $400,000 – here is our take on it.

Government Introduces a Real Blunder of a Program for Home Buyers’

Chilliwack, BC – Here are my thoughts regarding the governments offer of an interest free loan in exchange for a percentage of ownership in your home.

On January 17, 2017 the BC liberals introduced something similar called the BC Home Partnership Program. The program offered to match home buyers’ down-payment costs with an interest free loan for the first five years. When NDP took power back in March of 2018, they removed the program stating that,

            “When the program was first introduced, it was anticipated it would provide 42,000 loans over a three-year period, however, as of January 31, 2018, there were fewer than 3,000 loans approved.”

While the program sounded advantageous and enticing, popularity was minimal simply due to an unachievable list of requirements and restrictions. These restrictions filtered several prospective buyers wanting to part-take in the program. In addition, the return was not equivalent when comparing to the hoops Canadian home buyers needed to jump through. Furthermore, lenders reacted to the program by putting a repayment factor on the interest free loan that hindered the initial benefit of not having to make payments for the first five years.

Moving forward, I predict that we will have even fewer loans approved as the number of insured mortgages in addition to the CMHC incentive, would be capped using a formula (4X your annual income up to a max of $480,000). In simpler terms, Fraser Valley home buyers making $60,000 a year, would qualify for a $240,000 purchase (that really doesn’t get you a whole lot).

We’re not yet certain as to how this will be implemented, but if there is a repayment factor attached to the loan, it will have very little impact on helping Canadians get into the housing market.

At this point I would not be surprised if there is further action taken by CMHC, allowing for 30-year amortizations for those that have less than 20% down-payment. I personally think this is a terrible idea, sure your monthly payment might be a few dollars less, but it ultimately extends the life of the loan and increases interest over time.

Should they proceed with the extended amortization strategy, I would expect it to take place closer to elections in an attempt to try and leverage themselves.

If the government is concerned about helping Canadians get into the housing market, they should consider lowering the stress test rate.

For more information on the 2019 Federal Budget, visit: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-federal-budget-2019-highlights-10-things-you-need-to-know/

Do you qualify to buy a home? Give our team to find out 604.615.1315