Categories for Industry Reports

HELOC Growth Doubles Mortgage Growth

Home equity line of credit (HELOC) balances are growing more than twice as fast as mortgages, shows a new report by CMHC. That will certainly raise more eyebrows in Ottawa. The government has been closely surveilling HELOC risk for a few years now. Their concern: homeowners are relying too much on HELOCs, taking on debt that’ll slow their consumption in the future...

47% of Mortgages Will NOT Renew This Year

It turns out, we weren’t sniffing glue by arguing that 47% of mortgages are not up for renewal this year. “Some pundits have been circulating inaccurate information recently,” National Bank Financial (NBF) said in a report Thursday. “One is the affirmation that almost half of Canadian mortgages have been or will be up for renewal this year, suggesting an imminent...

Are Homebuyers Too Optimistic?

Canadians are more gung-ho than ever to buy a house. RBC’s latest Home Ownership Poll found that nearly a third of Canadians (32%) still expect to buy a home within the next two years. That’s the highest level of homebuying intention Canada has seen since 2010, and up 7% from last year. This is despite a string of new mortgage...

Shady Mortgage Specialist Practices: FCAC Report

Let’s be clear on one thing. Most bank mortgage specialists are good people who do the right thing. Then, there are the other kind. Consumer watchog, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, is targeting those reps with a cautionary critique of mortgage sales practices at the big banks. The agency is worried that banks may be placing “sales ahead of...

Canadians Notoriously Indifferent About Rate Shopping

You know the situation is bad when Canadians need to be told by a bank to shop around for mortgage rates. While we at the Spy beat that drum daily, banks are normally happy to sell you mediocre “special offer” rates, or even posted rates (for renewers who are gullible enough). That’s why it’s eye-catching to see Larry Tomei, Executive...

Advice Valued More than Ever

It used to be a lot easier to understand mortgages. But since January 2016 alone, we’ve seen: Minimum down payments increased to 10% for any portion of a mortgage above $500,000 Restrictions on refinancing Rates become much more dependent on: loan-to-value (because of changes to default insurance) amortization credit scores A stress test required for all insured mortgages, using the...

HELOCs: The Next Lending Crackdown?

HELOC balances appear to be surging at their fastest pace in five years—even faster than mortgages, reports Bloomberg. That’s got ever-vigilant regulators raising an eyebrow. And it’s got certain lenders we talk to expecting HELOCs to be the next area of mortgage rule tightening. Under the Microscope Currently, 2 in 5 secured residential loans in this country (roughly 3 million)...

OSFI and the Giant Gorilla

Mortgage growth in Canada is like King Kong—it’s hard to kill. You can riddle it with bullets (mortgage rules), but it just keeps beating its chest and roaring on. More than 60 mortgage rule tightenings later (including insurance and securitization fee increases) the question is, has Canada’s mortgage market finally been shot down? Nationally, average home prices are already down...

Low Rate or Low Borrowing Cost?

Would you rather have the lowest mortgage rate or the lowest borrowing cost? If you picked the latter, good for you. You’re mortgage savvy, and you’re in the minority. Check out this chart from a recent Manulife survey. Its findings show that the “interest rate” dominates all other factors when consumers pick a mortgage. That’s great news for a rate comparison...

The Threat of 10% Higher Payments

Here’s a stat that’s got debt and housing critics talking: Almost 3 in 4 homeowners say they’d suffer “financial difficulty” if their mortgage payment rose by 10%. This warning comes from a new Manulife Bank survey released today. This number is likely inflated by the fact that some survey respondents can’t accurately quantify what a 10% payment hike would do to their...