Tag Archive: First-Time Home Buyer Incentive


Daily Mortgage Report – April 17

Crude Unreality: Oil dove to its cheapest level since 2002 on Friday, closing at a staggeringly low $18.27 a barrel (WTI). Three months ago, the lowest analyst forecast for 2020 was $50! Given how important the black stuff is for Canada’s economy, its collapse should add downward pressure to bond yields—which are a leading indicator of fixed mortgage rates. Oil...

Rates Hit by SARS 2.0 (?), the Dud First-Time Buyers Program & More

Today’s big mortgage headlines… Coronavirus Rate Sale Bond yields are getting killed as investors pile into bonds for safety. Traders fear a next coming of SARS (which authorities call the Wuhan coronavirus) could be deflationary. That’s weighing on rates as the inflation outlook is a key rate driver. Fear of the unknown has shaved 1/4 point off Canada’s 5-year bond...

Year in Review: Top Mortgage Stories of 2019

Compared to the chilling regulatory news of 2018 (i.e., the launch of OSFI’s mortgage stress test), this was a year of turnarounds in the mortgage market. For one thing, the year ended with palpable optimism in the housing sector. It was a degree of bullish sentiment that many didn’t think we’d see when 2019 began. Below we recap that and...

Opinion: First-Time Buyer Program Disappoints, Surprising Almost No One

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive can’t be considered a dud, yet. But it’s surely not impressing anyone. One of its champions, CMHC CEO Evan Siddall, said only 2,000 applications have been approved for the program since it launched on September 2, 2019, reports CMT. That means it’s running at 50% capacity, he estimates. Meanwhile, one of the private insurers tells...

Rates Hit 2-Month High + Other Rate Nuggets

Bond Bloodbath It was a grisly Friday the 13th in the bond market. Investors ran from bonds like they were being chased by Jason Voorhees with a chainsaw. U.S. 5-year bonds crashed (yields soared 12 bps), which drove Canada’s 5-year to a two-month high. For non-bondy types, bond selling drives up rates since the two move inversely. Catalysts for the carnage...

The FTHBI Becomes More Useful (to First-Time Buyers)

It didn’t take the government long to propose changes to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI). Just 10 days after the program launched, and following criticism that the Liberals’ new program didn’t address housing needs in high-priced markets, the Libs have tweaked it. Effective this November, if you live in one of three high-cost regions, qualifying for the program may...

First-Time Home Buyer Subsidy Starts Today

After five months of buildup, the government’s controversial First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is now live. Kind of. Applications for the program, which lowers borrowers’ interest and default insurance costs (using taxpayer dollars that may or may not be recouped), are supposed to be available here. But the forms aren’t on the government’s website yet, despite the September 2 launch date....

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. A Bridge to Nowhere?

If you’ve been waiting for details about the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) program, hoping it would help you qualify for a mortgage, you may be disappointed. The government finally showed all its cards with the FTHBI scheme and we can’t find many cases where it would actually improve someone’s buying power—i.e., bridge the gap between high home prices and what...

The Government Cooks Up a Convoluted Mortgage Affordability Scheme

After all the build-up, Canada’s federal budget is finally here. There was no easing to maximum mortgage amortizations or the mortgage stress test, as some had expected. What the government did was throw Canadian mortgage shoppers two bones, with lots of strings attached. Here’s a detailed look at two of the ways the Liberal government proposes to “ease” housing affordability....