What These New Mortgage Rules Mean For You

NEW_MORTGAGE_RULES_2018

If you are one of the 37% of Canadians who are not aware of the new mortgage rules, then this article is for you!

On January 1, 2018, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) made significant changes to the B-20 guidelines that have significant impact on those looking to purchase a home.

These new changes indicate that all uninsured mortgage borrowers (those with down payments of 20% or more) must now qualify against the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently sitting at 4.99%) or at their contractual mortgage rate + 2% additional. For example, if your contract rate is 3.34% you must qualify at 5.34%. The purpose of this is to ensure that borrowers can service their mortgage debts as interest rates rise (as they are predicted to do so in 2018).

As some of you may recall, similar measure were issued in October of 2016. The stress-testing regulations at the time only applies to those with an uninsured mortgage (those with less than 20% down). These new rules and updates to B-20 essentially mean that ALL mortgages will have to abide by stress testing.

 

To better understand how this will specifically affect buyers, we spoke with Mortgage Expert, Geoff Lee of GLM Mortgage Group and he broke it down for us in the table below*

Picture1*based on a dual income family making a combined annual income of $85,000

As you can see, your borrowing power is drastically changed. You are able to borrow $105,000 less with these new changes, meaning you qualify to purchase a home worth $105,000 LESS than before these new rules were introduced.

However, this is not all bad news for first-time buyers. This can effectively cool a relatively hot market here in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver. It can also limit the competition and allow for more buying options for buyers who are able to put the 20% down and pass the stress test.

This announcement also comes at a time when condo and townhome development is at an all-time high, providing affordable, accessible housing options for many buyers.

Buyers can also look to accommodate these changes by laying out a budget and sticking to it! Re/Max has a great layout for this:

  1. Maintain a financial buffer of at least three to six months, to soften the blow of interest rate increases and unexpected bumps in the road.
  2. The mortgage you qualify for and what you can actually afford are two very different things. Look at your lifestyle, now and in the future, and consider how your mortgage payments and ongoing home costs will impact you. When buying a home, you might have to make some compromises on lifestyle in the interest of homeownership.
  3. Buying a home involves more than just mortgage payments. Ongoing expenses include maintenance, home insurance, property taxes, and utilities.

Entering the market in 2018, or looking to purchase a new home need not be a stressful or worrisome experience. We work with some fantastic brokers who can help you get a sharper rate and we can help you find your next home well within your budget. Give us a call today and let us help you: 604-533-3491.

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RE/Max 2018 Housing Market Outlook

2018 is almost here, and with it comes many questions regarding the 2018 Housing Market. The following is an excerpt from RE/Max Canada’s 2018 Housing Market Outlook report. If you would like to discuss more, I would be happy to sit down with you! My email is info@callyoung.com and phone: 604-533-3491

Read through the report and get in touch with us if you have further questions!

RE/Max Report

“THIS PAST YEAR SAW THE SINGLE-FAMILY DETACHED HOME AND CONDO MARKETS DIVERGE ON DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT PATHS IN CANADA’S TWO HIGHEST-PRICED REAL ESTATE MARKETS, GREATER VANCOUVER AND THE GREATER TORONTO AREA, AS REVEALED IN THE 2018 HOUSING MARKET OUTLOOK.

The trend is expected to continue into 2018 as a mix of relative affordability for condo units and price appreciation for detached homes in recent years, combined with government policy changes in both markets, has helped push an influx of buyers toward condo ownership.

In Greater Vancouver, demand for condos continues to outpace supply, resulting in the average price of a condo rising an estimated 16 per cent year-over-year, from $553,604 in 2016 to $643,778 in 2017. The GTA’s condo market also saw price appreciation of 22 per cent in 2017, as the average sale price for a condo rose to an estimated $523,437, up from $429,241 in 2016. As condo prices rose, sales for single-family detached homes declined 25 per cent in Greater Vancouver and 22 per cent in the GTA year-over-year between January and the end of October 2017.

The RE/MAX 2018 average residential sale price expectation for Canada is an increase of 2.5 per cent as the desire for home ownership remains strong, particularly among Canadian millennials.”

Click HERE to read the full report and summary

Market Update: November Stats

The November Fraser Valley Real Estate Stats are in! This November saw a steady stream of listings and the price-points of homes remained stable from October. The market remains to be a SELLERS MARKET with a 45% Home Selling Ratio.

The stats for this month were:

  November 2017 Stats October 2017 Stats November 2017 Stats
Number of Listings 3410 3674 3692
Sale Price 675, 000 668, 000 586, 000
Total Sales 1523 1642 1111
Days on Market 16 16 26

 

The BC Real Estate Association was quoted as saying “The combination of weakening consumer demand and a surge in new home completions next year is expected to induce  more balanced market conditions, producing less upwards pressure on home prices.”

As stated above, a more balanced market is expected to occur in 2018-essentially having prices level off and inventory become more readily available. This is excellent news for buyers wanting to break into the market.

One final consideration for December and 2018: The new mortgage regulations. These new regulations will effect many by reducing their borrowing power up to 20%! They come into full effect as of January 1, making now an advisable time to buy or sell a home!

If you are interested in learning more about the stats for your specific area/location, please give me an email or call and we would be happy to send them your way.

What’s just Happened in Real Estate?

If you look at any major news site at least one of the headlines will be about Real Estate. With the Bank of Canada’s rate hike 2 weeks ago, along with low inventory, and fast-moving sales, real estate today can be confusing for the typical consumer. To make things easier on you, we’ve examined 3 trends and market changes that have created the current state of real estate.

 

  1. Bank of Canada Rate Hike.

On September 6, the Bank of Canada quietly raised its interest rate another 0.25%. This brought the rate up from 0.75% to 1%. Why did this happen? With Canada’s record year of economic growth, a higher interest rate is needed to cool the economy and ensure that inflation doesn’t get out of hand.  This can also have implications on mortgages. The lending rate of variable mortgages is tied to the Bank of Canada’s prime lending rate and it can impact the amount of homeowner’s payments. For more about interest rates and how they affect you click HERE.

 

  1. Continued Low Inventory

According to my Snap-Stats, in August the total number of listings was down from last year. The total listed homes came in at 3,884 this year, compared to 4,174 in 2016. This is an ongoing trend in The Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver detached home market. As fewer homes become available, pricing continues to push upward. This is great for sellers but creates the perfect storm for buyers looking to get into the market.

 

  1. A Shift to Townhomes and Condos

August Sales numbers were pushed above average levels due to a demand for condos and townhomes. Last month, 3,043 residential properties sold, marking a 22.3% increase compared to 2,489 sales in August of the previous year, and a 2.8% increase over this July. When compared to the August sales average from the last decade, 2017 sales were 19.6% above average. This surge in sales in Metro Vancouver is being led by first time homebuyers looking to buy property listed between $350k – $750k.  With demand rising, developers are working to keep building, and many new developments are planned for 2018.

 

The Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley real estate markets continue to change. Each day new statistics show that we are currently in one of the best markets for sellers, and also one of the most difficult for 1st time homebuyers. However, to the buyers – do not get discouraged! At Young Real Estate Group, we are committed to helping you find the right home in your budget – no matter what it takes. For those thinking to sell, don’t hesitate. Now is one of the best times in Real Estate to place a “For Sale” sign in your yard.

To learn what your home is worth, or to buy a home, please contact us. We happy to serve you whether you’re selling or buying. Call us at 604-533-3491 or email by clicking here.

Guest Post: The Top 10 Latent Defects in Home Inspections

We are excited to have one of the sharpest Home Inspectors with us today! Say hello to Daniel Fedosenko of Mr. Home Inspector Ltd! Daniel has been in the industry for a number of years and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to home inspections. From Vancouver to Hope and everywhere in between they are helping homeowners check off all the boxes when it comes to home inspections. So without further ado, take it away Danny!

I have worked with Alistair Young and his team for a number of years. At Mr. Home Inspector our goal is to:

  • Offer solutions to issues/challenges (not just reported problems)
  • Go above and beyond the call of duty, and
  • Provide exceptional customer service in the Lower Mainland (from Squamish to Hope).

Today, we wanted to cover the topic of Latent Defects.  Latent defects are those which would not be revealed by any inquiry which a purchaser is in a position to make before entering the contract. Here are the top 10 Latent Defects that you may miss if you don’t have a proper home inspection done!

  1. Bathing area moisture issues behind tile surrounds: water damage.
  2. Pest infestation in attic, crawlspace, and or living areas: damage and air qulity issues can arise.
  3. Plumbing issue: polybutylene pipes with plastic fittings 1978-1995 years installed. Water damage and insurance issues, extra costs
  4. Hidden water leaks: ceilings, walls, or floors: water damage and extra costs will occur.
  5. Grade levels around homes too high up onto the structure: structural rot and extra costs will occur.
  6. Electrical panel size 60 amps: causes insurance issues and extra costs to upgrade the panel size to minimum 100 amps.
  7. Poor ventilation in attic causes mildew/mold in areas: air quality issues and extra costs to treat area.
  8. Toilet tanks by Crane manufactured between 1980-1991 (tanks prone to crack): water damage
  9. Basement and crawspace water leakage issues: water damage and extra costs to address.
  10. Aluminum wiring 1960’s to 1970’s: expands and contracts and loosens and can cause a fire.

There you have it folks–these 10 defects can be avoided by having a home inspection done before you move into your new home. Get in touch with me and my team today, we promise to help you find any issues and find a solution!

 

4 Secrets of Real Estate Investing

The recent boom in BC real estate is getting people excited about real estate investing. Investing in real estate can give you a strong source of income and move you toward financial freedom and the life you have always imagined. Here are 4 key Secrets to buying your first investment property.

  1. Budget—and Stick to It

One of the most important aspects of investing is ensuring you understand your borrowing limitations. Blindly looking at properties before assessing your finances can be a recipe for disaster. Take the time to meet with a qualified mortgage broker to determine how much you can afford to borrow responsibly before you start shopping.

  1. Find the Right Property

Once you have a set budget, you can begin looking for a property. It may be tempting to scour the listings on your own, but working with an experienced local realtor will be a great addition to your team. Working with someone who has first-hand experience in investing will help you find the right property, on budget, in the right area, and provide you a higher return.

  1. Have a Home Inspection Done

Any property you want to purchase should be inspected.  Find a licensed home inspector who will point out any potential problems with the property. This can help you avoid costly repairs down the road. Also, if there are minor updates needed to the home, find a contractor who you can trust can put value back into the property when the time comes to sell or rent it out.

  1. Keep Records of Everything

Keep proper records of income and expenses for your property. Set up a separate, business account so you can easily trace your expenses associated with your real estate investing. This will make tax season and filing a breeze each year.  Along the same lines, if you are buying with a partner ensure you have an agreement in place to protect both of you should things not work out as planned. Have your lawyer draft or review the agreement.

As a bonus tip, it is important to take time to build your “investment team”. Finding people that you can trust and work can make a large impact on your success. To build your network come to our Investors Network Seminar on Tuesday August 15. We are a dedicated group of entrepreneurs who can advise and guide you. You also get monthly training about the real estate market, mortgage changes, and much more!

As always, if you have questions or would like to find the right property, give us a call. Young Real Estate Group is here for you!

How the Bank of Canada’s Interest Rate Hike Will Affect You and Your Mortgage

On July 12, we saw the first rate hike from the Bank of Canada. The rate was raised 0.25% from 0.5% to 0.75%. This was the first increase since September 2010 and more will come this year.  What do these increases mean for your fixed or variable rate mortgage? 

Mortgages

Your home may be the biggest purchase of your life, and anything that could affect the amount you are paying each month is important.

 

For a Fixed Rate Mortgage:

  • Payments for current homeowners stay the same
    • The interest rate on this type of mortgage is fixed so no matter what the Bank of Canada does, your rate will not change until your mortgage is up for renewal.
  • Increase at mortgage renewal
    • If you are at the end of your mortgages’ term, you will have to renew and your rate will change accordingly. This is not all bad news as the rate that you initially had at the start of your term (typically 5 years) may have been higher than the current rate is—even with the rate increase. To check what your future mortgage payments might be, I suggest using GLM Mortgage Groups’ Mortgage Calculator.
  • Higher Rate for Prospective Homebuyers
    • First-time home-buyers may have a higher rate if they are applying for a mortgage. Remember that the Bank of Canada will raise their rates in small increments (0.25%) at a time. Also, each increase translates into around $13 per $100k—an increase that most people can afford (though it may mean sacrificing a coffee run or two per week).

 

Variable Rate Mortgages

  • Your Payments Will Increase
    • A variable rate mortgage moves up or down with the general level of interest rates in the economy. This recent Bank of Canada hike means your mortgage payments will go up, but the amount you will be paying will be affordable, working out to around $13 per 100k
  • Should you switch to a Fixed Rate?
    • Deciding to lock into a fixed rate mortgage, depends on your ability to handle an increase in interest rates over time.  Historically, borrowers who stay in a Variable Rate Mortgage (VRM) tend to save more money over the course of the term. It is important to make an informed decision and to understand how Variable Rate Mortgages work.  Locking into a fixed rate may cost you more money than what an increase in your VRM would be.

The Mortgage Payment Calculator can show an estimated mortgage payment based on a new rate.

So there is no need to panic about these interest rate increases. It is important to stay informed and to budget for them.  The effect these increases will have on the real estate market remains to be seen.  This increase was the first one since 2010 but as we continue to get information we will keep you updated!  If you have any questions, please contact Young Real Estate Group and we can put you in touch with the best professionals out there to help you navigate these mortgage rate changes.