We felt confident immediately after meeting them

We’ve worked with a few different real estate agents in the past and working with this team was completely different. We felt confident immediately after meeting them; confident that they were well versed in this competitive market, experienced as a team, and willing to devote the time and energy into finding us what we wanted right away. The process was painless and the
service was outstanding. Never did I once feel like they were in this for the commission.

Trisha Tisi and Zac Scott

Feds to tighten mortgage rules for homes over $500K

The federal government is expected to tighten mortgage rules in an effort to cool the red-hot housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver, CTV News has learned.

The new regulations will increase the minimum down payment required to buy a home for more than $500,000, with portions beyond that amount requiring a 10 per cent down payment. The down payment on the first $500,000 will remain at five per cent.

For example, a home costing $700,000 would require a $45,000 down payment – a five per cent down payment on the first $500,000, added to a 10 per cent down payment on the remaining $200,000.

The regulations are expected to take effect in early 2016.

Buyers shopping for homes below the $500,000 mark will be unaffected by the new rules.

The announcement is expected from finance minister Bill Morneau sometime Friday morning. The government is expected to stress that the new rules are designed to foster equity and dissuade cash-strapped buyers who may be seduced by low interest rates.

The decision is based off research by the C.D. Howe Institute, an independent think tank.

The move is expected to take pressure off the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which offers mortgage loan insurance for properties valued below $1 million.

Since the 2008 recession, the federal government has made it more challenging for Canadians to obtain CMHC-insured mortgages.

For homebuyers with a down payment of less than 20 per cent, the government decreased the maximum amount of time allowed to pay off a mortgage to 25 years from 40 years.

The move was intended to dissuade borrowers from making riskier purchases and instead encourage them to invest in less expensive homes.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/business/feds-to-tighten-mortgage-rules-for-homes-over-500k-1.2695989

High Ratio Mortgage Premium Increase

Just a reminder that the high ratio mortgage insurance premium increase is effective May 1st If you know someone who is thinking of taking out a high ratio mortgage (less than a 20% down payment) soon they will save money if they submit their application prior to May 1st. Here is a summary of the increases:

Loan to value (LTV) ratio Standard premium – single and progress advance Rental property premium (for CMHC insured only)
Up to and including 65% 0.60% 1.45%
Over 65% to 75% 0.75% 2.00%
Over 75% to 80% 1.25% 2.90%
Over 80% to 85% 1.80% Not applicable
Over 85% to 90% 2.40% Not applicable
Over 90% to 95%
The maximum LTV for 3‑4 unit owner‑occupied property is 90%.
3.15% Not applicable

Paul Croteau, AMP Mortgage Specialist BMO Bank of Montreal
Phone: (905) 321-3230 Fax: (905) 641-7854 Paul.croteau@bmo.com

CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums

cmhc-logo

IMPORTANT NEWSFLASH! 

CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Feb. 28, 2014) – Following the annual review of its insurance products and capital requirements, CMHC will increase its mortgage loan insurance premiums for homeowner and 1-4 unit rental properties effective May 1, 2014.

The increase applies to mortgage loan insurance premiums for owner occupied, self-employed and 1-to-4 unit rental properties, including low-ratio refinance premiums. This does not apply to mortgages currently insured by CMHC.

CMHC’s capital management framework is consistent with international practices and Canadian guidelines for mortgage insurers. Increased capital targets are consistent with Canadian and international industry trends and makes the financial system more stable and resilient.

“The higher premiums reflect CMHC’s higher capital targets” said Steven Mennill, CMHC’s Vice-President, Insurance Operations. “CMHC’s capital holdings reduce Canadian taxpayers’ exposure to the housing market and contribute to the long term stability of the financial system.”

For the average Canadian homebuyer requiring CMHC insured financing, the higher premium will result in an increase of approximately $5 to their monthly mortgage payment. This is not expected to have a material impact on the housing market.

Effective May 1st, CMHC Purchase (owner occupied 1-4 unit) mortgage insurance premiums will increase by approximately 15%, on average, for all loan-to-value ranges.

Loan-to-Value Ratio Standard Premium (Current) Standard Premium (Effective May 1st, 2014)

Loan-to-Value Ratio

Standard Premium (Current)

Standard Premium (Effective May 1st, 2014)

Up to and including 65%

0.50%

0.60%

Up to and including 75%

0.65%

0.75%

Up to and including 80%

1.00%

1.25%

Up to and including 85%

1.75%

1.80%

Up to and including 90%

2.00%

2.40%

Up to and including 95%

2.75%

3.15%

90.01% to 95% – Non-Traditional Down Payment

2.90%

3.35%

CMHC reviews its premiums on an annual basis and, going forward, plans to announce decisions on premiums in the first quarter of each year. The homeowner premium increase follows changes CMHC made to its portfolio insurance product earlier this year. 

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable, and affordable housing solutions that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and cities across the country.

For additional highlights please see attached backgrounder and key fact sheet.

This release is also available at CMHC.ca/Newsroom.

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_CA

Backgrounder

  • Mortgage loan insurance helps protect lenders against mortgage default and enables consumers to purchase homes with a minimum down payment of 5% with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment. Mortgage loan insurance is typically required by lenders when homebuyers make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price.
  • CMHC mortgage loan insurance premium is calculated as a percentage of the loan based on the loan-to-value ratio. The premium can be paid in a single lump sum but more frequently is added to the mortgage principal and amortized over the life of the mortgage as part of regular mortgage payments.
  • CMHC reviews its premiums on an annual basis and has adjusted them several times since being commercialized in 1998. Adjustments have included both increases and decreases to the premiums.
  • CMHC’s new premium rates will be effective for new mortgage loan insurance requests submitted on or after May 1, 2014. The current mortgage loan insurance premiums will apply for applications submitted to CMHC prior to May 1, 2014, regardless of the closing date. As is normal practice, complete borrower and property details must be submitted to CMHC when requesting mortgage loan insurance.
  • The increase applies to mortgage loan insurance premiums for residential housing of 1-to-4 units. This includes owner occupied, self-employed and 1-to-4 unit rental properties, including low-ratio refinance premiums.
  • In 2013, the average CMHC insured loan at 95% loan-to-value was $248,000. Using these figures, the higher premium will result in an increase of approximately $5 to the monthly mortgage payment for the average Canadian homebuyer. This is not expected to have a material impact on the housing market.

Tables are available at the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/cmhc_tables_revised0227.pdf

For more information visit http://www.cmhc.ca/en/hoficlincl/moloin/moloin_013.cfm 

**Thank you to Jamie O’Brien and Ryan O’Connor of Dominion Lending Centre, 49 Lake St. for this up-to-date information. http://www.jamieobrien.ca/

Ready to retire? Leave the city and upsize in Niagara

blog-postThe 431,000-strong Niagara Region, including St. Catharines, still has the second-highest proportion of seniors in Ontario (just behind Peterborough) – 19.2 per cent according to the 2011 census. It’s among the most senior-heavy populations in Canada, though some smaller centres such as Elliot Lake or Parksville, B.C., have larger proportions.

The region is changing, though, Mr. Elltoft says. Three years ago, one of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s residential streets lined with stately Georgian homes had no children. “Now I counted nine,” he says. [Read more…]

Welcome to 25 Elderwood Drive, St. Catharines

0-25 Elderwood Dr

This St. Catharines home is now SOLD.

Welcome to 25 Elderwood Dr.   This 2 storey well maintained home has four bedrooms, all on the 2nd floor, and 2.5 bathrooms.  The spacious master bedroom has a walk-in closet and a 3 piece ensuite.  The large foyer has a spiral oak staircase, and the main hall leads to the huge kitchen with ceramic flooring, centre island and bright dinette area. The main floor family room is sunken with a California stone wood fireplace.  Patio doors from the family room lead to the outdoor deck.  Updates include a hi-efficiency furnace in 2006, some carpets in the 2 bedrooms and family room, done in the past 3 years and four windows replaced in 2011.  Roof was done in 2004.  There are hardwood floors in the master bedroom, the other bedroom being used as a den presently, and the upstairs foyer.  The EnerGuide rating in 2006 was 67.  This home was built by Mountainview Homes, is spacious and has a good floor plan.  Close to many amenities and the new hospital off Fourth Avenue.

For more pictures of this and other homes, please go to the listings page of St. Catharines Real Estate or the blog listings section.

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Ontarians Optimistic About 2014 Real Estate Market and Economy

Ontarians seem hopeful about the provincial real estate market, according to new research conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). A third of Ontarians say the market will strengthen rather than weaken (21%) in 2014. Looking even further ahead – ten-year’s time – significantly more Ontarians believe the Ontario real estate market will strengthen (50%) rather than worsen (20%), speaking to the long-term investment value of owning a home.

“The research comes on the heels of an optimistic forecast by the Canadian Real Estate Association,” says Sean Simpson, vice president, Ipsos Public Affairs. “Consumers seem to be echoing a similar sentiment for the 2014 real estate market. Prospective buyers and sellers in particular are also more likely to believe the overall economy is strong, which may be why they’re considering buying or selling their home in the next two years.” [Read more…]