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Mortgage Bytes

  • Toronto-Condo-Mortgages Toronto is North America’s “condo king,” outselling New York in condos 2-1.  Bidding wars are “becoming common.”  The scary part is that 60-85% of buyers may be investors–a trait overly reminiscent of the 1989 market peak.  Last year the ratio was 30-50%.  Nonetheless, CBC tells us to, “relax.”  Well OK.
  • Doom of the day:  “We haven’t faced a [U.S. economic] downturn like this since the Depression,” says Bill Gross, chief investment officer of Pimco, the world’s biggest bond fund.
  • New home buyers only need to pay 5% GST–even if they buy before year end.
  • Reliant Home Mortgage is restructuring and may be back in business by month end.  Our question is, will they bring back their 55-year mortgage? ?
  • TD is jumping on the bandwagon BMO started.  TD is now also offering to pay the land transfer tax for mortgage customers buying in Toronto.  TD’s offer ends later than BMO’s:  March 21, 2008.  You’ll need to lock into a 5 to 7-year term to qualify. This deal is available through mortgage planners or TD branches.
  • Bankers are rushing to meet the Dec. 14 deadline to restructure Canada’s commercial paper market.
  • The Province says there’s no credit crunch in Canada.  They mustn’t be reading the papers, or watching Canadian mortgage spreads, or subprime lender pullouts, or credit crunch writedowns.  ATB, for example, just announced a $79 million charge–part of $1.9 billion in big bank credit-related charges in the 4th quarter.