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Mortgage Bytes

  • Interest-Rates The big banks hiked most fixed mortgage rates about 0.20% today.
  • The Bank of Canada’s David Dodge feels the Canadian economy will have a weak 1st half of 2008 and a stronger 2nd half.  If he’s right, the same may apply to mortgage rates.
  • “More and more first-time buyers are [being] gifted with a significant down payment from their boomer parents, as an advance on their inheritance.” — Don Lawby, president of Century 21 Canada.
  • Do Canadians have a false sense of security with our real estate market?  MacLeans article.
  • From 1997 to 2007 Canadian house prices rose 78%. In the U.S. it was 165%. In England, 213%!  Who knew Canada was such a “bargain?”  (Source:  The Economist)
  • 14% of Canadians say paying down their mortgage is their top financial priority in 2008, according to Manulife.
  • Despite home prices doubling in the last 15 years, the Home Buyers Plan withdrawal limit has stayed the same.  CMHC’s Will Dunning says it must be raised.
  • Since 1990, the GST paid on new homes has jumped 95%.
  • GE Money is axing its “MasterCard with every Mortgage” program Dec. 31, 2007. Client interest was too low.
  • Statistics Canada’s mortgage-interest cost index was up 7% in November compared to a year earlier.
  • 2.6% of Canadian rental units were vacant in October–the same ratio as last year.  If you can believe it, CMHC says idyllic Kelowna, BC actually had 0.0% vacancy!  Windsor, ON was tops at 12.8%.
  • Canada’s most expensive rentals are around Fort McMurray, AB where $2,085 will lease you a 2-bedroom apartment. The most expensive big city is Calgary, which happens to be the (new) best Canadian city to live in according to the Conference Board of Canada.
  • Are Canadian lenders curtailing lending in the wake of big bank writedowns (like CIBC’s)?  “The short answer is no,” says Jim Murphy of CAAMP.  (Bankrate story)
  • Quest Capital, who just launched last week, wants “to become Canada’s largest Mortgage Investment Corporation.”
  • Scotiabank’s mortgage market share increased 0.15% in 2007.  They attribute that to “strong growth” in the branch and mortgage broker channels. 0.15% might be the weakest “strong growth” we’ve ever seen.
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Last modified: April 26, 2014

Robert McLister is one of Canada’s best-known mortgage experts. A mortgage columnist for The Globe and Mail, interest rate analyst and editor of MortgageLogic.news, Rob has been covering Canada's mortgage market since 2007.