Mortgage Bytes

  • Florida Canadians bought more homes in Florida than Americans this past fall.  Diane Francis says it’s premature. She thinks demand won’t catch up with supply there until 2010.
  • The Federal Reserve says it’s ready to cut U.S. interest rates.  The Fed’s next meeting is January 29-30. Most expect the Bank of Canada to pre-empt the Americans with a 1/4% rate cut of their own on Jan. 22.
  • 80% of new homes in Vancouver were condos in 2007.
  • Saskatchewan had the biggest home price gains in 2007:  +48% according to the latest CREA figures.
  • CBC Marketplace warns that condo purchase agreements give builders a shocking amount of latitude.
  • Bank of America will now become the U.S.’s #1 mortgage lender with their purchase of Countrywide.  Apparently Countrywide’s record foreclosures have made it a “good” buy. Countrywide has slashed 11,000 jobs since july and almost completely exited the subprime market.
  • Average home prices in beautiful Canmore, AB may top $1 million in 2008.
  • MortgageBrokers.com gives stock options to brokers for signing up.  Question is, with their stock dipping to 20 cents, how much lower can it go and still have an incentive effect? The worst part is that the company’s shares outstanding seem to be going up.  The more shares in the float, the harder it is to get a stock off the ground.  (Full Disclosure: We own MBKR stock as an investment. This is not an buy or sell recommendation.)
  • It turns out FP’s Drew Hasselback is to blame for Canada’s credit crunch.  Banks do make mistakes.
  • The less fortunate can win a downpayment in Waterloo.
  1. i really appreciate the blog and the insights that you provide. I was wondering if you could give some of what you see on the loan to value front. I see that rates are coming down, which is great for home buyers, but what sort of loan to value are lenders requiring these days? How does that compare to before the credit conditions tightened in August.
    I think this would be valuable information to know, but I don’t see very much posted in this regard on any sites.
    thanks in advance

  2. Hi Liverless (love the name),
    This is just our opinion but…
    In terms of the criteria lenders are using to approve deals, average acceptable LTV’s have probably gone down slightly since August. That’s because it’s been harder to find funding for higher risk mortgages lately.
    In terms of the client applications we’ve seen, LTV’s have slightly risen thanks to increasing house prices and/or the desire for people to buy “fancier” houses with less down.
    When I say “slightly” though, I really mean it.
    Cheers,
    Rob

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