Mortgage Bytes

Commentary

  • Big-Banks "There’s lots of consumers not happy with their banks right now for bad advice,” said Vince Gaetano, vice-president of Monster Mortgage.  CP quotes Gaetano as suggesting that banks pushed homeowners to lock in their variable rates last fall by indicating rates would rise.
  • York University’s Moshe Milevsky on when to refinance:  “If it’s only a couple of bucks a month, it may not be worth the hassle of going to the bank…But I would say if you can save $20 or $30 a month on the mortgage, why not spend an hour in the bank and go through the paperwork?" (CTV)
  • "Buying a home is still a good investment, with an average 4% increase in value compounded, without taxes." — Canadian Home Builders Association VP, Victor Fiume (CNews)

Mortgage Tips

  • Did you know?  Some lenders will not allow you to refinance with them if you are less than one year into your term at your existing lender.
  • A big down payment doesn’t necessarily mean a lower interest rate. That’s because mortgages with 20%+ equity are usually uninsured, and lenders often prefer insured mortgages.  Mortgage Architects’ Lawrie Thom explains further.

Mortgage Stats

  • Canadian-Foreclosures Foreclosures are up notably in Alberta and BC. According to the Globe & Mail’s classification system, 56% of Alberta foreclosures in 2008 were with subprime lenders.  33% were with the big 5 banks.  In BC, the Globe attributed 42% of foreclosures to subprime lenders.  (Globe story / Map view of BC and AB foreclosures)
  • 27% of Americans have mortgages that are greater than the value of their homes. (Source: BNN)
  • First-time homebuyers account for 38% of buyers in Canada.  (RE/MAX via AM770 News)
  • Alberta is leading the way in YOY home price declines. (Globe)
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