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new product launch

Latest in Mortgage News: Newton Launches Rate Search Engine “Discovery”

Newton Connectivity Systems this week launched its new broker rate search engine, Discovery.

The system, which also serves as a rate distributor for lenders, promises to improve efficiency and the quality of service brokers can provide to their clients, Kevin Dear, VP of Broker Experience at Newton, told CMT.

He noted that most brokers are typically comfortable with three to five lenders that they deal with regularly, and need to spend more time researching rate products when looking outside of that group.

“Discovery really changes that by putting front and centre the best products and lenders for the profile that matches their clients, without having to do the same amount of legwork as previous,” he said, adding it also levels the playing field between new and more experienced brokers by providing easy access to the most relevant products.

“It allows (newer brokers) to provide a higher level of service that would be similar to the product recommendations of what a long-term broker would be able to do,” he said.

Dear added that Discovery is the only product that is updated directly by the lenders.

The system has launched with lenders covering 80% of prime origination deals, and they are currently in the process of adding additional alternative lenders.

Discovery was rolled out to 30 brokerages across the DLC group, but is available to all brokers and can be used both through Velocity and also as a standalone option.

The increased automation and connectivity with Velocity means a reduction in the potential for errors, added Michelle Araujo, Manager, Training & Lender Relationships at Newton. “It speeds up the application process, but it also means the underwriters are receiving better quality deals.” This is achieved by Discovery’s ability to recommend the top three products that best match the application and pre-fill an application with up to 32 different data points.

Strong Labour Data “Cements” BoC October Rate Hold

Better-than-expected jobs data for September is likely to keep the Bank of Canada on hold at its next meeting in October.

The country saw a net gain of 54,000 jobs last month following the 81,000 jobs added in August. Since December, the labour market has added more than 358,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate also fell to a near-40-year low.

canadian employment data“A jobless rate of only 5.5% will cement the case for the Bank of Canada to remain on hold in October,” CIBC Chief Economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in a note. “…but we continue to look ahead towards the global slowdown impacting Canadian data over the balance of the year.”

Others agree, but suggest the bank will still move forward with a degree of caution given the current global uncertainty.

“Today’s data suggest the BoC doesn’t need to rush to undo those earlier rate hikes, even as other central banks are opting for additional accommodation,” wrote Josh Nye, Senior Economist at RBC Economics, adding the bank will be keeping a close eye on growing concerns of a slowdown in Europe and some concerning U.S. economic data.

“That could still make for a cautious tone from the BoC on October 30, even if the labour market continues to point to a resilient domestic economy,” he said.

OIS swap markets are currently pricing in a 33% chance of a quarter-point BoC rate cut in December, and a 50% chance of a cut by January, according to Westpac.

Vancouver Home Sales Skyrocket

vancouver house pricesDespite a sharp drop in home prices over the past year, Vancouver has just seen home sales jump nearly 50% in September.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported the market saw 2,333 home sales in the month, 46.3% more than the 1,595 sales recorded a year earlier.

“We’re seeing more balanced housing market conditions over the last three months compared to what we saw at this time last year,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said. “Homebuyers are more willing to make offers today, particularly in the townhome and apartment markets.”

Prices, however, continue to fall, with the MLS Home Price Index falling 7.3% year-over-year to $990,600 in September.