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The 2019 Canadian Mortgage Stress Test

Meeting the mortgage demands and being approved is already challenging enough, but securing a mortgage in 2019 is even more of a feat thanks to the recent mortgage stress test.

Let’s look at the new mortgage rules in greater detail and how it impacts home buyers in 2019.

Explained Canadian Mortgage stress test

In order to pass the mortgage stress test, You will need to qualify for your loan interest rate plus 2% or the present five-year benchmark rate of the Bank of Canada, whichever of the two is greater. As of this writing, The five-year benchmark rate of the Bank of Canada is 5.34 percent and has existed since May 2018.

For example, if you are applying for a mortgage at a rate of 3.65%, then your lender will assess you as if you were paying your home loan at 5.65% (3.65% + 2%) since 5.65% is greater than the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate.

Because of this stress test, Most new homebuyers have had their purchasing power reduced by as much as 20 percent because they are only eligible for a reduced loan at the stress-tested mortgage ratesThe fresh stress test regulations have also rendered refinancing or renewing their mortgage more hard for present homeowners.

How to Prepare For the Mortgage Stress Test

Lenders use a few key metrics when assessing borrowers to make sure they’d be able to pass the stress test and manage mortgage payments, including the gross debt service ratio (GDS) and total debt service ratio (TDS).

Gross debt service ratio (GDS) – Your GDS is the proportion of your pre-tax revenue needed to pay all cost of accommodation. In addition to your stress-tested monthly mortgage payment, your lender will look at the expense of all other monthly expenditures, including condo charges, utility bills, and property taxes.

Your gross monthly revenue will add all these expenses together and divide them. Ideally, lenders want a proportion not exceeding 32%.

Total debt service ratio (TDS) – All of your debts will also need to be factored into the equation, so lenders will look at your TDS as well. This is how much of your monthly revenue is required to cover your debts properly.

To better prepare yourself for the stress test, consider taking the following actions:

Pay down your debt. As already mentioned, Your lender will examine all the debt you presently carry and determine if you would qualify for a mortgage or not. The smaller your current debt load, the lower your TDS will be.

In turn, The findings of your stress test may be more favorable. To prevent paying so much in interest fees, focus first on paying down your high-interest debt (such as your credit cards).

Apply for a smaller loan amount. Be realistic about how much house you can actually afford. You might have your sights set on a home in the $900,000 price range, but if you look at homes in the $700,000 range instead, you might make things much more financially feasible for yourself.

This will not only improve your chances of passing the stress test and obtaining a mortgage approval, but it can also free up more of your income and prevent you from going “house poor.”

Crunch some numbers. Ask yourself if you can afford to pay an extra $500, for example, In mortgage payments if rates raise suddenly after approval.

You could be comfortable making monthly mortgage payments of $1,000, for instance, But what if you had to throw an extra $500? Would that be doable? Or would that throw you into a financial frenzy?

That’s precisely why this stress test was carried out. In the near future, if you are confronted with greater prices, your lender would want to make sure that you are still able to create complete payments each month rather than face default.

 

Source Link : “https://loanscanada.ca/mortgage/the-canadian-mortgage-stress-test-in-2019/

Thinking about investing in commercial property in Canada? Here are 5 tips for new investors

To own commercial property, you don’t need to be rich, and there are more opportunities with the downturns in the Vancouver and Toronto markets.

Chris Catliff, The President and CEO of Blueshore Financial, says for middle-class investors, there are other methods to enter the property business.

He lately shared five tips with those considering building up their commercial real estate retirement portfolio.:

  1. Start small with a REIT

To own commercial property, you don’t need to be rich, Catliff said. “In fact, my son is already invested in a Tax-Free Savings Account with a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).”

A REIT is a company that owns, operates and pays dividends on a variety of real estate assets on behalf of a pool of investors who purchased shares or stocks.

“They have relatively high yields compared to the broader market, or bonds or Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs),” he said. They’re typically riskier than government bonds or GICs but much less risky than tech stocks.

The purchase of shares in a REIT basically includes a collection of assets across the nation.Some REITs focus on the office sector, others on apartment or industrial or retail properties

“That diversifies your risk,” he said, adding that most REITs can be purchased through a stock broker, financial advisor or online through your direct investing platform.

  1. Invest in a strata unit

For bolder middle-class investors — and ones who don’t mind a bit more work — you could buy your own strata unit in a commercial development, Catliff said.

Like with condo residential buildings, many developers build strata commercial buildings in various asset classes including office, retail and industrial..

  1. Buy in a place you can visit

Catliff said he likes to own units in buildings he’s familiar with and can visit. “I purchased business units on my drive to work so I could see them twice a day..”

That’s so you can see what kind of development is taking place around your building and stay familiar with the market and the other tenants, he said.

  1. Think urban

More than three-fifths of immigrants to Canada are settling in Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal, Catliff said. That means demand for homes, jobs and work space will continue to grow along with the population in those areas.

More demand for your space means less cash flow risk.

Catliff said it’s important to understand the supply and demand elements of your local market. In places like Vancouver and Toronto, demand for small industrial warehouse space or small light-manufacturing units has never been stronger.

Demand is also high for small street-front retail spaces in urban cores. There will always be people trying to buy themselves a job with a business like a sandwich shop or small restaurant, Catliff said. “There is just a lineup of people waiting for that kind of space.”

  1. Do your homework

 

“You really have to consider location,” he said. “You’re looking for high traffic. How easy is it to rent out to somebody else? Anything downtown pretty much has a lineup of people. If it’s in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Kelowna, you can always rent something out, it’s just a matter of what return you get.”

In the suburbs, anything you purchase should be considered for its future redevelopment potential, he added. “In the burbs… you’re (often) holding land until development comes to you.”

Source URL: “https://vancouversun.com/business/commercial-real-estate/thinking-of-investing-in-canadian-commercial-property-here-are-5-tips-for-new-investors

Partisans Unveils the Pavilion Proposal for Canada Expo 2020

 

PARTISANS, Their proposal for the Expo 2020 Canada Pavilion, entitled “Portal,” were unveiled in collaboration with HXouse and Besix. The pavilion aims to generate an “alluring architectural invitation to step into the Canadian identity.” Visitors to the scheme experience the varied social context that makes Canada a model for the globe, using information collection and AI to re-conceive the varied population of the country as a crystalline interactive cloud generated by AI.

 

The pavilion is conceived as a porous cloud sheltering galleries of exhibitions and shaded semi-public spaces. The crystalline dendritic form, produced almost completely from computation, has an openness that reflects Canadian culture’s diversity. The resulting cloud-like form “defines a land of boundless opportunities on which its residents ‘ dreams are digitally projected in real time.”

 

 

 

The shape of the pavilion is also influenced by climate. Apart from the interlocking panels capturing and interacting with changing sunlight, the canopy is a natural ventilation conduit. Integrating water characteristics helps create a microclimate within the canopy, while evoking regional water uses for aesthetic and auditory pleasure.

A sculpture designed by an indigenous Canadian artist will be placed at the heart of the system, resting above a reflective pong. Exhibitions, conference rooms, VIP areas and administrative spaces are also located within the cloud, all located within easy climate-controlled boxes.

 

PARTISANS – Design Architects
MET – Public Presentation
Charcoal Blue – Acoustic and Live Performance Consultant
Augmenta – Artificial Intelligence Specialist
HXOUSE – Cultural Advisor
RWDI – Environmental Consultants
Six Construct – Design-Built Construction Manager
Five Continents – Operations and Maintenance
Rice Perry Ellis – Architect of Record (UAE)
Maffeis Engineering – Structural Engineer

Source URL: “https://www.archdaily.com/920692/partisans-unveils-expo-2020-canada-pavilion-proposal”

The real estate market in Vancouver no longer ‘highly vulnerable,’ CMHC says

OTTAWA – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has reduced the Vancouver housing market vulnerability score to “moderate,” marking the first three-year shift as prices eased.

The federal agency states in a report that Vancouver’s “evidence of price acceleration” has eased to low, prompting a downsizing as “extremely vulnerable” after 12 successive quarters.

“While home price growth has considerably outstripped rates backed by fundamentals over the previous few years, these imbalances have reduced in various sections of the resale industry through fundamental development and reduced home prices.,” CMHC said in its latest Housing Market Assessment report.

The agency said a moderate degree of vulnerability continues at the domestic level, but imbalances have declined over the previous year between house prices and the basics of the housing market. Some markets like Toronto and Victoria, however, are at greater risk.

Nationally, The inflation-adjusted average cost reduced by 5.6% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019 from the same period a year previously, CMHC said.

In the previous quarter’s report, CMHC lowered its rating for Canada’s overall housing market from to moderate from high vulnerability – where it had stood for 10 consecutive quarters – as mortgage stress tests introduced last year made it harder for homebuyers to qualify and eased price acceleration.

The recent market forecast by the Canadian Real Estate Association published in June projects that the domestic average cost will drop to about $485,000 by the end of this year, compared to the 4.1% decrease reported in 2018.

Recent statistics from Greater Vancouver’s Real Estate Board showed that a home in Metro Vancouver’s benchmark cost dropped to $998,700 in June, the first time since May 2017 it fell below the $1 million mark.

The Bank of Canada in May also said that housing prices in the key markets of Vancouver and Toronto have cooled, but imbalances in real estate markets are still an important vulnerability for the overall financial system.

The vulnerability assessment of CMHC is based on several criteria including cost acceleration, overvaluation, overbuilding, and overheating. It examines the degree of vulnerability and aims to define housing market imbalances.

Toronto, Hamilton and Victoria continue to be highly vulnerable, but in all three markets, overheating, price speed and overvaluation show signs of decline.

Source URL: “https://bc.ctvnews.ca/vancouver-real-estate-market-no-longer-highly-vulnerable-cmhc-says-1.4533155

The 5 most popular renovations are more costly than you could think

Make sure you understand the real price before you begin your next large project.

Home Ownership is more expensive than the original down payment. You are most probably going to need to do some kind of refurbishment at some stage.

while sometimes renovations are factored into the price of purchasing a home, sometimes homeowners choose to do the projects later down the highway. So what precisely is costing some of the most famous remodels?

Clever, a platform intended to link agents, buyers, and vendors of real estate, recently surveyed 1,000 homeowners about post-purchase home expenses. The findings showed not only what individuals were spending on renovating, but also how much they believed expenditure would cost in advance. And rarely did the two rates align.

The study questioned homeowners what renovations they were planning to undertake over the next five years, as well as what the price would be anticipated. The five most popular planned renovations were:

  1. Landscaping
  2. Bathroom Remodel
  3. New flooring
  4. Kitchen Remodel
  5. New patio or deck

The homeowners were conscious of which renovations would cost the most, and indeed relatively accurate. They estimated kitchen remodeling would be the most expensive projects, followed by the new deck, then the remodeling of the bathroom.

But when it came to the real price of those renovations, the homeowners were far away.

For example, homeowners estimated new flooring costs at $1,985, while the actual reported cost is $2,863, according to HomeAdvisor.

 

 

 

 

 

Estimates in kitchen and bathroom renovations were even more incorrect. The homeowners estimated the cost of redoing their bathroom at $2,406, but the true cost report from HomeAdvisor reveals that it is closer to $9,723.

As for kitchen renovations, homeowners properly thought that at an estimated $4,773 it would be the most expensive of projects. The real average kitchen refurbishment price recorded? A gigantic $22,134—about a fresh Mini Cooper’s price.

The report serves as a reminder that it may cost more than you expect your dream kitchen. Be sure to budget wisely as you plan your next renovation so you don’t get stuck with sticker shock.

Source Link : “https://www.bhg.com/news/most-popular-home-renovations-cost/

When is a house buying and selling the best time?

Timing can be all. And, according to some estimates, selecting the correct time to purchase or sell a house might save you tens of thousands of bucks.

Best time to sell

While there is a tendency for customers to choose from more inventory in the spring, there is generally more competition as well, which is good for vendors.

After evaluating states some Experts concluded actual property information, the Experts up with that report. It showed that May had the largest sales amount compared to any other month of the year and that prices tended to be greater.

Possible reasons for that is that aside from nicer weather, a home tends to show better in spring and summer. More buyers may also be ready to buy as they might be using their tax refunds for the down payment. Plus, if they have kids, moving in summer means schooling isn’t interrupted.

Report added that selling in May can get you $60,000 more than if you were to sell in January, on average over the past five.

Best time to buy

“If someone lists a house in the winter, it’s a pretty secure bet they’re keen vendors and more open to negotiation. If not, they’d wait for the spring, a Reporter said”.

Also, sellers may be more driven to accept an offer in January as the holiday credit card bills start rolling in, Reporter said. Purchasers can also enjoy the holidays themselves.

“The house of somebody can be an emotional attachment, so the vendor thinks, ‘ If they are prepared to create an offer on Christmas Day of all days, they must really enjoy this house.’

“And another factor that comes into play is … individuals are in nice and generous moods on Christmas Day so they might very well be prepared to accept less cash than they usually would any other day..”

During the holidays, people who are just sick and tired of shows can be another motivator, like B.C. Realtor’s point was made. She said she had some “very nice offers” about Christmas for customers.

 

URL Source : “https://globalnews.ca/news/1927508/when-is-the-best-time-to-buy-and-sell-a-home/

The lowest June home sales since Y2 K for Metro Vancouver, the benchmark price drops below $1 M

June house sales across Greater Vancouver were the lowest since 2000 because for the first time in two years, the benchmark cost for all households in the region fell below $1 million.

The Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board (REBGV) claims 2,077 homes sold in June, down 14.4 percent year-on-year and down 21.3 percent from this year’s May.

According to the board, sales were also 34.7 percent below the June 10-year average and the 19-year lowest for the month.

The pace of new market listings has slackened, with a 10% fall in new homes added to the market since June 2018, the REBGV said.

However, inventory continued to stack up, with just under 15,000 homes listed for sale — up 25.3 per cent from the same month last year and up a modest 1.9 per cent from May 2019, it said.

As sales continue to soften so, too, do prices.

The benchmark price for all home types was $998,700 in June, the lowest it has been since May 2017, the REBGV said.

For detached homes across the region, the benchmark price was $1,423,500, down 10.9 per cent year over year and 9.2 per cent over three years but up 0.1 per cent from May.

For apartments, the benchmark price was $654,700 in June, down 8.9 per cent year over year and 1.4 per cent from May.

Drilling deeper into numbers shows some wilder swings in pricing.

The benchmark price for a detached home in West Vancouver was down 12.9 per cent from last June. It was also down 13.1 per cent in Richmond, 14 per cent on Vancouver’s west side and 12.6 per cent in South Burnaby.

Condo prices, which have better resisted the cool-down, also saw significant movement in some sub-regions.

The benchmark price of a condo was below $500,000 in Ladner, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam and Tsawwassen and under $600,000 in East Vancouver, Coquitlam, New Westminster and North Vancouver.

The REBGV said the sluggish market means buyers are seeing the most choice in five years but that sellers continue to hold on, hoping for “yesterday’s value for their homes.”

Source URL: “https://globalnews.ca/news/5456739/vancouver-june-2019-home-prices/

Decluttering your home makes for a calmer environment

Janis Nicolay for The best way to declutter your home is stop buying things by Rebecca Keillor.


 

“I really try and encourage people to think quality over quantity,” she says.

One area of our lives that is becoming increasingly cluttered but has often been left out of the spotlight is our digital devices, Stoller says.

“You can have a perfectly decluttered house and then you go to your computer and you can’t find anything,” she says.

This is another form of mental clutter, she says, and can be just a debilitating as any overcrowded room in your home.

“Our minds are so overwhelmed by our inboxes with social media, and our computers are now becoming a mess.,” she says.

The decluttering approach of Marie Kondo advises people to pick up an item and ask if it “sparks joy ;” if it doesn’t, we’re going to thank it for its service and get rid of it. Stoller says this doesn’t appeal to everyone, with some individuals wishing clearing out a more practical, perhaps quick-fire strategy.

 

If you want to stick to your decluttering habits, don’t attempt to tackle your entire home ; you’re just going to get bored and give up, tells Stoller. It’s going to do it ten minutes a day, she claims. Like Kondo, Stoller advises that you choose a category to organize, such as clothes or books, rather than a space.

Decluttering instruments, such as boxes labeled “donate” and “sell” (which Stoller sells through her website come down) that you can maintain in your closet are useful if you want to consolidate fresh practices, she suggests.

“They’re pretty fabric baskets and seeing them everyday will encourage you to use them every day.”

Source URL: “https://vancouversun.com/homes/buying-selling/the-best-way-to-declutter-your-home-stop-buying-things

Find The Best Neighborhoods For The Future in Greater Vancouver

With Greater Vancouver real estate prices among the highest in Canada,homebuyers are increasingly looking for value beyond just bricks and mortar, and quality of life is emerging as a key factor in finding the right neighbourhood.

 

The quality of life develops as a main factor in picking the right neighborhood as homebuyers seek value beyond bricks and mortar.

So, what provides an advantage to a neighborhood in attracting fresh inhabitants??

According to a RE/MAX 2019 Best Places to Live Liveability Report, six in 10 Canadians put easy access to shopping, dining and green spaces at the top of their liveability criteria. Proximity to public transit, work, preferred schools, and cultural and community centres were also listed as important because Canadians spend more than two-thirds of their time in their own neighbourhood, with the rate being even higher among baby boomers compared to Gen Z, millennials and Gen Xers.

RE / MAX brokers in Vancouver listed Main, the West End and Kerrisdale among the top three neighborhoods for access to green areas and parks, walkability, retail and restaurants, and ease of moving / public transportation with Main standing out as the “hidden gem.”

 

 

Mount Pleasant, Downtown-Vancouver West and Renfrew-Collingwood are the top three neighborhoods for affordability and excellent housing stock.

Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada says when buyers are looking for a home, the search begins at the neighbourhood level.

In terms of cost, some Greater Vancouver neighborhoods have turned significantly in favor of buyers, according to a fourth-quarter 2018 survey of the Zolo real estate website, whose list of top 10 neighborhoods to purchase a single-family home included Marpole in Vancouver West, Saunders and Lackner in Richmond, West Cambie and Steveston North, Hastings East and Collingwood in Vancouver East, Queen.

Source:URL: “https://vancouversun.com/homes/buying-selling/finding-the-best-up-and-coming-neighbourhoods-in-greater-vancouver

Luxury Real Estate Sales Declined in Vancouver, But Rise in Toronto

In the first half of 2019, luxury real estate sales flourished in Montreal with property sales jumping over $4 million by triple digits, but continued to decline in Vancouver, a fresh study says.

“Canada’s top-tier real estate markets veered in separate directions,” read a report released Wednesday by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, which tracked the number of condominiums, townhouses and detached homes sold for over $1 million and $4 million in major Canadian cities.

The agency has previously forecast Montreal as an emerging hot stop set to make new records.
In the first half of 2019, property sales in excess of $1 million jumped five percent relative to the same period last year..

Sales of properties over $4 million soared 267 per cent with 11 properties sold. Three such properties were sold in the first half of 2018.

Experts from the agency observed an rise in global buyers — a group that, according to the study, involves new Canadians, permanent residents, and investors as overseas buyers ‘ taxes in Toronto and Vancouver redirected global buyers to Montreal.However, the group still composes “a small percentage of overall top-tier sales activity” in the city, it said.

Meanwhile, in Vancouver’s formerly heated housing market, luxury property sales continued to drop due to fallout from government intervention.

The market continued to bear the burden of tightened mortgage rules, multiple governmental policies and taxes, and hesitant sellers and fickle buyers lacking motivation to commit to transactions,” the report read.
Homes sold for over $1 million fell 33 per cent to 1,308 properties, while homes sold for more than $4 million fell 34 per cent to 73 homes.

Evolving conditions in Vancouver real estate have created opportunities for prospective top-tier real estate buyers to consider housing options previously out of reach,” the report said, adding some potential buyers who were considering condos priced at more than $1 million have likely now shifted their focus to attached or detached homes instead.

Sales of condos over $1 million fell 51 per cent in the first six months of this year from 708 condos sold between January and June 2018 to 349 in the same six months of 2019.

“The continued adjustment of housing prices is expected to renew interest and activity in the future,” the report noted of Vancouver’s single family homes priced over $1 million.

sources:URL link”https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/luxury-home-sales-on-the-rise-in-toronto-1.4501772″