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Industry News

Have your say on Canada’s most broker-friendly lenders. As part of its fourth annual survey, CMP is asking brokers/agents to take a few minutes to share opinions around whether the lenders you deal with are getting it right.

 
Click here to complete the CMP Brokers on Lenders survey by Thursday, August 4th.
 
If there’s one question being kicked around the barbecue more than any other this summer, it’s probably this: should I lock in my variable-rate mortgage?
 
But with interest rates bouncing around, to the point where they make a mortgage-rate chart look more like the diagram of a rollercoaster, homeowners can be forgiven if they are hesitant.
 
After all, every time mortgage rates rise, they seem to come back down again. Recently, Royal Bank tried to raise mortgage rates, increasing the cost of its five-year fixed mortgage by 0.15%, only to quietly lower them a few weeks later. What gives?
 
On the variable side, rates have been stable, holding at 2.1% for so long it seems like the new normal. They are priced based on the Bank of Canada rate. And with the US economy slowing (Alberta created more jobs than the US did in the last quarter), it’s little wonder that Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney decided not to raise interest rates this week – and it’s doubtful he will anytime soon.
 
Click here for the full article from Yahoo! Canada Finance.
 
The world is watching as negotiations to raise the US debt ceiling drag on towards the August 2nd deadline. Republicans recently proposed a plan to be voted on this week, hinging on cuts and caps, but the acrimony over spending or taxes continues.
 
Two Canadian economists have weighed into the debate, with editorials. While their approach differs, their conclusions do not. If politicians can’t let reason prevail and avert a US default, the consequences will be dire, not only for America, but the world.
 
Click here to read the editorials in the Financial Post.
 
Add RRSPs versus TFSAs to the list of decisions you have to make as a prospective homebuyer. 
 
Some serious saving is going to be required to meet the minimum 5% down payment for buying a home, not to mention the 20% threshold for avoiding costly mortgage default insurance. Two ideal vehicles for saving are registered retirement savings plans and tax-free savings accounts. Which is best? 
 
Click here to read more in the Globe and Mail.
 
Canadians are digging in and watching their pennies, finding new – and old – ways to cope as the country’s highest inflation rate in eight years smacks up against record consumer debt levels.
 
According to the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index, released Wednesday, Canadians are carrying an average $13,058 in personal debt – not including mortgages – and the number who feel they’re managing that debt well is falling (down to 30% in this quarter, compared to 38% in the last quarter).
 
The latest consumer price index from Statistics Canada showed the inflation rate hit an eight-year high of 3.7% in May, driven by a 29.5% jump in the price of gasoline and a 4.2% increase in food prices. The economy is currently in a sluggish state – economists are projecting growth of around 1% in the second quarter – which means incomes are unlikely to keep up with inflation, putting many Canadians firmly in the position of having to make do with less.
 
The RBC report suggests that consumers are taking the bull by the horns – reducing debt levels is the top financial priority of 32% of Canadians, followed by spending less (28%) and saving or investing more (24%).
 
Click here for more from the Financial Post.
 
Congrats! I hear you’ve got a new baby on the way. You must be very excited. 
 
Or maybe you’re a little afraid. After all, this is another mouth to feed. And nobody gets rich on mat leave, right? So what’s an expecting parent to do? May I suggest you figure out how to save a little sumthin’ sumthin’ before your Mini-Me makes an appearance?
 
Click here for savings suggestions from MoneySense.
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