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Industry News

The days of getting any sort of discount on a variable-rate mortgage are over – again.


Those mortgages, tied to prime, have become a mainstay of the housing market. And, why not? While prime has stood at 3% at most major financial institutions, the discount has meant a rate as low as 2.1% at times this year.


But in the last 10 days, what was left of that discount – it had already been shrinking for weeks – has disappeared at all of the major banks.


You have to head back to the credit crisis of 2008 to find a similar period where the discount disappeared. At the time, consumers were paying a 100 basis point premium above prime for the privilege of a floating rate.


Click here to read more in the Financial Post.


A slowing and more competitive market aside, brokers believe they can and will grow market share by as much as 10 percentage points in five years, suggests the latest Maritz industry poll.

While the CAAMP-sponsored report pegs the actual broker share of originations at 33%, the majority of mortgage professionals surveyed last month predicted that share would jump to 39% of the overall market by 2016.

They were even more optimistic about growth in refinances – a market where the industry has struggled to make inroads. While actual market share is 20%, brokers believe they can grow that piece of the refi pie to 30% in the next five years.

Those estimates come as the industry redoubles its efforts to compete with the Big Five, which have beefed up their collective mobile mortgage sales force this year as a way of capturing more of a shrinking market.


Click here for the full story.


Canadians are more indebted than ever before, leaving themselves in a vulnerable financial situation.


The Globe and Mail’s Rob Carrick says that’s exactly why Canadians need to make 2012 the year they pay down their debts. He suggests that those with mega credit lines and big credit card balances forego contributing to their RRSP or TFSA in order to wrestle with their debts – before our low interest rates begin to rise.


Click here to read the results of a talk Carrick had with readers during an online discussion December 15th about ways to wrestle down debt in 2012.


Our New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on health and wealth.


And while it’s easy to jot them down and share them confidently this holiday season, how many of us will actually arrive at next year’s party svelte with savings in the bank? Apparently, we’ll have a lot more stick-to-itiveness to see our goals to completion if they’re in line with the realities our decade is currently facing.


As you start to draft your list, and envision how you would like 2012 to look, click here to consider a few suggested goals from the Globe and Mail.


Moving in with a partner, whether you’re married or not, can be a major step for some and a natural progression for others.


It becomes more complex if your partner already owns a home, and you move in – you’ll have to decide whether to become joint owners of the property and how mortgage and living expenses will be split.


“The title transfer itself is a pretty basic process – a deed is done from the current owner over to the current owner and the new partner,” says J Alan Hodgson, a barrister and solicitor in Toronto.

But he adds that “there are pretty serious implications that can come up in relation to that type of transfer.”


If the house has a mortgage, the lender will have an interest in any change in ownership. “Anytime you do a transfer of title… if there is a mortgage on the property [it usually requires] that the bank consent to that transfer,” Hodgson says.


Click here for the full National Post article.

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