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Industry News

Buying a house? Don’t go to the bank.

 

Much to the chagrin of my financial planner, a bank employee, I’ve decided to use an independent mortgage broker rather than getting my mortgage from the bank. Based on my research, mortgage brokers often have access to better rates and more flexible repayment terms.

 

Mike, my broker and an old pal from university, walked me through the pre-approved application process and reviewed my commitments to the bank where my existing mortgage resides. He then shopped my application around to multiple vendors and came back less than 24 hours later with a rock-bottom rate.

 

An independent mortgage broker isn’t tied to any financial institution and instead works on your behalf, rather than the lender.

 

Click here for more from Metro.

 

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney has said again that the bank may have to raise interest rates to keep inflation in check as Canada’s economic recovery advances.

 

“Given the smaller output gap, given the slightly firmer underlying inflation, the possibility of withdrawal of some degree of the considerable monetary stimulus that is currently in place may become necessary, consistent with achieving the (Bank of Canada’s) 2% inflation target,” Carney said in an interview on Friday with Market News. The interview was published on Monday.

 

“As the expansion progresses, the possibility of some withdrawal becomes more likely, but number one, that’s always going to be guided by achieving the inflation target, and number two, this is happening in an environment of considerable global economic risk, and so it depends importantly on the evolution not just of domestic but global economic developments. So we will certainly weigh any such decision carefully.”

 

He said it was not necessary to be more explicit about the timing of a possible move, but said that Canada was “well into an expansion”.

 

Click here for the full Financial Post article.

 

Canadian house prices are now almost five times higher than incomes, the latest illustration of why policymakers are worried about parts of the housing market.

 

The average price is roughly 4.75 times the average income, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said Tuesday, noting that the historical norm is closer to 3.5.

 

Speaking to the House of Commons finance committee, he said “valuations are firm” in some cities and segments of housing, such as Toronto’s condo market, posing “more downside risk than upside risk.”

 

While “extremely attractive” mortgage rates linked to exceptionally low overall borrowing costs are a key reason, he said, borrowers need to make sure they’ll be able to afford any loans once interest rates start rising.

 

Click here to read more from the Globe and Mail.

 

The decade’s most ignorable piece of financial advice: Pay down your debts before interest rates rise.

 

You’ve heard this warning a hundred times, you ignored it and rates held steady at historic lows. Now, the Bank of Canada is signalling that borrowing costs could rise if economic conditions keep improving.

 

Click here for 10 reasons not to tune out this time around from the Globe and Mail.

 

I have a single friend sitting on the fence between buying and renting. She’s financially ready to make the leap into homeownership, but hesitant about doing it solo in case she meets someone soon.

 

Waiting for Mr Right can derail a number of women’s homeownership plans, according to Sandra Rinomato, a Realtor and Owner of a full-service brokerage in Toronto.

 

“I can’t tell you how many times a client asks what she’ll do if Mr Right comes along, and I always say if he does, then okay, you can keep the investment in your portfolio and rent it, he can move in, or you sell it and take the equity,” she says. She speaks from personal experience, having at one point purchased property on her own while in a serious relationship. She was ready to start climbing the property ladder and he wasn’t.

 

More and more single women are entering the market, making up roughly one in four new buyers, according to Rinomato, who is currently hosting the new HGTV series, Buy Herself, focused on helping singles navigate the world of real estate.

 

Click here for the full Globe and Mail article.
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