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Industry News

 There’s been so much speculation on whether OSFI’s long-awaited B-21 mortgage insurer guidelines will slow the housing market.
Well, now that we’ve seen the draft, that seems unlikely. In fact, B-21 is simple, practical and sound policy, and most of t
The Bank of Canada held its benchmark rate steady today, and kept its ‘neutral’ stance on future moves in an as-expected policy statement that had the market, if not economists, stifling yawns.
“When in doubt, do nothing, and for the most part, that’s what the Bank of Canada opted to do in today’s monetary policy statement,” said CIBC Economist Avery Shenfeld.
Overall, the message was little changed, though the bank cut its growth forecast on the year from 2.5% to 2.3% on the impact of the harsh winter. It also pushed up its call for inflation this year, while at the same time warning about the risks of low inflation.
“Somehow, the Bank managed to find a way to sound even more concerned about ‘lowflation’ even as they upgraded the forecast for headline inflation,” said BMO Chief Economist Douglas Porter.
he guidelines have already been adopted by lender
Low mortgage rates tempt, but penalties for breaking them can be high.

You want some of these record low rates on the market but you’re locked into a mortgage. Just break it, right?
Not so fast, there’s a key question you need to ask before you commit to break a mortgage: how much will it cost you? Actually, it’s a question you should be asking before you sign up in the first place.
Don Hurman, a 64-year-old from Okotoks, AB, learned the hard way when he incurred a $10,000 penalty after selling his house halfway through a five-year mortgage term. Some mortgages let you port the loan to a new home but Hurman was forced to break his and pay what is called the interest rate differential.
s and insurers.

The never-ending strength of the Canadian housing market has homeowners switching to renovations at a record pace, according to a new report.

Adrienne Warren, an Economist with Scotiabank, says the boost in the reno market has been “fuelled by rising home prices, tight resale market conditions, attractive financing costs and government tax credits.”
She says renovation spending has been the fastest growing segment of the market with real renovation outlays increasing at an annual rate of 6% from 2000-2012. This increase was double the 3% of new construction.
The spending on renovation has helped push housing prices because it increases the quality of the housing, said the report. That housing is eventually sold at a higher price

It’s another good year for do-it-yourself tax filers. Like last year, there aren’t too many personal tax changes – just one really lucrative new tax credit to encourage people to get into the habit of charitable giving.
It’s that time of year again, with CMP’s most popular issue – the one that gives 75 mortgage professionals a reason to boast – just around the corner.

CMP is now accepting submissions for the Top 75 Brokers and the Small Market Top 20 lists, this year focused on volume numbers for 2013.

Those making the rankings this year will for the first time be announced at a ceremony as part of the CMP Mortgage Summit, set for May 8th at the Toronto Congress Centre.

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