Mortgage Penalty Calculators

The Canadian government now requires federally regulated mortgage lenders to (among other things that have been in discussion for some time) access to online calculators to estimate the pre-payment penalty on their mortgage.   We’ve summarized the links to access these calculators on our website here. While this is a great step forward, caution should […]

Finance Moves Again on Mortgages

In a surprise move Finance announced recently that it is again making changes to mortgage borrowing practices in Canada. The surprise is in the timing of the announcement given that the housing market is already starting to soften. The move probably reflects the realization that interest rates will remain unchanged for longer than previously expected, […]

Former BofC Governor Plays Down Household Debt Warnings

Canada’s current and former central bankers seem at odds over the country’s soaring consumer debt, with former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge playing down warnings by his successor, Mark Carney. “I don’t think it’s in trouble,” he said, noting most consumers aren’t overexposed. In areas where employment levels remain high (such as Alberta, which Statistics […]

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty thinks Banks are a “Bit Odd”

Read the full article in the Montreal Gazette Here “I find it a bit odd that some of the bank executives are taking the position that the minister of finance or the government somehow should tell them how to run their business,” Flaherty said in Stittsville, Ont., just west of Ottawa. “We have bank executives […]

Mortgage Prepayment Rules

It’s been two years since the Government Acknowledged that the rules around mortgage prepayment penalties need to be clarified. Finally, the Government announced several measure to protect consumers, central to which is a new Code of Conduct for Federally Regulated Financial Institutions which requires federally regulated lenders to provide significantly more information and tools to borrowers […]

No Frills Mortgages

As you have probably heard by now, BMO made a big splash in the news last week by offering a 5-year “Low-Rate” Mortgage at  2.99 per cent. While we applaud lower interest rates (something that should have happened months ago based on the traditional relationship between bond yields and fixed mortgage rates), we do urge […]

Banks Move To 30-year Conventional Amortizations

BMO, Laurentian Bank, Scotiabank and TD have all confirmed that, effective March 18, they will restrict both high- and low-ratio mortgages to 30-year maximum amortizations(even though the government’s new rules only require that high-ratio amortizations be limited to 30 years). CIBC and ING Direct haven’t issued a verdict yet, and as for RBC, it too says, “We have not […]

Mortgage measures too Harsh?

Relax lending rules, industry group says The risk of mortgage rates rising to unaffordable levels in the near future is “negligible” and recent measures taken by Ottawa to clamp down on housing loans may be too harsh, says Canada’s mortgage industry association. Due to the effect of tightened lending rules “housing demand at present and […]

Flaherty Tightens Mortgage Rules

This morning, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced new adjustments to the rules for government-backed (CMHC) insured mortgages.  The adjustments include: The maximum amortization period has been reduced to 30 years from 35 years for new government-backed insured mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of more than 80 per cent. This will significantly reduce the total interest payments […]