Canadians Get Comfortable with Variable Rate Mortgages in 2014

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This time each year, the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) releases their Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada. Data in the report comes from various sources, including an online survey of more than 2,000 Canadians. Some of the statistics weren’t news to us – namely just how low mortgage rates are now compared to last year – but there’s one, in particular, we thought might be news to you.

Twenty per cent (20%) of new homeowners chose to get a variable rate mortgage in 2014; that’s up 11% from the 9% we saw in 2013. Correspondingly, the popularity of new fixed rate mortgages went down 6%, from 82% in 2013 to 76% in 2014. Why are more Canadians getting comfortable with variable rate mortgages? Perhaps after watching Prime rate sit at 3.00% for 4+ years, buyers are seeing there may not be as much “risk” to the variable rate as they once thought. Or it’s that 5-year variable rates can be found for as low as 2.10% (Prime – 0.90%).

Here are some of the other stats that stood out in this year’s report: Continue reading

Can You Get a Mortgage on a Micro Condo?

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Small is beautiful – or so say the many developers that are currently building micro condos in Canada’s urban cities. A relatively new concept to this country, but prominent in densely populated cities like New York and Tokyo, micro condos are units that are 500 square feet or less.

While they may be suitable for young professionals who want to live in the heart of a city, and want a “mini” mortgage payment to match, there is just one snag: lenders aren’t quite as excited about these properties as their potential buyers are. Continue reading

[Infographic] What’s Your Lifesaver Moment?

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November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada, which means 30 days of raising awareness and giving Canadians new information they need to self-educate on any misunderstood financial topics. At RateHub.ca, we like to think we’re always providing the information and tools you need to better understand how mortgages work. As a team, however, we all have some interest in personal finance as a whole, and often share our financial successes (and failures) with one another.

We also always keep our eyes on what other companies are sharing, this time of year. Last week, we found that one non-profit debt counselling agency, Consolidated Credit Canada, had done a survey and released an infographic with the results – and you know we love a good infographic! Their question: what was your lifesaver moment? Meaning when did you know you could get out of debt? This got us talking… Continue reading

Team Case Study: Lessons Learned After One Month of Homeownership

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For the past four weeks, we’ve walked you through our CMO Kerri-Lynn’s (KL) entire home buying process. In sharing her experiences here, our hope is that first-time homebuyers across the country will have a better understanding of everything you have to do to buy a home and move into it – and shed a little insight on what’s happening in the Toronto market, in particular.

On October 6th, KL picked up the keys to her beautifully renovated house in Toronto. For our final interview, I wanted to find out how she was enjoying it so far, and if there had been any surprises or lessons learned after her first month of homeownership. Continue reading

Monthly Mortgage Update: November 2014

Kerri-Lynn McAllister

This month’s mortgage update has a theme: information, or lack thereof. Those that are uninformed typically suffer. In two cases discussed below (mortgage penalties and the Vancouver housing market) this holds true, but in the final case (accelerated mortgage payments) a little ignorance may serve to pad the housing market and line the pockets of Canadians.

All will become clear below. (Pun intended!) Continue reading