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Notable News of the Week: February 15, 2013

Your bank mortgage: Is it fair and does it suit your needs? – The Globe and Mail

In an exposé on the regulations (or lack thereof) that individual bank mortgage reps operate under, Rob McLister revealed details about which rules government watchdogs pay attention to and which are left for the banks to regulate themselves. “Individual (bank) mortgage reps operate outside of regulatory boundaries which commonly govern licensed professionals,” says Samantha Gale, a former mortgage regulator with B.C.’s Financial Institutions Commission and chief executive officer of the Mortgage Brokers Association of British Columbia.

From the process that bank mortgage reps route applicants through outside lenders, when they don’t meet normal guidelines, to how much they are paid to close buyers at higher rates, the hidden details may seem like something that should be regulated by a government watchdog. Unfortunately, the banks themselves are responsible for “developing the policies and procedures to be followed” by their mortgage reps, says Rachel Swiednicki of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA). Read this article to learn about how consumer protection differs between banks and mortgage brokers, specifically in Ontario.

Canada’s housing market getting worse? – Yahoo! Finance Canada

Last week, new data from Stats Canada confirmed that the value of building permits issued in December 2012 was down 11.2 per cent – that’s after a 14.5 per cent decrease in November 2012. And January 2013 saw the lowest number of monthly housing starts since July 2009, when the economy was suffering from the global financial crisis. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has been quoted saying he would be happy to see the Canadian housing market have a “soft landing,” but is the market cooling or are we heading for a crash?

A compilation of quotes from economists all over the country concludes that while the housing market is cooling, things will likely get worse before they get better. “Based on those starts and permits figures, our calculations point to an annualised decline in residential investment of as much as 14 per cent in the first quarter of this year, subtracting almost a full 1 per cent from GDP growth,” said David Madani, an economist at Capital Economics. Madani predicts this could also result in fewer home sales.

Five reasons not to buy a Toronto condo – The Globe and Mail

In a special written for The Globe and Mail, analyst Ben Rabidoux outlined five reasons Canadians should avoid buying into the Toronto condo market – among them are the fact that the inventory of unsold condos is growing and prices are currently falling. As the Bank of Canada recently noted, “Price corrections in particular segments of the housing market may put downward pressure on house prices more generally.” Noting this, Rabidoux says potential buyers should pay close attention to the health of the city’s condo market.


Where are they this week?

Current Mortgage Rates February 14 2013Mortgage Rate History February 14 2013

A history of weekly 5-year fixed mortgage rates and 5-year variable mortgage rates.

History of Canadian Mortgage Rates February 14 2013

Canadian Mortgage Rates Since 2012

Mortgage Rates Since 2012 February 7 2013

The average discounted mortgage rates in Canada in 2013:

Discounted Mortgage Rates February 14 2013