Archive for the 'Canadian Interest Rates' Category

October 24, 2018

The Bank of Canada overnight rate has gone up to 1.75% after an October 24, 2018 announcement.

This is the fifth interest rate increase since July of 2017, and the third in 2018.

The Bank of Canada (BOC) cited robust U.S. and Canadian economies and the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as some of its reasons for the increase.

Other justifications included business investment and export projections, a stable inflation rate, and steady household spending.

There was only one mention of the Canadian housing market in the announcement.

“Households are adjusting their spending as expected in response to higher interest rates and housing market policies,” the BOC stated.

“In this context, household credit growth continues to moderate and housing activity across Canada is stabilizing. As a result, household vulnerabilities are edging lower in a number of respects, although they remain elevated.”

The October 24 rate increase was expected by many, especially once the USMCA deal was approved.

The BOC indicated there will be more increases on the horizon, though perhaps not as many as originally thought.

“In determining the appropriate pace of rate increases, Governing Council will continue to take into account how the economy is adjusting to higher interest rates, given the elevated level of household debt,” the BOC said.

There is one more interest rate announcement scheduled for 2018, on December 5.

The effects of the hike on real estate interest rates remain to be seen.

GeoWarehouse has tools for real estate professionals that can help navigate interest rate changes. Research the latest property data, comparable sales, and more.

Call 1-866-237-5937 or visit www.geowarehouse.ca to learn more.

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July 11 and July 12, 2018 were busy days for the Canadian real estate market.

On July 11, 2018 news broke of a Bank of Canada interest rate increase to 1.5% — the highest interest rates have been since December of 2008.

Then, on July 12, 2018, the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index came out showing that house prices are making up lost ground in the second half of 2017.

While unrelated, both announcements share a commonality: they indicate what could be on the horizon for the Canadian housing market.

In its July 11 announcement, the Bank of Canada (BOC) referenced Canadian housing trends.

The BOC stated that household spending is being dampened by higher interest rates and tighter mortgage lending guidelines. It referenced recent data suggesting housing markets are beginning to stabilize following a weak start to 2018.

The following day, the House Price Index released, showing the same stabilization. The composite index in June 2018 was up 0.9% from May 2018, indicating that some of the ground lost in the second half of 2017 is being recovered.

However, even though the numbers are showing recovery, the index increase is still weak for this time of the year. According to the June 2018 report, written by National Bank of Canada senior economist Marc Pinsonneault, if the Index were purged from seasonal patterns, it would have been flat over the past three months.

Different types of dwellings are also affecting the Index. For instance, condo prices have risen rapidly in Toronto and Vancouver since the beginning of 2018 (after seasonal adjustment, up 7.8% and 16.3% annualized respectively).

Prices for other types of dwellings have held their ground, which could be reassuring in the wake of higher interest rates and stricter mortgage rules, such as the B20 lending guidelines.

In summary, the good news is that:

  • Canadian household debt levels are going down. This is also good for lenders who are stress testing mortgages and looking at other components, such as the Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS) – the amount of total housing-related debt a person carries – and the Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS) – amount of total debt a person carries.
  • Even as interest rates rise, and mortgage regulations become stricter, house prices for more traditional dwelling types are holding steady.
  • Condo prices are still on the rise, indicating that they continue to be a popular and affordable.
  • While not at a record high, the House Price Index has shown stabilization. Only time will tell if this trend continues, but many economists are predicting it will.

The next BOC rate announcement is set for September 5, 2018. It is appears unlikely, however not impossible, for there to be another increase at that. The Royal Bank of Canada predicted in July of 2018 that the BOC will continue to raise interest rates to 2.25% by the first half of 2019, but growing household income will provide some offset.

GeoWarehouse’s tools can help you continue to assess property information in a changing real estate market. A neighbourhood search can tell you the property values of a certain area. You can also find condo buildings, demographics, property information, and more.

Even as uncertainty remains, our real estate technology will help you stay agile and provide your clients with their best options.

Learn more today about how we can help. Visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

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On July 11, 2018, Canadian housing interest rates rose for the fourth time in a year, going up to 1.5%.

The Bank of Canada interest rate increases began in July of 2017, going from 0.5% to 0.75%. From there, they went to 1% in September of 2018, and 1.25% in January of 2018. The July 11, 2018 announcement is the most recent increase.

Higher interest rates mean that Canadians will have to pay more on outstanding, unsecured debts, including credit cards, unsecured lines of credit, and variable-rate mortgages.

This could also affect potential homeowners as mortgage lenders have to stress test mortgages against current interest rates following the introduction of B-20 guidelines in January of 2018.

Lenders are encouraged to look at the gross debt service ratio (GDS), meaning the percentage of a person’s household-related debt, and the total debt service ratio (TDS), meaning the percentage of a person’s total debt, rather than using only the loan-to-value ratio of a potential property purchase.

The Bank of Canada (BOC) has been hinting for months that more interest rate hikes were on the horizon, and this month it came to fruition.

The BOC referenced several reasons for the increase in its statement, including the Canadian housing market.

“Canada’s economy continues to operate close to its capacity and the composition of growth is shifting,” the BOC stated.

In past years, the Canadian economy depended on lower interest rates to stay afloat — household spending and the Canadian real estate market were both big economic drivers. But recently that makeup has changed and those items are not as critical. Instead, exports, business investments, and the like are becoming the economic strongholds.

As a result, the BOC is now trying to curb the high level of Canadian household debt through higher interest rates. They also cited recent data “suggesting housing markets are beginning to stabilize following a weak start to 2018” .

More interest rate increases are expected to come but will take a gradual approach. The BOC will be monitoring incoming data, the impact of higher interest rates, capacity and wage pressures, and trade actions.

According to Bloomberg, investors are anticipating additional hikes every six months or so until the benchmark rate settles around 2 or 2.25% by the end of 2019.

The next BOC announcement is scheduled for September 5, 2018.

GeoWarehouse can help you navigate Bank of Canada interest rate impacts to the Canadian housing market. Our tools help make you a property expert, so you can find new real estate leads, assess neighbourhood demographics, compare sales, and more.

Visit www.geowarehouse.ca or call 1-866-237-5937 to get started.

 

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Looking at news outlets, the current state of the Canadian real estate market can seem pretty doom and gloom. Interest rate increases combined with new Canadian mortgage rules and a declining housing market have presented challenges, to be sure, but could there also be an advantage?

While the housing market has been slowing so far in 2018, the flipside is that houses have become more affordable. For instance, the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index reported in the final quarter of 2017 that the housing affordability measure fell 0.2 per cent. This is the first time that’s happened since the second quarter of 2015.

Even as we are seeing interest rate increases and stricter Canadian mortgage rules, Canadian wage growth is going up. Increased wages and more affordable housing could definitely present real estate sales opportunities if your target market is affected.

Changes to the Canadian real estate market can also be navigated with flexibility, for example, shifting your target market to adapt to new trends. The Teranet Market Insights report March 2018 edition reported that condo demand continues to be high, particularly in Toronto. Not only that, but new condo development is also remaining strong.

According to the Canadian Press, some families are actually choosing smaller living over larger suburban dwellings. Families of five are living in 1,000 sq. ft. condos, or 950 sq. ft. houses. The right buyer might be tempted to consider some out-of-the-box housing arrangements.

BuzzBuzz News Canada reports that there is still more demand in the Canadian housing market than supply, meaning many real estate agents are seeing more buyers than sellers. If that’s the case for you, you can take advantage. Use property valuation tools to identify selling opportunities in your target area and identify new leads.

Another advantage of these changes is that real estate sales professionals aren’t the only ones dealing with them. Mortgage brokers and mortgage lenders also have to work with the same constrictions and they’re developing products to meet shifting demands. You can take advantage of this by making these industry connections. When you know how mortgage professionals are adapting, you can have more options to offer your clients who might be seeking financing.

It’s difficult to say exactly where the Canadian real estate market is headed in 2018, but you can find a way to adapt and perhaps profit even more from recent changes. Understanding your target market is key to identifying new opportunities. Technology, like GeoWarehouse, puts vital property data at your fingertips so you can quickly and efficiently access the information you need to know when you need to know it.

Not only that, but the GeoWarehouse store also provides important fraud detection resources, like Parcel Registers* and Instrument Images*. These tools let you find out whether there’s an encumbrance, such as a lien or an undisclosed mortgage, on a property so you’re not caught unaware.

Not a GeoWarehouse subscriber? You can become one today. It’s easy — just visit www.geowarehouse.ca to learn more.

* An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.

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April 2018 won’t be seeing an interest rate increase the Bank of Canada announced this week.

On April 18, 2018, the Bank of Canada (BOC) decided to hold its key interest rate at 1.25% but warned of hikes to come in the future. They cited the Canadian real estate market as a factor in this decision.

“Slower economic growth in the first quarter primarily reflects weakness in two areas,” BOC wrote in its release.

“Housing markets responded to new mortgage guidelines and other policy measures by pulling forward transactions to late 2017. Exports also faltered, partly owing to transportation bottlenecks. Some of the weakness in housing and exports is expected to be unwound as 2018 progresses.”

The mortgage guidelines and other housing policy measures were referenced as well in the March 2018 BOC announcement.

The lack of change means that those with variable-rate mortgages, or those who are up for mortgage renewal, have more time to lock in to a fixed rate if they so choose before interest rates increase again.

The recent quarterly MNP consumer debt index survey found that 43% of respondents said they are already feeling the effects of higher interest rates in Canada. 51% said they fear the rising interest rates could affect their ability to pay down debt. One-third of the respondents said the rising interest rates could possibly push them toward bankruptcy.

One thing BOC made clear in the April 18 announcement is that more interest rate increases are coming.

“Some progress has been made on the key issues being watched closely by Governing Council, particularly the dynamics of inflation and wage growth,” BOC stated.

“This progress reinforces Governing Council’s view that higher interest rates will be warranted over time, although some monetary policy accommodation will still be needed to keep inflation on target.”

Despite the housing market cool off in the beginning of the year, BOC expects inflation and wage growth to pick up the slack in the coming months.

Experts are predicting there will be more interest rate increases in 2018. The next BOC announcement is scheduled for May 30.

GeoWarehouse can help you identify new real estate leads and opportunities even with increasing interest rates. Our tools include accurate, up-to-date, accessible property information that makes you the expert.

Learn more about how we can help your real estate business thrive at www.geowarehouse.ca.

 

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The Ontario housing market continues to be red-hot. House prices have increased significantly because of supply and demand challenges, often leading buyers to go above and beyond asking prices, engaging in bidding wars in an effort to find housing in a market that can’t seem to meet the demand.

While some homeowners have enjoyed this increase in home values and sold to their own benefit, others have not been able to enter the market because of various factors, including a lack of supply, sky high prices and larger down payment requirements.

The cost of housing isn’t just impacting homeowners. Many renters are also feeling the effects as some landlords choose to arbitrarily drive up rental costs.

This has led many to call for housing reform and governmental action – and the government seems to be listening.

Just last week, the Ontario Government announced a list of measures aimed at cooling the market and making housing more affordable for all (both renters and homebuyers).

Dubbed the Fair Housing Plan, the announcement included 16 measures that, it is hoped, will do just that – make housing prices a little fairer across the province. Here are some of the highlights:

New Taxes

  • A new 15% foreign buyer tax – this means that non-Canadian citizens, non-permanent residents and non-Canadian corporations will be charged this new tax on residential properties that have 1-6 units. This tax will apply to property purchases in the Golden Horseshoe area.
  • A provision that would allow Toronto and other municipalities (if interested) to charge a tax on vacant or unoccupied units.

New Regulation

  • An expansion of rent control which will apply to all private rental units built after 1991. The goal is to protect tenants from “sudden and dramatic” rent increases.
  • Examination of ways to investigate practices like paper flipping (shadow flipping).

New Opportunities

  • Identify new opportunities for the government to create affordable housing on provincially owned surplus lands.

Supporting Developers

  • A $125 million, 5-year program aimed at encouraging the construction of new apartment buildings.
  • The creation of a new Housing Supply Team. Their goal will be to identify challenges that housing developers are facing and help them work more effectively with municipalities.

As long as supply and demand continue to be issues, Ontario’s market will continue to accelerate. These changes are expected to be a step towards easing that acceleration. You can view the full announcement here https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2017/04/making-housing-more-affordable.html.

What do you think? Do you think these will eventually help to cool the market? Join the conversation @teranet_social.

 

 

 

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geo1With a July rate announcement right around the corner the Canadian interest rate guessing game begins. It has been wildly reported that one of the things that could certainly smolder a hot real estate market would be rate hikes.

2015 was an interesting year. With talk that Canada was in a recession combined with the ever dropping oil prices and a dollar that hit the floor, the Bank of Canada reduced interest rates by .25% twice, leaving Canada’s lending rate at .5% which has only been seen twice prior to 2007, before the recession in 2008 hit.

In fact, we took a look back at the Bank of Canada’s past interest rate announcements since 2007 and the results were interesting:

  • Jan 2004 – 4.25%
  • Jul 2007 – 4.5%
  • Dec 2007 – 4.25%
  • Jan 2007 – 4%
  • Mar 2008 – 3.5%.
  • April 2008 – 3%
  • Oct 2008 – 2.25%
  • Oct 2008 – 2%
  • Dec 2008 – 1.5%
  • Jan 2009 – 1%
  • Mar 2009 – .5%
  • Apr 2009 – .25%
  • June 2010 – .5%
  • July 2010 – .75%
  • Sept 2010 – 1%
  • Jan 2015 – .75%
  • July 2015 – .5%

A few points to note:

  • Interest rates have not been as low as they are now since July 2010
  • Interest rates remained at 1% from Sept 2010 – Jan 2015
  • The Bank of Canada reduced rates twice in 2015, the first time since 2009 when the BOC reduced rates 3 times during the course of the year.

Where speculation is concerned, Canada is not currently in a recession (this acknowledges the issues in Alberta) and oil prices are increasing (see more at: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Why-Oil-Prices-Increased-Despite-Doha-Disaster.html). Could this mean a July 2016 interest rate increase or, as was the case with April’s announcement, will the Bank of Canada maintain the status quo?

There is no doubt, should interest rates get back to 2007 levels, that this will have an impact on the housing market. Look at urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver, where the average price of a single family detached home has surpassed 1 million dollars, where a mortgage on the same property at 2007 interest rates vs todays rates would cost significantly more to repay both in bottom line cost and in massive mortgage payments. This could certainly impact demand.

Also, what is interesting is that, should rates go up, depending on how the economy is performing, it could happen as rapidly as they went down – and we saw that they went from 4.5% in July of 2007 down to .25% in under 24 months.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation on our social networks:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/geowarehouse

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GeoWarehouse

 

 

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geo2The Bank of Canada has done it again and for the second time this year, cut the nation’s interest rate. Widely publicized, you likely know that Canada’s lending rate is now 0.5%!

This has been in reaction to an underperforming Canadian economy – but interestingly, not so much in the Canadian housing market. In August of 2015, the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index http://www.housepriceindex.ca/default.aspx reported an increase of 1.2% from the previous month, a 7 consecutive monthly increase.

So, the housing market appears to be bustling and interest rates are at all-time lows – is it time to seize the day? 2 ways to maximize your profitability is strong marketing and maximum efficiency in your internal workflow.

Here are our tips for how to see a strong finish to 2015:

Marketing your listings

Be everywhere! Posting your listings on the MLS isn’t enough anymore. Ensure that you register with mobile apps for real estate that are marketing tools, like ViMO, Zoocasa, etc. Make sure that your listings are showing there. The more exposure you get to your listing, the better.

Marketing the brand that is you – what makes you different?

Leverage social media and mobile apps for real estate to market yourself. Outside of being able to share helpful information with prospects nurturing leads that may not be ready to buy or sell, you can establish yourself as a thought leader and a go-to source for real estate information and questions. You also increase your accessibility and connectivity to clients, prospects, partners and colleagues. Talk about what makes you different. What tools you use, what you do that makes you different from other real estate sales professionals and the best choice! You can demonstrate this by what you share.

Use the best tools to get the fastest most accurate results

The best way to maximize results in a hot market is to maximize efficiency. The more you can do in less time, the more profitable you will be. Let’s talk technology again. When taking on a new client there is immediate research that needs to be performed both related to the client and the property. Tools like GeoWarehouse provide a central place to research a property or borrower and obtain a host of other searches and documents. This platform enables you to go to single place to validate all the information you need to determine if you can move forward with your client.

Get rid of the paper – embrace electronic document signing

Remember we talked efficiency? Thanks to recent changes to the Electronic Commerce Act this past summer, you can now sign real estate documents with your clients electronically. A minor investment in a tablet and a mobile app for real estate like ViMO sets the stage for you to make your transactions paperless – whether in a face to face meeting with a client or if you are transmitting documents back and forth.

We hope that these tips help you to seize the day while interest rates are at all-time lows. For more information about the tools mentioned in this blog please visit:

Teranet-National Bank House Price Index http://www.housepriceindex.ca/default.aspx

ViMO (mobile app for real estate) http://myvimo.ca/

GeoWarehouse (web based tool) http://www.geowarehouse.ca/

 

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