Monday, April 23, 2007

Wow - Didn't anyone notice this announcement on Down-payment changes in Canada?

Did you hear the latest on mortgages in Canada?

There was a major change to federal legislation regarding high-ratio mortgages in Canada last Friday April 20th. Effective immediately, residential mortgages with a loan to value ratio between 75 - 80% will no longer require insurance through CMHC or GE. This change was announced by the Finance Minister on Friday.

What this means is that you now only require 20% downpayment to avoid those 'high ratio' insurance fees. This coupled with the fact that 30 and 40 year mortgages are now readily available in Canada means two things:

1- affordability has improved dramatically in the past few months as both of these changes reduce either the fees charged or monthly payments.
2- this also means that prices will rise due to more people being able to afford the entry level properties.

This is a significant change in real estate ownership in Canada. I don't think many people noticed or even gave it much thought, but these two changes alone could increase affordability by as much as 30% which also means that house prices will rise due to these two changes. This certainly makes the banks happy, as they will now be able to loan out more money.

Take a $250,000 townhome as an example. You may now use the premium you would have paid for putting only 20% downpayment, which is 1% of the mortgage, so in this case, the mortgage amount with 20% downpayment is $200,000 (since 20% of $250,000 is $50,000 downpayment) and you save $2,000 insurance premium. Now you take a 40 year mortgage the payment is $1056 per month versus a 25 year mortgage $1250/month and your payment difference is $194 per month. At today's rate of say 5.75% this 194 payment is worth an extra $36,000 in mortgage payment, plus the $2000 fee you saved, this all means that you can afford an extra $38,000 most of which can be put towards your purchase price. The bottom line in this example is that you can afford about a $280,000 townhome with 20% downpayment and 40 year mortgage, that's a huge difference and will help to put upward pressure on prices.

Any comments? email me

This also means that thousands of websites and online mortgage calculators, mine included, must all be changed to reflect these changes, no small task! This change is so new that CMHC has not even updated their site to reflect the new rules, as of April 23rd.

You can do mortgage calculations for your situation at this link.

Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) Average Prices and Graph

For more information please contact A. Mark Argentino

A. Mark Argentino, Broker, P.Eng.,
Specializing in Residential & Investment Real Estate
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
2691 Credit Valley Road, Suite 101, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 7A1

BUS. 905-828-3434
FAX. 905-828-2829

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