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New First Home Savings Account launches April 1, but won’t be available until later this year

  Prospective homebuyers wanting to take advantage of the federal government’s new Tax-Free Savings Account will have to wait longer, despite the program’s official launch date of April 1. All of the Big 6 banks confirmed to CMT that they won’t be in a position to offer the new account to clients until later in […]

How to keep your credit score high and your borrowing costs down

  It’s no secret that consumer debt in Canada is at record-high levels. We know this from recent data from Equifax and TransUnion, both of which have been warning that credit card balances are at their highest levels since 2019. With interest rates and borrowing costs at record highs, it’s more important than ever to […]

Why mortgage brokers should know prepayment penalty calculations inside and out

  All mortgage brokers should have a comfortable working knowledge of how prepayment penalties are calculated and applied.  Our clients depend on us to know the ins and outs of these often-significant penalties in order to minimize the cost for them—or better yet, to help them avoid penalties altogether.  Prepayment penalties can be a daunting […]

The big question on mortgage borrowers’ minds: fixed or variable?

  With variable mortgage rates potentially at a peak and fixed rates having recently retreated, borrowers are asking themselves the age old mortgage question: should you go fixed or variable? It’s a decision being faced by anyone in the market to purchase and those with upcoming renewals. And there are two schools of thought given […]

Three ways mortgage brokers can reassure concerned borrowers

  Many mortgage brokers are fielding calls from clients concerned about rising interest rates and an uncertain economic outlook. With the Bank of Canada’s eight consecutive rate hikes, along with inflationary pressures and the very real possibility of a recession this year, it is easy for clients to assume the sky is falling just as […]

How brokers can excel in a challenging market, and other lessons from the FSRA conference

  Mortgage professionals may be feeling angst these days with origination volumes well down from last year’s highs. But it’s in times like these that the value prospect of a broker is at its highest. That was one of the key messages from the 2023 FSRA Exchange Event held on Thursday. “We’re in interesting times […]

Over half of mortgage borrowers concerned about renewals

  A new survey has found that 53% of Canadian mortgage borrowers are concerned about the prospect of higher monthly payments at renewal time. However, most respondents (52%) also said they have a plan in place to help deal with any potential payment shock, the RATESDOTCA and BNN Bloomberg survey found. For those who said […]

Mortgage rate pricing: Canada vs. the U.S.

  Sometimes you just don’t know how good or bad you have it. Take the mortgage business, for example. When it comes to mortgage pricing, Canada is a unique animal compared to many other countries, including the United States. Being married to a U.S. mortgage broker has made that all too clear for this author. […]

How the mortgage stress test is impacting qualification amounts

  As of June 2022, we are currently seeing unnatural discrepancies in the size of mortgage loans borrowers will qualify for, and it’s all because of a rift in the space-time stress test continuum. You see, most 5-year fixed mortgage rates are already over 5%, making their stress test a full 2% higher at 7% […]

Fixed vs. variable: How not to lose this mortgage guessing game.

  From all accounts, floating-rate mortgages continue to outsell 5-year fixed terms. It doesn’t hurt that variables are priced at an average of 184 basis points below 5-year fixed rates. Come June 22, however, more people will be questioning their faith in variables. That’s when we’ll receive May inflation data, and it should be enough […]

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