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Showing posts from January, 2012

CMHC CUTTING BACK ON INSURED MORTGAGES

(From the Financial Post) Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is cutting back on mortgages it insures as the Crown corporation edges closer to a $600-billion cap imposed on it by the federal government, the Financial Post has learned. A CMHC spokesman confirmed that it had approached a number of lenders at the end of 2011 about reducing its “bulk or portfolio insurance” after third-quarter results showed the agency had committed to back $541-billion in mortgages. CMHC, which guarantees mortgages held by financial institutions, is ultimately backed by the federal government and needs approval to go over the $600-billion limit — something that would create greater risk for taxpayers should the housing market collapse. “CMHC has recently received an unexpected level of requests for large amounts of CMHC portfolio insurance.” said Charles Sauriol, a spokesman for the Crown corporation, in an email. “To ensure equitable access to portfolio insurance within CMHC’s annual limits, an allocat

MORTGAGES FOR NEW IMMIGRANTS

A Home of Their Own – New Immigrants Face Hurdles New Canadians are making their numbers felt in the housing market, as they get settled and make the transition from renter to owner, purchasing their first homes in this country. Over 280,000 new immigrants arrived in Canada in 2010, the highest amount in 50 years according to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. Immigrants are expected to play a large role in the housing market in the coming decades. Between now and 2031, the foreign-born population of Canada could increase approximately four times faster than the rest of the population. For these new Canadians, first-time home ownership may prove harder than anticipated, as they face some unforeseen obstacles, but there are definite opportunities. Lack of Credit History The biggest challenge for new immigrants is establishing credit because they do not have a financial history in Canada. Without a credit history, it can be a struggle to get mortgage financing. It is impo

LOOKING BEHIND THE 5 YEAR RATE SPECIAL

A peek behind deeply discounted 5-year rates. A major bank has offered a record low 5 year interest rate. However it is a 2 week special only. Is it as good as it appears to be on first glance. Let’s look a little deeper. When considering a deeply discounted 5-year rate, keep in mind that cheapest isn’t always best. Strangely, we know that’s true when we’re shopping for anything else - but we still tend to believe that lowest rate is the one and only factor in choosing a mortgage. But, that low-rate mortgage could actually cost you more in the long run. An amazing cut-rate mortgage could have you locked in to a very rigid contract filled with financial “trip lines” that could work against you down the road. That’s why it’s important to check the fine print. For instance, is the mortgage fully closed? That means you’re not leaving the lender unless you sell your house, so your options are limited and you have no negotiating power if your needs change in the next 5 years. Low or no p