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Showing posts from February, 2012

GOOD DEBT vs BAD DEBT

Not all debt is created equal – and not all debt is bad. In fact, you need some debt to establish a good credit rating. Being a responsible borrower means knowing which types of debt can help you reach your financial goals and which types leave you further behind. Good debt includes any investment or purchase that helps improve your overall financial position. Mortgage loans are considered good debt because they offer low rates on property that appreciates in value over the long term. You also build equity as you pay down your mortgage. Borrowing to invest is also considered good debt. Often, the interest expense on money borrowed for investments is tax deductible. And when borrowing to maximize your RRSP, you're investing in your future and benefiting from tax sheltered investment growth. Bad debt involves purchases where the value becomes lower than the original cost, and which can carry a high rate of interest, making them harder to pay off. Types of bad debt include high-

BANK of CANADA WARNING

The Bank of Canada is warning of an impending housing price correction, putting Canadian mortgage holders at risk. In a four-part series of papers, economists at the bank said a drop in home prices could also impact overall consumption and the Canadian economy. In one of the reports, authored by Brian Peterson and Yi Zheng, the bank cautioned that the risk for fluctuations in house prices has “increased markedly.” The authors noted that house prices have risen sharply in most parts of the country over the past decade, with house prices reaching a historically high level in relation to income. The percentage of household debt to income has risen from 110% in 1999 to 153% currently. “These facts (rising debt and house prices) are interrelated, since rising house prices can facilitate the accumulation of debt,” said guest editor Graydon Paulin, introducing the four papers. “Households could therefore experience a significant shock if house prices were to reverse.” The bank also sugges
Good article from the Globe and Mail: Canada’s housing market has two good years ahead of it yet, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Monday, with low interest rates and a “moderately” expanding economy keeping price corrections at bay. The Crown corporation – which insures Canadian mortgages – has had a consistently rosier view of the market than many private sector forecasters. Canadian banks have recently issued reports probing the consequences of cheap money, and trying to predict whether there is a bubble in prices that will eventually pop and cause prices to crash. They are particularly concerned about Vancouver and Toronto, where some have predicted price corrections of up to 10 per cent because of overbuilding in the condo market. But CMHC said Monday Canadian markets would “remain steady in 2012 and 2013. “With the Canadian economy set to expand at a moderate pace and mortgage rates expected to remain low, activity levels in 2012 in both new home construction and sales

CAAMP'S VIEW ON TODAY's MORTGAGE ISSUES

BASED ON OUR RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE SECTOR, WE SEE NO REASON TO TIGHTEN OR RESTRICT ACCESS TO RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGES AT THIS TIME 1. CURRENT ENVIRONMENT Canada has a well-earned reputation for exercising economic prudence. As a result, we have managed to avoid a mortgage or housing market meltdown. Our banks are stable and our economy, while impacted by the general global economic slowdown, remains healthier than most. CAAMP’s extensive industry research indicates that the Canadian mortgage industry is healthy. We must continue to “stress test” our own financial sector to determine how it would withstand potential weakening of the economy. The more educated we are about the debt we incur (mortgages, credit cards, lines of credit), the better off we will be 2. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ACTIONS TAKEN The federal government responded promptly when it was determined changes were needed in the mortgage market. There have been three significant sets of changes in the past 36 months:

More Down Payment May Cost You More Money

The search for conventional mortgage financing just got tougher -- and may get tougher still -- with several Canadian lenders moving to cut their rental programs because of tighter access to bulk insurance. FirstLine, the CIBC-owned broker channel lender, kicked off the latest round of downsizing, last week announcing it would impose a $750,000 cap on rental property loans up to an 80 per cent loan-to-value. That’s $250K less than what owner-occupieds can qualify for. Street Capital announced a similar decision last week, axing its rental program altogether. And while it will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis, that’s only where clients are willing to pay default insurance they technically do not need. Under Canadian mortgage rules, borrowers opting to go conventional by putting down a minimum 20 per cent are exempt from that requirement. But increasingly lenders have opted to insure those loans themselves through bulk insurance offered by the CMHC. The practice allows them