4 Key Things You Need To Know About A Second Mortgage

Second MortgageMany homeowners are vaguely aware of the fact that you can take out a second loan on your home. You hear your friends mention it or perhaps a family member close to you has gone through the process—but do you truly know what it means to take out a second mortgage? We have taken all the questions we get asked about second mortgages and compiled it into four key points.


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5 Things to know before buying a Rural Property

Rural Property

After several years as a home owner, my friend was set to buy the home of his dreams. He always wanted to own an acreage outside of town. He had visions of having a few animals, a small tractor and lots of space.
As a person with experience buying homes, he felt that he was ready and that he knew what he was getting into. Wrong. As soon as you consider buying a home outside of a municipality there are a number of things to consider, not the least being how different it is to get a mortgage.

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Q2 Canadian Growth Rebounded to 2.9%

Q2 Canadian Growth

This morning, Stats Canada released the second quarter GDP figures indicating a sharp rebound in growth to its most robust pace in a year. Real gross domestic product growth accelerated to 2.9% (all figures quoted in annual rates), up sharply from the 1.4% pace in Q1. The Q2 result is only slightly above the Bank of Canada’s 2.8% forecast released in the April Monetary Policy Report, tempering the expectation of a BoC rate hike at next Wednesday’s policy meeting.

First quarter growth had been depressed by a plunge in housing* (see note below), which fell by a whopping 10.5% annual rate in Q1. Investment in housing increased to a modest 1.1% annual rate in the second quarter. Declines in ownership transfer costs continued, but at a more modest pace than in Q1, while new residential construction contracted for the first time since the third quarter of 2016. However, these declines were more than offset by a sharp gain in outlays for renovations.

The strengthening growth in Q2 mainly reflected a surge in exports (+12.3%)–the biggest quarterly gain since 2014–due in part to notable increases in energy products and consumer goods, particularly pharmaceutical products. Exports of aircraft, aircraft engines, and aircraft parts increased sharply on higher shipments of business jets to both the U.S. and non-U.S. countries. Exports of services edged down a bit. Net exports (exports minus imports of goods and services) grew at a 6.5% annual rate in Q2 compared to 4.2% in the prior quarter.

Also boosting growth was stronger consumer spending. Household final consumption expenditure (+2.6%) increased at more than twice the pace of the first quarter, reversing the downward trend over the previous three quarters. Growth was attributable primarily to outlays on services (+3.2%), which outpaced outlays on goods. Housing-related expenses (housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels), up at a 2.4% annual rate, contributed the most to the widespread growth in consumption of services.

Household spending on goods grew at a 2% annual rate following a flat first quarter, with rebounds in semi-durable and non-durable goods. Purchases of vehicles declined at a 2% annual rate. One negative in the consumption numbers may be that the increased spending was financed by a lower household savings rate. The consumer saving rate fell to 3.4% in Q2 compared to 3.9% in Q1 and 4.5% in the final quarter of last year.

Despite the sharp improvement in growth in Q2, market watchers might be disappointed as slowing business investment brought growth in below the 3.5% forecast of some Bay Street economists. The Canadian dollar dropped in immediate response to the report.

Business investment in non-residential structures, machinery and equipment and computers and computer peripheral equipment decelerated to its slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2016, which might well have reflected the uncertainty surrounding the renegotiation of NAFTA and the imposition of tariffs on a growing number of Canadian exports to the U.S. Business sentiment and investment in capital formation is an important leading indicator of future growth, so the Q2 slowdown bodes poorly for the outlook. Most analysts are forecasting a marked slowdown in GDP growth in the current quarter to less than 2%.


Interest Rate Outlook

In light of the deceleration in business investment, the Bank of Canada has little reason to hike interest rates at the Bank’s next policy meeting on September 5. Investors are betting that a rate hike in October is a near certainty according to Bloomberg Canada.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz played down inflation worries and the prospect of aggressive interest rate increases last week at a Fed conference in the U.S. Poloz argued that the recent spike in inflation to 3% in July, the highest in the G-7, was due to transitory factors that would eventually be reversed. The wage measures in today’s GDP report, along with the separate May employment earnings numbers, point to the Bank of Canada’s ‘wage-common’ measure rising 2.4% in Q2,  little changed from the increase in the first quarter.

Even though Canada is bumping up against capacity constraints and labour shortages are rising, Governor Poloz appears to be in no hurry to bring interest rates all the way back to non-stimulative levels. He has repeatedly made a case for gradualism citing heightened uncertainty over geopolitics and trade as well as economists’ inability to measure critical parameters like potential growth.

The Bank of Canada has raised its benchmark interest rate four times since July 2017 to cool the economy, and market indicators suggest investors are expecting as many as three more hikes over the next year, after which the central bank is anticipated to go into a long pause. That will leave the target for the benchmark rate, currently at 1.5%, at 2.25%–below the 3% “neutral” rate the Bank estimates as a final, non-stimulative resting place for overnight borrowing costs.

Canada Q2 Growth


*Housing investment in the GDP accounts is technically called “Gross fixed capital formation in residential structures”. It includes three major elements:

  • new residential construction;
  • renovations; and
  • ownership transfer costs.

New residential construction is the most significant component. Renovations to existing residential structures are the second largest element of housing investment. Ownership transfer costs include all costs associated with the transfer of a residential asset from one owner to another. These costs are as follows:

  • real estate commissions;
  • land transfer taxes;
  • legal costs (fees paid to notaries, surveyors, experts, etc.); and
  • file review costs (inspection and surveying).
Contributed by Dr. Sherry Cooper
Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres

Subject to Financing- A Must!

Subject to Finance

With most people who are new to real estate and looking for their first home (or possibly second), one of the most significant times is when your offer to buy is accepted by a seller. Unfortunately, that moment is quickly followed by stress, as not many people know what comes next- securing financing. 99% of the time a realtor will ask you if you have been qualified by a bank or a mortgage broker before they write an offer on your behalf. What should be told to you, the client, by the realtor and your mortgage broker is that you need to have a subject to financing condition in your offer.

In order for someone to receive a mortgage from a lender, they need to meet the lender’s (and some times the insurer’s) conditions. Usually, these all revolve around a borrower’s down payment money, their income as well as employment, and the property they are making an offer on. If you make an offer on a home and it is accepted, but for example the lender doesn’t like the property because the strata board doesn’t have enough money in their contingency fund to fix the leaking roof in the next 12 months, they could turn down your application and not lend you money.

If you don’t have the money, you don’t get the home. That is why you have a subject to financing condition, so if for any reason, you can’t meet the lender’s requirements with your income, down payment, or if the property is unacceptable to them or the insurer, you can cancel your offer without any hassle or loss of deposit.

What happens if you make a subject free offer? If you make an offer on a home and it doesn’t have a subject to financing condition in it, that house is now yours once the offer is accepted. Your deposit is no longer yours, and you have to come up with the remaining money. If you cannot and are unable to complete the purchase, the seller may file a lawsuit against you for damages as they have now taken their home off the market potentially losing out on the ability to sell their home to someone else while they waited for you to get financing.

Always, always, always have a condition in your offer that states subject to financing and allow yourself 5 to 10 business days. If you go in without that fail safe and it turns out you really need it, you will potentially be on the hook and if the seller wishes, he or she can sue you for any potential losses. Subject to financing is a must! If you have any questions, contact Ryan Majeau.

*Contributed by Ryan of Dominion Lending Centres

Refinances, Renewals & Transfers

Refinances Renwals Transfers


After you have purchased your new home, closed on your new mortgage, and are all moved in, what comes next?

Well, when it comes to your mortgage, the next step is to either refinance, renew, or transfer your mortgage. This decision can be made one month into your new mortgage or one month before your new mortgage is set to mature. Below is a break-down on what a refinance, renewal, and transfer mean.

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CMHC Changes to Assist Self-Employed Borrowers

Self-EmployedAs a self-employed person myself, I was happy to hear that CMHC is willing to make some changes that will make it easier for us to qualify for a mortgage.

In an announcement on July 19, 2018, the CMHC has said “Self-employed Canadians represent a significant part of the Canadian workforce. These policy changes respond to that reality by making it easier for self-employed borrowers to obtain CMHC mortgage loan insurance and benefit from competitive interest rates.” — Romy Bowers, Chief Commercial Officer, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. These policy changes are to take effect Oct. 1, 2018.

Traditionally self-employed borrowers will write as many expenses as they can to minimize the income tax they pay each year. While this is a good tax-saving technique it means that often a realistic annual income can not be established high enough to meet mortgage qualification guidelines.
Plain speak, we don’t look good on paper.

Normally CMHC wants to see two years established business history to be able to determine an average income. But the agency said it will now make allowances for people who acquire existing businesses, can demonstrate sufficient cash reserves, who will be expecting predictable earnings and have previous training and education.
Take for example a borrower that has been an interior designer with a firm for the past eight years and in the same industry for the past 30 years, but just struck out on his own last year. His main work contract is with the firm he used to work for, but now he has the ability to pick up additional contracts from the industry in which he has vast connections.
Where previously he would have had to entertain a mortgage with an interest rate at least 1% higher than the best on the market and have to pay a fee, now he would be able to meet insurance requirements and get preferred rates.

The other change that CMHC has made is to allow for more flexible documentation of income and the ability to look at Statements of Business Professional Activity from a sole-proprietor’s income tax submission to support Add Backs of certain write-offs to support a grossing-up of income. Basically, recognizing that many write-offs are simply for tax-saving purposes and are not a reduction of actual income. This could mean a significant increase in income and buying power.

It is refreshing after years of government claw-backs and conservative policy changes to finally see the swing back in the other direction. Self-employed Canadians have taken on the burden of an often fluctuating income and responsible income tax management all for the ability to work for themselves. These measures will help them with the reward of being able to own their own home as well.

Contact me via my website www.ryanmajeau.ca  if you would like to learn more.

*Contributed by Kristin of Dominion Lending Centres


5 Reasons why every realtor needs a mortgage broker at their open houses

Open House

When a realtor hosts an open house, there are many reasons having a mortgage broker can be beneficial.  Contact me if you would like to discuss more.  www.ryanmajeau.ca

Realtor Safety

While we do not have the safety issues that realtors experience south of the border.  That being said there have been incidents involving female realtors being assaulted or feeling uncomfortable being alone with strangers walking around the house.

Property Safety

Did you know that when a realtor is holding an open house they are liable for any losses or damage to the property? It’s pretty easy to have one person distract the agent upstairs while their partner runs off with the flat screen TV or the silverware. Another person in the property discourages theft and can make the realtor feel safer.

Snagging new clients

Sometimes people show up at open houses without any preparation. They may like a home but they have no idea whether they could afford it. Enter the mortgage broker.  By being on the premises you can quickly pre-approve these prospective buyers giving the realtor an opportunity for a quick sale and to double end the deal.

Third Party Feedback

Sometimes visitors are reluctant to say anything negative about a property to a realtor but are more open with their financial partner. The realtor can benefit from both the mortgage broker’s opinion and anything that they hear from visitors.

Programs that can help sell a home

Some municipalities offer subsidized down payments for first time home buyers, others offer tax incentives . If a prospective buyer comments on the worn carpeting or the lack of a garage, it’s a good time for the mortgage broker to mention Purchase Plus Improvements programs available. The realtor may be aware of the programs but unaware of the program rules. The realtor will be really happy to have a mortgage broker find a solution to one sales objection and help them sell the house.

*Contributed by David Cook of Dominion Lending Centres.

Contact Ryan Majeau if you would like to talk about this and other co marketing promotions.

Rate Holds Explained

Mortgage Rate Hold

Have you ever heard of the term rate hold? If you have ever worked with a mortgage broker, chances are, you have!

Rate holds are something that the majority of lenders offer to potential clients purchasing a new home who need a mortgage. Rate holds are generally not given out for people refinancing their mortgage or looking to transfer it from one lender to another.

120 days is the longest rate hold available with lenders. Once you have created an application with a mortgage broker, they can submit it to an available lender offering rate holds on an interest rate you want to take advantage of- all without a property attached.

This rate hold does not commit you to working with a lender, does not commit you to working with the mortgage broker who submitted it, and does not hurt your chances of receiving an approval down the road (assuming you and your mortgage broker have not submitted multiple rate holds and plan to use a third or fourth lender).

For example, day one you submit your application to a lender for a fixed interest rate of 3.24% for 5-years. Then on day 60 that interest rate moves to 3.54%, as long as your mortgage closes in the next 60 days, you are protected and can keep your 3.24% rate. If rates go down, not up, you can also take advantage of the lower interest rate.

Once the 120 days expires, there is nothing stopping you from submitting another rate hold.  However it will just be subject to current interest rates the day of submission. If you have any questions, contact Ryan Majeau today!

*Contributed by Ryan of Dominion Lending Centres

2018 Soccer Sponsorship Pinnacles FC

I was fortunate to be able to sponsor 2 kids soccer teams this year! Both teams were aged 9-10, 1 boys team and 1 girls team. After the season was finished they presented me with this letter and team photos.  If you have a great opportunity for sponsorship, reach out to Ryan and maybe he can help www.ryanmajeau.ca.

  • Soccer Sponsor Letter









Poloz Opens The Door For More Rate Hikes

Bank of Canada Hikes RateAs expected, the Bank of Canada hiked its key overnight rate this morning by 25 basis points to 1.5%. What wasn’t expected was the hawkish tone of the press release which brushed aside the threat of greater protectionism, instead emphasizing the need for higher interest rates to keep inflation near its target. In today’s Monetary Policy Report (MPR), the Bank maintained its forecast for growth of the global economy. The U.S. economy, however, has proven stronger than expected, “reinforcing market expectations of higher policy rates and pushing up the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, oil prices have risen. Yet, the Canadian dollar is lower, reflecting broad-based U.S. dollar strength and concerns about trade actions.”

Canada’s economy continues to operate close to full capacity. “Household spending is being dampened by higher interest rates and tighter mortgage lending guidelines.”  The ratio of household debt to disposable income is edging down as household credit growth continues to slow (chart below).

Consumer spending growth has been slowing since mid-2017, led by a pullback in interest-sensitive components such as vehicle purchases, furniture, appliances and dwelling maintenance. With the slowdown in housing purchases, housing-related spending has also slowed.

The sensitivity of consumption and housing to interest rates is estimated to be larger than in past cycles, given the elevated ratio of household debt to disposable income. The impact of higher interest rates likely differs across categories of borrowers, with highly indebted households the most affected.

Household debt to disposible income

The Bank said that “Recent data suggest housing markets are beginning to stabilize following a weak start to 2018.”  The July MPR report estimates that housing will contribute a mere 0.1 percentage points to growth this year, with no contribution in 2019 and a slightly negative impact in 2020 (see Table below). The MPR elaborated that residential investment is slowing, reflecting the effects of higher interest rates and tighter mortgage rules. Resale activity contracted when the revised measures went into effect but is anticipated to improve over the next few quarters. Data on resale activity and housing starts suggest that the housing market is beginning to stabilize. The growth of new construction spending is expected to slow over the projection horizon. The new mortgage measures may cause households to purchase less-expensive residences because typical home buyers are now more constrained in how much they can borrow.

Meanwhile, exports are buoyed by strong global demand and higher commodity prices. “Business investment is growing in response to solid demand growth and capacity pressures, although trade tensions are weighing on investment in some sectors. Overall, the Bank still expects average growth of close to 2% over 2018-2020.” This is somewhat above the Bank’s estimate of noninflationary growth at full capacity, the so-called ‘potential’ growth rate.

Inflation remains near 2%, consistent with an economy close to capacity. The Bank estimates that underlying wage growth is running at about 2.3%, slower than would be expected at full employment. The actual growth rate in wages has recently been boosted by increases in the minimum wage rate in some provinces.

These economic projections take into account the estimated impact of tariffs on steel and aluminum recently imposed by the U.S., as well as the countermeasures enacted by Canada. “Although there will be difficult adjustments for some industries and their workers, the effect of these measures on Canadian growth and inflation is expected to be modest.”

The Bank wrapped up its press release with the following statement: “Governing Council expects that higher interest rates will be warranted to keep inflation near target and will continue to take a gradual approach, guided by incoming data. In particular, the Bank is monitoring the economy’s adjustment to higher interest rates and the evolution of capacity and wage pressures, as well as the response of companies and consumers to trade actions.”

Bottom Line:

This rate hike signals that the Bank of Canada is determined to bring its benchmark overnight rate back to more normal levels and that the economy is strong enough to withstand further rate increases. The Bank believes that stronger-than-expected business investment, higher oil prices and a weaker Canadian dollar offset the adverse effect of greater trade uncertainty. Exports have surprised on the upside because of strong global demand.

The mix of growth in Canada has shifted from housing and consumption to exports and business investment–the desired result of the many tightening moves introduced by the government, the central bank and the regulators to slow the rise in household debt.  The Bank believes that this shift in the composition of growth will result in a more sustainable expansion.

Markets expect the Bank to gradually hike the benchmark rate until it reaches 2% or 2-1/4% by the end of 2019–implying another 2 or 3 rate hikes by the end of next year. Governor Poloz said today at the press conference that the Bank’s assessment of the neutral rate for the benchmark is 2-1/2% to 3%, but it is uncertain how quickly we will get there.

The Governing Council of the Bank is scheduled to meet again on September 5. The next full update of the Bank’s outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR on October 24, 2018.

Bank of Canada GDP Growth

Contributed by Dr. Sherry Cooper of Dominion Lending Centres


You can read more information or contact Ryan at www.ryanmajeau.ca