9 Oct

IBC: Expect Two Rate Rises in the Next 3 Months

General

Posted by: John Dunford

Homeowners could be facing two interest rate rises in the coming months according to an updated forecast.

CIBC Capital Markets said Thursday that it was already expecting a rate rise in October due to anticipation that a NAFTA deal would happen. The agreement of the next-gen trade deal USMCA supports the earlier forecast.

However, economists are now calling for a further rate rise in January 2019, slightly earlier than it had been forecasting. That’s due to recent positive data points.

The good news for homeowners with mortgages is that, following those two rate rises within three months, CIBC Capital Markets believes there will need to be a “prolonged pause” by the BoC due to the “elevated sensitivity of households” to the interest rate hikes.

The outlook also forecasts that the Canadian dollar will strengthen over the next six months or so before easing back to the low 1.30s against the greenback by mid-2019.

Challenges ahead for the economy

CIBC economists Andrew Grantham and Royce Mendes have posted their economic outlook for the coming years and highlighted some challenges.

These include rising mortgage rates, attracting and retaining talent, and a US slowdown by 2020.

Provincially, Alberta is expected to see stronger growth in 2018 than previously predicted due to a resurgence of oil production.

BC is set for weaker growth than expected due to the slowdown in the housing market, which is a key driver of growth in the province. The economists note that there has been a more pronounced slowdown in the BC housing market activity than in Ontario and not much of a rebound so far.

The outlook also suggests a slowdown in consumer spending in BC and Ontario as the provinces see the biggest impact from rising interest rates.

The report highlights that 5-year mortgages will be renewed at higher rates for the first time in a generation.

9 Oct

Interest Rate Could Hit 6% By 2020

General

Posted by: John Dunford

Interest rates could hit 6% by 2020, according to Moody’s Analytics.

The prediction, using RPS data, is based on policymakers realizing plans to quell housing bubbles in Toronto and Vancouver, as well as on rising interest rates.

“Two macroeconomic projects now dominate housing markets in Canada,” said Andres Carbacho-Burgos, a Moody’s economist. “The first is that the [Bank of Canada] will continue to tighten short-term interest rates through 2020 in order to head off inflation and also maintain the value of the Canadian dollar relative to its U.S. counterpart.

“With some lag, monetary tightening will pull up mortgage rates. The five-year mortgage rate is now at about 4.4% after bottoming out at 3.6% in mid-2017; the Moody’s Analytics baseline projection is that it will continue to increase until it levels off at about 6% in late 2020.”

Prolonged North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations have only deferred the Bank of Canada’s rate hiking mandate, but with the federal government this week finalizing a new deal, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, there will almost certainly be a hike on Oct. 24.

“Overall, when it comes to the new USMCA, it’s going to affect the housing market because interest rates are bound to go up,” said Samantha Brookes, founder of Mortgages of Canada. “The Bank of Canada was holding back the rate until there was an agreement. Now, we’ll get increases based on the way the economy has been performing, and what that means for Canadians is interest rates will go up and prices will continue to adjust.”

That will likely make conditions favourable for buyers as the market continues recovering from the shock of so many changes.

“I believe it will probably take until 2020 until we see some light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “But that’s based on the correction that’s been happening over the last year. People need to be more creative with how they’re purchasing.”

This could give further rise to co-ownerships in the housing market.

“It’s becoming more and more popular,” said Brookes. “Be creative and you’ll still be able to get in. We all know real estate is still the number one investment, and it will be time to hold onto that investment rather than flipping it for a quick buck. It’s too risky for that right now, so buy and live in your home for a few years until the market corrects.”

2 Oct

Tories Plan to Make B-20 Election Issue

General

Posted by: John Dunford

The Conservative Party of Canada will make B-20 a hot button issue during next year’s election.

The party’s Deputy Shadow Minister for Finance has already tabled two motions, both of which were rejected by the Liberals, to study B-20’s effects. Refusing to go quietly, MP Tom Kmiec has vowed to put the mortgage stress test back on the agenda in time for the Oct. 2019 federal election.

“It will be an election issue, absolutely,” Kmiec told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I’m willing to use procedural tools to get this study done. I’m not necessarily saying to get rid of B-20 completely; I’m saying take a look at the data and then make a decision on it. I’m asking the Liberals to provide any internal documents they have showing why the mortgage rules were introduced in the first place.”

With the Bank of Canada raising interest rates, mortgage qualification has become even more onerous and Kmiec says it’s only going to get worse.

“This is an affordability issue. The Bank of Canada is raising interest rates, and I don’t fault them for it, but rules like B-20, and then provincial rules, are compounding and making it unaffordable for young people to get into their first home,” he said.

“There was a 63% jump in mortgage originations among 73- to 93-year-olds in the first half of this year, which is unusual for the pre-war generation to suddenly take out a whole bunch of mortgages for no apparent reason after B-20 was introduced. It only makes sense when you notice that mortgage originations among millennials are down 19% and Generation Z mortgage originations are down 22%. Are the B-20 mortgage rules causing Canadians to go to their grandparents to take out mortgages for them in their names?”

If that is indeed the case, Kmiec notes that, in the event of a grandparent’s death, messy estate complications will ensue.

According to Victor Peca, a mortgage broker and founding partner of Monarch Mortgage Group, the Liberal Party has deluded itself into believing B-20 is impacting the country positively. However, that isn’t the worst of it.

“The B-20 rules aren’t working because I see a lot more deals coming to me with fraud,” said Peca. “B-20 isn’t stopping that; it’s making it more pronounced because it’s harder to get a mortgage. When someone wants to buy a home, they’ll do whatever it takes to get that picket fence.”

Kmiec has started a website to pressure the Liberals into studying B-20’s effects. He claims the Liberals told him B-20 wouldn’t be examined without more data, which he says has since become plentiful. Having participated in filibustering the electoral reform committee, the Liberals might have underestimated Kmiec’s resolve, not to mention indefatigability.

“If it comes down to it, I’m happy to use up every two-hour time limit on every single committee until we agree to do a mortgage study,” said Kmiec. “I’m not asking for the moon, either. All I want are a few meetings in Ottawa where we can invite people with data who can then tell us what’s happening with the market.”