As we wind down 2018, we can look back at the housing market and see that affordability was the big topic across Canada. We have weathered many challenges in the housing market, from gloomy predictions of housing bubbles and increasing debt loads, to eroding affordability due to continued government rule changes. We will, no doubt, weather these latest challenges.
The Housing Market
We saw housing prices increase in some areas of the country while in other areas we saw a slowdown of housing activity. We’ve also seen the fixed-rate on mortgages start to climb and the Bank of Canada is slowly raising its interest rates, which impacts variable rate mortgages and lines of credit.
While economic and demographic fundamentals remain strong in most parts of the country, policy changes in 2017 and 2018 have impacted some homebuyers’ access to mortgage financing in many housing markets. The new federal mortgage stress test was intended to slow the pace of borrowing and keep home prices in check, and will succeed in doing so through 2019.
These factors have had an impact on decisions for first-time homebuyers and move-up buyers. While new regulations have made refinancing and negotiating at renewal time more difficult for some, consulting with a mortgage professional to determine your options will ensure you always have the best product for your needs.
Your mortgage professional is a trusted adviser and problem solver. Brokers take the time to first understand your needs, both short term and long term, then recommend the right mortgage and present options.
In addition to straight home purchases, brokers work with clients who refinance to consolidate debt, who are looking to purchase second homes, who are looking for the best options at renewal time, and brokers help clients make property-related investment decisions.
I continue to focus on the industry and keep up-to-date on changes as it applies to your local housing market, as well as finance, credit, insurance and wealth management. I also understand credit issues and ways to improve credit scores, with the end result of helping my clients achieve their dream of home ownership.
But, enough about me.
The end of the year brings no greater joy than the opportunity to express to you season’s greetings and good wishes. May your holidays and New Year be filled with joy.
Wishing you health, happiness, and prosperity in 2019 and I look forward to working with you in the new year.
If you have any questions about how the housing market can impact your mortgage or would like to review your options, call me today.