New Mortgage Rules in 2018

The Canadian government wants to provide new homeowners the ability to withstand rising interest rates. In 2017, the Canadian Government implemented changes for new applicants of high-ratio mortgages. The change was based on having applicants qualify at a higher interest rate, while still offering lower interest rates. By doing this, it ensured that if rates go up, these homeowners would still be able to afford the debt.

New Mortgage Rules in Canada

As of January 2018, additional mortgage changes have been implemented. The new 2018 mortgage changes simply take that philosophy and apply it to conventional mortgages. All Canadian buyers are required to pass a Mortgage Stress Test, which is essentially a worst case scenario. Homeowners must also qualify for the Bank Of Canada 5 year benchmark rate, currently set at 4.99%.

Borrowing Capacity on Buying a Home in Kelowna

New homeowners should expect their borrowing capacity to decrease based on the mortgage stress test. “The larger the gap between your pre-approved interest rate and the stressed rate will further impact/reduce your borrowing capacity.” However, new homeowners will not to be out of pocket any more on their monthly mortgage costs. For examples of the approximate reduced borrowing power under new stress test regulations, view the examples and payment calculator from Rampone Marsh.

Borrowing capacity is geared towards your GDS (gross debt service) and TDS (total debt service). An increase in these ratios, decreases your borrowing capacity. Placing a higher down-payment on your home, an increase in household income, or reduced debt will increase your borrowing power.

Kelowna Life’s Advice For Homebuyers

It’s important to have a good team surrounding you when it comes to your home purchase. Buying a home and signing a mortgage is a major milestone and a decision that requires qualified and trustworthy professionals.

It goes beyond just the real estate agent. A good mortgage broker can present different options and opportunities to make something work for your specific situation. We highly recommend doing some research on mortgage brokers in Kelowna or the Okanagan, or suggest using a mortgage broker recommended by Kelowna Life real estate professionals. We are happy to recommend trusted and knowledgeable mortgage brokers to our clients.

We have a great team at Kelowna Life Real Estate Group. It is imperative that you choose your representative carefully when making such an important decision. The help of our experienced team with extensive knowledge of Kelowna and surrounding area will ensure you make an informed decision. We listen to your needs, develop a custom tailored plan, and ensure every detail is taken care of so you can find the right home for you and your family.

Contact our hard-working and highly qualified real estate professionals at Kelowna Life today.  

Current State of the Market in Kelowna Real Estate

The state of the real estate market is always a hot topic. It seems like opinions change daily and it can be difficult to gain an accurate understanding of the “big picture”. Kelowna Life Real Estate Group prides itself on having a deep insight into our local market. Our finger is always on the pulse, so when the time comes for you to buy or sell, we can provide you with the solution that maximizes your dollar and more importantly, your happiness.

 

Growth Rates and Goldilocks

There was some concern in the past few months from some real estate investors when the Bank of Canada decided to raise interest rates at the same time as new regulatory changes were coming into effect. This could have caused stress for borrowers with uninsured mortgages and potentially cooled the market. The analysts that warned of a dip in the market said that a downturn would only last until early to mid-2018, which would then lead to a healthy rebound.

Well, it seems that we have dodged any major downturns here on the West Coast and the market has continued to grow at a healthy rate. Of course we want to see growth in the market, however, when the market grows too rapidly, there is also cause for concern. So what is the current state of affairs? We are in, what some call, a “Goldilocks Moment”. Not too hot, not cooling, just right. This is great news for buyers, sellers, and the overall health of our industry. As 2017 comes to a close in such a state, 2018 already looks promising, not only in Kelowna but all across Canada.

 

Now is the Best Time To Invest In Kelowna

Here in Kelowna and the rest of the Okanagan Valley, we have our own unique lifestyle and way of life. When it comes to healthy, inner provincial competition between Kelowna and Vancouver, many citizens get excited and start to brag a little. At the moment, you have one more thing to brag about as Kelowna is offering higher returns on real estate investments than Van-City and shows no signs of slowing down with a plethora of new, low-cost developments.

Colliers International is calling Kelowna, the “next great development hub”. Investors and homebuyers that are frustrated with Vancouver’s prices (and rain) are coming to sunny Kelowna to contribute to our continued real estate growth and resilience. On top of impressive growth rates and new developments, Kelowna is also a leader in the rental market for landlords. Kelowna has one of the lowest vacancy rates in Canada (lower than Vancouver’s rate for those keeping score).

What does this mean for you as a local home buyer or someone that is looking to move to Kelowna in the near future? It means that purchasing now will be an investment that should grow at a steady, healthy rate for many years to come.

 

Will Interest Rates Continue to Rise?

It appears that home buyers that require a mortgage will be safe in the near future with all the signs pointing towards controlled interest rates. Interest rates will increase at a rapid rate when there is a large spike in wage inflation. Wage inflation has been kept in check in almost all international markets due to globalization and the global supply of labour. Prices can only increase if consumers buying power (ie wages) increases at a similar or greater rate.

Another reason purchasing right now is a safe bet is due to the levels of household debt across the country. Canadians are carrying more debt than ever, and a large portion of that is high-interest debt, such as credit cards. If interest rates rose too quickly, a large portion of the Canadian population would be absolutely crushed by debt payments. By making smart investments (such as real estate) with debt instruments, you are saving for your future while being protected by those who are using debt in the wrong manner.

Regardless of the state of the real estate market, when you are looking to buy or sell, you want a team that is going to work harder than the competition to find you the property of your dreams while keeping your wallet in mind.

 

Let’s get started today! Send us an email or drop by our office on Harvey Avenue to grow your real estate portfolio!