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The Importance of Mortgage Loan Insurance

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Mortgage Loan Insurance is meant to shield the borrower from default on the borrower’s part, both straightforward and easy. However, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has built mortgage loan insurance to cover more than just banks. The CMHC needed homeowners to be better able to reach the housing market at an earlier time and better results. After all, more privately-owned housing means more employment, more market activity, more money invested, and so on. If there are more jobs and more investment, the economy will gain. In short, the risk to lenders has been eliminated, leaving them in a stronger position to offer lower interest rates and lower payments.

When the CMHC developed its Mortgage Loan Insurance (MLI) plan, it had a stipulation that if the borrower had less than 20% of the purchase price as a down payment, the insurance was necessary. Before introducing MLI, the Canadian Bank Act restricted federally controlled lending institutions from lending to those with less than 20% of loans. Banks will now fund up to 95 percent of the purchase price, given that MLI is purchased. The move meant that so many more people, who had previously given up on owning a house, now had hope.

MLI offers choices for those who already own a house for those who want to renovate, refinance, or move to another place. CMHC MLI’s are portable from an existing home to a newly purchased one, often without paying the initial premium for a new home. Besides, self-employed individuals looking to fund the purchase of a new home are now in a position to do so without offering conventional forms of proof of income. And those new to Canada are eligible. Current homeowners who choose to integrate energy-efficient elements into their home (the NRCan Energy Assessment Rating must increase by at least five points) are entitled to an extended amortization period-without a surcharge and with a 10% insurance premium rebate. There are also more incentives for borrowers to buy a second home or income land.

Now that we know the value of MLI, how do we translate it into numbers? Ok, it depends on a few equations, for instance. Your lender will do it for you, but if you want an idea ahead of time, start measuring the Gross Debt Service (GDS). The GDS estimates the most expenses you can afford per month, particularly those related to running your house. The cumulative GDS need not be more than 32% of your gross household income to apply for an MLI. Next is your Total Debt Service (TDS) estimation, which calculates the most debt cost your payment can cover. The TDS should not be more than 40% of your total monthly household income. Use the online mortgage calculator to enter the details and your gross monthly income, along with other factors, and you will be presented with the maximum allowable mortgage you apply for.

The MLI premium rate will then be measured as a percentage of the overall loan, taking into account the down payment size. For example, if you need the lender to fund 80% of the property’s cost, your fee would be 1 % of the total loan. If the purchase requires 95 percent of the lender’s funding, the price would be 2.75 percent of the total amount of the loan. The lower the sum financed, the lower the insurance premium.

Also, the harder homeowners work to pay off their mortgage, the more equity they create in their house. The ability to buy earlier than was traditionally feasible (through the MLI), homeowners took the opportunity to go faster than even the lender had expected. As of 2009, the CMHC estimated that Canadian homeowners’ equity status was, on average, 74 percent, while that of its American counterparts was 43 percent. The importance of the MLI is obvious now.

 

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Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley remain a sellers' markets, say real estate groups – CBC.ca

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Housing sales in Metro Vancouver fell almost 17 per cent in November compared to the previous month, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

But the industry group says as trends go, demand remains high, making it a sellers’ market.

REBGV’s monthly tally shows 3,064 homes sold last month across the region, compared to 3,687 in October 2020.

Compared to November 2019, sales were up 22.7 per cent.

Colette Gerber, REBGV chair, says demand from buyers has been at “near record levels” since the summer.

“This is putting upward pressure on home prices, particularly in our detached and townhome markets,” she said. 

The Sunshine Coast showed the largest increase in year-over-year sales according to the data, with Squamish and the Gulf Islands not far behind.

“The rise of work-from-home arrangements and physical distancing policies is causing some home buyers to opt for less densified areas,” said Gerber.

The total number of Metro Vancouver homes currently listed for sale is 11,118, representing a 10 per cent decrease from October 2020. 

Gerber says the current market favours sellers because demand is outstripping supply.

The Multi Listing Service home price index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver — detached homes, townhomes and apartments — is $1,044,000, a 5.8 per cent increase year-over-year and a 0.1 per cent decrease compared to October 2020. 

Benchmark prices in each of the three categories are:

  • Detached home: $1,538,900
  • Attached home: $814,800
  • Apartment: $676,500

Fraser Valley

The sales scene in the Fraser Valley is even hotter, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. 

It describes the level of demand as “unrelenting,” even though like Metro Vancouver, November sales dropped by 8.3 per cent from October.

In total, there were  2,173 property sales, an increase of 54.7 per cent compared to November 2019.

The boards says monthly sales records were set in September, October and November compared to previous years.

“We expected November activity to moderate due to the season, but the desire for family-sized homes and their benefits continues to dominate,” said president Chris Shields.

“Since the summer, we’ve seen the strongest demand in our board’s 99 year history, specifically for single-family detached and townhomes,”

The FVREB calculates the benchmark prices for the region as:

  • Single family detached: $1,061,500
  • Townhome: $570,100
  • Apartment/condo: $435,900

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Hamilton-Burlington real estate sales slow down in November – Global News

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The latest real estate statistics for Hamilton and Burlington show the market continues to cool off after a red hot summer.

The Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) says 1,233 homes were sold in November, down 24 per cent from October, but up 17 per cent compared to November of last year.

The average price for a home in the area is now $722,317, 0.11 per cent higher than last month and a 21 per cent jump from November 2019.

Realtors Association President Kathy Della-Nebbia says there are a number of reasons for the slowdown in activity, including the rising cases of coronavirus and Hamilton being placed in the province’s COVID-19 red zone, as well as the colder weather.

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“What we can initially see is that the market has slowed from last month, and this is due to the colder weather, the COVID-19 cases increasing throughout the province, and Hamilton/Burlington moving to Red Zone as of November 16 where open houses are now banned,” says RAHB President Kathy Della-Nebbia. “An extremely low number of active listings at the end of each month is continuing to drive average prices higher. It’s a vicious cycle of sellers not listing their homes until they are confident they will find another home to buy.”

Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington


Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington.


Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington

RAHB says new listings were down nearly 29 per cent over October 2020 and up 16 per cent over last November.

The number of active listings available at the end of the month was 40.8 per cent lower compared to the previous year.

The number of sales of single-family properties in the RAHB market decreased in November 2020 by 3.8 per cent compared to the same month last year, the number of new listings was down 10.5 per cent over last year, and the average sale price increased by 24.4 per cent to $812,912.

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Townhouse sales activity across the entire RAHB market area increased from November 2019 by 15.2 per cent, new listings were up 19 per cent, and the townhouse average sale price increased by 17.6 per cent to $606,367.

“The activity for single-family properties was slower, and this is most likely because fewer sellers chose to list their homes during this time,” says Della-Nebbia. “We can also see that towns and apartments are still quite active, but their average price did not increase as much as single-family properties, and so this could indicate that single-family properties are still much more in demand — this would make sense during these times as we see a movement towards homes with more elbow room and outdoor space.”

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Click to play video 'How to choose between multiple offers on your real estate listing'



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How to choose between multiple offers on your real estate listing


How to choose between multiple offers on your real estate listing – Nov 12, 2020

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Kudos: Richmond Hospital receives $250,000 from real estate developer – Richmond News

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A Richmond and Vancouver real estate developer donated a total of $250,000 to Richmond Hospital.

Michael Ching donated $200,000 towards Richmond Hospital’s new acute care tower and partnered with South China Morning Post to donate an additional $50,000 towards Richmond Hospital Foundation’s Surgical Restart campaign.

He also donated 25,000 masks to the Vancouver Diamonds Lions Club as part of their disposable masks fundraiser for the Richmond Hospital Foundation.

“Having lived in Richmond for a decade and Richmond being home to most of my projects and work, this contribution is a thank you for the care the hospital has provided for its community over all of these years,” said Ching.

He added that new equipment and facilities are important to provide the best care to Richmond residents.

Natalie Meixner, CEO of the Richmond Hospital Foundation, said they are thankful to Ching’s donation.

“Mr. Ching’s philanthropic leadership and his partnership with South China Morning Post, is an inspiration to the community and we are very grateful for his dedication in building a better and healthier future for Richmond.”

The Richmond Hospital Foundation raised over $100 million to help fund for medical equipment, improvements in patient care services and upgraded facilities in the past 30 years.

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