Video Recap: Outline Financial and Urbanation – 2018 Condo Market Outlook Event

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Economic Update: What our economist is saying about government intervention, and the direction of the economy.

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Rate Update: Bank of Canada Increases Overnight Rate to 1.50%

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The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1 ½ per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 ¾ per cent and the deposit rate is 1 ¼ per cent. The Bank expects the global economy to grow by about 3 ¾ per cent in 2018 and 3 ½ per […]

Gallery: 2018 Condo Market Outlook Event

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Thank you to everyone that joined us for our 4th annual Condo Market Outlook Event.  Please enjoy the pictures, and also be sure to check out the video recap in an upcoming post.

2018 CMHC Prospective Home Buyers Survey

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In preparation for its 2018 Home Buyers Survey, CMHC surveyed 2,507 prospective home buyers on-line. Respondents were all prime household decision-makers who intend to purchase a new home within the next two years, including approximately 1,500 First-Time Buyers, 500 current owners, and 500 previous owners.

The survey results highlight that:

• First-Time Buyers and Previous Owners share the same top motivator to purchase a home: they want to stop renting. Improved accessibility (physical obstacles and barriers) and investment opportunity were also noted as top motivators across all groups. Changes to mortgage regulations and concerns about possible future interest rate increases were not among the top motivators.

• Over four-in-ten First-Time Buyers and Previous Owners say they would delay their home purchase if they were not able to find their ideal home, with a fairly similar proportion saying they would be willing to compromise on the size of the home and location.

• The majority of future home buyers intend to obtain a mortgage to finance their home purchase, with First-Time Buyers showing higher incidence compared to Previous Owners and Current Owners.

• Across all future home buyers groups, more than six-in-ten say they are likely to have a financial buffer in case their expenses change in the future. Furthermore, the majority of future home buyers, especially Current Owners, agree that they feel confident they have the necessary tools and information to manage their mortgage and debt load.

• Among all groups, the two most common actions completed one to two years prior to the purchase of a home were saving for a down payment and determining what type of home to buy. On the other hand, in the last three months before purchasing, about two-in ten of prospective buyers pre-qualify for a mortgage.

• About one-in-four prospective home buyers stated that they would be very likely to consider delaying their purchase in the event of an increase in interest rates.




Bank of Canada Increases Overnight Rate to 1.25%

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Jan 17, 2018 – The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1 1/4 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 per cent. Recent data have been strong, inflation is close to target, and the economy is operating roughly at capacity. However, uncertainty surrounding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is clouding the economic outlook.

The global economy continues to strengthen, with growth expected to average 3 1/2 per cent over the projection horizon. Growth in advanced economies is projected to be stronger than in the Bank’s October Monetary Policy Report(MPR). In particular, there are signs of increasing momentum in the US economy, which will be boosted further by recent tax changes. Global commodity prices are higher, although the benefits to Canada are being diluted by wider spreads between benchmark world and Canadian oil prices.

In Canada, real GDP growth is expected to slow to 2.2 per cent in 2018 and 1.6 per cent in 2019, following an estimated 3.0 per cent in 2017. Growth is expected to remain above potential through the first quarter of 2018 and then slow to a rate close to potential for the rest of the projection horizon.

Source: Bank of Canada

Picture Source: Financial Post

Major Policy Change – another day, another mortgage change…and this one’s BIG!

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While the details are still trickling in, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has once again used its powers to tighten mortgage qualification rules.  These changes could be effective as early as today for some lenders, but no later than January 1, 2018 and will impact anyone looking to purchase or refinance a home with 20% or more down payment or equity – i.e., a lot of people.

We will continue to monitor this closely as the various banks and lenders issue their responses/implementation dates and guidelines.  We hope you find the below helpful, and we are available at any time to discuss any specific or general questions or scenarios you may have.


What’s Changing?

While a number of changes were announced today, the most significant is with respect to setting a new minimum qualifying rate, or “stress test” for uninsured mortgages (i.e., mortgages with 20% or more down payment).

As a recap, currently if you have 20% or more for a down payment and you select a 5-year fixed mortgage term, you can qualify for a maximum mortgage using your actual monthly payment in the calculations.  A typical 5-yr fixed bank rate is around 3.24% right now, which is called the “contract rate” or “actual rate”.  Going forward, while your actual mortgage payment would still be based on your contract rate, you would need to qualify using a much higher monthly mortgage payment based on the new “stress test” rate requirement which is the HIGHER of:

  • The 5-yr benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada (currently 4.89%), or
  • The contract rate plus 2.0% (i.e., if the contract rate is 3.24% the qualifying rate would be 5.24%)

In the above example, this change would significantly reduce the maximum purchase price or refinance amount that a person could qualify for as it would require them to qualify based on a stress test rate of 5.24% vs. the contract/actual rate of 3.24%  – please refer to the impact section below for examples.


When is This Changing?

The banks/lenders have yet to comment, but it is anticipated some may start implementing the new rules as early as today, but no later than January 1, 2018.  As this is a federally regulated change it will directly impact the banks, but is also expected to roll out through the mono-line lenders.  As our credit union lenders are provincially regulated, it will be interesting to see if they will have a competitive advantage vs. the other lenders in the coming months and into the new year.


What is the Potential Impact?

While every case is different, we have included a sample max purchase price impact calculation for a 20% down buyer*.  Please contact us if you would like us to run the numbers for any specific scenario or would like the detailed calculations for the below:

Impact Example #1 (Max Affordability):
Total household salaried income = $200,000
Down payment available = 20%*
Mortgage Product Chosen = 5-year Fixed
Purchase Style / Location = Freehold / Toronto
Debts = limited debts (i.e., credit card, car, etc.)

Current Max Purchase Price = Approx. $1,550,000*
Max Purchase Price After New Stress Test Rules = Approx. $1,320,000*
(Note: the above is for illustration only.  Please contact a member of Outline Financial to discuss, or for specific scenarios.)


Impact Example #2 (Max Affordability):
Total household salaried income = $100,000
Down payment available = 20%*
Mortgage Product Chosen = 5-year Fixed
Purchase Style / Location = Condo / Toronto
Debts = limited debts (i.e., credit card, car, etc.)

Current Max Purchase Price = Approx. $720,000*
Max Purchase Price After New Stress Test Rules = Approx. $620,000*
(Note: the above is for illustration only.  Please contact a member of The Lang Team to discuss, or for specific scenarios.)

*Note: for the above examples we converted the 20% down payment to a $ amount and used that same $ amount for both the contract rate and new stress test rate qualifying scenarios.  Many media reports on the subject appear to be using a straight 20% down payment for both scenarios which would make the decrease in affordability appear larger.


What is the Media Saying?

While additional details are expected to be published throughout the week, we have included a link to the OSFI announcement as well as a few relevant articles that have come out in the media today:


Additional Comments

While it is clear this change will have a significant impact on affordability, the argument for this change is that it will help stabilize the Canadian housing market over the long term.  In a worst case scenario, if the housing market overshoots on the downside, given the numerous tightening measures implemented by the government in recent years, they now have many tools at their disposal to help stimulate the housing market if/when needed (i.e., by increasing amortization, lowering the stress test rate, increasing the availability of CMHC insurance, etc.)

Should you have any questions regarding the above, please contact us at any time.


The Outline Financial Team
t: 416 834 1590




Bank of Canada Increases Overnight Rate to 1%

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Oct 11, 2017 – The Bank of Canada is raising its target for the overnight rate to 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.

Recent economic data have been stronger than expected, supporting the Bank’s view that growth in Canada is becoming more broadly-based and self-sustaining. Consumer spending remains robust, underpinned by continued solid employment and income growth.  There has also been more widespread strength in business investment and in exports. Meanwhile, the housing sector appears to be cooling in some markets in response to recent changes in tax and housing finance policies. The Bank continues to expect a moderation in the pace of economic growth in the second half of 2017, for the reasons described in the July Monetary Policy Report (MPR), but the level of GDP is now higher than the Bank had expected.

The global economic expansion is becoming more synchronous, as anticipated in July, with stronger-than-expected indicators of growth, including higher industrial commodity prices. However, significant geopolitical risks and uncertainties around international trade and fiscal policies remain, leading to a weaker US dollar against many major currencies. In this context, the Canadian dollar has appreciated, also reflecting the relative strength of Canada’s economy.

While inflation remains below the 2 per cent target, it has evolved largely as expected in July. There has been a slight increase in both total CPI and the Bank’s core measures of inflation, consistent with the dissipating negative impact of temporary price shocks and the absorption of economic slack. Nonetheless, there remains some excess capacity in Canada’s labour market, and wage and price pressures are still more subdued than historical relationships would suggest, as observed in some other advanced economies.

Source: Bank of Canada

Picture Source: Financial Post

2017 Mortgage Consumer Survey

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CMHC recently completed an online survey of 3,002 recent mortgage consumers, all prime household decision-makers who had undertaken a mortgage transaction in the past 12 months. Sixty-five percent had undergone a mortgage renewal, 15% had refinanced their mortgage, and 20% had purchased a home with mortgage financing (11% First-Time Buyers and 9% Repeat Buyers). CMHC has conducted this survey since 1999. It is the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind in Canada.

The Home Buying Process

  • Sixty-four percent (64%) of First-Time Buyers indicated they were renting before purchasing, and 34% lived with family.
  • Wanting to buy their first home (37%) and feeling financially ready (31%) were the most important reasons First-Time Buyers gave for purchasing a home in the past year.
  • Low interest rates (33%) was the most important reason for Repeat Buyers to purchase a home in the past year.
  • Fifty-three percent (53%) of buyers were aware of the latest mortgage qualification changes, and 19% noted that it impacted their purchase decision. For example, 11% of buyers said they increased their down payment, 6% purchased a smaller home, 5% purchased in a different location, and 3% delayed their purchase.
  • Buyers interact with a wide variety of people, and are most likely to consult a real estate agent (72%), or look to a family member or mortgage lender for advice (both at 57%). Forty-one percent (41%) reported interacting with a mortgage broker. Of all interactions, real estate agents were noted as most valuable.
  • Seventy-one percent (71%) of First-Time Buyers accessed savings for their down payment, while 18% received a gift from a family member.

Click to Read More -> [CMHC 2017 Mortgage Consumer Survey]

What is a credit score, and how to improve yours.

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What is a Credit Score:
Your credit score is a number that illustrates your financial health at a specific point in time. It also serves as an indicator of your financial past, and how consistently you pay off your bills and debts. This is one of the factors mortgage professionals consider in qualifying you for a mortgage.

How to Check Your Credit Score:
To find out your credit score, contact Canada’s two credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada at and TransUnion Canada For a fee, these agencies will provide you with an online copy of your credit score as well as a credit report – a detailed summary of your credit history, employment history and personal financial information on file. You can also obtain a free copy of your credit report by mail. If you find any errors in your report, notify the credit-reporting agency and the organization responsible for the inaccuracy immediately.

What If You Do Not Have a Credit Score:
It’s important to begin building a credit history as early as possible. You can begin to build one by applying for – and responsibly using – a credit card. Your financial institution or mortgage professional can help.

How to Improve Your Credit Score:
Demonstrating your ability to manage credit is key to maintaining a good credit score. There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score. These include: Always pay your bills in full and on time. If you cannot pay the full amount, try to pay at least the required minimum shown on your monthly statement. Pay off your debts (such as loans, credit cards, lines of credit, etc.) as quickly as possible. Never go over the limit on your credit cards, and try to keep your balances well below the limits. Reduce the number of credit card or loan applications you make. Once your credit score has improved, work with your mortgage professional to obtain a mortgage that works for you.

Find Out More:
To find out more about credit scores and reports, visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website and download or request a free copy of their guide, Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score. This guide provides practical, straightforward information on how to obtain and understand your credit report and score, as well as how to build and maintain a good credit history.