This past week, the Federal Government announced new mortgage lending rules that are set to take effect within 2 weeks. As of July 9th, 2012 there will be four new measures for insured mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of more than 80%:
• Reduce the maximum amortization period to 25 years from 30 years. On a $350,000 mortgage with 3% interest, it will increase monthly payments by $184
• Lower the maximum amount Canadians can borrow when refinancing a home to 80% from 85%
• Fix the maximum gross debt service ratio at 39% and maximum total debt service ratio at 44%. This may make it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage based on your income and other debts
• Limit the availability of insured mortgages under $1 million
Timing is Everything
If you are thinking about purchasing a new home, take advantage of the current rules and low interest rates today. Contact me for more information about these new mortgage rules and how you can benefit by purchasing before July 9th. Call my cell at 403-862-2265 or visit www.TaniaNelson.com to find your new home today!
Read More: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-070-eng.asp
By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald, June 22, 2012
CALGARY — House price gains are starting to pick up speed in Calgary, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
The national realtors’ group reported Friday that Calgary has experienced a 4.84 per cent gain in the past 12 months to May in the MLS Home Price Index — second only to Toronto’s 7.93 per cent year-over-year growth.
“Home price gains in Greater Toronto continue to eclipse those in other markets. Gains are also starting to pick up speed in Calgary after months of stability,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “As always, prospects for home price trends depend on buyers’ willingness to pay and sellers’ expectations and motivations, both of which are tied to economic, labour market, and interest rate prospects.
“With European sovereign debt and banking issues likely to cloud the global economic outlook, Canadian interest rates will remain at or very near current levels. The continuation of low interest rates will continue to support Canadian housing activity and prices for some time to come.”
CREA said May marked the largest year-over-year gain in Calgary in nearly two years. The increase lifted the index for Calgary to its highest level since August 2008.
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/86pped3
Nearly 32% hike from last year
By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald June 1, 2012
CALGARY — MLS sales in Calgary ballooned in May as residential transactions in the city were up by nearly 32 per cent compared with a year ago.
According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, total MLS sales during the month in the city reached 2,385, an increase of 31.77 per cent from May 2011, and the average sale price rose by 2.83 per cent to $445,334.
The housing market was buoyed by strong activity in the single-family home sector.
There were 1,710 single-family home sales during the month, up 30.73 per cent from last year, and the average sale price jumped by 2.70 per cent to $502,065.
That average price was only the second time it has topped half a million dollars and fell just short of the record of $505,920 set in July 2007.
In the condo apartment category, sales in May of 386 increased by 34.03 per cent from a year ago and the average sale price rose by 4.38 per cent to $280,029.
In the condo townhouse category, there were 289 transactions, an increase of 35.05 per cent from May 2011, and the average price was up by 5.29 per cent to $330,446.
“We started 2012 with over five months worth of inventory in metro Calgary, placing us in a buyers market,” said realtor Robyn Moser, of MaxWell South Star Realty. “By mid February, we saw our market strengthen up to three months of inventory, placing us in a balanced market and then by the beginning of March we saw absorption rates fall to 2.5 months and below of inventory, now placing us in a sellers market. We have sat at these levels since. This kind of change in the market is exciting to see especially after what we have been through since 2009, when we saw the average home price in metro Calgary fall 10 per cent from their peaks in 2008.”
Moser said the market should see “rational” growth and inflation for the rest of 2012.
“All these signs are showing us that hopefully the worst is now behind us and we can move forward in today’s new real estate normal,” she said.
A report released Friday by Robin Wiebe, senior economist with the Conference Board of Canada, described Calgary’s resale market as being balanced.
Wiebe said the short-term year-over-year price growth expectation for Calgary is five to 6.9 per cent.
The report said the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of sales for the city in April was 27,828, up 26.4 per cent from a year ago.
“We are seeing more interested buyers in the housing market looking for a home,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “The economy has been improving, average prices have been stable and mortgage rates remain favourable. These are some of the factors encouraging prospective buyers to move ahead with their purchasing decision.
“The resale market in Calgary is more balanced compared to the previous year. Active listings are trending lower and the pace of sales has increased. As a result, we are seeing more pressure on prices.”