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2017 is Here and Interest Rates Have No Where to Go But…

While 2015 was a fairly active year as far as the Bank of Canada adjusting interest rates, 2016 has remained largely uneventful. Canada began 2016 with a low interest rate of 0.5%, which has remained the status quo throughout the entire year. Economists and the Canadian government alike have continued to voice concerns that Canada could be at risk of Continue Reading

The Numbers Are In: House Prices Up 0.3% in December

In December, the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index™ was up 0.3% from the previous month, slightly more than the average December rise of 0.1% since the Index series began in 1999. Prices rose in eight of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed. The increase exceeded the countrywide average in Toronto (1.2%), Victoria (1.2%), Quebec City (0.6%), Calgary (0.6%), Hamilton Continue Reading

Boots on the Ground: Automated Valuation Models the New Drive-by Appraisal

Drive-by appraisals have historically been the norm, even if you are a lender who finances insured deals that don’t require a conventional appraisal. Drive-by appraisals are the closest thing that lenders have to putting boots on the ground to validate the information submitted in an application. While drive-by appraisals can be very helpful, during the winter months it can be Continue Reading

Saving Time: Things to Look for in Your Application

One of the single largest expenses in a lender’s underwriting operation is the incorrect disclosure and omission of information. While this occurs to varying degrees, and while it is still argued which instances are and are not mortgage fraud, it nonetheless drives up the cost of underwriting. This has a trickle-down impact to both broker partners and lenders, whether it Continue Reading

Canadian Mortgage Industry – A Year in Review

2016 mortgage and real estate news were largely uneventful for the first half of the year, but the second half was a whirlwind of activity. The many announcements and regulations both at the provincial and federal level meant that the name of the game for the second half of 2016 was more rules, more regulation! The Bank of Canada began Continue Reading

The Numbers Are In: House Prices Up 0.2% in November

In November, the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index™ was up 0.2% from the previous month, slightly more than the average November rise of 0.1% since the Index series began in 1999. Prices rose in seven of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed, in all cases by more than the countrywide average: Hamilton (1.4%), Toronto (1.1%), Montreal (0.9%), Calgary (0.7%), Continue Reading

Government Orders Stress Testing of Portfolios for Some Lenders

If you represent a Canadian mortgage lender, you may be in the process of stress testing your portfolio in response to OSFI’s announcements in recent months. This stress testing is impacting lenders big and small. If you are out of the loop, the gist of the announcement is that Canadian banks are being required to stress test their portfolios in Continue Reading

Assessing Property Values in Hot Urban Markets

Assessing property values becomes uniquely difficult in hot Canadian urban markets like Toronto and Vancouver. With property values rising exponentially year over year, and with some economists stating that we could be headed for a cooling in the real estate market due largely in part to new regulations and stress testing, it can be difficult to estimate what a property Continue Reading

Identifying Mortgage Fraud in 1-2-3

It’s hard to be a lender. Lenders, unfortunately, are constantly tested and charged with the task of catching mortgage fraud. Whether you are dealing with the end-customer, real estate sales professional, mortgage broker, builder, etc. the buck stops at you! At the end of the day, it is your institution that stands to lose if fraudulent deals go onto the Continue Reading