Mortgages, prices and real estate trends to watch
It was widely thought that the Bank of Montréal (BMO) would discontinue its 2.99% fixed rate on five-year mortgages as advertised yesterday. However, The Bank Montréal now says it will extend the rate until April 19. Most of the other major banks raised their own rates effective on March 29, which means BMO is now offering virtually the same product for 50 basis points less. Of course, as mentioned last week, banks and other lenders will always hold the rate for pre-qualified customers for 90 days. RBC holds the rate for 120 days.
If shopping for a new house this spring, visit your bank or other lender as soon as you can. This should be your first step. You can save yourself a lot of money (or buy a bigger house).
Unfortunately, if you’re buying a condo it might be harder and harder to qualify. The Banks are not only tightening their lending criteria for condominium buyers, they are making it more difficult for builders and developers to get cash. The banks are requesting higher percentage of pre-sales and larger deposits from condominium builders. Some banks have been asking construction firms to put more equity into new projects. Other lenders have been raising the percentage of the the number of units that have to be pre-sold and demanding higher deposits as conditions for financing. Some of the country’s biggest banks have completely stopped lending to less established real estate developers.
The Finance Minister said as recently as March 5 that he is concerned that some condominium markets are over heated. These measures are all aimed at cooling down the market, creating a soft landing, (instead of popping the bubble).
Across the country, albeit slower than last year house prices continue to rise. Year over year in January, Toronto’s was up 9.9%, Calgary up 1.6%, Vancouver up 7%, Montreal up 5.6%, Ottawa 5.4% and Halifax 1.8%.
Building Around Kitchener Waterloo
We live here so we don’t really notice it but visitors from out of town always comment on how much building is going on in Kitchener Waterloo. At 260-264 Regina Street North it looks like we might be getting the one of the ugliest housing developments yet. Check out this perspective drawing, map and site plan from our friends at Wonderful Waterloo. If you’ve been up to Rim Park recently you’ve noticed the townhouses going in beside the soccer fields. The developer has an unusual marketing style.
We have a new listing in Kitchener’s East Ward. If you’re looking for a beautiful and fully updated home on a leafy street in Kitchener’s East Ward, this is truly a unique opportunity. 241 Simeon Street, Kitchener. Open House Sunday April 1st, 2:00-4:00pm
Links I like
Which is better, a 10-year or a 5-year mortgage
How to renegotiate your mortgage
Pub owner buys Forwells
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