29 01, 2019

Thurston Olsen Toronto Real Estate Update Jan-Dec 2018

2019-02-01T15:59:12+00:00

We hope you’re keeping warm and safe this winter! In an effort to keep you up to date and informed, we have prepared your Toronto Real Estate Update for 2018. Below you will find Toronto sales information for January – December, 2018 compared to 2017.

Do you want the stats for your neighbourhood, or have a question about a specific sale on your street? Reach out and we’ll gladly give you all of the info! info@thurstonolsen.com

Are you curious to know what your home is worth? Give us call at 416.465.7850 and we will be happy to provide you with an opinion of value.

Toronto real estate update 2018 Thurston Olsen Real Estate Team
  • 29,863 homes sold throughout Toronto in 2018
    • 26.5% were detached homes
    • 8.6% were semi-detached homes
    • 54.6% were condos
    • 10.4% were other home types
  • The average price of a detached home decreased 7.1% from 2017 to 2018
  • The average price of a semi-detached home increased 1.0% from 2017 to 2018
  • The average price of a condo increased 8.7% from 2017 to 2018
  • Homes were on the market an average of 20 days in 2018. This increased from 16 in 2017.

Click here to view our Toronto Real Estate Update from Q3 2018.

Thurston Olsen Toronto Real Estate Update Jan-Dec 20182019-02-01T15:59:12+00:00
10 10, 2018

Homegrown marijuana may have a real estate cost

2018-10-10T15:38:18+00:00

Homegrown marijuana may seem like a good idea with legalization throughout Canada happening on October 17, 2018. Yes, it will be legal, but this doesn’t come without risk. Read on to see what the Globe and Mail has to say.

Homegrown Marijuana Plant Toronto

The national organization representing home appraisers is warning that growing cannabis at home will soon be legal, but it still comes with a risk.

The new law legalizing cannabis includes allowing Canadians to grow a maximum of four plants in their homes. Keith Lancastle, chief executive of the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC), is calling on the federal government to help educate homeowners on what he calls the dangers of growing at home.

“The challenge with cultivation of homegrown marijuana, is the ability of the plants themselves to get so large given the right amount of light and moisture,” Mr. Lancastle said. The impact of four cannabis plants is more akin to setting up a greenhouse for hothouse tomatoes, he says, than simply having four sizable houseplants. “Humidity is a byproduct of normal growth and it could well become an issue for the property. You either deal with moisture damage or potentially mould. If you had mould that ran amok … you hear the horror stories of people having to take houses right down to the studs and starting over again [for remediation] – although that would be an extreme case.”

Realtors, insurers, rental property owners and even some provinces have sounded off on the risks of homegrown marijuana in a residential spaces. Some have pressed for outright bans on the practice.

Alberta’s Boardwalk Communities, one of the province’s largest corporate landlords, recently banned not just growing but also smoking and even eating cannabis products in its apartments. The provinces of Manitoba and Quebec have included in their cannabis legislation provincial offences that would fine anyone who attempts to grow at home. The federal Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould, has said the Liberal government would not take those provinces to court over their home-growing regulations, but said she couldn’t do anything about a private citizen choosing to contest those laws.

In Ontario, the cannabis bill introduced by the Progressive Conservative government focused on privatizing cannabis retailers, but it left aside the issue of homegrown marijuana.

“Our point of view is, let’s hit the pause button on legalizing grow-at-home operations until we have some foundational elements in place,” said Tim Hudak, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association and a former leader of the Ontario PC Party. Under Mr. Hudak, OREA has been lobbying hard to urge different levels of government to slow down the expansion of home cultivation until things such as home-inspector retraining and municipal registries for illegal grow operations can be increased.

He was unable to persuade the federal government to block tenants or owners in multi-residential buildings from home cultivation, but he hopes the Ontario government will join Manitoba and Quebec in an outright ban.

“There’s still a lack of clarity around how mortgages and insurance are going to work if you choose to grow marijuana in your home,” Mr. Hudak said. “And you can bet your bottom dollar that one of the first questions home buyers are going to ask, going forward, is if marijuana was grown in the home.”

Mr. Hudak also pointed to polling data from Nanos Research, which in a September, 2017, survey of 500 Ontarians found 60 per cent of respondents were “concerned” with the potential for property damage related to home-grown cannabis.

Mr. Lancastle says appraisers will have to tread a fine line in dealing with homes where cannabis is in cultivation. Appraisers are barred from sharing personal information about a homeowner discovered during a home inspection.

“The mere presence of marijuana could be considered private information and, therefore, should not be disclosed,” Mr. Lancastle said, citing directives the AIC has received from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. There is one exception: “If there’s a detrimental condition – mould, water damage, so on and so forth – that is attributable to marijuana, it is acceptable to take a picture.”

One analogue for the kinds of personal or sensitive conditions appraisers would be able to report on might be a room with stripper poles or other acrobatic equipment.

“We’ve had situations where people have gone in and had trapezes and harnesses in the room and all sorts of toys,” said Mr. Lancastle. “If there’s a trapeze hanging from a joist and it’s clear it has caused buckling in the roof, that becomes something that’s a measurable adverse impact on the value, because there’s a cost associated with returning it to marketable condition.”

source: globe and mail

Homegrown marijuana may have a real estate cost2018-10-10T15:38:18+00:00
25 09, 2018

Co-ownership in Toronto may be a good option

2018-09-25T16:11:32+00:00

Not everyone has the foresight to start saving for a down payment from the time you’re handed your very first pay cheque. Nor does everyone have parents who are able to, or willing to help out with the lofty sum required to purchase your first home in Toronto. This is when co-ownership in Toronto starts to look like a great idea – and it can be! If you’re thinking about buying a home, have a look at our home buying guidelines. Here’s what The Globe and Mail has to say about two friends who purchased a home together in Niagara Falls:

co-ownership in Toronto. Hallway of a home with marble shelf and gallery wall

When Shannon Beattie moved into her stately cul-de-sac neighbourhood in Niagara Falls with two other women, her suburban neighbours were wondering what was up. It’s not generally the kind of area where you have roommates.

But they aren’t quite roommates: Ms. Beattie is co-owning the home with a long-time friend and renting out their basement. Thanks to the living situation, she ends up paying $500 a month and gets much more space than her one-bedroom apartment in Toronto, which cost five times as much.

Co-owning is an idea that is starting to catch on as housing prices get further out of reach for new home buyers. Real estate agents and mortgage lenders say they’re seeing more people interested in the idea of splitting a mortgage among two or more people – but they do say that the living arrangement doesn’t work for everybody.

For Ms. Beattie, 34, and co-owner Dawn Vanier, 35, the idea came up while the two were thinking of the best way to buy a home in Niagara Falls, which is itself having a price uptick.

“What you can afford on your own is not a lot,” said Ms. Beattie, who added that Ms. Vanier was looking at moving from a massive 3,500-square-foot house down to a little townhome after a recent separation from her partner.

“We were talking about it over wine one night, and I said ‘what if we bought something together?’”

It started as a casual idea at first, but it turned into reality much quicker and easier than the two of them expected.

Today, the two have their own separate mortgages on the house, meaning that if one decides to sell, they can do so without financially penalizing the other. They live almost exactly like roommates, except that the house is large enough that the two always have their own space when they need it.

“We are roommates – when I refer to her, I say ‘oh my roommate said this or my roommate does that,’” Ms. Beattie said. “All it is, is you have to have much more serious conversations at times.”

Those serious conversations that helped develop their current living situation were aided by the fact that there were already mortgage sellers with experience in co-owning around them.

Meridian Credit Union Ltd., a financial organization that operates in Ontario, even has a mortgage option specifically tailored to co-owning. The company always offered creative mortgages, but they only started branding it as a co-owning mortgage in 2017 when they started seeing increased demand for it.

Jason Davenport, a branch manager at Meridian’s Greektown location in Toronto, said hardly a month goes by where he’s not organizing some sort of creative mortgage for clients. The unique living situations go on and on: two four-person families living together, parents helping their son or daughter buy a home, or just two friends going in on a house together. Sometimes the co-owners split a mortgage evenly, while other times co-owners allocate a part of the house to each owner and set the value of each section.

“This kind of living situation is not uncommon at all now,” said Mr. Davenport, who added that some clients have even asked if more than four people can split a home.

“Ultimately, in a high housing economy, we have to be creative to get access to these spaces.”

He’s been setting up co-owning mortgages for three years, and hasn’t seen any go sour yet. But he does say that a good co-owning situation needs to be preceded by probing conversations that can sometimes be uncomfortable.

“When you put it out, you say ‘this is going to be an awkward conversation for a second,’” said Mr. Davenport, who adds that co-owners need to share a lot: their personal financial information, their thoughts on the value of each part of the home, their plans for the future and what will happen when one person decides to sell.

“For a lack of a better term, it’s a prenuptial on what’s going to happen.”

Essentially, if you’re not able to make compromises, then a co-ownership in Toronto probably isn’t best for you.

That’s what Lesli Gaynor, a real estate agent who specifically caters to co-owners, says.

“The one thing that’s true for anything shared is a notion of being able to be a little more fluid and little more flexible,” said Ms. Gaynor, who has co-owned a home with a friend in the past.

“You have to be able to say, ‘we’ve got a difficult conversation to have, but we’re invested in having it.’”

The payoff is immense when people find the right fit and have those fundamental conversations, she says. She’s seen seniors who are able to share a caregiver and have a better quality of life with more people around. She’s also helped two single mothers who were able to split daily errands such as picking up the kids from school.

Today, she runs a series of “speed-dating” co-owning events in Toronto where people come out and meet others who are looking for a similar shared living situation. It’s more of a lighthearted exercise aimed at helping people realize their own expectations in a co-owning situation, and Ms. Gaynor says more than 50 people showed up to the first event.

Ms. Gaynor says she’s seen a noticeable increase in interest to co-own, and adds that more people are coming to her with realistic plans in place.

With the money saved by living in Niagara, Ms. Beattie and Ms. Vanier were able to renovate their home and reap the benefits of a large house. GLENN LOWSON/GLOBE AND MAIL

Back in Niagara Falls though, Ms Beattie and Ms. Vanier are the only co-owners that they know of. It wasn’t until their story about co-owning was published in a local newspaper that people in their neighbourhood warmed up to them.

“People thought we were real strange when we told them what we were going to do,” Ms. Beattie says with a laugh.

“The neighbours when we moved in – you know two women, a third in the basement … they probably were like, what is going on here,” said Ms. Beattie, who said that the article helped clear things up.

“They’ve all come up to us after the article and said, ‘oh! So this is the situation.’”

There were some sacrifices that Ms. Beattie had to make as well. The hardest part is that she still works in Toronto a couple days a week, and the commute is not the greatest. But over all, the money saved means that they were able to renovate their home and reap the benefits of a large beautiful house. And because their monthly mortgage payment is so low, they’re able to enjoy everything about living in the Niagara region.

“We both drive around in Mercedes’, we go to wineries every weekend, we go out, it’s a nice life,” Ms. Beattie said.

“It’s kind of laughable that people want to interview me about something so simple. It works for us – it might not work for everyone, but I think you’ll see more of it in the future.”

source: globe and mail

Co-ownership in Toronto may be a good option2018-09-25T16:11:32+00:00
11 09, 2018

Toronto house price crash unlikely

2018-09-11T15:13:08+00:00

If you’ve been waiting to buy a home, hoping for a Toronto house price crash, you could be waiting forever. We’re here to help navigate this tricky market, reach out! Here’s what a recent Huffington Post article has to say:

Toronto house price crash unlikely

A recent poll found that half of Torontonians are hoping for house prices to fall, but a new report from Royal Bank of Canada basically says “don’t hold your breath.”

The modest price gains seen in Toronto and Vancouver in August are a “sign of things to come,” RBC senior economist Robert Hogue wrote in a client note.

After year-on-year declines for much of 2018, home sales in Toronto started rising again this summer. They were up 8.5 per cent in August, compared to the same month a year earlier, according to statistics released last week by the Toronto Real Estate Board.

After some downward pressure, prices appear to have stabilized. The average selling price for all housing types in Greater Toronto sat at $765,270 in August, up 4.7 per cent in a year.

“Area buyers hoping that last year’s Fair Housing Plan and this year’s stress test would bring about big price breaks will be disappointed,” Hogue wrote.

“In fact, several of them came to that realization earlier this summer (in light of steady month-to-month increases over the spring) and jumped back into the market.”

While that may be welcome news to homeowners worrying that the growth in the value of their homes has come to a standstill, it’s a disappointment to the half of Toronto residents who — in a recent Angus Reid poll — said they’d like to see house prices fall.

More than a quarter said they’d like to see an outright price crash, of 30 per cent or more. A majority of renters said they are considering leaving the citybecause of housing costs. That’s a sign of the frustration potential homebuyers are feeling in a market where house prices have long grown faster than incomes.

But though they hope for a correction, few poll respondents hold out hope it will actually happen. Sixty-two per cent agreed that government policy will not be able to make Toronto housing affordable “no matter what.”

Construction slowdown

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported a surprise decline in the number of new homes starting construction in August. The annualized rate of construction fell to just under 201,000 housing units, down from nearly 206,000 in July, according to data released Tuesday. Economists had been predicting a pick-up to around 210,000.

The largest pull-back was in Ontario, while British Columbia has seen a mild rebound, though construction is still below the frenzied pace of 2016 or 2017.

Economists expressed mixed views on the construction slowdown, with some saying the pace of construction is just returning to more sustainable levels from excessive heights.

“Despite two monthly declines, robust levels of residential construction continue in Canada, with a 27-year high for population growth supporting the strength,” Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic wrote in a client note.

“While not all regions of the country have experienced the same price pressures as Toronto and Vancouver, many are seeing heightened building activity.”

But CIBC economist Royce Mendes suggested we can expect to see a somewhat slower housing market ahead.

“A more sluggish pace to homebuilding is in line with our expectation that higher interest rates and tighter lending standards turn this former stalwart of growth into a drag on the economy,” Mendes wrote in a client note Tuesday.

keep reading: toronto housing market has stabilized

 

source: huffington post

Toronto house price crash unlikely2018-09-11T15:13:08+00:00
7 09, 2018

Toronto housing market has stabilized

2018-09-07T11:26:37+00:00

The 2018 Toronto housing market has been an exciting one, with ups and downs, we have stabilized through August. Here’s what the London Free Press has to say:

House sign with sold over asking rider.  Ford thurston and Chris Olsen Toronto housing market

Toronto’s housing market kept its footing August as sales gained while prices were little changed, continuing to stabilize after a turbulent year.

Sales jumped 8.5 per cent to 6,839 in August from the same period a year ago, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported Thursday and were up 2 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis from July. Average prices rose 4.7 per cent from a year earlier to $765,270 but benchmark prices, which measure the value of a typical home, fell 0.5 per cent from July to $764,800.

The housing market in Canada’s biggest city has been stabilizing over the past few months, following a sharp plummet earlier in the year after various government regulations were implemented to rein in prices. The market began to crack in April last year after a foreign buyers tax was put in place but has recovered much of the decline over the past few months.

Toronto housing market August price up 4.7% in 2018 from 2017“Many home buyers who had initially moved to the sidelines due to the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and new mortgage lending guidelines have renewed their search for a home and are getting deals done much more so than last year,” Garry Bhaura, president at the housing board, said in a statement.

Detached homes lagged other housing segments in August, with the benchmark price dropping 1.9 per cent from a year ago to $914,900. Meanwhile, condo apartments led the price gains, jumping 9.9 per cent from last August to $505,500.

Toronto housing market GTA sales rise 8.5%

“Despite the fact the sales remain off the record highs from 2016 and 2017, many GTA neighbourhoods continue to suffer from a lack of inventory,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis. “This could present a problem if demand continues to accelerate over the next year, which is expected.”

New listings were up 6 per cent from a year ago to 12,166. Active listings rose 8.8 per cent to 17,864, from 16,419 last year.

 

source: london free press

lead image: Ford Thurston

Toronto housing market has stabilized2018-09-07T11:26:37+00:00
6 03, 2018

Toronto home prices continue to climb

2018-03-06T15:27:52+00:00

Average home prices in the Toronto region climbed more than 4 per cent last month as buyers began to absorb the impact of tougher new mortgage qualification rules introduced in January.

Toronto home prices climb

Data from the Toronto Real Estate Board showed home prices rose 4.2 per cent in February compared to January to an average of $767,818, marking the strongest month-over-month price gain since September.

Detached home prices rose 3.1 per cent across the Greater Toronto Area in February compared to the prior month, averaging $1,000,736, while condo prices climbed 4.4 per cent over January to an average of $529,782.

Despite the increases, average prices were down 12.4 per cent in February compared to the same month last year, when sales were booming prior to a price correction that began in May last year, TREB said.

TREB said 5,175 homes sold in February across the GTA , a 35-per-cent drop compared to the record 7,955 sales in February last year, but an increase of almost 29 per cent compared to 4,019 homes sold in January this year.

There were 10,520 new listings of homes for sale in February, an increase of 7.3 per cent from the same month last year, and a jump of 23 per cent from January. Despite the increase, however, TREB said the level of new listings still remained below the February average for the previous 10 years.

Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis, said he expects sales to pick up further as the year progresses.

“As we move further into the spring and summer months, growth in sales and selling prices is expected to pick up relative to last year,” he said in a statement, predicting price growth will come in the comparatively more affordable townhouse and condominium markets.

“That being said, listings supply will likely remain below average in many neighbourhoods in the GTA, which, over the long-term, could further hamper affordability,” Mr. Mercer said.

TREB president Tim Syrianos said his association anticipated sales would be slow in the opening months of 2018 compared to historic highs in early 2017.

He said prospective buyers “are still coming to terms with the psychological impact” of housing reforms introduced last April by the Ontario government, which included a new foreign buyer’s tax, as well as new mortgage qualification rules introduced Jan. 1 that require buyers to prove they can still afford their mortgages even if interest rates rise.

While sale prices are lower than they were at their peak a year ago, TREB said they are still up 12 per cent compared to the average sale price in February, 2016, “which represents an annualized increase well above the rate of inflation for the past two years.”

Scott Ingram, a Century 21 real estate agent in Toronto, said most home owners in Toronto have made money on their property despite last year’s downturn, calculating fewer than 9,500 buyers who purchased homes in the City of Toronto last year may still be unhappy because the benchmark price in January was at least $10,000 below the price they paid last year. He said they represent about 1.3 per cent of all homeowners in Toronto.

In a new analysis for his blog, Mr. Ingram said the benchmark prices for detached houses, semi-detached houses and townhouses in the City of Toronto in January were still below the peak levels they hit last year, but said prices for all housing types are higher than they were two years ago. The benchmark condominium price has increased compared to all months last year, so buyers in that category are not under water.

Even buyers who may feel “burned” by purchasing at the peak last year will be fine in the long run, Mr. Ingram said, as long as they do not plan to flip their home quickly.

For those who bought at the peak and planned to flip quickly, Mr. Ingram said the experience is a lesson that “real estate isn’t a guaranteed investment vehicle.”

Source: toronto home prices climb
Photo: Thurston Olsen Real Estate Team

Toronto home prices continue to climb2018-03-06T15:27:52+00:00
15 02, 2018

Toronto real estate market off to a good start in 2018

2018-02-15T14:42:23+00:00

The Canadian real estate market got off to a good start this year with house prices rising in January, as Toronto saw its first gain in six months, according to a bank measurement.

Toronto real estate market off to a good start in 2018

The Teranet-National Bank composite house price index, rose 0.3 per cent last month from December and gained 8.7 per cent in January from a year ago.

That’s up from a 0.2 per cent monthly gain in December, but down from the 9.1 per cent yearly rise that month.

The index measures changes in resales of single-family homes, and each month’s reading is a rolling three-month average to smooth out monthly fluctuations in price.

While the national gauge rose for the second time since a monthly decline in November, only four of the 11 major cities measured on the index saw price increases last month.

Toronto was one of them — rising 0.2 per cent from December — marking its first gain since the middle of last year.

But National Bank economist Marc Pinsonneault warned that it was premature to conclude that home prices in Canada’s largest city have “turned the corner.”

“This firming of home prices in Toronto might reflect a rush to buy with pre-approved mortgages granted before more stringent rules on qualification for uninsured mortgages were applied starting Jan. 1,” he said.

Further increases to mortgage rates could still impact prices in the city, he added.

Toronto’s housing market pulled back last year after Ontario implemented a series of measures such as restricting foreign buyers to cool the once red-hot market.

Last week, data from the Toronto Real Estate Board showed the average selling price of a detached home in Toronto fell almost four per cent in January from a year ago.

The National Bank index reading of an 8.4 per cent gain in Toronto from a year ago is still below the national average.

source: toronto sees first gain

Toronto real estate market off to a good start in 20182018-02-15T14:42:23+00:00
8 02, 2018

Toronto home average price forecast to climb in 2018

2018-02-08T13:06:50+00:00

The Toronto Real Estate Board expects fewer home sales this year compared with 2017, but the average selling price to climb.

The board is forecasting total sales between 85,000 and 95,000 in 2018.

It says the midpoint of the range suggests total annual sales slightly lower than 2017 when there were 92,394 sales reported through the board’s MLS system.

Meanwhile, the forecast range for the average selling price in 2018 is between $800,000 and $850,000 with the midpoint suggesting a slight increase in the average selling price this year compared with $822,681 in 2017.

Detached Home Prices January 2017 vs 2018

Toronto home sales started last year on a hot streak, but slowed after the Ontario government introduced several measures to cool the market.

The real estate board says it expects year-over-year declines in transactions will be more pronounced in the first four months of this year, but sales are expected to be up compared with last year through the late spring and summer.

Detached Home Price Change January 2017 vs 2018

Source: average prices forecast to climb
All stats from Toronto Real Estate Board.

Toronto home average price forecast to climb in 20182018-02-08T13:06:50+00:00
24 01, 2018

Thurston Olsen Toronto Real Estate Update

2018-01-24T12:34:13+00:00

We’re all curious to know about real estate in our own neighbourhoods. Keeping up to date helps you to better understand the real estate market and have an idea of what your home might be worth. This is where we come in, here is your Toronto update for 2017!

Do you have a question about a specific sale in your neighbourhood, or on your street? Reach out and we’ll give you all of the info, info@thurstonolsen.com

Are you curious to know what your home is worth? Give us call at 416.465.7850 and we will be happy to provide you with an opinion of value.

Toronto Real Estate Update

That’s a wrap for 2017!
Stay tuned for quarterly updates throughout 2018.

Follow us: thurstonolsen

Thurston Olsen Toronto Real Estate Update2018-01-24T12:34:13+00:00
22 01, 2018

What to expect from rising interest rates

2018-01-22T12:15:05+00:00

Is now the time to lock in your mortgage? Here’s what to look for when it comes to debt and saving.

Detached home living room

Consumers who locked in their mortgage last fall or summer might be feeling smug following Wednesday’s increase in flexible loan rates.

But for first-time buyers and home owners looking to renew there is nowhere to hide from a rising interest rate environment.

The big Canadian banks increased their fixed-rate mortgages to 5.14 per cent from 4.99 per cent last week, even before the Bank of Canada announced the quarter per cent increase that triggered the rise in variable loan costs.

“The fact is, (people) have been incredibly lucky in terms of mortgage rates for the last eight years,” said Laurence Booth, professor of finance at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

He reminds his students of his own experience, which included a variable rate mortgage of 24 per cent in 1981, during a period of volatile interest rates.

“We’re definitely in an increasing interest rate environment. We’ve seen that with the three Bank of Canada hikes over the last year,” he said.

More increases to the benchmark rate, which stands at 1.25 per cent, are expected this year.

But Booth said the central bank is moving carefully because, while Canadians seldom default on their mortgages, it doesn’t want to drag down the overall economy by reducing Canadians’ spending on groceries and other consumer goods to meet those home payments.

“There’s no intelligent way to beat the system,” says mortgage broker James Laird, a co-founder of the Ratehub.ca.

It put the cost of the quarter of a percentage point increase in the bank rate this week at an additional $52 a month or $624 per year for someone holding a $400,000, 5-year variable rate loan amortized over 25 years.

“Variable rates are now up by a quarter of a point. Fixed rates have all adjusted to the current market,” he said.

That brings consumers back to the “classic variable-versus-fixed-rate decision.” In other words: Is now the time to lock in?

Laird said he believes that variable rate loans tend to be cheaper in the long run. But he acknowledged the increased risk makes that a highly individual decision.

“It’s only appropriate for a household to take a variable rate if they have a lot of wiggle room in their finances. If the rate moves 3/4 of a point and beyond — let’s say something unforeseen happens and rates rise quicker than anyone is expecting — they should be able to handle that risk,” said Laird, president of Canwise Financial.

“Any household that is tighter for cash — typically the first-time home buyer — we try to influence them towards a fixed rate. Yes, it’s going to cost a little bit more off the bat but we do know they can afford it and that is locked in, usually for five years,” he said.

New stress testing launched by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions means most borrowers already have to qualify at higher than the posted rates — either the 5-year benchmark rate or 2 per cent above the mortgage rate they qualify for, whichever is higher.

But Laird says consumers need to remember that interest rates historically have far exceeded today’s relatively low numbers — even if you add another 2 per cent.

The good news is that savers should start to see more for their money, he said, citing a 0.35 per cent increase in Tangerine’s 5-year GIC rate.

“It would be nice if savers were treated to this rising interest rate environment instead of borrowers simply paying,” said Laird. “It’s difficult to support your retirement at 2 per cent GIC rates.”

He doesn’t expect the central rate to rise again in March, but he thinks there will be at least one more increase this year based on the language in Wednesday’s announcement.

The bank acknowledged that the uncertainty around the North American Free Trade Agreement clouds an otherwise robust economy, including the high employment and economic factors such as high employment and near-target inflation that prompted this week’s increase.

The Bank of Canada’s overnight rate is the basis for flexible mortgages. But fixed-rate loans are based on the five-year government bond rate, said Booth.

source: what to expect

What to expect from rising interest rates2018-01-22T12:15:05+00:00