29 Nov

BOC’s next move if any could be downward

General

Posted by: Angela Calla

Well it’s that time again when the Bank of Canada considers doing something with its overnight target rate, the benchmark interest rate that affects interest rates, directly and indirectly, throughout the country.

The Bank’s overnight target rate is currently one per cent, low by historical standards although it has been lower dropping to a record 0.25 per cent in the spring of 2009 and staying at that record low for more than a year.

Now the first murmurings to be heard (and I expect more will come in the next few days) are that while the bank will likely hold the rate steady next week the next move may be down not up.

“The worsening sovereign debt crisis in Europe, which the Bank now admits looks barely contained, has weakened global economic growth prospects,” writes David Madani of Capital Economics in Toronto. “As such, we think the Bank’s next move will be to lower interest rates, possibly in April or June next year, from 1.00% to 0.50%.

“More importantly,” Madani adds, “we doubt that interest rates will go up at all between now and the end of 2013.”

The last time we had a overnight target rate of more than one per cent was January 19, 2009, the day before the Bank lowered the rate from 1.50 per cent to 1.00 per cent. That’s a long time for consumers to have the benefit of low interest rates and it looks like it could last longer still.

Courtesy the Vanvouver Sun Nov 29th 2011

The BOC is set to make an announcment Dec 6th 2011

Angela Calla, AMP Dominion Lending Centers 604-802-3983 acalla@dominionlending.ca

25 Nov

Debts dirty dozen warning signs-we can help

General

Posted by: Angela Calla

If there’s one plaintive cry you tend to hear again and again from credit counsellors, it’s this: “If only our clients had come to see us sooner.”

By the time many people actually ask for help, their debt problems are so huge that their credit ratings are in tatters and some solutions may no longer be an option.

With that in mind, here are a few of the early warning signs that are pretty good indicators that people may be on their way to financial disaster and should seek help. See if any apply to you.

1. You are only able to make the minimum monthly payment on your credit card debt. A corollary of this warning sign: using a cash advance from one card to pay off another. Imagine that you’ve racked up a $5,000 debt on a card that charges 19.9 per cent annually. No problem, you say … you just need to make a minimum monthly payment of 3.0 per cent of the balance owning — or $150, in this case. But add in another couple of credit cards with high interest rates, and you can see how making even the minimum payment can quickly become a problem. And don’t think of it as a debt of $150. You still owe $5,000. And in the early years, those minimum payments are mostly interest. By the way, in this example, paying the minimum will see that debt hang around for more than 20 years!

2. You’re delaying utility bill payments. Most people know that if they pay their electricity or water bill a few weeks late, the service won’t get cut off immediately. But stalling one creditor to pay another is a classic “I’m in trouble” indicator. And if you can’t make your utility payment one month, how likely is that you’ll be able to make a double payment next month?

3. You cash in some of your RRSPs before retirement. More and more Canadians are doing this. A Statistics Canada study found that almost a quarter of taxpayers over one nine-year period cashed in some of their RRSPs following events like the loss of a job or the death of a spouse. Raiding RRSPs early is generally not a good idea as it usually results in a big tax hit and robs you of future retirement income.

4. You argue with your spouse about money. Divorce experts say financial difficulties are a leading cause of splitting up. If you’re hiding purchases or the extent of your debt from loved ones, or losing sleep at night, these are all warning signs that should not go unheeded.

5. You are constantly using your overdraft protection. Some people have several accounts, all deep into overdraft territory. Besides the high interest rates these accounts charge, if you’re managing to not bounce cheques only because of overdraft protection, things will only get worse.

6. You’re broke the day after payday. Living paycheque to paycheque is a fact of life for many people. But when the money that’s meant to last for the next two weeks has disappeared in 24 hours, that’s a crisis that often sends people to payday loan and cash advance companies. They’re only too happy to provide you with an advance on your next paycheque in return for huge fees and interest charges. Putting aside part of your paycheque in an emergency account can help you deal with unexpected expenses.

7. You consolidate your debts every other year. Many people pay off their high-interest rate credit card debt by refinancing their home and rolling that debt into their lower-interest rate mortgage. But some can’t resist running up their credit card debt again and end up having to arrange another consolidation several years later. That’s a strategy that’s eventually likely to backfire. “People can’t borrow their way out of debt,” points out Rob Boulanger, the director of counselling at Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada in Saint John. “They’re just repackaging their debt in different form and extending their debt over God knows how many years.”

8. Cutting back on essentials. By this, we don’t mean cutting out those $4 lattes to save some money. We’re talking about cutting back on food or clothing or cutting out one meal entirely in order to make payments to creditors. Boulanger says he sees seniors doing without needed medications or cutting dosages in half so they can pay their other bills. “It’s a generational thing,” he says. “The older crowd often has a ‘pay your bills at all costs’ mindset, even if it endangers their own health.”

9. You keep applying for more credit. If you’re applying for new credit cards, regularly asking for increases in credit limits or are constantly borrowing from friends and family members to make ends meet, then you’re regularly spending more than you take home. If something doesn’t change, bankruptcy will likely loom.

10. You’re charging everyday expenses like groceries and gasoline because you don’t have the cash on hand. It’s one thing to charge everyday purchases so you can collect more reward points. But if you have to charge it because there’s nothing in your wallet or chequing account, the reward points are nothing but a dangerous distraction. If you aren’t able to pay off your credit card bill in full each month, this strategy of putting everything on that card will blow up in your face. It’s astonishing how fast the “little things” add up.

11. You regularly get past-due notices or get calls from creditors asking for payment. Paying the occasional bill late happens to many of us. But if it happens all the time, or if you regularly bounce cheques, these are serious warning signs. One side note: If you have the money and pay bills late just because you’re a procrastinator, arrange for automatic bill payments. Paying bills after their due date — even just a month late — lowers your credit score and can make it more difficult to borrow at preferential rates. It also voids the interest-free grace period.

12. You don’t actually know how much money you owe. Most of us, at least at some time, have wondered where all the money goes. Some people, though, have taken that to the extreme. “Some people are subsidizing themselves through credit, and they don’t really know it,” Boulanger says. “Some don’t know they’re in trouble. Once their credit maxes out and they can’t get any more, only then do they realize they’re in trouble.”

25 Nov

Great time for first time buyers

General

Posted by: Angela Calla

Low interest rates making home ownership slightly more affordable

By The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press – 2 hours 25 minutes ago

By The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – A new report finds low interest rates are keeping Canadian house prices within reach of homebuyers in many markets.

The Royal Bank’s quarterly report on housing trends, released early Friday, shows housing affordability improved slightly in the third quarter, after two consecutive quarters when things got worse.

RBC chief economist Craig Wright says a lower interest rate environment, which includes mortgage rates, is helping to reduce the cost of a home.

“Elevated uncertainty relating to the European sovereign-debt crisis and the downside risk for economic growth have contributed to keeping interest rates at low levels,” said Wright.

Those lower rates are helping to cushion the impact of rising home prices in many cities even as the economy slow and consumer confidence weakens.

The bank says affordability levels rose for all housing categories, although most improvements were less than one per cent.

“Housing affordability levels are quite good in most parts of Canada and will pose little threat to overall housing demand,” said Wright.

Among the most marked improvements in affordability were for two-storey homes and bungalows in Montreal, two-storey houses in Manitoba, and detached bungalows in Vancouver, Canada’s most expensive housing market.

Royal’s affordability measure for Vancouver fell slightly from the previous quarter, but remained above 90 per cent.

Toronto is next in the index at 52.1 per cent, Montreal is at 40.9, Ottawa 40.8, Calgary 37.6, and Edmonton 33.2.

“The Vancouver area market continues to be a major exception, with sky-high property values in upscale neighbourhoods making it both extremely unaffordable and the most at risk of a downward correction,” said Wright

A reading of 50 per cent means homeownership costs take up 50 per cent of a typical household’s monthly pre-tax income. The higher the rate, the higher the cost.

RBC forecasts that interest rates will remain exceptionally low in Canada until mid-2012 and rise gradually after that.

“We expect to see further slowing in the pace of home price increases next year, as housing demand levels out,” Wright said.

“These factors will set the stage for a period of relative stability in affordability trends in Canada.”

23 Nov

Review to retire your mortgage

General

Posted by: Angela Calla

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of Canadians with a mortgage hope to be mortgage-free by the time they reach age 65, but one-third (33%) of older Canadians (those over the age of 55) have 16 or more years left on their mortgage term, according to the latest RBC Housing Snapshot poll.

 “Canadians want to be mortgage-free as they approach retirement age and beyond, but the reality is that it takes prudent planning and the right advice to stay on track,” said Claude DeMone, Director of Strategy for Home Equity Financing, RBC. “Using flexible and accelerated payment options are an easy and pain-free way to help take years off your mortgage and save thousands of dollars in interest costs.”

Canadians overwhelmingly say that a low interest rate is the most important feature when choosing a mortgage (96%). Almost nine-in-10 Canadians also say that accelerated payment options (85%) and flexible payment options (88%) are important and desirable features.

 Looking ahead, the majority of Canadians expect steady interest rates in the next six to 12 months. Almost one-in-five Canadians (18%) expect rates will rise less than 1%. Just over a quarter of respondents (26%) think interest rates will rise more than 1% in the same time period.

Click here for the RBC press release.

23 Nov

BOC has a flexible approach to adapt to our markets

General

Posted by: Angela Calla

The Bank of Canada understands that targeting inflation is still its No 1 job, and that there are limits to its ability to keep borrowing costs on hold to buffer against economic shocks or trouble in the financial system, Governor Mark Carney said today.

In his first remarks on his approach to inflation-control since the Harper government renewed his mandate on November 8th, Carney defended his “flexible” approach, which has seen him keep interest rates at 1% since September 2010, amid price gains that have exceeded his 2% target for much of the past year. Plus, he reiterated that the 2007-09 crisis taught central bankers that in some exceptional cases, monetary policy may be needed to complement attempts by regulators and supervisors to keep the financial system stable.

In both cases, however, Carney came out swinging against so-called policy purists who have expressed concern that he’s moving the central bank too far away from its principal task.

 “We make monetary policy in the real world, where shocks are a fact of life,” Carney said in a speech prepared for delivery to the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “That is why the Bank responds with a flexible approach, taking decisions guided by considered analysis and informed judgment rather than mechanical rules.”

Click here for the full Globe and Mail article.

16 Nov

The shift towards condo’s and townhouses

General

Posted by: Angela Calla

The landscape of the Canadian housing industry has changed dramatically over the past several years – physically and intrinsically.

Land becomes a premium, particularly in larger metropolitan centres, lifestyle and housing priorities adjust, Baby Boomers seek en masse to downsize – often uptown – and all these factors come together to create an explosion in the condo market, as developers seek to move their projects upwards, rather than sprawling out.

 And as demand increases, the laws of economics say that so must supply. Condominium development has seen a healthy uptick over the last several years.

In a recent study by RE/MAX, outlining the sheer dollar impact that new construction and renovation has had, both on the dramatically doubling of property prices in the country over the last decade, and also in terms of driving revenues towards the new construction and renovations industries, they suggest that condominiums have emerged as an attractive option for several new groups, as attitudes and desires towards housing shift.

 Click here to read the full story from PropertyWire.ca.

Angela Calla Mortgage Team can help you regardless of the property type you select, call 604-802-3983 to see how they can help

16 Nov

Interest rate cut in the works perhaps

General

Posted by: Angela Calla

As the nail biter in Europe continues, two economists are predicting the Bank of Canada will move to cut rates in a big way next year.

Sheryl King, an Economist at Bank of America Merril Lynch, said in a note that the volatility hitting Europe and the risk of damage to the global economy means the Bank of Canada will move to cut its benchmark interest rate to ward off the risk of recession. Her prediction is the cut will be a whopping 0.75% decrease from the current rate of 1%.

 “With the Eurozone sovereign debt and banking crisis showing no sign of containment, we think the Bank of Canada will cut rates back to the effective lower bound of 25 basis points (0.25%) early next year,” she said.

King forecasts that the cut would come in two phases, with a 0.50% trim being announced during the bank’s January 17th meeting, with the second and final 0.25% cut coming during the March 8th meeting.

 

Click here to read more from the Financial Post.

Call Angela Calla to ensure you benifit from these cuts and optimize your mortgage

 

16 Nov

The debt date that doesn’t leave after the holiday party-Angela Calla

General

Posted by: Angela Calla

Reports suggest the average family spends $700 on xmas presents per year.

For an canadian earning $20/hr full time that means they will have to work an extra 7 days to be able to cover that expense- almost a third of a month!

If they don’t then that $700 on a credit card may actually cost over doubleor triple as most Canadians can’t make up the time, this was a snowball effect harder to get rid of than christmas pounds.

Angela Calla’s Tips to save this Christmas

1.Do a draw- so your buying for one instead of everyone and everyone in your family will get a gift with a 50-100 limit- saving 600 plus each family

2.Give a memory, a framed picture of a special time or experience,

3. Create an experience-make dates to spend time together, hiking, ice skating, better to spend time together than money on a material item that fades and looses its luster and helps work off some xmas pounds!

If all else fails put yourself on a plan to save approx 50 a month for your gift giving fun in a no fee high interest earning account to get your savings working for you.

Angela Calla, AMP

Dominion Lending Centres-Angela Calla

Host of ” The Mortgage Show” Saturdays @ 7pm on CKNW AM980 Phone : 604-802-3983 Fax: 604-939-8795

Email: acalla@dominionlending.ca

www.angelacalla.ca

Angela Calla, AMP

Dominion Lending Centres-Angela Calla

Host of ” The Mortgage Show” Saturdays @ 7pm on CKNW AM980 Phone : 604-802-3983 Fax: 604-939-8795

Email: acalla@dominionlending.ca

www.angelacalla.ca

15 Nov

How a mortgage broker can help

General

Posted by: Angela Calla

Good Afternoon,

I realized recently that there is still confusion around exactly what we do as mortgage professionals and the services that we offer. With today’s uncertain economic climate, the record debt levels Canadians now have, and the interest rates at their lowest point in history, we are fielding more questions than ever before. I thought it would be a good time to remind all my current and past customers, my family, friends, and circles of influence, exactly what I do and why you would use the services of  Angela Calla’s Mortgage Team at  DLC.

Here is some information that may help you understand a little more of how I help my clients:

We work with Canada’s leading Financial Institutions including Banks, Trust Companies, and Credit Unions. They include Scotia, Toronto Dominion, RBC, National Bank, CIBC, ING, and many others. There is a complete list of all our lending partners on my website at www.angelacalla.ca

Our company sends these lenders more than 11 billion dollars in mortgage volume annually, so these lenders provide us with exceptional rates, fast turnaround times, and flexibility with approvals.

When you use us to find you the very best mortgage, and negotiate on your behalf, there is no cost to you. The lender pays us a fee for finding and bringing them the business. Remember, it saves them from the cost of additional employees in wages, vacations, training cost, office space and benefits. There is no cost to you, and we only earn a fee if we arrange the mortgage for you. The Fee is the same, regardless of which lender I choose, and it is not built into the rate. The rate is typically lower than if you went directly to the lender, and the process is a thousand times simpler.

We also have lenders available that specialize in providing mortgages for clients who are self employed, contract employees, have seasonal income, have trouble proving income, or lack some of the standard documentation. We are experts in negotiating the best rates for all Canadians, but understand that sometimes you may have challenges in your past that we can work through with you, to get you back on track.

Many consumers think their bank will automatically give them the best rates because they have been loyal customers for many years, have multiple accounts with them, or have high account balances. Don’t fall into that trap. That kind of thinking has cost many clients thousands of dollars in unnecessary interest.

I am a fully licensed mortgage professional and am governed by The Financial Institutions Commission of British Columbia (Ficom). The safety and security of your personal information is of utmost importance and all discussions, documentation and file management are completely confidential at all times.

Often clients make the time consuming mistake of going to multiple lenders themselves, attempting to negotiate the best rate. Each time a Financial Institution pulls your credit report, your credit score actually drops. Sometimes the very exercise of trying to find the most competitive mortgage rate on your own actually disqualifies you from qualifying at all, or forces you into accepting higher interest rates.

We only pull a single credit report. We then send that report to our lenders electronically eliminating multiple inquiries. You deal with me directly through the entire process, from our very first conversation right until the mortgage process and funding is complete.

The interest rates today are the lowest in history. They are a direct result of emergency pricing from the Canadian Government, in a bold attempt to prevent what happened in the USA, and to protect ourselves from the current impact of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. Mark Carney (Bank of Canada’s Governor), Jim Flaherty (Federal Finance Minister) and many other Industry Professionals have publicly stated the rates can only go up and they will increase significantly.

If you, like so many other Canadians, have high interest credit card debt, department store debt, line of credit debt or other outstanding payments, now might be the ideal time to refinance your existing mortgage and consolidate it all into one simple payment, at the lowest rates of all time. This consolidation can sometimes reduce your monthly payments by more than a thousand dollars per month. I would be happy to calculate the savings for your specific situation.

There has never been a better time in history to consolidate debt, refinance your mortgage or purchase investment properties. We will get the banks competing for your mortgage business, so that you get incredibly competitive low rates, expert unbiased advice and fast, friendly service.

Contact me for a complete mortgage review at your convenience, but remember, the lowest rates in history won’t last long.

I am never too busy for your referrals and will take amazing care of anyone you think may find my services valuable.

Angela Calla, AMP

Mortgage Expert

 604-802-3983

acalla@dominionlending.ca

www.angelacalla.ca

 

 

15 Nov

Best type of property for investment-2bdrm condos

General

Posted by: Angela Calla

Multi-family market a ‘safe haven’ for real-estate investors

 
 
 
 

 

Volatile stock markets and minuscule returns from fixed income have investors looking at global real estate. But rather than single-family residential property, the hot ticket these days is multiple-family dwellings.

At a luncheon for financial analysts with the Edmonton CFA Society, Eric Bonnor, senior vice-president with Brookfield Asset Management in Toronto, quoted from the publication Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2012, a survey of 950 real estate executives by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute.

“Canadian real estate remains the most stable in North America,” Bonner said. “Canadian investors fed up with disappointing stocks and low-yielding bonds sit on lots of funds, looking for long-term cash flowing assets like real estate, and are having trouble placing the funds that they have. Investors condition themselves to accept lower domestic returns, or go outside the country and chase higher yields.”

The booklet lists Toronto and Vancouver as the most attractive real estate markets in Canada, being 24-hour destination points for businessmen and other visitors. Calgary is rated third and Edmonton fourth.

It is written that Edmonton and Calgary are oilsands markets, but Edmonton “quietly prospers in less of a see-saw mode, historically cushioned by the presence of the provincial government.” And the commercial tenancies differ, in that Edmonton features “more stable engineering companies and not so many wildcatters.”

The research adds that Edmonton has a tight industrial real estate market with low vacancy rates, that retail building is strong as people “earn big bucks in the oilsands country and spend in local malls and power centres, including one of the world’s largest in west Edmonton.” Homebuilders do well due to appetites from people with ample salaries. And local governments hike development assessments because “it’s good political optics versus raising property taxes.”

But there are problems with residential real estate in North America. The S&P Case-Shiller index shows house prices in 20 American cities are down 3.8 per cent in the 12 months ending Aug. 31, and have fallen 31 per cent since their 2006 peak. With three or four years of unsold inventory in the country, there are no signs of immediate reversal in prices. In Canada, there are concerns that a housing bubble in certain parts of the country could cause homes in those areas to fall 20 per cent in value.

To avoid the risk of buying additional residential homes, people are looking at investing in commercial and industrial properties. And presenters at the luncheon said multiple-family dwellings have become treasures, filled by people leaving their homes because they can’t keep up mortgage payments, plus those unable to afford buying a house in the first place.

Seamus Foran, a senior vice-president with Brookfield Asset Management, said the U.S. real estate market has $180 billion of known distressed assets, and that “the shining star for U.S. real estate today has been the multi-family market; as U.S. home ownership continues to decline, the multi-family market has been there to reap the benefits. However we need to be cautious as new development has started in this sector.”

He noted that in most U.S. apartment buildings, the turnover ratio of tenants on a year-to-year basis is at least 50 per cent, considerably higher than in Canada.

“There’s a reluctance to make a long-term commitment to buy residential houses (in the U.S.),” Foran said. “And the multi-family market really benefits from short-term leases, because it gives the owners opportunities to bring rents up, each time those leases fold.”

As for Canada, the Emerging Trends booklet says:

“The multi-family residential sector will stay tight as continuing immigrant flows sustain demand in the major cities. Even if job growth declines and homebuying cools, apartments should be ‘a safe haven.’ When people have less, they rent.

An increasing number of younger adults delay buying houses; they simply cannot afford them after recent price spikes. Aging demographics also favour more apartment demand; empty nesters and seniors move out of suburban homes into smaller, easier-to-maintain units with urban conveniences.”

In summary: “Investors can never get their hands on enough apartments. And everybody has the same idea. When you get some, hold onto them.”

Bonnor said the four ways of investing in real estate – direct, private, public and ‘other’ – differ in liquidity, diversification and fees.

Most retail investors looking at public investing do so through real estate investment trusts (REITs) or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with “lots of liquidity, but very high volatility.”

Foran added that there are two factors in real estate investing unique to Canada versus the U.S. One is that based on size, either square footage or asset value, the vast majority of Canadian properties are owned by institutional owners – very well capitalized REITs, very well capitalized companies like Brookfield, or pension funds that have little to no debt on their portfolios. A second difference is that Canadian banks don’t have near the same levels of commercial real estate debt leverage.

David Glicksman, a partner with PwC, said that foreign investors in U.S. property should be aware of whether they have to file U.S. income tax returns, or whether it’s done through a firm or fund. They also need to know how to declare income or losses on their Canadian tax returns, if there are withholding taxes, if there are U.S. taxes on the sale of the investment, and whether you get a foreign tax credit in Canada.

Steve Williams, also with PwC, said that in 1980 the U.S. Congress implemented the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act. It means that if a foreign investor owns U.S. real estate directly or through a U.S. company whose underlying asset is real estate, you should make U.S. tax plans for the sale of the investment.

Edmonton Journal

call Angela Calla for all your mortgage for investment needs 604-802-3983 acalla@dominionlending.ca