B.C. Government Cuts Automatic 2% Increase in Annual Rent Allowance for 2019

General Angela Calla 27 Sep

The B.C. government is capping rent increases in the province at the rate of inflation, a move that will drastically cut the maximum annual rent hikes that had been allowed under the old formula.

The province dropped the automatic two per cent increase in annual rental costs for renters around the province, starting next year.

The increase will now be limited to the annual rate of inflation, which now stands at 2.5 per cent.

This comes on the heels of recommendations from the Rental Housing Task Force to limit rental increases to the inflation rate alone.

The maximum rent increase that was allowed for next year, under the current formula, was 4.5 per cent.

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B.C. government cuts automatic 2% increase in annual rent allowance for 2019

Angela Calla has been a licensed mortgage broker for 14 years. She has been with Dominion Lending Centres since its inception in January 2006. Residing in Port Moody, British Columbia, Angela is a regular expert guest on several news stations, television shows, radio programs and local and national publications.  She was the AMP of the year in 2009, and has consistently been one of DLC and the industry’s top performers since 2006. She can be reached at callateam@dominionlending.ca  or 604-802-3983


General Angela Calla 5 Sep

As expected, the Bank of Canada held its key overnight rate this morning at 1.5%, asserting that July’s surprising spike in CPI inflation to 3% was in large part because of a jump in airfares. The Bank expects inflation to move back towards 2% in early 2019, as the effects of past increases in gasoline prices dissipate. The Bank’s core measures of inflation remain firmly around 2%, consistent with an economy that has been bumping up against full capacity for some time. Wage growth, as well, remains moderate.

Incoming information on the global economy is consistent with the Bank’s forecast in the July Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The U.S. economy has been particularly strong, growing at a 4.2% rate in the second quarter. This compares to Canada’s growth rate of 2.9% last quarter, which follows a 1.4% pace of economic expansion in Q1. Second quarter growth in the U.S. was boosted by strong consumer spending and business investment. In Canada, third quarter growth is expected to slow temporarily, mainly because of fluctuations in energy production and exports.

Indeed, this morning, Statistics Canada reported that Canada’s trade deficit all but disappeared. A sharp export gain to the U.S. combined with a decline in imports took Canada’s overall merchandise trade deficit to its lowest level since December 2016.

Canada’s merchandise trade surplus with the U.S., targeted by President Donald Trump in NAFTA negotiations, grew to the widest in a decade. Stats Canada said that gains in global exports were led by automobiles and energy, almost all of which were bound for the U.S. Crude oil led the energy gains as prices rose 9.4% in July. The import decline was driven by aircraft and metal ores.

These figures are likely to impact the resumption of bilateral talks in Washington regarding NAFTA, as the Trump administration has negotiated a new deal with Mexico and has threatened to leave Canada out and impose stiff auto tariffs if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government does not make concessions, especially on dairy supply management and dispute mechanisms.

The Bank of Canada highlighted that “elevated trade tensions remain a key risk to the global outlook and are pulling some commodity prices lower…The Bank is also monitoring the course of NAFTA negotiations and other trade policy development closely, and their impact on the inflation outlook.”

It was wise of the Bank of Canada to hold its powder dry at today’s policy meeting given the continued uncertainty on the NAFTA front. An agreement on NAFTA would provide the central bank with more comfort in moving ahead with a hiking cycle that has already lifted the benchmark overnight rate four times since mid-2017.

Noting that “activity in the housing market is beginning to stabilize as households adjust to higher interest rates and changes in housing policies”, the Bank reaffirmed that the economy is doing well enough to require higher interest rates in the future to achieve the inflation target. Another rate hike could come as soon as the next policy meeting on October 24th.

It is widely expected that a NAFTA deal will have come to fruition by then, opening the way for the Bank to resume monetary tightening. According to Bloomberg News, “Investors see near-certain odds that by October, the Bank of Canada will raise borrowing costs for the fifth time since the hiking cycle began in July 2017, with as many as two additional increases by mid-2019.”

– Dr. Sherry Cooper

The Angela Calla Mortgage Team gives you clarity on the best mortgage by being transparent, unbiased free mortgage advice with choice. We are here to help you personally with your mortgage at 604-802-3983 or callateam@dominionlending.ca


Get Protected With Mortgage Insurance

General Angela Calla 4 Sep

It’s a topic not a lot of people want to talk about: Death. It’s especially not something people want to think about as they get ready to sign a mortgage. This should be an exciting time, and the last thing you want to be thinking about is your mortality. We’ve either dealt with our own sudden tragic loss, or have heard the stories of someone who has. We’ve also heard stories of the people who didn’t have insurance.

The majority of people skip over getting mortgage insurance for two reasons: they don’t want to spend the money, or they already have some type of life insurance policy through work.

Let’s address the first. No one wants to spend more money than they have too. And if you’re single and don’t have any children to care for, maybe mortgage insurance isn’t for you.

But if you have spouse and kids, you need to think about whether they can carry on with the mortgage payment. If they can’t they’ll be forced to sell.

For a few dollars a month extra, it may not be a bad idea.

There are also a number of different policies that could work for your budget. Manulife’s Mortgage Protection Plan offers you immediate insurance and can be canceled at any given time.

While you think you may be covered through your work, you need to take a closer look at the policy.

Mortgage insurance is a debt replacement while life insurance is an income replacement. You need to understand the difference. You also need to see just how much you’re going to get through your policy. Unless you’re a police officer or firefighter, you may end up being surprised just how little you end up with at the end of the day.

And statistically speaking, if you’re a younger person, you’re more likely to be injured and disabled, at least consider the disability portion of the mortgage insurance.

When your mortgage broker asks you to consider mortgage insurance, it’s easy to dismiss the conversation, but don’t. You may be saving your loved ones even more pain and grief if something should happen to you down the road.

Angela Calla, Mortgage Expert, AMP of the Year in 2009 has been helping British Columbian families save money with the best mortgage strategy for over a decade from her Port Coquitlam office location. She is a regular contributor to national and regional media outlets and long-time host of The Mortgage Show on CKNW Saturdays at 7pm, and sits on many advisory boards for mortgage lenders and insures.


Choosing Your Mortgage Broker

General Angela Calla 4 Sep

There’s little doubt, the biggest purchase in your life will be a home. So when you’re embarking on what can be both an exciting and stressful journey, you want the best professionals by your side. When it comes to picking a broker to handle your mortgage, it’s not always easy to decide who to choose.

There are roughly 18,000 mortgage professionals in Canada. While most are honorable and great at their job, it’s important to find the broker that works best for you.

Nowadays, there’s plenty of information or reviews on any given broker at your fingertips. While those searches can give you pretty good insight into a potential broker, there’s a few things you also might want to consider that can help make that decision a little easier.

As brokers, we spend a lot time using our industry jargon because it comes natural to us. We work in it every day. But for the average person, some of the terms in a mortgage can be downright confusing. And in a lot of situations, people don’t want to speak up because they don’t want to sound dumb. Look for a broker who is going to keep it simple for you, so you understand exactly what you’re getting in your mortgage.

Ultimately, it comes down to the mortgage product. But don’t be blinded by a broker who is selling you on a rate and making promises to pay for fees. It’s a big red flag. If they say they’re going to pay for everything, they’re desperate for anything.

Of course the rate matters, but the characteristics of your mortgage matter more and could end up costing you in the long run.

You want a broker who’s going to listen to you and ask you about your needs and future goals. Why are your plans five or 10 years from now so important? Consider that nearly 70 per cent of mortgages are broken within three years. Even if you’re sure of today, life happens and tomorrow could be different. You need to at least consider the penalties for ducking out of your mortgage early, or if it’s even portable.

The best mortgage brokers in the business will make sure they’ve got all of your bases covered, and you’re fully aware of what you’re signing onto.

Angela Calla has been a licensed mortgage broker for 14 years. She has been with Dominion Lending Centres since its inception in January 2006. Residing in Port Moody, British Columbia, Angela is a regular expert guest on several news stations, television shows, radio programs and local and national publications.  She was the AMP of the year in 2009, and has consistently been one of DLC and the industry’s top performers since 2006. She can be reached at callateam@dominionlending.ca  or 604-802-3983