Canadian Housing Appears To Be Close To Bottoming

General Angela Calla 24 Mar

Housing Marketing Could Be Poised For a Spring Rebound

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in February bounced 2.3% from the previous month. Homeowners and buyers were comforted by the guidance from the Bank of Canada that it would likely pause rate hikes for the first time in a year. 

The Canadian aggregate benchmark home price dropped 1.1% in February, the smallest month-to-month decline of rapid interest rate increases in the past year. The unprecedented surge in the overnight policy rate,  from a mere 25 bps to 450 bps, has not only slowed housing–the most interest-sensitive of all spending–but has now destabilized global financial markets. 

In the past week, three significant US regional financial institutions have failed, causing the Fed, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Treasury to take dramatic action to assure customers that all money in both insured and uninsured deposits would be refunded and the Fed would provide a financial backstop to all financial institutions.

Stocks plunged on Monday as the flight to the safe haven of Treasuries and other government bonds drove shorter-term interest rates down by unprecedented amounts. With the US government’s reassurance that the failures would be ring-fenced, markets moderately reversed some of Monday’s movements.

But today, another bogeyman, Credit Suisse, rocked markets again, taking bank stocks and interest rates down even further. All it took was a few stern words from Credit Suisse Group AG’s biggest shareholder on Wednesday to spark a selloff that spread like wildfire across global markets. 

Credit Suisse’s shares plummeted 24% in the biggest one-day selloff on record. Its bonds fell to levels that signal deep financial distress, with securities due in 2026 dropping 20 cents to 67.5 cents on the dollar in New York. That puts their yield over 20 percentage points above US Treasuries.

For global investors still, on edge after the rapid-fire collapse of three regional US banks, the growing Credit Suisse crisis provided a new reason to sell risky assets and pile into the safety of government bonds. This kind of volatility unearths all the investors’ and institutions’ missteps. Panic selling is never a good thing, and traders are scrambling to safety, which means government bond yields plunge, gold prices surge, and households typically freeze all discretionary spending and significant investments. This, alone, can trigger a recession, even when labour markets are exceptionally tight and job vacancies are unusually high.

Canadian bank stocks have been sideswiped despite their much tighter regulatory supervision. Fears of contagion and recession persist. Job #1 for the central banks is to calm markets, putting inflation fighting on the back burner until fears have ceased.

Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, reminded us yesterday that previous cycles of rapid interest rate tightening “led to spectacular financial flameouts” like the bankruptcy of Orange County, Calif., in 1994, he wrote, and the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and ’90s. “We don’t know yet whether the consequences of easy money and regulatory changes will cascade throughout the US regional banking sector (akin to the S.&L. crisis) with more seizures and shutdowns coming,” he said.

So it is against that backdrop that we discuss Canadian housing. The past year’s surge in borrowing costs triggered one of the record’s fastest declines in Canadian home prices. Sales were up in February, the markets tightened, and the month-over-month price decline slowed.

New Listings

The number of newly listed homes dropped 7.9% month-over-month in February, led by double-digit declines in several large markets, particularly in Ontario.

With new listings falling considerably and sales increasing in February, the sales-to-new listings ratio jumped to 58.4%, the tightest since last April. The long-term average for this measure is 55.1%.

There were 4.1 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of February 2023, down from 4.2 months at the end of January. It was the first time the measure had shown any sign of tightening since the fall of 2021. It’s also a whole month below its long-term average.

Home Prices

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was down 1.1% month-over-month in February 2023, only about half the decline recorded the month before and the smallest month-over-month drop since last March.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI sits 15.8% below its peak in February 2022. 

Looking across the country, prices are down from peak levels by more than they are nationally in most parts of Ontario and a few parts of British Columbia and down by less elsewhere. While prices have softened to some degree almost everywhere, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, and St. John’s stand out as markets where home prices are barely off their peaks. Prices began to stabilize last fall in the Maritimes. Some markets in Ontario seem to be doing the same now.

The table below shows the decline in MLS-HPI benchmark home prices in Canada and selected cities since prices peaked a year ago when the Bank of Canada began hiking interest rates. More details follow in the second table below. The most significant price dips are in the GTA, Ottawa, and the GVA, where the price gains were spectacular during the Covid-shutdown. 

Despite these significant declines, prices remain roughly 28% above pre-pandemic levels.

Bottom Line
Last month I wrote, “The Bank of Canada has promised to pause rate hikes assuming inflation continues to abate. We will not see any action in March. But the road to 2% inflation will be a bumpy one. I see no likelihood of rate cuts this year, and we might see further rate increases. Markets are pricing in additional tightening moves by the Fed. 

There is no guarantee that interest rates in Canada have peaked. We will be closely monitoring the labour market and consumer spending.”

Given the past week’s events, all bets are off regarding central bank policy until and unless market volatility abates and fears of a global financial crisis diminish dramatically. Although the overnight policy rates have not changed, market-driven interest rates have fallen precipitously, which implies the markets fear recession and uncontrolled mayhem. As I said earlier, job #1 for the Fed and other central banks now is to calm these fears. Until that happens, inflation-fighting is not even a close second. I hope it happens soon because what is happening now is not good for anyone.  

Judging from experience, this could ultimately be a monumental buying opportunity for the stocks of all the well-managed financial institutions out there. But beware, markets are impossible to time, and being too early can be as painful as missing out.

(This article is courtesy of the Sherry Cooper Assoc.)


Angela Calla is an 19-year award-winning woman of influence which sets her apart from the rest. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. Through her presence on “The Mortgage Show” and through her best-selling book “The Mortgage Code, Angela educates prospective home buyers by providing vital information on mortgages. In light of this, her success awarded her with the 2020Business Leader of the Year Award.

Angela is a frequent go-to source for media and publishers across the country. For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or at 604-802-3983.

Click here to view the latest news on our blog. 

trigger rate

Canada’s Headline Inflation Cools in February

General Angela Calla 23 Mar

Further Decline in Inflation in February Will Keep the Bank of Canada On Hold in April

All eyes will be on the Federal Reserve tomorrow when they decide whether to hold rates steady because of the banking crisis or raise the overnight rate by 25 basis points (bps). Before the run on Silicon Valley Bank, markets were betting the Fed would go a full 50 bps tomorrow, as Chairman Powell intimated to the House and Senate.

Since then, three bank failures in the US as well as the UBS absorption of troubled Credit Suisse, have caused interest rates to plummet, bank stocks to plunge, and credit conditions to tighten. Many worry that rate increases will exacerbate a volatile situation, but others believe the Fed should continue the inflation fight and use Fed lending to provide liquidity to financial institutions. 

Relative calm has been restored thanks to the provision of huge sums of emergency cash by lenders of last resort–the central banks–and some of the US industry’s strongest players.

While Canadian bank stocks have also been hit, the banks themselves are in far better shape than the weaker institutions in the US. Our banks are more tightly regulated, have much more plentiful Tier 1 capital, and their outstanding loans and depositors are far more diversified. 

This morning, Statistics Canada released the February Consumer Price Index (CPI). Headline inflation fell more than expected to 5.2% from 5.9% in January. This was the largest deceleration in the headline CPI since the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020.

The year-over-year deceleration in February 2023 was due to a base-year effect for the second consecutive month, which is attributable to a steep monthly increase in prices in February 2022 (+1.0%).

Excluding food and energy, prices were up 4.8% year over year in February 2023, following a 4.9% gain in January, while the all-items excluding mortgage interest cost rose 4.7% after increasing 5.4% in January.

On a monthly basis, the CPI was up 0.4% in February, following a 0.5% gain in January. Compared with January, Canadians paid more in mortgage interest costs in February, partially offset by a decline in energy prices. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.1%.

While inflation has slowed in recent months, having increased by 1.2% compared with 6 months ago, prices remain elevated. Compared with 18 months ago, for example, inflation has increased by 8.3%.

Food prices continued to rise sharply–up 10.6% y/y, marking the seventh consecutive month of double-digit increases. Supply constraints amid unfavourable weather in growing regions and higher input costs such as animal feed, energy and packaging materials continue to put upward pressure on grocery prices.
Price growth for some food items such as cereal products (+14.8%), sugar and confectionary (+6.0%) and fish, seafood and other marine products (+7.4%) accelerated on a year-over-year basis in February. Prices for fruit juices were up 15.7% year over year in February, following a 5.2% gain in January. The increase was led by higher prices for orange juice, as the supply of oranges has been impacted by citrus greening disease and climate-related events, such as Hurricane Ian.

In February, energy prices fell 0.6% year over year, following a 5.4% increase in January. Gasoline prices (-4.7%) led the drop, the first yearly decline since January 2021. The year-over-year decrease in gasoline prices is partly the result of a base-year effect, as prices began to rise rapidly in the early months of 2022 during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Shelter costs rose at a slower pace year-over-year for the third consecutive month, rising 6.1% in February after an increase of 6.6% in January. The homeowners’ replacement cost index, related to the price of new homes, slowed on a year-over-year basis in February (+3.3%) compared with January (+4.3%). Other owned accommodation expenses (+0.2%), which include commissions on the sale of real estate, also decelerated in February. These movements reflect a general cooling of the housing market.

Conversely, the mortgage interest cost index increased at a faster rate year over year in February (+23.9%) compared with January (+21.2%), the fastest pace since July 1982. The increase occurred amid a higher interest rate environment.

Bottom Line

The Bank of Canada is no doubt delighted that inflation continues to cool. Canada’s inflation rate is low compared to the US at 6.0% last month, the UK at 10.1%, the Euro Area at 8.5%, and Australia at 7.2%.

The Bank was already in pause mode and will likely stay there when they meet again in April.

(This article is courtesy of the Sherry Cooper Assoc.)


Angela Calla is an 19-year award-winning woman of influence which sets her apart from the rest. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. Through her presence on “The Mortgage Show” and through her best-selling book “The Mortgage Code, Angela educates prospective home buyers by providing vital information on mortgages. In light of this, her success awarded her with the 2020Business Leader of the Year Award.

Angela is a frequent go-to source for media and publishers across the country. For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or at 604-802-3983.

Click here to view the latest news on our blog. 

inflation

CMP Top 75 Brokers in 2022

General Angela Calla 20 Mar

Weathering a Turbulent Market

In spite of predictions to the contrary, COVID-19 did not bring the mortgage sector to a screeching halt. Throughout 2021, despite new virus variants and a roller coaster of lockdowns, the volume of mortgage deals kept brokers working overtime to keep up with the demand.

This year is shaping up to be a productive one with the same volume of business for brokers across the country. Arguably, several broader economic factors have coincided with the pandemic’s positive mortgage spinoffs, including continuing historically low mortgage rates, a lack of supply of housing inventory, and jaw-dropping housing appreciation in Canadian housing markets of all sizes.

 

As offers come across brokers’ desks without any contingencies and the requirement to work quickly to secure the best deal for their clients, to say that brokers from coast to coast have been kept busy is an understatement.

“If you had asked me back in 2019 what is something that could cause the collapse of the real estate market, I would have said a global pandemic,” says Daniel Patton, mortgage agent with BM Select and one of CMP’s Top 75 Brokers.

Add into the mix recent developments, including the backlog of supplies at major ports and disruptions to the supply chain as well as inflation hovering at levels not seen since the early 1990s, and brokers still feel very positive about the direction of the mortgage space in 2022.

The long-anticipated Bank of Canada announcement of a quarter of a percent increase to the overnight lending rate has not derailed broker enthusiasm. The flurry of interest in the mortgage space is expected to continue.

“Our real estate went crazy. People can say whatever they want about economics, but it is all about supply and demand, so I anticipate the sales continuing to be strong as inventory comes available,” Patton states.

Effective solutions

When asked how it feels to be recognized by CMP as a top mortgage performer in a field rife with competition, the winners could agree that it is a thrill just to be nominated among one’s peers.

“This is my 21st year of doing mortgages. I just would say that it’s really nice to be recognized and to have done so over my career and that all that hard work has paid off,” says Scott Brown, mortgage broker and owner at Ultimate Mortgage Group.

For Tracy Valko, broker-owner at Valko Financial, it’s an honor to be recognized for the hard work and dedication she puts into the industry. “I am always humbled and grateful for the brokerage to be recognized. It’s not just one individual, it’s us together. I would say that we are a family, and we have to do it together,” she says.

James Harrison, mortgage broker at Mortgages.ca and another top performer in 2022, remarks: “It feels great. We work so hard at what we do and to be recognized, and for our clients to see that we are recognized, is really great, too.”

Top qualities

The ability to navigate the sometimes harsh realities of the brokerage world is a skill that takes years to develop. Becoming a Top 75 Broker requires certain attributes to be brought to the mortgage table.

“It takes a lot of hard work. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. Also, it involves being proactive with clients rather than reactive,” says Collin Bruce, mortgage broker at DLC Mortgage Mentors.

Drew Donaldson, founder and principal broker at Donaldson Capital, says: “It’s a time-sensitive business. You have to be quick on your feet. You have to be fast and efficient.”

Other qualities that the Top 75 Brokers considered important are being responsive, patient, and willing to listen to their client’s needs.

“One thing that comes to mind is resilience. It’s not always the good times,” Clinton Wilkins, team leader at Centum Home Lenders, says. “In this industry, it can be very challenging with a lot of moving parts, so being organized is important as well.”

Successful approaches

The approach that each broker takes when dealing with their valued clients can vary. The winners provided insight into what approach works best for them to get the deal done while putting the client front and center.

“For us, the client approach is that we really try to have the same process for every client so that everyone gets the same positive experience from our team,” Chris Allard, mortgage broker with Smart Debt Mortgages, states. He adds that this experience is built around the first client phone call when the broker asks what the clients hope to achieve and what their long-term goals are.

Patton believes that being a top-performing broker means having a balance of sales and underwriting. “You have to be honest and direct with your client and in a fast-moving market it certainly helps to give direct answers,” he says.

Not to leave out the lending relationship, Donaldson drew attention to the approach needed to create a seamless lender submission.

“We have what’s called the Donaldson difference. One of the four pillars on which it rests is the key relationships that we have with our lending partners. It has taken 15-plus years to develop those relationships,” he explains.

Running the long race

When asked what lies ahead for 2022, the winners unanimously agree that despite recent rate hikes that have directly impacted variable rates, the mortgage race will not be slowing anytime soon.

“It’s a rising interest rate environment. People may be taking a more conservative approach and may pay a bit of a premium and lock in their rates with a fixed mortgage,” Donaldson predicts.

Patton adds that “although inventory may be low right now, I anticipate the sales to remain very strong because there is such a backdrop of buyers.”

And in Harrison’s view: “I don’t see rates skyrocketing. I think a lot of people will continue to refinance because most people are staying in their homes and wanting to be doing a major renovation or maybe buying a second property like an investment property.”

Their piece of winning advice for 2022?

“Believe in yourself and love yourself,” Valko concludes.

(This article is courtesy of CMP)


Angela Calla is an 19-year award-winning woman of influence which sets her apart from the rest. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. Through her presence on “The Mortgage Show” and through her best-selling book “The Mortgage Code, Angela educates prospective home buyers by providing vital information on mortgages. In light of this, her success awarded her with the 2020Business Leader of the Year Award.

Angela is a frequent go-to source for media and publishers across the country. For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or at 604-802-3983.

Click here to view the latest news on our blog. 

trigger rate

A Comprehensive Look at the Year’s Trends – Angela Calla in the News

General Angela Calla 17 Mar

Our team wanted to give you a big hello and hope you had a wonderful week. In case you missed it, we wanted to take a moment to share an article from Zolo, discussing the emerging housing trends in 2023 so far.

Some key findings from this report include that:

  • 55% of Canadians create a budget before they buy a home
  • 50% of Canadians save their down payment in their TFSA
  • 47% of Canadians receive money from family and/or an inheritance to boost their down payment 

Our team can help strategize all of the above and below for you within our network. Please reach out to our team to discuss how to navigate your options.

We were also asked to provide our advice as a top industry expert facing the current housing market, some highlights include:

  • Not shopping around for a mortgage (with a mortgage broker) is the costliest mistake anybody can possibly make
  • Adding outside debt can reduce your ability to qualify (we can help with a strategy) 
  • Reverse mortgages are becoming a popular method to provide help to their children

If you would like to read the entire article, you can click the image above.

As always, our team is always available to answer all your mortgage-related inquiries.

We hope you have a wonderful and warm weekend!

The Angela Calla Mortgage Team


Angela Calla is an 19-year award-winning woman of influence which sets her apart from the rest. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. Through her presence on “The Mortgage Show” and through her best-selling book “The Mortgage Code, Angela educates prospective home buyers by providing vital information on mortgages. In light of this, her success awarded her with the 2020Business Leader of the Year Award.

Angela is a frequent go-to source for media and publishers across the country. For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or at 604-802-3983.

Click here to view the latest news on our blog. 

trigger rate

Preparing for the Spring Market

General Angela Calla 16 Mar

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the Spring market is anticipating a drop in home prices edging down approximately 6% from 2022, putting the average home price at $662,103 in 2023. The downward trend stems from rising interest rates and continued uncertainty in the marketplace.

In some cases, sellers have taken their homes off the market in the hopes that prices will rise again; meanwhile, potential buyers are biding their time for interest rates to drop. Due to this, home prices may continue to see reductions throughout 2023, while interest rates are not expected to drop until 2024.

While not a particularly buyer-heavy market, there are still individuals who will be looking to make a move, upgrade/downgrade or simply relocate.

For those households who think they are on the purchasing end of the Spring market this season, here are five signs from Home Trust to know if you’re ready:

  1. Your income is stable: For most first-time home buyers, purchasing a house indicates that you can make regular payments to service a mortgage. Accordingly, you should make sure you have a secure and steady flow of income to make these payments over the length of your home loan period. While this is often thought to mean that you work a full-time job, many self-employed Canadians also have stable incomes – and alternative lenders, such as Home Trust, are willing to listen to their unique financial situations.
     
  2. You are ready with your down payment: Having enough money on hand for a down payment is important because the amount will impact the type of house you can buy, the amount you need to borrow and the range of financing options you qualify for.
     
  3. You found an area you can grow in: Buying a house means putting down roots, so you need to make sure that you can buy a house in an area that suits your needs and lifestyle. You should also be able to envision yourself living in that area over the next five to 10 years.
     
  4. You feel comfortable managing your debt: Paying for a house involves having the discipline and commitment to stick to a budget. Take some time to track your spending habits over a couple of months to find out if you are comfortable setting aside roughly 30% of your income to pay for your mortgage debt.
     
  5. You have an emergency fund on hand: Owning a home means that unexpected home maintenance expenses, such as plumbing and electrical repairs, could eat into your budget. So having an emergency fund on hand to cover six months’ worth of expenses will allow you to cover these unforeseen costs.

If you feel that these signs point to ‘yes’ or you have more questions about purchasing (or selling) a home this Spring, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly for expert mortgage advice!

(This article is courtesy of the DLC March Newsletter)


Angela Calla is an 18-year award-winning woman of influence which sets her apart from the rest. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. Through her presence on “The Mortgage Show” and through her best-selling book “The Mortgage Code, Angela educates prospective home buyers by providing vital information on mortgages. In light of this, her success awarded her with the 2020Business Leader of the Year Award.

Angela is a frequent go-to source for media and publishers across the country. For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or at 604-802-3983.

Click here to view the latest news on our blog. 

trigger rate

Fraud Awareness Month

General Angela Calla 16 Mar

Did you know? March is fraud awareness month in the mortgage industry, which makes this is a great time to talk about title insurance!

As our insurance experts, FCT is a leading provider of title insurance and has some helpful information for you: 

For those who don’t know, title fraud can impact both homebuyers and homeowners. Someone whose title has been stolen, or who purchased a fraudulently listed property has few options for recourse – and many never imagine this could happen to them.

Industry experts are urging homebuyers to purchase title insurance as part of closing. Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) recently described title insurance as “the best safeguard” for homebuyers.

While title insurance is still an option for homeowners after they take possession, even years later, the best time to purchase a title insurance policy is NOW before an issue like fraud is discovered.

“There’s no reason you shouldn’t be getting title insurance, just like you wouldn’t buy a house without property and casualty insurance,” says Daniela DeTommaso, President of FCT. When a homeowner with a title insurance policy learns their title has been stolen, they benefit from more than just their coverage.

“The title insurance company also has a duty to defend,” says Daniela. “That means that the minute we find out [title fraud] has happened, we step in and we protect [the insured]. We pay all of the costs.”

Those costs include the legal fees to restore a homeowner’s title, which can be in the tens of thousands, as well as the costs of investigating the fraud and handling all the legal processes.

“It’s not only compensating for that significant loss,” Daniela continues. “It’s also providing that peace of mind knowing that someone’s going to navigate this process for you, and any costs […] having to prove that you are who you say you are.”

If you aren’t insured yet, don’t wait for your home to make headlines. Protect yourself and your property with an existing homeowner’s title insurance policy from FCT.

(This article is courtesy of the DLC March Newsletter)


Angela Calla is an 18-year award-winning woman of influence which sets her apart from the rest. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. Through her presence on “The Mortgage Show” and through her best-selling book “The Mortgage Code, Angela educates prospective home buyers by providing vital information on mortgages. In light of this, her success awarded her with the 2020Business Leader of the Year Award.

Angela is a frequent go-to source for media and publishers across the country. For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or at 604-802-3983.

Click here to view the latest news on our blog. 

trigger rate

Bank of mom and dad “becoming mandatory” for Canadians entering the housing market

General Angela Calla 15 Mar

New research shows that the bank of mom and dad or other family support is more important than ever for Canadians getting into the housing market.

The research comes from Zolo, a national real estate marketplace, which goes as far as to say borrowing from family is “becoming mandatory” to enter the market.

Zolo’s insights are based on a survey of homebuyers who purchased houses in 2022.

We’ve covered many stories about how long it would take to save up for a down payment in housing markets like Toronto and Vancouver, but family plays a huge part for many looking to skip that step.

Zolo found that 47% of Canadians receive money from family or an inheritance “to boost” their down payment. An additional 24% use their partner’s family’s money for a down payment.

Less surprising is that a large number of Canadians use borrowed money to buy homes, like through a line of credit or inheritance.

Mortgage expert Angela Calla told Zolo that it’s better to use family financial planning “and getting a gift from your parents as a part of an early inheritance” versus borrowing.

Another fascinating insight that probably is not very surprising to hear is that 49% of Gen Z browsers for properties on Instagram. This differs from other generations, like boomers, Gen Xers and millennials, who primarily use real estate listing websites.

One-quarter of respondents even said they browsed for homes via TikTok.

Zolo also said that millennials and Gen Z folk are “much more decisive” when it comes to knowing what they want.

Another interesting tidbit is what home buyers consider the most important rooms in the home. 30% of respondents said the living or family room was most important, followed by 20% who said the kitchen was most important, and 13% said bedrooms.

(This article is courtesy of the Daily Hive Vancouver)


Angela Calla is an 19-year award-winning woman of influence which sets her apart from the rest. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. Through her presence on “The Mortgage Show” and through her best-selling book “The Mortgage Code, Angela educates prospective home buyers by providing vital information on mortgages. In light of this, her success awarded her with the 2020Business Leader of the Year Award.

Angela is a frequent go-to source for media and publishers across the country. For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or at 604-802-3983.

Click here to view the latest news on our blog. 

trigger rate

Some Tips For Purchase Plus Improvements

General Angela Calla 15 Mar

Tip of the Week

The price is right, but the home needs a little TLC. That’s what Purchase Plus Improvements is for!

An appraisal outlining the current “as is” value and the “improved” value may be required. This often means a detailed list of improvements, including copies of the contracts outlining the scope of work & cost estimates.

If approved, then the full committed mortgage amount will be advanced to the solicitor at closing with instructions to hold back the cost of improvements until inspection by an approved appraiser confirms all work has been completed.


Angela Calla is an 19-year award-winning woman of influence which sets her apart from the rest. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. Through her presence on “The Mortgage Show” and through her best-selling book “The Mortgage Code, Angela educates prospective home buyers by providing vital information on mortgages. In light of this, her success awarded her with the 2020Business Leader of the Year Award.

Angela is a frequent go-to source for media and publishers across the country. For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or at 604-802-3983.

Click here to view the latest news on our blog. 

trigger rate

New Report Reveals Surprising Changes In How Canadians Bought Homes In 2022

General Angela Calla 14 Mar

A new report from Zolo showcases how significantly home buying has changed for Canadians in recent years. From 2020 through 2021, home prices broke records nationwide, with high consumer demand and a low inventory of homes for sale. However, in 2022, that trend started to reverse, leading to real estate markets that look dramatically different.

A recent Zolo survey polled 800 Canadians to ask them how, when, where, and why they bought a home in 2022. The results outlined in the 2023 Canada Housing Market Report show significant findings, including:

  • Family financial support is increasingly critical in home buying for almost half of Canadians.
  • 47% of homebuyers spent one to two years browsing real estate listings before starting to house hunt in earnest.
  • Virtual viewings and long-distance purchases are out of favour – in 2022, most respondents viewed their homes in person between two and four times before making an offer.

Almost Half of Homebuyers Receive Financial Help from Families.

In today’s landscape of high mortgage rates, financial gifts from family are the norm.

  • 47% of homebuyers reported receiving money from family as a gift or inheritance to boost their down payment.
  • 24% of respondents reported using their partner’s family’s money to make that purchase.

Family financial gifts are essential in making housing more attainable. Mortgage expert and author Angela Calla shared, “While today’s qualifications are income times three, for example, $100,000 per year qualifies you for a $300,000 mortgage, adding any outside debts to that usually reduces that ability.”

47% of Homebuyers Start House Hunting Years in Advance

Homebuyers use social media and real estate websites to find their ideal homes before viewing in person.

  • 47% of homebuyers spent one to two years browsing real estate listings before beginning their house-hunting journey.
  • When they did start looking, 31% of them only viewed between four and six homes before making an offer.

(This article is courtesy of Muskoka 411)


Angela Calla is an 19-year award-winning woman of influence which sets her apart from the rest. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. Through her presence on “The Mortgage Show” and through her best-selling book “The Mortgage Code, Angela educates prospective home buyers by providing vital information on mortgages. In light of this, her success awarded her with the 2020Business Leader of the Year Award.

Angela is a frequent go-to source for media and publishers across the country. For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or at 604-802-3983.

Click here to view the latest news on our blog. 

trigger rate

Three US Banks Fail and Markets Freak Out

General Angela Calla 14 Mar

US Policymakers Take Emergency Action To Protect Depositors At Failed Banks

Silicon Valley Bank (SVP) had a sterling reputation among the many tech start-ups it helped to finance. What brought SVB down was an old-fashioned bank run set off in 2021 by a series of bad decisions.

That year, the stock market boomed, interest rates were near zero, and the tech sector was flush with cash. Many start-ups held their working capital and other cash at SVB. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based lender saw total deposits mushroom to nearly $200 billion by March 2022, up from more than $60 billion two years earlier.

The bank invested much of that cash in long-dated Treasury bonds–normally considered a blue-chip investment. If held to maturity, the full value of the initial investment would have been returned to the bank. However, interest rates have risen dramatically since last March, causing the price of those bonds marked-to-market to decline precipitously. SVB risked large losses if it had to liquidate its securities portfolio.

This created a massive mismatch between the value of the deposits and its bond holdings. Moreover, this was not initially transparent to the depositors thanks to a 2018 relaxation of banking regulation much-favoured by SVB’s CEO. Regional banks were no longer required to mark their assets to market, nor were they required to succumb to the regular stress testing by the federal regulator where they prove they could survive black swan events. In addition, capital requirements became easier for these institutions.

In 2018, Trump eased oversight of small and regional lenders when he signed a sweeping measure designed to lower their costs of complying with regulations. An action in May 2018 lifted the threshold for being considered systemically important — a label imposing requirements including annual stress testing — to $250 billion in assets, up from $50 billion.

SVB had just crested $50 billion at the time. By early 2022, it swelled to $220 billion, ultimately ranking as the 16th-largest US bank.

In 2015, SVB Chief Executive Officer Greg Becker urged the government to increase the threshold, arguing it would otherwise lead to higher customer costs and “stifle our ability to provide credit to our clients.” He said that with a core business of traditional banking — taking deposits and lending to growing companies — SVB doesn’t pose systemic risks.

Another unique problem for SVB was the unusual concentration of deposits from certain types of clients. SVB’s depositors were heavily concentrated in the tight-knit world of start-ups and venture capitalists (VCs). In the past few weeks, VCs, founders, and other wealthy customers on social media and in private chats started discussing concerns that SVB could no longer pay its depositors. Some began to move their money out of the bank, triggering a loss of confidence and a run on the bank.

A Rapid Fall

On Friday,  Silicon Valley Bank became the biggest US bank to fail since the 2008 financial crisis.

Another beneficiary of easing regulatory oversight of small and midsize regional banks was New York-based Signature Bank, which also suffered a massive withdrawal of deposits. On Sunday, regulators shut down Signature, fearing that sudden mass withdrawals of deposits had left it on dangerous footing.

The back-to-back bank failures unnerved investors, customers and regulators, harkening back to the financial crisis in 2008, which toppled hundreds of banks, led to enormous taxpayer-financed bailouts, and sent the US and many other countries into a severe recession.

Canada, on the other hand, escaped much of the pain, experiencing a mild short recession. Although Canadian bank stocks plunged, our banking system was lauded worldwide as a regulatory example for the rest of the world.

Regulators Rush to Forestall Widespread Bank Runs

US Federal regulators scrambled to defuse the situation over the weekend, announcing on Sunday that all depositors would be paid back in full.

The Federal Reserve, Treasury and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced in a joint statement that “depositors will have access to all of their money starting Monday, March 13.” To assuage concerns about who would bear the costs, the agencies said that “no losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer.”

The agencies also said they would make whole depositors at Signature Bank, which the government disclosed was shut down on Sunday by New York bank regulators. The state officials said the move came “in light of market events, monitoring market trends, and collaborating closely with other state and federal regulators” to protect consumers and the financial system.

The President said on Sunday and Monday, “I am pleased that they reached a prompt solution that protects American workers and small businesses and keeps our financial system safe. The solution also ensures that taxpayer dollars are not put at risk.”

He added: “I am firmly committed to holding those responsible for this mess fully accountable and to continuing our efforts to strengthen oversight and regulation of larger banks so that we are not in this position again.”

The collapse of Signature marks the third significant bank failure within a week. Silvergate, a California-based bank that made loans to cryptocurrency companies, announced last Wednesday that it would cease operations and liquidate its assets.

Amid the wreckage, the Fed also announced that it would set up an emergency lending program, with approval from the Treasury, to funnel funding to eligible banks and help ensure that they can “meet the needs of all their depositors.”

The additional funding will be made available through the creation of a new Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP), offering loans of up to one year in length to banks, savings associations, credit unions, and other eligible depository institutions pledging U.S. Treasuries, agency debt and mortgage-backed securities, and other qualifying assets as collateral. These assets will be valued at par. The BTFP will be an additional source of liquidity against high-quality securities, eliminating an institution’s need to quickly sell those securities in times of stress.

The F.D.I.C. is usually supposed to clean up a failed bank in the cheapest way possible, but regulators agreed that the situation posed a risk to the financial system, which allowed them to invoke an exception to that rule. The regulator will tap the Deposit Insurance Fund, which comes from fees paid by the banking industry, to ensure it can pay back depositors.

The agencies said that “any losses to the Deposit Insurance Fund to support uninsured depositors will be recovered by a special assessment on banks, as required by law.”

Monday’s Market Meltdown

Not surprisingly, the stock markets around the world opened sharply lower on Monday. The previous day, Goldman Sachs said that any Fed rate hikes were off the table for March 22 (I disagree). Bank stocks and energy stocks were hardest hit in virtually all markets. On the other hand, bonds surged, taking interest rates down sharply.

When banks collapse, others sometimes fear their banks and investments will follow. Even healthy banks don’t keep enough cash to pay out all depositors. So, if too many people panic at once and pull out their money — a classic bank run — it could lead to broader financial and economic calamity. And that is what the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve are trying to stop: a financial crisis prompted mainly by plunging confidence.

Canada’s Banks Are In Much Better Shape

Although most Canadian bank stocks plunged on Monday, the regulatory environment is far tighter than in the US. Moreover, Canadian banks are dominated by the Big Six rather than the thousands of banks in the US. They have nationwide branch networks with a large diversified base of clients with less exposure to technology, fewer deposit runoff issues and higher ratios of loans to deposits.

There is much less hot money coming into the Canadian banks than the small and midsize regional lenders in the US that focus on a specific niche part of the loan and deposit markets. Canadian banks are also much better capitalized.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland met with Canada’s superintendent of federal financial institutions, Peter Routledge, one day after his office announced it had seized control of SVB Financial Group’s branch in Canada.

SVB’s Canadian arm is unusual because it has a license to lend but cannot take deposits. While some Canadian startups had deposited with the bank’s U.S. arm, the Canadian operation held no client money.

SVB is a small lender in Canada. The tech financer had US$692 million in assets and US$349 million in outstanding loans in Canada as of December, according to OSFI filings. CIBC had $2.9 billion in loans through its innovation banking arm as of October 31, 2021. A bank looking to bolster its lending to startups could scoop up SVB’s loan book at a steep discount.

Yields in Canada fell sharply, following the Treasury market’s lead. Investors reversed course and bet the Bank of Canada will start cutting rates soon.

OSFI has already taken action to monitor daily the liquidity of Canadian banks in the wake of the SVB failure.

Bottom Line

Goldman Sachs was virtually alone when it said it expects the central bank to pass up the chance to hike interest rates next week. Markets still expect the Fed to keep up its inflation-fighting efforts, despite high-profile bank failures that have rattled the financial system. Traders on Monday assigned an 85% probability of a 0.25 percentage point interest rate increase when the Federal Open Market Committee meets March 21-22.

Surging bond yields played into the demise of SVB in particular as the bank faced some $16 billion in unrealized losses from held-to-maturity Treasurys that had lost principal value due to higher rates.

Is this enough to qualify as the kind of break that would have the Fed pivot? The market overall doesn’t think so.

For a brief period last week, markets were expecting a 0.50-point move following remarks from Fed Chair Jay Powell indicating the central bank was concerned about recent hot inflation data (see chart below).

Bank of America and Citigroup said they expect the Fed to make the quarter-point move, likely followed by a few more. Moreover, even though Goldman said it figures the Fed will skip a hike in March, it still is looking for quarter-point increases in May, June and July.

Next week’s meeting is a big one in that the FOMC will not only decide on rates but also update its projections for the future, including its outlook for GDP, unemployment and inflation.

The Fed will get its final look at inflation metrics this week when the Labor Department releases its February consumer price index on Tuesday and the producer price counterpart on Wednesday. A New York Fed survey released Monday showed that one-year inflation expectations plummeted during the month.

(This article is courtesy of the Sherry Cooper Assoc.)


Angela Calla is an 19-year award-winning woman of influence which sets her apart from the rest. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. Through her presence on “The Mortgage Show” and through her best-selling book “The Mortgage Code, Angela educates prospective home buyers by providing vital information on mortgages. In light of this, her success awarded her with the 2020Business Leader of the Year Award.

Angela is a frequent go-to source for media and publishers across the country. For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or at 604-802-3983.

Click here to view the latest news on our blog. 

trigger rate