18 Jun

Ottawa to help first time buyers lower mortgage payments


Posted by: Kimberly Walker

Anew federal program designed to help middle class families get on the housing ladder is being introduced while the previously announced Shared Equity Mortgage Provider Fund will launch next month.

The federal government has announced that the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive will reduce monthly mortgage payments for first-time buyers without increasing their down payment.

The incentive will allow eligible first-time homebuyers who have the minimum down payment for an insured mortgage with CMHC, Genworth or Canada Guaranty, to apply to finance a portion of their home purchase through a form of shared equity mortgage with the Government of Canada.

For existing homes, the incentive will be 5% while for new homes there will be a 5% or 10% option. The larger share available for new homes aims to boost housing supply.

The program will launch on September 2, 2019, with the first closing on November 1, 2019.

“The First Time Home-Buyer Incentive is designed to benefit those who need more assistance with housing costs, middle class Canadians. Thanks to mortgage payments that are more affordable, many families will have hundreds of dollars more each month in their pockets – money to spend on things like healthy food, sports activities for their kids, or even save for the future.” said Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance.

The government has clarified that:

  • Doubling the incentive for purchasers of new homes encourages new housing supply.
  • No on-going repayments are required, the incentive is not interest bearing, and the borrower can repay the incentive at any time without a pre-payment penalty.
  • The government shares in the upside and downside of the change in the property value.
  • The buyer must repay the incentive after 25 years, or if the property is sold.
  • The incentive will be available to first-time homebuyers with qualified annual household incomes up to $120,000. At the same time, a participant’s insured mortgage and the incentive amount cannot be greater than four times the participant’s qualified annual household income.
without FTHBI with FTHBI without FTHBI with FTHBI without FTHBI with FTHBI
House Price $200,000 $200,000 $350,000 $350,000 $500,000 $500,000
Down Payment (5%) $10,000 $10,000 $17,500 $17,500 $25,000 $25,000
FTHBI (10%) NA $20,000 NA $35,000 NA $50,000
Insured Mortgage $190,000 $170,000 $332,500 $297,500 $475,000 $425,000
Insured Mortgage + Mortgage Insurance Premium $197,600 $174,760 $345,800 $305,830 $494,000 $436,900
Monthly Payment* $989 $875 $1,731 $1,531 $2,473 $2,187
Savings on Monthly Payment $114 $200 $286
Savings on Yearly Payment $1,372 $2401 $3,430

“Through the National Housing Strategy, more middle-class Canadians – and people working hard to join it – will find safe, accessible and affordable homes. Our proposed measures will reduce the monthly mortgage for your first home by up to $286. This will mean more money in the pockets of Canadians and will help up to an estimated 100,000 families across Canada,” added Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Shared equity fund

As announced in Budget 2019, the government is also introducing the Shared Equity Mortgage Provider Fund, a five-year, $100-million lending fund to assist providers of shared equity mortgages to help eligible Canadians achieve affordable homeownership.

The fund will launch on July 31, 2019 and will be administered by CMHC. It will support an alternative homeownership model targeted at first-time homebuyers, help attract new providers of shared equity mortgages and encourage additional housing supply.

14 Jun

5 Reasons to consider buying a condominium apartment or town home


Posted by: Kimberly Walker

If you are thinking about purchasing a home in the near future, here are some reasons you may consider buying a condo apartment or town home. You should also be aware there are some cons as well.


  1. They are relatively inexpensive. As your footprint is small and you share exterior walls with others, the cost for a condo is often far lower than owning a single-family dwelling.
  2. No shoveling or painting. Most maintenance costs are covered in your monthly condo fees as are large repairs such as roofing and hallway carpeting.
  3. Amenities. Often condos have a pool or gym which is included in your condo fees.
  4. Security. for seniors and single women this is a big concern. Living in a building which a locked front door in addition to your own unit door is a big plus.
  5.  A sense of community. Often condo boards have an annual picnic or event where you can meet your neighbours. This helps to develop a sense of community.


  1. Restrictions on pets. How you can paint your front door or what you can do to your balcony can see like restrictions on your lifestyle . Be aware of these restrictions by reading the condo documents in advance.
  2. Maintenance may not be done when you would like for it to be done. Major projects may be delayed if the condo board has not allowed for large expenses and this may result in a large special assessment payment. Be sure to read over the section of your documents that covers the reserve fund.
  3.  Condo fees may go up higher than you can afford over the years. This is a particular concern to owners on fixed incomes.

Be sure to speak to your favorite Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional before you go house hunting to get expert advice on how to proceed.

5 Jun

Metro Vancouver home sales pass 2,000 for the first time in 2019


Posted by: Kimberly Walker

There was a slight rise in home sales in Metro Vancouver last month.

May 2019 figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver show 2,638 sales were recorded through the MLS, the first time more than 2,000 sales have been recorded this year and a 44.2% jump from April’s total.

But sales were still 6.9% below those of May 2018, 22.9% below the 10-year May sales average, and the lowest sales in the month of May since 2000.

Apartments recorded the largest year-over-year decrease (12.9%) while single-family sales were down 1.4% and attached eased by 0.6%.

“High home prices and mortgage qualification issues caused by the federal government’s B20 stress test remain significant factors behind the reduced demand that the market is experiencing today,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said.

Meanwhile, inventory continues to build with 14,685 homes listed for sale on the MLS, 30% higher than in May 2018.

New listings have eased though with 5,861 detached, attached and apartment properties added in May, a decrease of 8.1% year-over-year and up 2.1% from April.

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for May 2019 is 18%.

Prices lower

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,006,400.

That’s down 8.9% year-over-year and down 3.4% over the past six months. It is also 0.4% lower than April 2019.