5 Jun

Housing Market Picks Up Buyers/Sellers Adapt to Environment in South Surrey/White Rock

General

Posted by: Kimberly and Cindy Walker

Real estate is an essential service and it is one of the most important economic drivers in BC’s economy.

Physical distancing, virtual tools and strict personal safety protocols, yet we’re seeing more and more transactions happening daily.

It’s important for buyers to note that prices overall remain stable. We are not seeing a lot of downward pressure,  because for many areas there is a shortage of inventory.

We are even seeing multiple offer situations where buyers are paying asking price. When supply and demand stay in balance,  prices remain relatively firm.

11 May

Residential Market Commentary – Pandemic Predictions

General

Posted by: Kimberly and Cindy Walker

Longer term outlooks for the housing market are mixed, depending on which indicators are being considered.

The gloomiest projections are coming from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.  The agency expects it will be, at least, the end 2022 – nearly three years from now – before housing prices recover to pre-recession levels.  CMHC head Evan Siddall also points out that the coronavirus pandemic has homeowners struggling to make payments.

“Ten of thousands of Canadians are having trouble meeting their mortgage commitments”, he said.

CMHC estimates 10% of homeowners are deferring their mortgage payments right now.

The agency says the COVID-19 outbreak makes dependable long-term forecasting difficult.  It says variables that used to be known – like employment, income and immigration – have become unknown.

The agency performed a stress test in January based on a pandemic. However, the coronavirus has turned out to be much worse than the scenario that was used.  CMHC is now recalculating its forecasts.

Lenders and realtors have a brighter view.  While sales have plummeted, average prices have remained stable on a year-over-year basis.  A deficit of new listings is offered as the key reason.

Analysis by one of the big banks indicates that the benchmark price for a home has actually increased by about 10%.  It sees that as an indication buying patterns have shifted to lower cost homes.  The same report suggests most markets remain balanced for buyers and sellers, despite the pandemic.

 

Weekly Mortgage Rate Update:

*2 year fixed @ 2.99%

*3 year fixed @ 2.39%

*4 year fixed @ 2.79%

*5 year fixed @ 2.34%

Receive cash bonus up to $2500 with your mortgage.

*Variable Rate Mortgage @ prime – .30% prime rate is 2.45%

*OAC, subject to certain conditions, rates may change without notice, call for a quote

6 May

Residential Market Commentary – The new boss. Same as the old boss?

General

Posted by: Kimberly and Cindy Walker

The Bank of Canada has a new Governor.  And it could be said that everything old is new again.

Current Governor Stephen Poloz will step down, as scheduled, at the start of next month.  He will be replaced by Tiff Macklem, an old hand at the central bank.

Macklem is currently the dean of the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto, but he has a long history at the Bank of Canada and was the senior deputy governor under Mark Carney.  He was also a deputy to finance minister Jim Flaherty and helped guide Canada through the Global Financial Collapse and the Great Recession.

Macklem’s experience with that crisis appears to have been a key factor in his appointment, as Canada now faces the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Macklem and the Bank of Canada are in a tight spot.  They have run out of room to reduce interest rates and they are spending billions of dollars a week buying government bonds.  Macklem has already expressed his reluctance to see interest rates go negative, calling that move “a new source of disruption”, in an already disrupted financial system.

Given Macklem’s record we can look forward to a more staid, Carney-like, Governor.  (Stephen Poloz has been positively lively compared to many of his predecessors.)  As during the last crisis, the Bank could work to calm markets and investors with more forward guidance.  And, it is unlikely Macklem will tinker with the Bank’s 2% target for inflation, which he helped develop back in 1991

28 Apr

Residential Market Commentary – Crumbling Confidence

General

Posted by: Kimberly and Cindy Walker

Mortgage Rate Update

*2 year fixed @ 2.99%

*3 year fixed @ 2.94%

*4 year fixed @ 2.94%

*5 year fixed @ 2.59%

Receive cash bonus up to $2500 with your mortgage.

*Variable Rate Mortgage @ prime – .20% prime rate is 2.45%

*OAC, subject to certain conditions, rates may change without notice, call for a quote

Apr 27, 2020
Be the expert
First National Financial LP

The latest consumer confidence numbers from the Conference Board of Canada are another dull spot on an already gloomy outlook.

The April survey by the policy think-tank suggests the future outlook of debt-laden Canadians is at an all-time low and the plunge happened at a record pace – 73 points in just two months.  By comparison, the financial collapse of 2008 also saw a 73-point drop, but that took 13 months.

The Conference Board survey indicates 36.1% of respondents expect to see their finances deteriorate over the next six months.  That is 14 percentage points higher than the previous record of 22.1%.  The survey also suggests a majority of Canadians have a grim view of future employment with 53% of respondents saying they expect their job prospects to get worse over the next six months.

This pessimism is affecting spending plans, at least in the near term.  More than three-quarters of those surveyed, 76.5%, say this is a bad time to make a major purchase like a vehicle or a home.  That is more than 20 percentage points higher than the previous record, posted in February, 2016.

The Conference Board’s readings seem to be confirmed by government figures that show a sharp drop in inflation, a spike in unemployment and a jump in insolvencies.  Nationally, filings for personal and business bankruptcies and proposals rose 9% in February, compared to a year earlier – even before the coronavirus pandemic really took hold.  (Consumer filings led the way with a 9.2% increase.  Business filings were up 1.9%.)

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any mortgage questions you may have.

Thanks,

Dominion Lending Centres
Liberty Financial
kimberlywalker@dominionlending.ca
www.WalkerMortgages.ca
778-828-6186

31 Mar

Deferred Mortgage Payment Program

General

Posted by: Kimberly and Cindy Walker

1. Deferred mortgage payments are discretionary. Lenders maintain the legal right to timely repayment of their mortgages and mortgage payment deferral programs are offered at their sole discretion and each lender has different policies on how they handle these requests. Note: These programs are generally restricted to ‘Institutional” lenders only. Private mortgages do not qualify.

2. No lender is going to forgive your mortgage payment. A deferred payment program allows you to roll a defined number of mortgage payments into your mortgage, however you are still expected to ultimately pay all of the money you owe, with interest.

3. True financial hardship must be demonstrated. These programs are for customers who are genuinely struggling to make their next mortgage payment. They may have lost their job(s) and/or a portion of their income, and they do not have the cash reserves necessary to draw on. If you are not in this group, you are not likely to be eligible. However, if you do make the decision to request a payment deferral, please be prepared to submit a detailed breakdown of your personal assets, current income and expenses.

4. If you do not currently fall into this distressed category, please do not call your lender at this time. Lender phone lines are overloaded right now with many of the calls being from customers who are worried but are not in a situation as per # 3 above. If you are still receiving your normal income and have enough money to make your next mortgage payment, please delay a call to your lender until you are in that situation.  Or better yet contact the mortgage professional that you originally worked with when you obtained your mortgage. They will be happy to review all of your options with you!

5. Deferring mortgage payments will not hurt your credit score. A lender-approved deferment is not a missed payment–and it will not appear on your credit bureau report as such. Lenders are also typically offering to waive any fees associated with these types of programs during the COVID-19 crisis.

6. Deferred Payment Programs are typically capped at six months. Deferring the first payment will be easier than deferring the second one, and so on. Right now, six months is about the longest deferment you should expect to receive, but no lenders will do this all at once. Most of them will require that you reach out with a request for each individual payment that you are going to miss.

7. Communication is the key. If you are going to miss your mortgage payment, contact your lender first! Be honest with them about your circumstances and have a plan for how you are going to get back on track. If you are about to miss a payment and cannot get through on the phone lines, send your lender an email. Lenders may waive NSF fees if you miss a payment but can demonstrate to them that you attempted to notify them in advance.

8. A mortgage deferred payment program is for your mortgage payment only. Property tax installments and insurance premiums are entirely separate from these programs and must continue to be paid. If municipalities and insurance companies offer similar programs (which most municipalities are currently doing), they should be contacted separately.

9. Other options may be available. In addition to rolling missed payments back into your mortgage for a specified period of time, lenders also have the ability to refinance your mortgage to pay out other debt (subject to qualification), restore your original amortization (which lowers your payment amount), hold a payment (during a temporary suspension of income), or offer you a reduced payment for a specific time. We recommend that you contact your mortgage professional to review these other options. Note: Interest-only payments are usually not available under these programs.

10. Rental property investors may also be eligible. Property investors with tenants who have stopped making their rent payments will also be considered, however they will be assessed by the same rigorous standards as noted in # 3 above. Note: Some provincial governments have introduced tenant relief programs. Rental-property owners can also encourage their tenants who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 to apply for these programs if available.

Please remember that these are challenging times for not only customers but for the lenders themselves. They are all working extremely hard to try to provide all their customers with first class service and to help those borrowers who are being adversely impacted by COVID-19. It may take you a significant amount of time to reach a customer service representative at your particular lender, so when you do finally get a live person on the other end of the phone, remember that they are doing their best in difficult times and treat them with the respect they deserve.

Dominion Lending Centres
Liberty Financial
kimberlywalker@dominionlending.ca
www.WalkerMortgages.ca
778-828-6186

26 Feb

Proposed Mortgage Stress Test

General

Posted by: Kimberly and Cindy Walker

  • Currently home buyers must qualify at the 5 -Year Fixed bank benchmark rate at roughly: 5.19%
  • Proposed rate would lower to roughly 4.80%
  • Along with proposed lower interest rates, this will provide more opportunity for buyers to qualify for higher mortgages

 

Brought to you by:

 

Dave, Cindy, Amanda and Kimberly Walker

23 Year Emerald Master Medallion Winners

HomeLife Benchmark Realty

1 1920 152 Street, South Surrey, B.C. V4N 4N6

604-889-5004 or info@WalkerRealEstate.ca

www.WalkerRealEstate.ca

 

Cindy and Kimberly Walker

17 Years Mortgage Experience

Dominion Lending Centres

Working With Over 90 Lenders

604-889-5004 or info@@WalkerRealEstate.ca

www.WalkerMortgages.ca

6 Jan

It’s Cold Out There!

General

Posted by: Kimberly and Cindy Walker

Coldest Night of Year – Sat., Feb. 22, 2020 – Registration 3:00 PM

 

Ray Shepherd Elementary is participating in this family friendly event, to raise money for SOURCES’ Homeless Prevention Services which includes the “Rent Bank” program.

 

Sources Community Resources Society provides Advocacy, Housing, Homeless Prevention and Rent Bank Services which helps individuals and families GET A HOME or KEEP A HOME by:

  • Providing support for matters relating to income assistance, government disability benefits, tenancy and debt
  • Assisting homeless individuals to find safe and affordable housing and offering ongoing support to help them remain housed.
  • Supporting individuals to maintain housing through advocacy and facilitated access to resources.

 

SOURCES provides many other services for our community such as the South Surrey/White Rock Food Bank, Women’s Place and Discovery (youth counselling).  For more info visit:  www.sourcesbc.ca

 

We invite you to walk with us, and/or make a donation to the Ray Shepherd Elementary Team at:

http://walk.w-ith.me/RayShepherd (Donations of $20.00 or more, will receive a charitable receipt.)

 

EVENT DETAILS:

Walk Starts at Memorial Park, White Rock Beach: See GOOGLE MAP

Times:

3 pm: Registration opens

4 pm: Opening Ceremonies

4:15 pm: Walk begins (2, 5 or 10 kilometers, with rest stops)

5 pm: Light meal served to all walkers and volunteers

7 pm: Route closes, meal service ends

 

REGISTRATION:

Children 0-10 Years: Free

Youth 11-17: Fundraise minimum: $75, or pay $25 registration fee

Adults 18+: Fundraise minimum: $150, or pay $25 registration fee

*What about toques? The CNOY toque is for anyone who raises the minimum (including kids 10 and under), or those who pay the reg fee.

 

On average, walkers raise about $200 each, and most donors give around $40-$50, so it’s a reachable goal! Note: The registration fee is non-refundable and is not eligible for a tax receipt.

 

Note: for each $150.00 collected in total, no registration fee is required. For example, should Ray Shepherd bring in $1,200, 8 adults walk for free.

 

Thank-you in advance for supporting local families

13 Dec

RBC Increases Rates – Bank of Canada Predicts Low Rates for Years

General

Posted by: Kimberly and Cindy Walker

Mixed singles as usual, difficult for the consumer to make decisions.

RBC, today will  increase its 3-year fixed closed rate by 0.10 percentage points; and its 4-year, and 5-year fixed closed rates by 0.20 percentage points; taking all three special offer rates to 3.24%.

Brought to you by:

 

Dave, Cindy, Amanda and Kimberly Walker

22 Year Emerald Master Medallion Winners

HomeLife Benchmark Realty

1 1920 152 Street, South Surrey, B.C. V4N 4N6

604-889-5004 or info@WalkerRealEstate.ca

www.WalkerRealEstate.ca

 

Cindy and Kimberly Walker

Dominion Lending Centres

Working With Over 90 Lenders

604-889-5004 or info@@WalkerRealEstate.ca

www.WalkerMortgages.ca

2 Dec

Consumer Confidence Leads to a More Stable Housing Market in 2020

General

Posted by: Kimberly and Cindy Walker

Increased consumer confidence with more Canadians adapting to the mortgage stress tests and millennials reaching peak homebuying age.

We are told to look for a 3.7% increase in the national average home price, plus continued low interest rates.

Great time to review your financing and purchasing power.

Give us a call today, to get ready for the New Year!

28 Oct

Property Sales In Fraser Valley Have Recovered Bringing Market Into Balance

General

Posted by: Kimberly and Cindy Walker

For the third straight month, home sales in the Fraser Valley surpassed 2018 levels bringing the market back in line with long-term averages. The market’s return to balance is good news for both buyers and sellers, however its important to put the 30 per cent year over year increase in sales into context. September’s sales went through amongst the worst in 10 years to just above the 10 year average.

 

“Home prices are still dropping compared to a year ago, but on a month-to-month basis, prices are moderating because  supply is shrinking. Our incoming supply of new listings has dropped consistently for the last four months pushing our total inventory in the Fraser Valley to the lowest it’s been since April, which has had impact on prices”

 

Financing is still a challenge for many clients, but fortunately in a balanced market like this, Realtors have the time to work with clients and advise them on the best strategies for them, buying or selling!

 

Brought to you by:

 

Dave, Cindy, Amanda and Kimberly Walker

June Cong

22 Year Emerald Master Medallion Winners

HomeLife Benchmark Realty

1 1920 152 Street, South Surrey, B.C. V4N 4N6

604-889-5004 or info@WalkerRealEstate.ca

www.WalkerRealEstate.ca

 

Cindy and Kimberly Walker

Dominion Lending Centres

604-889-5004 or info@@WalkerRealEstate.ca

www.WalkerMortgages.ca