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May Market Report

In this month’s market report, Tracy looks at the May real estate market with guest Realtor, Caroline Harvey from Royal LePage Wolle, right here in Kitchener. Caroline works closely with her husband, Mike, and TEAM HARVEY is consistently one of the top-producing teams with Royal LePage, and you can check out their current listings, or contact them here.

The Bank of Canada on Hold

On Oct. 25, the Bank of Canada made no change to the overnight lending rate. This lack of movement was widely expected, then again the Bank of Canada surprised 27 of 33 economists polled with the previous 0.25% rate hike on Sept 6, following a previous 0.25% hike July 12. At this point cooler heads are prevailing. These two recent increases should be viewed with the consideration that the last time the Prime rate reached a level this ‘high’ was September 2010, where it then sat stagnant for more than four years. Until a shock to the system triggered two 0.25% drops in early 2015. A response to the sudden drop in oil prices. Shocks to the system often cause rates to drop, the unexpected. What will cause rates to continue to rise in the future? Economic good news, which is something that tends to build in a predictable and slower fashion. …
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Refinancing Could be the Key to a Lighter Debt Load

This is an article that was published with the Cambridge Times on October 1, 2017, featuring our very own, Tracy Valko:   Tracy Valko of Dominion Lending Centres in Kitchener, Ontario, reminds homeowners that the solution to non-mortgage debt could be a lot closer to home than they think. Equifax Canada, which provides consumers credit bureau information, says that non-mortgage debt has risen 3.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2017- which is alarming, because household debt in Canada is already at al all-time high and many people are living paycheque to paycheque to make ends meet. However, if you’re having trouble making minimum payments on credit cards and other loans, the solution may be your mortgage equity.  If you’ve owned your home for some time, or even if you’re a relatively new home-owner and your property has increased in value substantially, you might be able to tap into …
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Time to Lock in a Variable Rate Mortgage?

Approximately 32 per cent of Canadians are in a variable rate mortgage, which with rates effectively declining steadily for the better part of the last ten years has worked well. Recent increases triggers questions and concerns, and these questions and concerns are best expressed verbally with a direct call to your independent mortgage expert – not directly with the lender. There are nuances you may not think to consider before you lock in, and that almost certainly will not be primary topics for your lender. Over the last several years there have been headlines warning us of impending doom with both house price implosion, and interest rate explosion, very little of which has come to fruition other than in a very few localized spots and for short periods of time thus far. Before accepting what a lender may offer as a lock in rate, especially if you are considering freeing …
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Bank of Canada Rate Change: Here’s what you need to know

As a home owner, or someone who is looking at purchasing a home, you’re probably wondering what today’s announcement from the Bank of Canada really means.  Today, for the first time in 7 years, the key interest rate was increased by a 1/4 percent, setting the rate at 0.75%.  This directly changes the Prime lending rate, which Banks and Mortgage Lenders use to set their rates. It’s no secret that the housing market here in Canada has been hot. In the Waterloo Region alone we have seen prices increase month over month by over 30%, according to the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®. Since the Bank of Canada has held the key interest rate for so long, it is only natural that in a strong economy this rate would eventually increase.  Current mortgage rates have been affected by the market as well: rates have been inflated because of market pricing, and …
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Make Your Voice Heard About Affordable Homes

As you may know, the government has made changes to the rules and regulations around qualifying for mortgage financing last year. We are very proud that Tracy has joined forces with Mortgage Professionals Canada, attempting to drive positive change for Canadians. If you have been affected by these changes in any way, now is your time to speak up! www.tellyourmp.ca is a simple and easy way to express your concerns to those who need to hear it most. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, or looking to refinance – make your voice be heard!  

Effect of foreign buyer tax still uncertain

On April 21, Toronto became the second Canadian city to implement a ‘foreign buyer tax’. The impact that the 15 per cent tax on residential real estate will have on the market remains to be seen. The fact remains that Toronto’s residential real estate supply remains at a 37-year low, and economics 101 taught us that reduced supply results in increased prices. Trying to tackle the problem of rapidly rising house prices from the demand side is popular when it is a method that primarily impact ‘other people’, especially outsiders who we grant less of a right to real estate ownership. Understandably we favour locals, or at least a definition of ‘local’ that resonates with voters. Vancouver was first to this approach in August of 2016, although the results remain unclear. The stats on the impact were skewed as many of the transactions set to close in the months following …
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Budget Breakdown

No Change in Capital Gains Taxation and No Hit to Housing By Dr. Sherry Cooper Budget 2017 continues the government’s commitment to support the middle class by enhancing Canada’s long-term growth potential. Investments to foster innovation, skills and the ability to attract top talent from around the world are included. An important and growing competitive advantage is Canada’s openness to trade and immigration, having a broader range of free trade agreements than any other G-7 country. This is particularly potent today as the U.S. is aiming to retrench from free trade and even potentially impose trade restrictions and border adjustment taxes. Ottawa is also targeting a few high-potential sectors for government support. These targeted areas are advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology (a sector that the Trump Administration might well be abandoning), digital industries, health/bio sciences and clean resources (also very different from proposed U.S. policy), with the hope of enhancing …
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