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Bank of Canada maintains key interest rate

In today’s scheduled press release, the Bank of Canada announced that they will be maintaining the overnight benchmark rate at 0.25%. It is projected that interest rates will not rise until the second half of 2022. In a statement accompanied by the release of its quarterly Monetary Policy Report, the Bank rate remained steady at 0.5% with the deposit rate also left unchanged at 0.25%. The Bank also announced a further tapering of its bond program, reducing its weekly purchases of government bonds to $2 billion – a decrease of one-third. In its statement, the Bank noted that while the global economy is recovering strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic, that recovery is still “highly uneven, and remains dependent on the course of the virus.” The Bank’s Monetary Policy Report indicated that growth should rebound strongly as the economy reopens after COVID-19’s third wave. Growth of around 6% is forecast this …
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Nearly 4,500 homes sold in Waterloo Region this year

According to the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors (KWAR), nearly 4,500 homes have been sold in Waterloo Region in the first six months of 2021. There were 740 homes sold through its multiple listing service last month, representing a 10.1% jump from June 2020 and a 13.6% decrease from May 2021. “The number of homes sold in the Kitchener-Waterloo area these past 6 months surpasses any previous 6 months of activity through our MLS® System,” says Nicole Pohl, President of KWAR. “Since the beginning of the year, we have reported 4,393 home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo and area, which is remarkable.” One of the fastest-growing regions in Canada Pohl reported that Waterloo’s real estate market is one of the fastest growing in Canada. “We have, over the last three or four months now seen a stabilization in prices, which is really, really positive, not these crazy price increases every month, but that …
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The Valko Team is the WINNER for “The Best Mortgage Broker in Kitchener”

“We have awarded Dominion Lending Centres – The Tracy Valko Team as The Best Mortgage Broker in Kitchener for 2021. An overall quality score exceeding 95% was achieved, making them the top ranked in Kitchener.” -Quality Business Awards We are proud to announce that The Valko Team has been recognized as The Best Mortgage Broker in Kitchener by the Quality Business Awards! The Quality Business Awards recognize businesses that achieve an average quality score of 95% or greater over the previous 12 months. A heartfelt thank you to the Quality Business Awards for this amazing recognition! It is milestones like these that push us to keep improving our mortgage financing services. Click here to check out out our listing on the website!

What will happen next with Canada house prices?

Original Source:  Mortgage Broker News With the rate of homebuying in Canada cooling in recent weeks and house prices having declined nationally for two consecutive months, there’s been much conversation around the questions of whether bidding wars will die down and prices will continue moderating. While some believe that the federal government’s action on the mortgage stress test rate has had its desired effect – easing the trend of frenetic bidding far above list price – others in the mortgage industry have seen little evidence of that change in their markets. Tracy Valko (pictured), principal mortgage broker and owner of the Kitchener, ON-based Valko Financial, told Mortgage Broker News that the pace of bidding remained relentless in that region, continuing to expose what she said was a significant supply issue in the housing market. “What the government was looking to do in slowing down the market, and in trying to …
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First annual Valko Awards Night a great success

On June 17, Valko Financial hosted our first annual Valko Awards Night! The virtual event was a night of celebration that honoured several exceptional workers within the brokerage. To our eleven Valko Award winners, congratulations on your success! Your drive to go above and beyond for the brokerage is greatly appreciated. We cannot wait to see where you go from here! To our sponsors and business partners, thank you for your continued support of Valko Financial. It is a pleasure to work alongside each and every one of you. We appreciate your contributions to the event by selecting nine well-deserving recipients of the Lender’s Choice Awards! A special thank you to our guest speaker, Kevin Rempel, who presented “The Hero Mindset.” Kevin Rempel is a 2013 World Champion and 2014 Sochi Paralympic bronze medalist in sledge hockey who has an incredible story of overcoming a tremendous amount of adversity. Paralyzed after a motocross …
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Mortgage credit rising, but non-mortgage debt dropping like a rock.

Contrary to the common belief that debt among Canadians is rising during the pandemic, non-mortgage debt had significantly dropped during 2020. Have a look at the graphs below, provided by Statistics Canada. Household Debt in Canada decreased to 167.70 percent of gross income in 2021 from 169.87 percent in 2020. Source: Statistics Canada Household Saving Rate in Canada increased to 13.10 percent in the first quarter of 2021 from 12.70 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. Source: Statistics Canada From the provided statistics, two main points were uncovered: Canadian Household Savings Rate is 13.10% vs <5% prior to the pandemic, a significant increase. The debt to Income ratio is a universal calculation that measures a countries overall consumer’s financial health.  At 167% it’s much lower than the approximately 173% we saw prior to the pandemic. So yes Canadians are taking out more mortgages.  This is true. But they’re also saving …
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Home Sales Continue to Break Records in May 2021

The Kitchener-Waterloo housing market continued to break records in May 2021. The month saw a total of 854 residential properties sold through MLS, up 100.9% from May 2020. “While last May home sales were restrained due to the pandemic, May 2021 was another extraordinary month of home buying and selling activity,” says Nicole Pohl, President of KWAR. “Prior to 2020, the previous 10-year average number of residential sales for May was 656.” Residential properties sold in May 2021 included 485 detached homes (up 85.8% from May 2020), 106 apartment-style condominium units (up 152.4%), 74 semi-detached (up 72.1%) and 188 townhomes (up 138%). The average price of a home in Kitchener-Waterloo was $740,103 in May 2021, up 30.4% from May 2020. The average price of a detached home was $868,990, up 32.6% from May 2020. Additionally, condominium units sold for an average of $457,935 (up 38.6%), semi-detached for $659,975 (up 36.8%) …
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Stress Test Rule Changes Confirmed

Breaking Mortgage News The current rule for mortgage approvals is that you must qualify as if the interest rate is 4.79% or your contract rate plus 2%, whichever is higher. This is known as the stress test rate. Its purpose is to determine if someone can still afford their home even if rates were to rise. Effective June 1st, 2021, the stress test rate is being raised to 5.25% on both insured and uninsured mortgages. It is estimated that this increase will decrease homebuyers’ purchasing power by around four to five percent. Unfortunately, as of June 1st, most pre-approvals under the previous stress test will no longer be accepted and you must qualify at the new rate. If you currently have a pre-approval with Valko Financial, please call our office at (519) 745-8019 to review the amount that you are qualified for. We are still committed to arranging mortgage financing for the purchase of your …
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Thinking of refinancing your mortgage? Read this first

Tracy Valko was recently interviewed by The Globe and Mail on the ins and outs of mortgage refinancing. Check out a snippet from the article below! Tracy Valko, principal mortgage broker, and owner of Valko Financial Ltd., based in Kitchener, Ont., says many people who refinance today opt for variable-rate mortgages, with interest currently as low as 1.45 percent. They can usually lock in at a fixed rate with the same lender down the road, without fees or penalties. “It’s hard to know where interest rates are going to go,” she explains. A variable-rate gives you time to see what’s going to happen with the economy and “let the dust settle.” Valko suggests that clients use their interest savings and any extra funds they may have saved from reduced lifestyle costs because of the pandemic to aggressively pay down their mortgages through lump-sum or “privilege” payments. At the same time, …
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Weak April Jobs Report Reflects Canadian Lockdown

Original Source:  Dr. Sherry Cooper, DLC   Canada’s Jobs Recovery Impaired by Third-Wave Virus Restrictions   This morning, Statistics Canada released the April 2021 Labour Force Survey showing a major deterioration in the jobs market following the third-wave Covid containment measures. Employment fell by 207,100 (-1.1%) in April, and the unemployment rate rose 0.6 percentage points to 8.1%.Employment declined in both full-time (-129,000; -0.8%) and part-time (-78,000; -2.3%) work. The number of employed people working less than half their usual hours increased by 288,000 (+27.2%). The number of Canadians working from home grew by 100,000 to 5.1 million. Total hours worked fell 2.7% in April, driven by declines in educational services, accommodation and food services, and retail trade. The labour underutilization rate, which captures the full range of available people who want to work, rose 2.3 percentage points to 17.0% in April. The number of Canadians unemployed for 27 weeks or more–the long-term unemployed–increased to 486,000. This group might well be the most scarred by the pandemic in terms of their job prospects and …
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