Reasons To Buy A Home In The Winter

We are led to believe that the spring and summer months are the prime time for purchasing a home, but have you ever considered purchasing a home in the winter?

Here are a few reasons to prove that buying a home in the winter might just land you a better deal!

The Best Bargains

With low temperatures – home sellers are less likely to pack up their belongings, as well as fewer offers coming in on homes. It would be the perfect time to snag a deal as agents and sellers are trying to close as quickly as possible!

Less Competition 

There will definitely be less savvy potential buyers in the market during the winter, due to icy roads and pavements. If you’re willing to endure the weather conditions – you just might land yourself an amazing deal!


A sure sign that a seller is ready to sell their home and move on out is when they’re selling in the middle of winter. Whatever the circumstance may be, negotiating a selling price, closing cost or closing date are more likely to be open for negotiation!

Most Sellers Are Holding Off Until Spring

Sure, the market might not be as booming in the winter, but it might be the perfect time to find exactly what you’re looking for, with less competition!

Working One-On-One

Winter being the slower season, your agent will have more time to spend with you regarding your big upcoming purchase. Spring is a hectic time for all agents, so in the wintertime, you’ll be able to have their undivided attention!

Homes Are Less Appealing In Winter

Everyone knows how difficult it is to keep a home looking sparkling and beautiful during the winter. There’s snow, mud, ice and salt to name a few that can make homes less appealing. However, you could use this to negotiate a better price, not to mention, the less appealing to buyers, the less offers a home will get, meaning yours could be at the top of the list!!

Mortgage Rates

You want the best mortgage rate possible so it’s always best to speak with a mortgage broker before the prices go up in the new year. Let the low supply and demand work in your favour – Don’t be left scrambling and bidding come the springtime.

Article Source: HGTV

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Millennials In Canada Want To Date Those With Similar Housing Interests

Millennials in Canada are resorting to dating apps for meeting the right match that have similar homeownership and financial goals. A recent survey from HSBC shared the results that 4 in 10 people find property and financial goals to be more important than looks when choosing potential dates.

The survey was part of a global poll which included more than 1000 Canadians. The results read that 61% of respondents feel uneasy about buying a property – So the results are more likely due to desperation in finding a partner who can share the costs of homeownership.

“Close to 70% of Canadians own their home but less than 30% do so without a mortgage. It’s good to be a little nervous about the biggest purchase you’ll likely ever make. But you shouldn’t be overwhelmed.” said Barry Golom, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking and Wealth Management Products and Propositions, HSBC Bank Canada.

The results also found that the majority of Millennials in Canada (62.8%) said financial considerations are the reason for their last move. The biggest source of stress was accepting money from parents for their purchase (14%), and the top two reasons for moving was to get more space for their money (25.5%) or a lower cost of living (23.4%).

One quarter of Canadian Millennials admit to checking the value for their property at least once per month, in comparison to the 8% of all Canadian adults (49%) who only check the value annually.

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Exciting News For First Time Home Buyers! (Up to 48k In Interest Free Loans!)

Exciting News For First Time Home Buyers!

You can reduce your monthly mortgage costs with this new Government incentive!

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Can Canada Keep up With The Price Of It’s Real Estate Market?

New research from the RBC’s housing affordability report shows that only a small fraction of families in Canada can afford to buy an average-priced home.

As it stands, only 20% of families in Toronto can afford to buy a home currently, and this statistic does not include taking a mortgage stress test!

Aside from the obvious high pricing in Toronto & Vancouver, RBC’s graph indicates how prices have risen above affordability all throughout Canada.

The good news is that RBC’s affordability measure has declined for two straight quarters, meaning housing is slowly becoming more affordable. The west parts of Atlantic Canada are declining in price, and household incomes are rising, causing the bar to lower for ownership in most markets.

In Canada – it now takes 51.4% of an average household to cover the costs of an average priced home, down from 53.9% six months prior. In Toronto, the ratio fell to 66% from 75.3 within a 6 month period.

At this pace, Toronto’s housing slowdown would have to last another 4 years before the city becomes affordable. RBC economists concluded “Interest rates are no longer poised to increase amid heightened global trade uncertainty. And despite signs of a cyclical market bottom emerging this spring, we expect home prices to remain under downward pressure for months to come in many western Canadian markets”.

Are you looking for help with a mortgage? Looking to buy your first home – Or even sell? Give Sutton Realty a call today. Peace of mind is just a quick call away! We can’t wait to help 🙂

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Reasons To Lock In A Mortgage RIGHT NOW In Canada

Rates in the mortgage market have fallen to the lowest level since September 2017, meaning now may be a good time to think about a 5-year fixed rate. Typically during the busy spring homebuying season, lenders will offer their most competitive rates, and the timing is spot on with the surging of sales in Toronto.

With a 5-year fixed rate by 0.6% in four months shows why buyers should continue to shop around to make sure they are getting the best rate before they lock in a mortgage. With purchases closing in June, the timing is excellent for consumers to take advantage of these new rates!

The best rates can be found (currently) at the following:

Equitable (Fixed: 2.89%, Variable: 2.90%), MCAP (Fixed: 3.09%, Variable: 3.10%), DUCA (Fixed: 2.89%, Variable: 2.95%) and Scotiabank (Fixed: 3.24%, Variable: 3.35%). Also worth noting that fixed rates are the cheaper option above all.

Unless the Bank of Canada cuts it’s benchmark rate, don’t expect variable mortgage rates to go down. However, fixed rates may fall even further – so keep yourself updated!

Do you need the help of an experienced realtor to help you through the homebuying process?

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Two Reasons You Should Ditch Your Big Bank And Try Out A Smaller Lender

Every time a major Canadian bank tweaks their mortgage rates, it makes headlines. Last month RBC dropped it’s five-year fixed-term mortgage rate by 0.15 percentage points (or 15 basis points) to 3.74 per cent. Every major news outlet in Canada picked it up.

Big banks never offer the lowest mortgage rates in the market, and those are the ones you want to pay attention to! Most Canadians are comfortable with staying with the big banking companies, or it could be that they are simply unaware that they can switch. Banks have a 90-per-cent stranglehold on the Canadian mortgage market and we’ve been slow to start paying attention to the alternative – often cheaper – options out there.

There is a whole industry of smaller, more competitive mortgage lenders and brokers who never make the headlines. They’re often just as established, reliable and significantly more affordable. Complacency is a big reason. A lack of knowledge is another.

  1. Brokers and smaller lenders often drop their rates first!

Beginning this past fall, the rates that lenders were borrowing at began to fall. For example, in November 2018, a five-year government of Canada bond was costing lenders 2.5 per cent in interest – it’s now costing them around 1.75 per cent. That reflects the cost of lending in the bond market, which helps influence fixed-rate mortgages. But the big banks are only recently starting to pass these savings onto Canadian consumers. Smaller lenders and brokers began lowering their mortgage rates ahead of the big banks in January – But you didn’t hear about those rate changes, because small lenders don’t make headlines.

2. Brokers and smaller lenders had lower rates to begin with!

Even if we put aside the fact that the big banks were inexcusably late with the recent rate drop, it still doesn’t make sense to stay with them. That’s because smaller lenders and brokers consistently offer mortgage rates that are way better than those posted by the banks.

Case in point: RBC’s news-making five-year fixed rate of 3.74 per cent would mean a monthly payment of $2,560 on a $500,000 mortgage (assuming a down payment of at least 20 per cent to avoid CMHC insurance, and a 25-year amortization period).

If you took that same buying scenario ($500,000 mortgage, no CMHC insurance, 25-year amortization period) and mapped it onto the best currently available five-year fixed-rate available in the market — which happens to be 3.23 per cent, at time of publication — you’d be looking at monthly payments of $2,426.

That’s monthly savings of $134. Might not seem like much, but over the course of the 25-year mortgage? You’re looking at saving $40,200 by ditching your bank.

Start by making sure that when you get a mortgage, you’re not just walking into the bank and taking the first rate they offer. Shop around and compare – hop online and see what competitors will offer you!

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Ottawa Being Pressured To Revise Mortgage Rules

Ottawa is currently being called upon to revise the B-20 mortgage stress test, as per TREB. Combined with rising interest rates and the mandated stress test, TREB’s CEO John DiMichele says the B-20 is ruinous for the economy.


“One area that needs to be revisited is the imposition of the OSFI-mandated two percentage point mortgage stress test. While we saw buyers return to the market in the second half of 2018, we have to have an honest discussion on whether or not today’s homebuyers are being stress tested against rates that are realistic. Home sales in the GTA, and Canada more broadly, play a huge role in economic growth, job creation and government revenues each year. Looking through this lens, policymakers need to be aware of unintended consequences the stress test could have on the housing market and broader economy.” says DiMichele.

Mortgage stress tests will also be used for mortgage borrowers due for renewal if they shop around for better rates, but if they choose to remain with their current lender, they’ll be at the latter’s mercy.

“People will have to stay where they are from a banking standpoint and also from a housing standpoint because they can’t move up the housing ladder,” said Shawn Zigelstein, a real estate agent. “I’ve had clients who have had to qualify at $750 to $1,000 more a month than their actual payments. This reduces their affordability, which means that they can’t buy the property they want and have to stay put, which means the people who wanted to buy their house won’t be able to.

“Qualification and what you can afford are two very different things.”


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Severe Housing Downturn in Canada is Unlikely


Royal Bank has stated that a widespread real estate downturn is unlikely and that the probability is “still low but has increased somewhat in recent months”. Mortgage stress tests and rising rates are making it harder for buyers to get a foot in the door.

Toronto, Vancouver & Alberta are currently at risk due to the high interest rates put on the high-priced areas, and affordability is a major at a crisis level. “Regulatory changes made the market healthier – it is now balanced, well supported by economic and demographic fundamentals, and while condo building activity is elevated we see few signs of overbuilding,” says RBC.

Montreal remains one of Canada’s stronger markets at the present time, says RBC. Elevated levels of apartment construction in Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto is a potential long-term concern, however unsold inventories are low.


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Will the New Mortgage Stress Test Really Hold Buyers Back? Predictions – Stats are In

This CBC article is one of the best we have viewed.  It gives consumers a better idea of the possible impact by giving us a bit of the math breakdown.

New mortgage stress test rules will block 50,000 people from buying: mortgage group

New rules aimed at cracking down on the mortgage market will result in 100,000 people failing a stress test of their finances, and about half of them will be blocked from buying a home. That’s one of the major takeaways of a new report published Tuesday from Mortgage Professionals Canada, an industry group that represents 11,500 mortgage brokers, lenders and insurers.

The federal government has moved seven times since 2008 to tighten rules surrounding the real estate market, and practically every time, the market has shrugged off tighter rules around areas like maximum debt loads and amortization periods. But new rules implemented in October could be different.

Starting January, uninsured borrowers from federally regulated lenders must have their finances “stress tested” to ensure they would be able to pay off their mortgages if rates were higher than they are today. To do that, the lender must run a test assuming rates were two percentage points higher than they are right now, and see if borrowers would be able to pay off the loan.

By the group’s estimates based on the market today, “18 per cent of mortgage borrowers who are stress tested, would fail the stress test.”
Since there’s roughly 700,000 homes sold every year in Canada, and most of them involve some sort of mortgage. That means up to 100,000 buyers would fail the new stress test and be forbidden from buying the home they want at the price they want. “Perhaps 50,000 to 60,000 per year will be able to make a different purchase, albeit one that is less attractive to them,” the group said. But “perhaps 40,000 to 50,000 per year will be entirely removed from homeownership.”

The group says it doesn’t object to the idea of a stress test in general, just that the current parameters are too rigid. Essentially, the mortgage group says running the numbers with rates that are two percentage points higher than they are today isn’t realistic or helpful..

For starters, the majority of new buyers get a five-year fixed rate mortgage, which means if they lock in now. they would be immune from rate hikes until 2022.
Currently, the average mortgage rate in Canada is 2.96 per cent, the report found.
Even assuming rates are higher when they have to renew, the current stress test rules ignore two things: On average, borrowers will have paid off 15 per cent of their principal, five years into their first mortgage, even if they do nothing more than make their monthly payments with no prepayments. Having more equity in their homes makes them better able to handle debt, even at a higher rate.The stress test rules also ignore that people generally tend to see their incomes increase over time too.

“Based on trends over the past five years, mortgage borrowers will typically have seen their incomes rise by 10 per cent” by the time they renew, the group says.A better level for the stress test, the group says, would be testing borrowers’ finances at an interest rate that’s three-quarters of a percentage point higher, not two.

“Using the posted mortgage interest rate today in mortgage stress tests is excessively stringent, and will unnecessarily impair the housing market and therefore the broader economy,” the report found.”And it will unnecessarily [and therefore unfairly] prevent large numbers of Canadians from achieving their reasonable housing goals.”