Tag Archives: millennials

12 most affordable cities for millennial first-time homebuyers

Affordability stands in the way for millennials as one of the main barriers to homeownership.

But not all housing markets are created equal, and many cities offer this generation plenty of options within a price range they can afford.

“Millennials who dream of owning a home will have better luck if they move inland to places like St. Louis, Columbus and Pittsburgh,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in a press release. “These cities used to have economies that relied heavily on manufacturing, and during the recession a lot of young people moved away in search of jobs.”

With home price growth currently plateauing, the time for millennial buyers to strike could be now before that changes.

“However, now these cities have more diverse economies based on education, healthcare and technology, and there are open jobs with salaries that are high relative to cost of living. But millennials may want to move as quickly as possible because even in most inland cities the share of homes affordable to the typical millennial is shrinking as housing prices go up,” Fairweather said.

From just below the Mason-Dixon Line to the gateway to the West, here’s a look at the 12 housing markets with the highest percentage of homes affordable to millennial purchasers with median incomes.

Redfin calculated the share of homes in each housing market that were affordable during 2018 to households making the median income for millennials in that metro area, assuming a 20% down payment, an interest rate of 4.64% and a monthly mortgage payment no more than 30% of gross income.

 

12. Baltimore, Md.

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Median list price: $308,595
Median millennial salary: $85,562
Homes affordable to millennials: 81.3%

11. Raleigh, N.C.

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Median list price: $298,081
Median millennial salary: $76,729
Homes affordable to millennials: 81.4%

 

10. Oklahoma City, Okla.

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Median list price: $198,000
Median millennial salary: $60,462
Homes affordable to millennials: 82.8%

9. Indianapolis, Ind.

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Median list price: $190,000
Median millennial salary: $62,054
Homes affordable to millennials: 83.5%

 

8. Cleveland, Ohio

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Median list price: $164,900
Median millennial salary: $56,151
Homes affordable to millennials: 84%

7. Minneapolis, Minn.

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Median list price: $284,900
Median millennial salary: $83,933
Homes affordable to millennials: 85.1%

 

6. Kansas City, Mo.

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Median list price: $225,000
Median millennial salary: $71,313
Homes affordable to millennials: 85.2%

5. Hartford, Conn.

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Median list price: $249,900
Median millennial salary: $76,235
Homes affordable to millennials: 85.7%

 

4. Cincinnati, Ohio

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Median list price: $199,900
Median millennial salary: $68,511
Homes affordable to millennials: 85.9%

3. Columbus, Ohio

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Median list price: $215,500
Median millennial salary: $71,181
Homes affordable to millennials: 87.1%

 

2. Pittsburgh, Pa.

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Median list price: $179,900
Median millennial salary: $70,169
Homes affordable to millennials: 87.5%

1. St. Louis, Mo.

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Median list price: $189,900
Median millennial salary: $68,805
Homes affordable to millennials: 88.1%
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Source; National Mortgage News – Paul Centopani February 12 2019
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Rental market braces for influx of tenants

 

Rising interest and strict mortgage qualification resulted in fewer Canadians seeking homeownership than rental accommodations last year, and 2019 will bring more of the same.

“It’s going to continue,” said Marcus & Millichap’s Vice President and Broker of Record Mark Paterson. “People will continue renting rather than dealing with residential mortgages. The rental market right now can barely keep up with the vacancy rate in Toronto, for example, being around 1%.”

Competition for rentals will be even fiercer this year in urban centres and that will push rents upward, creating a spillover effect into satellite markets.

“The rental market will see an increase of 8-10% because of demand,” said Paterson. “Unfortunately for people trying to find affordable housing, they’re looking elsewhere in secondary markets. They’re priced out of city centres, and that means the talent pool for jobs will end up in secondary markets.”

The Marcus & Millichap’s 2019 Multifamily Investment Forecast Report notes that apartment projects have become more financially viable, as evidenced by 60,000 units in the pipeline countrywide. However, that’s little relief given how few vacancies there are.

“The number of occupied units grew by 50,000 last year, outpacing supply growth nationally just as 37,000 new apartments came online,” read the report. “The national vacancy rate declined to 2.4%, the lowest reading since 2002. A shortage of construction workers, a long approval process and higher development and financing costs are slowing the delivery schedule this year, curbing completions by roughly 2,000 units from last year’s total.”

“Historically, Canada has been heavily reliant on condominium owners to supply the rental market, filling the void that purpose-built rentals have not been able to close. Prices have climbed substantially for condo investors, though, slowing this practice… and pushing more residents in search of housing to the apartment market.”

While secondary markets will enjoy the dregs of Toronto’s renter pool, the city will remain popular with renters. As the city has matured into a leading North American tech hub, the vacancy rate is under even more pressure.

“Microsoft, Intel, Uber and other companies have plans to increase operations in the city and bring on new workers,” continued the report. “Amid its solid reputation as a top innovator in tech and a mature ecosystem that supports the industry, the GTA will attract young professionals in greater numbers this year. Many new residents choose to rent, not only due to barriers to homeownership, but for greater mobility and to be near local employers, restaurants and nightlife.”

Source: Mortgage Broker News – by Neil Sharma 31 Jan 2019

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The State of the Mortgage Market

 

Mortgage Professionals Canada released its marquis State of the Mortgage Market report last week.

While much of the media focus was on the report’s assessment of the mortgage stress test and its ramifications, the annual report was once again chock-full of enlightening statistics that help paint a picture of the current state of the mortgage market.

Author Will Dunning, Chief Economist of MPC, noted that consumer confidence is expected to dampen due to a “depressed” resale housing market and constrained house price growth.

“Housing markets across Canada were due to slow to some extent as a result of higher interest rates, but the reductions in activity that have occurred have been much larger than should have been expected, due to the mortgage stress tests, on top of prior policy changes that have constrained home buying,” he wrote.

We’ve extracted the most relevant findings below. (Data points of special interest appear in blue.)

*  *  *

The Mortgage Market:

  • 6.03 million: The number of homeowners with mortgages (out of a total of 9.8 million homeowners in Canada)
  • 1.6 million: The number of Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) holders
  • 11%: The percentage drop in resale activity compared to 2017
    • Resale activity is down 15% from the all-time record set in 2016.

Mortgage Types and Amortization Periods

  • 68%: Percentage of mortgages in Canada that have fixed interest rates (The percentage is the same for mortgages taken out in 2018)
  • 27%: Percentage of mortgages that have variable or adjustable rates (30% for mortgages taken out in 2018)
  • 5%: Percentage that are a combination of fixed and variable, known as “hybrid” mortgages (2% for purchases in 2018)
  • 89%: Percentage of mortgages with an amortization period of 25 years or less (84% for homes purchased between 2015 and 2018)
  • 11%: Percentage with extended amortizations of more than 25 years (16% for recent purchases between 2015 and 2018)
  • 22.2 years: The average amortization period

Actions that Accelerate Repayment

  • ~33%: Percentage of mortgage holders who voluntarily take action to shorten their amortization periods (unchanged from recent years)
  • Among all mortgage holders:
    • 15% made a lump-sum payment (the average payment was $22,100)
    • 16% increased the amount of their payment (the average amount was $450 more a month)
    • 8% increased payment frequency

Mortgage Sources

  • 62%: Percentage of borrowers who took out a new mortgage during 2017 or 2018 who obtained the mortgage from a Canadian bank
  • 28%: Percentage of recent mortgages that were arranged by a mortgage broker
    • This is down substantially from 39% reported in the previous report in 2017 (and 43% in 2016; 42% in 2015). While Dunning says the latest 2018 figure could be the result of a statistical anomaly, he also surmises that broker share may in fact be down. “The lending environment has become more challenging for brokers, especially since changes to mortgage insurance regulations are making it much more difficult for small lenders to raise funds via mortgage-backed securities,” he wrote. “It also appears that some of the large banks are becoming less reliant on the broker channel.”
  • 5%: Percentage of recent borrowers who obtained their mortgage through a credit union (vs. 7% of all mortgages)

Interest Rates

  • 3.09%: The average mortgage interest rate in Canada
    • This is up from the 2.96% average recorded in 2017
  • 3.31%: The average interest rate for mortgages on homes purchased during 2018
  • 3.28%: The average rate for mortgages renewed in 2018
  • 68%: Of those who renewed in 2018, percentage who saw their interest rate rise
    • Among all borrowers who renewed in 2017, their rates dropped an average of 0.19%
  • 3.40%: The average actual rate for a 5-year fixed mortgage in 2018, about two percentage points lower than the posted rate, which averaged 5.26%

Mortgage Arrears

  • 0.24%: The current mortgage arrears rate in Canada (as of September 2018)
    • “The arrears rate… ( 1-in-424 borrowers)…is very low in historic terms,” Dunning wrote.

Equity

  • 74%: The average home equity of Canadian homeowners, as a percentage of home value
  • 4%: The percentage of mortgage-holders with less than 15% home equity.
  • 56%: The average percentage of home equity for homeowners who have a mortgage but no HELOC
  • 58%: The average equity ratio for owners with both a mortgage and a HELOC
  • 80%: The equity ratio for those without a mortgage but with a HELOC
  • 92%: Percentage of homeowners who have 25% or more equity in their homes
  • 50%: Among recent buyers who bought their home from 2015 to 2018, the percentage with 25% or more equity in their homes

Equity Takeout

  • 10% (960,000): Percentage of homeowners who took equity out of their home in the past year (up slightly from 9% in 2017)
  • $74,000: The average amount of equity taken out (up substantially from $54,500 in 2017)
  • $72 billion: The total equity takeout over the past year (up from $47 billion in 2017)
  • $38 billion was via mortgages and $34 billion was via HELOCs (the HELOC portion is up from $17 billion in 2016/17)
  • Most common uses for the funds include:
    • $23.8 billion: For investments
    • $17 billion: For home renovation and repair
      • 55% of homeowners have done some kind of renovation at some point. 27% renovated between 2015 and 2018 with an average spend of $41,000.
    • $16.4 billion: For debt consolidation and repayment
    • $8.6 billion: For purchases
    • $6.2 billion): For “other” purposes
    • Equity takeout was most common among homeowners who purchased their home during 2000 to 2004

Sources of Down payments

  • 20%: The average down payment made by first-time buyers in recent years, as a percentage of home price
  • The top sources of these down payment funds for all first-time buyers:
    • 52%: Personal savings (vs. 45% for those who purchased between 2015 and 2019)
    • 20%: Funds from parents or other family members (vs. 16% over the last four years)
    • 19%: Loan from a financial institution
    • 9%: Withdrawal from RRSP (this has been trending down over the last decade)
  • 98 weeks: The amount of working time at the average wage needed to amass a 20% down payment on an average-priced home
    • This is down from 105 weeks in 2017, but nearly double the figure from the 1990s.

Homeownership as “Forced Saving”

  • ~43%: Approximate percentage of the first mortgage payment that goes towards principal repayment (based on current rates)
    • Down from ~50% in 2017, but up from 25% 10 years ago
    • Dunning notes that rapid repayment of principal means that “once the mortgage loan is made, risk diminishes rapidly”
    • He added that “net cost” of homeownership, “which should include interest costs, but not the principal repayment,” is low in historic terms when considering incomes and relative to the cost of renting equivalent accommodations. “This goes a long way to explaining the continued strength of housing activity in Canada, despite rapid growth of house prices,” Dunning writes.

A Falling Homeownership Rate

  • 67.8%: The homeownership rate in Canada in 2016 (the latest data available)
    • Down from 69% in 2011

Consumer Sentiment

  • 90%: The percentage of homeowners who are happy with their decision to buy a home
  • 7%: Of those who regret their decision to buy, the regret pertains to the particular property purchased
  • Just 4% regret their decision to buy in general

Outlook for the Mortgage Market

  • Data on housing starts suggests housing completions in 2019 will decrease slightly compared to 2018. “The data on housing starts tells us that housing completions in 2019 will be slightly lower than in 2018, but will still be at a level that results in a significant requirement for new financing,” Dunning writes.
  • “Another factor in the past has been that low interest rates mean that consumers pay less for interest and, therefore, are able to pay off principal more rapidly,” he adds. “Recent rises in interest rates are resulting in a slight reduction in the ability to make additional repayment efforts, and this will tend to fractionally raise the growth rate for outstanding mortgage principals.”
  • 3.5%: The current year-over-year rate of mortgage credit growth (as of September 2018)
    • Vs. an average rate of 7.3% per year over the past 12 years
    • Dunning expects outstanding mortgage credit to rise to $1.60 trillion by the end of 2019, from $1.55 trillion at the end of 2018

Source: Canadian Mortgage Trends – Steve Huebl Mortgage Industry Reports

Survey details: This report was compiled based on online responses compiled in November 2018 from 2,023 Canadians, including homeowners with mortgages, homeowners without mortgages, renters and those living with family.

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Why cash flow doesn’t matter

Although it may seem counterintuitive, cash flow is not the be all and end all of investing in real estate.

“Everyone has such a cash flow mindset, and don’t get me wrong, cash flow is amazing and will help support a different lifestyle eventually, but making those dollars year-over-year is where the wealth comes from,” said veteran investor Lee Strauss of Strauss Investments. “If you have an extra $1,000 in your pocket every year, the return on investment is dismal and doesn’t even add up. But if you take $26,000 year-over-year, now we’re talking.”

Strauss is, of course, alluding to tenants paying down a mortgage’s principal balance for the investor while the latter rides the property’s appreciation.

“On average for a single-family dwelling, the principal pay down is going to be about $6,000 a year,” he said. “The other reason is you have an income-producing asset that is hedged against inflation, and that income-producing asset appreciates, on average, 5%.

“If you purchase a $400,000 property and it goes up by 5% in one year, that’s $20,000 in the first year. Five percent appreciation plus mortgage pay down, which you’re not paying and will be about $6,000, is $26,000 in one year.”

Mind, appreciation is a compounding factor.

“After year three, you’re at about $460,000 on an asset you bought for $400,000, and it’s been paid for by somebody else for three years, so now it’s worth more. After three years, the pay down is $18,000. That’s why people have always invested in real estate; they just didn’t know it.”

Laura Martin, COO of Matrix Mortgage Global and director of Private Lending Hub, notes that the process by which equity is built can be expedited in a couple of ways.

“The first process is by lessening the amortization period and increasing the payments of the mortgage in order to pay it down faster. This means there would be next to no cash flow, but there will be less money going towards interest payments on the loan,” she said.

“The second way is to ‘force’ equity in the home by making improvements that will drive up the property’s value. It’s referred to as ‘forced’ because it doesn’t rely on the external factors of appreciation caused by the real estate market.”

Martin adds that the extent to which an investor ameliorates the property should be determined by how far below market value they paid for it.

Mortgages have some of the best terms available of any loan type, says Martin, and that flexibility can be leveraged to purchase more properties.

“At an average of 3.5-4% on a fixed mortgage with down payments of around 25% and with amortization periods at 25 years—coming across such favourable financing terms with other investments is highly unlikely,” she said. “There is also leverage, in terms of using the asset as collateral, to finance other properties, thus making an increase in net worth more attainable.”

Source: Canadian Real Estate Wealth – by Neil Sharma 24 Jan 2019

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10 Charts That Show How Out Of Whack Things Are In Canada’s Housing Markets

For sale signs line along a road where houses are for sale in Calgary, Alberta, April 7, 2015.

TODD KOROL / REUTERS
For sale signs line along a road where houses are for sale in Calgary, Alberta, April 7, 2015.

Years of rock-bottom interest rates and rising prices have created some problematic conditions.

After years of boom times, Canada’s housing markets are at a turning point. Rising interest rates and tough new mortgage rules have taken some steam out of the market. But job growth is strong and wages are rising steadily, suggesting there will be homebuyers around to keep the market humming.

So which way are things going? That’s really anyone’s guess. But one thing is clear: After years of — let’s face it — unsustainable growth, things in Canada’s housing markets are looking a little messy when it comes to things like prices and mortgages.

Below are 10 charts illustrating just how out of whack things have become. Vancouver’s housing market is looking especially WTF these days, which is why it gets a bit more attention in these charts than other places.

Canadians have never had to shell out more of their income to own a home

THE ECONOMIST/HUFFPOST CANADA

This chart, which uses data from The Economist magazine, shows the ratio of house prices to incomes in Canada over the past four decades. Never have house prices been so disproportionately high when compared to what people are earning. Only years of rock-bottom interest have made this situation “affordable” for homeowners. Which is why rising interest rates should be — and are — a major concern among Canada’s policymakers.

Condo construction is at an all-time high …

BMO ECONOMICS

Construction of condos in Canada is at record highs, which for some experts is a warning of falling house prices ahead, though others disagree, given Canada’s suddenly accelerating population growth. Meanwhile, single-family home construction is in the dumps, driven in part by a near-total collapse of detached home construction around Toronto. Canadians in the largest cities are moving into condos, whether they like it or not.

… But young families don’t want to live in them

SOTHEBY’S/HUFFPOST CANADA

And apparently they don’t like it. In a survey of “young urban families” last year, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada found that 83 per cent of this group would prefer to live in a detached home, if money were no object. Only five per cent would choose to live in a condo. But with detached homes in Canada the least affordable they’ve ever been, 43 per cent of this group have given up on ever owning a detached home, the survey found.

You need to be a one-percenter to own an “average” Vancouver home

NATIONAL BANK FINANCIAL/HUFFPOST CANADA

There’s nothing “average” about buying an average-priced home in Vancouver these days. According to estimates from National Bank Financial, it now requires an income of $238,000 to qualify for a conventional 20-per-cent down mortgage on average Vancouver home. That’s not much less than the $246,000 you would have to earn to be in the top one per cent of earners in the city.

Despite the slowdown in the market, prices remain very high, and now rising interest rates and the new mortgage “stress test” have further pushed up the amount of income a household needs to qualify for a mortgage.

… Because Vancouver homes are comically overpriced

RBC ECONOMICS

This chart from Royal Bank of Canada shows that the cost of home ownership in Vancouver, as a share of income, is the highest ever. For detached homes (the top line), costs are far beyond any previous historical precedent. But condo costs (bottom line) — while elevated compared to historic norms — are not actually outside their normal historic range.

Vancouver’s new distinction: Worst housing market

KNIGHT FRANK

Vancouver used to dominate the lists of world’s hottest housing markets like few other cities in recent memory, but those days are history. Global real estate agency Knight Frank’s most recent real estate index ranked Vancouver at rock bottom among 43 world cities. How the mighty have fallen.

There aren’t enough new residents to prop up Vancouver’s market

RBC ECONOMICS

Demographic shifts are about to give Vancouver real estate a bit of a kick in the pants. The region’s population of homebuyers — meaning adults — is currently growing at a much slower pace than has been the historic norm. Combine this with the above-mentioned record-setting levels of condo construction and the also above-mentioned unreasonably high prices, and it looks like Vancouver’s housing correction could go on for a while yet.

… But Toronto has as much as it can handle

RBC ECONOMICS

Toronto’s housing market is in an uneven slump, with some parts of the market sliding (detached homes) while others keep performing strongly (condos). But the experts are saying don’t expect a major decrease in house prices, because the city is seeing accelerated growth in its adult population. Growth is now near a 15-year high, which ought to put a floor under any price declines in this era of mortgage stress tests and rising interest rates.

Mortgage growth is at historic lows

BANK OF CANADA

Those mortgage stress tests sure have had an impact. The value of mortgages on Canadian lenders’ books rises year after year no matter what, through recessions and boom times alike. Last year, that growth fell to its lowest level since the 1990s.

Investment condos often lose money

CMHC/CIBC/HUFFPOST CANADA

Buying an investment condo has become the national pastime for Canadians with cash, but with prices at these levels, they’re no guarantee of profit.

A study by CIBC and Urbanation last year found that 44 per cent of the condos taken possession of in 2017 in Toronto would rent out for less than the cost of ownership (assuming a 20-per-cent down mortgage). CMHC looked at the high-rise condo towers in Montreal’s downtown core and concluded the same is true for 75 per cent of them.

We weren’t able to find estimates for Vancouver, but given how realtors there are busy trying convince people negative cash flow can be a good thing, we’re guessing it’s pretty much the same there.

Investors can still turn a profit if the resale value rises. But house prices have stopped rising. Buyer beware.

Watch: The extreme measures Canadians go through to buy a home

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Can a single person afford to buy a place in Toronto?

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On a recent evening, I was scrolling through some images of George Nelson wall sconces on my phone. (If you’re about to Google it, I ask that you not judge my extravagant taste).

I was fantasizing about how great they’d look beside my bed — but oh yeah, that would require drilling into the wall. And as a renter, I have to consider whether they’d be practical in the layout of my next place, let alone whether I’d even be allowed to drill there.

If I owned a condo I wouldn’t have to think about stuff like that.

Truth be told, I’m getting a little impatient. I want the same privileges homeowners enjoy. No surprise, then, that I woke up on my birthday last year wondering: am I really going to deal with landlords and roommates for the rest of my life?

Sure, my apartment has its charms — built-in cabinetry, surprisingly spacious bedrooms, proximity to both a pizza joint and a wine store — but every day on my way to work, I pass a brand new condo building with large wrap-around concrete balconies; that’s something my turn-of-the-century apartment building lacks. I feel a twinge of envy.

There’s a ton of pressure in Toronto’s housing market (where I hope to buy) to get in — and get in quickly. Why? Because housing prices have been going up every year.

Even housing experts are encouraging people not to wait.

“In the end, the history shows that it is more likely that the market will go up in the future. if you want to purchase you might as well do it as soon as possible,” Louis Phillipe-Menard, director of mortgage products at National Bank, told me when I called him up for his professional opinion.

The thing is, I’m single.

Based on the metrics that lenders consider, it’s less likely that a household with only one income would be able to service a mortgage for a Toronto property.

Mortgage lenders will generally only lend customers a mortgage amount that’s worth five times their annual salary (the maximum amount Canadian banks are allowed to loan you).

According to the 2016 census, the median total household income in Toronto is around $65,829. In December, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported that the median sale price of a condo was $594,381 up 11.4% from the year before. (Forget buying a house in the city — the average price for a detached home was $1.15 million.)

On a salary of that size, it’s unlikely you’ll qualify for a mortgage — unless you’ve got $100,000 saved up as a down payment.

And that’s just the sale price. There are lots of other factors that could make or break your dreams of becoming a condo owner.

The metrics lenders look at to decide if you’re loan-worthy include the gross debt service ratio, which measures the percentage of your pre-tax income needed to pay your housing costs on top of the mortgage (like taxes, insurance, utilities, and condo fees). They also look at the total debt service ratio, which measures how much of your income will go to covering existing debts.

So, even if you make an above-average salary, if you have large debts, you may not be able to get a mortgage.

Those are a lot of expenses for one person to carry. Obviously, two incomes in such a scenario are better than one. At this point, I’m thinking that my chances for homeownership are slim.

But despite those mind-boggling expenses, I keep finding people who insist that there are singletons out there living my dream.

Megan Sheppard, a real estate agent in Toronto whose clientele includes lots of single people, warns that every year you stay out of the market, you miss out on your home’s appreciation.

“If you look at the price of what you’re paying [for rent] and the [price and] appreciation of a condo, [the difference is] like a tip at a restaurant for a good meal,” says Sheppard.

Assuming the value of a condo worth $450,000 goes up in value by 6% each year, that’s an appreciation of $27,000 a year. Or, as Sheppard puts it: “Every year you rent, you’re losing the $27,000.”

Of course, past performance doesn’t equal future returns. And now buying any property has become a lot harder after the federal government imposed new rules on mortgage lenders last year. The new “stress test rule,” brought to you by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institution, went into effect in January 2018.

The new rule means that anyone who wants a mortgage must be able to show they can afford payments that are two percentage points higher than their quoted rate, or their bank’s five-year average rate — whichever one is higher.

Right now, you can put as little as 5% down when buying a home. Doing that also means you’ll have to buy insurance from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., which can add tens of thousands of dollars annually in payments to the total cost of your mortgage.

Ironically, you’re more likely to get a lower mortgage rate from your lender when you put 5% down. Why? Because your mortgage is insured — by the federal government. Meaning, the government’s left holding the bag if you default, not the bank.

Even though it’s impossible to say for sure where the market is headed, both Phillipe-Menard and Sheppard predict that for Toronto home prices, the only way is up. “Everyone wants to be here,” says Sheppard. And unless that changes, you can bet that Toronto prices are going to stay expensive.

But buying a place leads to expenses that renting doesn’t — things like interest payments, lawyer’s fees, home insurance premiums, maintenance and renovation costs, and last but not least, property taxes.

When you’re on your own, you’re on the hook for those things. Your mortgage lender doesn’t care if you lose your job.

That’s one of my biggest fears, so to assuage them, I set out to talk to another single woman who bought her own place. Thirty-one-year-old Janelle (who requested her last name not be used) bought her first house in a rural town by herself a decade ago. She knew from a young age that being a homeowner was important to her. To meet her goal, she worked while attending high school and then later college.

By the time she graduated college, she had a down payment of 20% on a home that cost roughly $120,000.

Buying a house with a down payment smaller than that is unimaginable to her — and me too, frankly.

“It baffles me that you’re paying your mortgage for 25, 30 years. If you’re only paying 5% into it, that’s another $20-25,000 in interest at the end of your mortgage,” she says.

At the end of the day, she adds, it’s still more expensive to be a homeowner.

“As soon as you get into a mortgage, a bill always seems to creep up when you least expect it. ‘I just had $1,000 saved, but oh, I have to install in a new shower.’ Once you get into a house it’s not like the bills stop,” says Janelle.

There are a few other variables you need to factor in, as well.

One is that salary growth has remained flat for most of us and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. The other one is that the Bank of Canada’s key interest rate has been rising steadily over the past two years, meaning the cost of borrowing money is going up.

Of course, your circumstances may change for the better. For renters who are stuck on the idea of one day buying a home, Sheppard advises asking yourself the following questions:

  • How much you can you currently afford in rent?
  • Do you have the potential for your income to increase?
  • Is there anyone else who can do this with you (like a parent)?

Sometimes the smartest, safest, and the most responsible option is not buying, says Sheppard. “Housing is a necessity but owning your real estate is wealth and it’s a long-term investment,” says Sheppard.

Based on my circumstances, I’ve decided to continue renting while also putting away a few hundred dollars away each month. Right now it’s acting as an emergency savings account, but maybe one day I’ll take money out for a down payment. Maybe homeownership will happen for me one day.

At the very least, saving for a home will leave me with a nice pile of savings if I ever need it. Like if I want to get myself some fancy mid-century wall sconces.

Source; Lowestrates.ca – By: Alexandra Bosanac on January 11, 2019

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Down Payment Assistance Programs Across Canada

Canadian down payment assistance programs help first-time home buyersSo many young people want to build home equity and get out from under their landlord’s thumb.

But they can’t. They don’t have the down payment to qualify for a mortgage.

For many modest-income Canadians, saving up the 5 percent minimum down payment (or 20 percent if you want to avoid CMHC insurance) can take years—many, many years.

While some are able to rely on gifts from parents/family (39% of first-time buyers according to a 2018 Mortgage Professionals Canada study) or loans from family (25%), or RRSP withdrawals (38%) to make their down payment, those options aren’t available to everyone.

That’s where government down payment programs come in. Scattered across Canada, these little-publicized municipal and provincial programs are helping first-time home buyers fund their down payments and make the transition from renter to owner.

Since most people don’t know about them, their uptake is typically low. When the B.C. government launched its program in 2017, for example, it thought 42,000 residents would participate in the first three years. After nine months, only 1,400 had done so.

To some onlookers, giving buyers government money to buy a house may seem a bit too socialist, but municipalities have an interest in transitioning financially stable renters from apartments to houses. Among other reasons, it frees up rental units and grows their property tax base.

To help homebuyers find such assistance, the Spy has rounded up some of the more popular programs. What follows are grant or loan programs that provide a portion of the down payment to qualified borrowers. Note that this list isn’t exhaustive and that the status of these programs change regularly. Moreover, once quotas are reached many such programs end, so contact the source for the latest info.

 

Alberta

Program: PEAK Housing Initiatives (formerly PEAK Program)
Provider: Joint initiative between Trico Residential, the Government of Alberta Municipal Affairs, CMHC and Habitat for Humanity
Details: PEAK housing units are priced at market value and recipients must be able to qualify for and hold a mortgage. Once approved for the program, PEAK provides a second mortgage for either a partial or full down payment up to a maximum of 5 percent of the purchase price. PEAK has so far helped 111 individuals and families purchase a home of their own.
How to apply: http://www.peakinitiative.ca/

Program: Attainable Homes (specific to Calgary only)
Provider: The City of Calgary
Details: This program has been in place since 2009 and is geared towards moderate-income Calgarians. Successful applicants must be able to contribute $2,000 towards the downpayment of their home, and the Attainable Homes program contributes the rest.  If and when the homeowner sells the home, the growth in the home’s value is split between the homeowner and the program, with that money reinvested to assist other homebuyers. The longer the homeowner remains in the house, the more their share of the appreciation increases.
How to apply: https://attainyourhome.com/

 

British Columbia

The province of B.C. ended its Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership on March 31, 2018. It has no widely available down payment assistance programs at this time.

 

Manitoba

Program: Rural Homeownership Program
Provider: Manitoba Housing
Details: This program is limited to those renting a home owned by Manitoba Housing in selected rural communities or those who would like to purchase a vacant home owned by Manitoba Housing. Applicants must have a maximum household income of $53,441 if they don’t have children, and $71,255 if there are children or dependents. The program has two components, a loan worth 10 percent of the purchase price, which is forgivable on a pro-rata basis over five years. Another 15 percent loan is forgivable after 15 years of continuous ownership and occupancy of the property.
How to apply: http://www.gov.mb.ca/housing/progs/homeownership.html

 

Saskatchewan

Program: 3% Down Payment Assistance Program
Provider: National Affordable Housing Corporation
Details: Provides Saskatchewan homebuyers with a 3 percent non-repayable down payment assistance grant towards the purchase of a home from one of the NAHC’s partner housing providers. Saskatchewan households with incomes less than $90,000 per year are eligible for financial support under this program.
How to apply: http://nahcorp.ca/assistance/nahc-3-down-payment-assistance-program/

Program: Mortgage Flexibilities Support Program
Provider: City of Saskatoon, CMHC and the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation
Details: This program is for designated projects in the city of Saskatoon and provides qualifying homebuyers with a 5 percent down payment grant for the purchase of a home. The household income limit must be less than $69,975 for one person and $74,640 for two people. Their maximum net worth must also be less than $25,000.
How to apply: https://www.saskatoon.ca/services-residents/housing-property/incentives-homebuyers

 

New Brunswick

Program: Home Ownership Program
Provider: Government of New Brunswick
Details: This program offers assistance in the form of a repayable loan worth up to 40 percent of the purchase price of an existing home, or a maximum of $75,000 for new builds. It’s available to those with household incomes below $40,000. Applicants must be first-time homebuyers or be living in a sub-standard housing unit; have been living in New Brunswick for at least one year prior to application; and have a good credit rating and meet all financial institution lending requirements for obtaining a first mortgage.
How to apply:http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/services/services_renderer.8315.Home_Ownership_Program.html

 

Newfoundland & Labrador

Program: Home Purchase Program (HPP)
Provider: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Details: This program will remain open over 2018/19 until funding has been fully committed to up to 330 homebuyers. Grants of $3,000 are available to qualifying individuals and families to assist with the down payment of a new home valued up to $400,000 (including HST).
How to apply: http://www.nlhc.nf.ca/programs/programsHpp.html

 

Nova Scotia

Program: Down Payment Assistance Program
Provider:
 Housing Nova Scotia (Government of Nova Scotia)
Details: This is a pilot program to assist Nova Scotians with a household income of $75k or less. The program offers an interest-free loan of up to 5 percent, to a maximum purchase price of $280,000 in the Halifax Regional Municipality and $150,000 elsewhere in the province. The loans will range from $7,500-$14,000 and must be repaid in 10 years. More than 150 first-time buyers benefitted from the program in its first year, and it will remain open until March 31, 2019.
How to apply: https://housing.novascotia.ca/downpayment

 

Ontario

Housing programs in Ontario are administered by municipalities based on the premise that they know their community’s needs best. Below is a selection of just several first-time homeowner assistance programs from some key municipalities.

Barrie (Simcoe County)

Program: Homeownership Program
Details: This program offers 10 percent down payment assistance in the form of a forgivable loan.
There is presently a waiting list, but applicants are still encouraged to apply. A percentage of available funding is designated for applicants currently living in Social Housing or those who self-identify as Aboriginal households.
More details: http://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/sh/apply-for-the-homeownership-program

Hamilton

Program: Homeownership Down Payment Assistance Program
Details: This program provides support to low- and moderate-income residents who qualify for a mortgage with a maximum home price of $375,000. To qualify, applicants must have a maximum household income of $80,000,
More details: https://www.hamilton.ca/social-services/housing/homeownership-down-payment-assistance-program

Kitchener (Region of Waterloo)

Program: Affordable Home Ownership program
Details: This program provides individuals and families with a loan of up to five percent of the purchase price of a home (up to a value of $386,000). Applicants must currently renting in the Region of Waterloo, be able to qualify for a mortgage, and have a maximum household income of $90,500.
More details: https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/living-here/funding-to-help-buy-a-home.aspx

 

Prince Edward Island

Program: Down Payment Assistance Program
Provider: Government of Prince Edward Island
Details: This program assists Prince Edward Islander’s with modest incomes by providing a repayable loan of up to five percent of the purchase price of a new or existing home to a maximum price of $11,250. The loan amount must go towards the down payment and not towards financing or other closing costs. The loan bears a fixed interest rate of 5% per annum. The purchase price of the home must be no more than $225,000.
How to apply: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/finance-pei/down-payment-assistance-program

 

Quebec

Program: Accès Condos
Provider:
 Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM)
Details: Launched in 2005 by the SHDM, Accès Condos has provided more than 3,600 affordable units that promote home ownership throughout Montreal. Qualifying buyers must make a minimum $1,000 deposit and receive a 10% purchase credit, which is used for the down payment on the house in an approved development.
How to apply: https://accescondos.org/en/

 

financial support

National Non-Loan Programs

First-Time Home Buyers’ (FTHB) Tax Credit

Provider: Government of Canada
Details: The FTHB Tax Credit offers a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home acquired after January 27, 2009. For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief.
Link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2009/fqhbtc-eng.html

 

Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)

Provider: Government of Canada
Details: The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a program that allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year from your registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability.
Link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/hbp/

 

GST/HST New Housing Rebate

Provider: Government of Canada
Details: You may qualify for a rebate of part of the GST or HST that you paid on the purchase price or cost of building your new house, on the cost of substantially renovating or building a major addition onto your existing house, or on converting a non-residential property into a house.
Link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gp/rc4028/rc4028-e.html

Source: RateSpy.com – By  on November 26, 2018

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