Posts tagged “mortgage news

Kitchener Waterloo Home and Condo Sales Take a Leap in February! – Market update

All I have to say is WOW, what a month! The housing market is on fire with multiple offers and low inventory it seems that the spring market has started. Here are some of the highlights from the past month.

Residential sales were up 28.2% compared to the same month last year with 452 homes being sold. That is 18.6 percent above the 5 year average for the month. Those sales included 280 single detached homes which is up 40.7% over last February, 33 semi- detached(down 17.5%), 31 townhomes (up 6.9%) and 103 Condo units (up 25.6%).  That makes this past February the most active February since 2008! With interest rates still holding steady, Waterloo region remains an attractive place to live and invest.

Single detached homes sold for an average price of $419,480 which is an increase of 7.7% compared to last year. The average sale price for a Condo unit was $242,272 up 8.3% while townhomes and semis sold for an average of $328,569 (up 10.0%) and $291,770 ( up 12.0) respectively.

The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 10.3% to $361,889 compared to February 2015 with 42.0% of home sales in February occurring in the $250,000-$350,000 range.  With all the cold temperatures that we experienced last year that helped contribute to a 5-year low in home sales for the month. Things have been quite a bit warmer these past few weeks in comparison, and it goes to show how much of a role weather can play when it comes to buying or selling and kicking off the spring market!

If you are thinking of buying or selling now is a great time to start the process. Give me a call at 519-497-4646 or email to and I can provide all the information you need to make the right decision.


Have a great March!


Kitchener Waterloo Home and Condo Sales Remain Strong in August

Its been another strong month of home sales here in the Waterloo Region. With a total of  459 sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS®).  The month of August did post a 2.1% decrease in home sales compared to the same month last year across Kitchener-Waterloo and area. However, home sales in the month of August were 9.5% percent above the 5-year average for the month.

This strong sales activity helped bring year-to-date total sales to 3,991, a 6.1% increase compared to the same time last year, and 6% above the 5-year average. Year-to-date sales were also the highest on record since 2008.  There was strong residential sale activity this summer season and with recording setting year-to-date sales it’s clear that buyers remain confident about the value of homes in Kitchener-Waterloo and area.

Residential sales in August included 284 single detached homes (down 2.1% from last year), 35 semidetached (up 2.9%), 29 townhomes (down 17.1%) and 107 condominium units (down 0.9%). The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased 6.6% percent last month to $347,057 compared to August 2014. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $401,533 an increase of 6.2% percent compared to last year. The average sale price for a condominium was $241,508, an increase of 7.7% percent and the average sale price for a freehold townhome was $300,546, an increase of 2.9% percent from the same time last year.

Overall these numbers show that the real estate sector here in the Kitchener Waterloo is showing no signs of slowing down and points to a long term stability and strength.

If you have any questions on any of the information provided above or would like to discuss your specific real estate needs please give us a call or email to

Have a great day!

CMHC Raises Insurance Premiums for Highest Risk Purchasers – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and lofts

Are you looking to buy your first home or condo?  Do you have less than 10% as a down payment?

If so then you need to be aware of recent changes to the mortgage insurance premiums that are offered through CMHC   (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

It was announced a few days ago that Canada’s federal housing agency is raising mortgage insurance premiums as part of a plan to boost its capital reserves.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said it is raising premiums on the highest-risk mortgages – borrowers who have down payments of less than 10 per cent – by 15 per cent starting June 1.

What does this mean for buyers?

The increases only apply to new mortgages for borrowers with small down payments. Those who put down more than 10 per cent of the purchase price aren’t affected. Premiums will also remain unchanged on CMHC’s portfolio insurance, which lenders take out on bundles of uninsured mortgages so they can securitized them, as well as the agency’s insurance for apartment buildings.

The effects will be modest for affected borrowers. An average Canadian borrower who can afford to pay the only the minimum 5-per-cent down payment typically takes out a mortgage of $252,000, CMHC said. Premiums for those borrowers would rise $5 a month, or about $1,500 more over the course of a 25-year mortgage.

CMHC predicted the changes would “not have a material impact on housing markets,” suggesting the agency isn’t looking to cool the housing market. Senior vice-president Steven Mennill stressed in a call with reporters that the changes were a “business decision” related to higher capital requirements and “not in any way related to a change in policy or approach.”

One thing is clear: By limiting increases only to borrowers with less than 10-per-cent down payments, the federal corporation is concerned that it was underpricing the risk on the most indebted borrowers.

Mortgages with lower levels of equity are typically more vulnerable to a housing shock and require higher levels of capital reserves to account for potential losses, which means higher premiums for riskier borrowers.

My advice would be is if you are thinking of buying a home or condo this spring and have less than a 10% down payment that you take advantage of the lower premiums offered before June 1st.

For more details or questions please email myself at   or give us a call at 519-579-4110

Enjoy your week!


Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Market Update for March 2015

It was another solid month of home sales in March here in Waterloo Region. Residential property sales through the MLS system continued to climb month over month with 619 properties sold. This represents a 15.1 percent increase compared to the March of 2014 which was the second lowest March on record since 2006.

During the first quarter of 2015, there were a total of 1,343 home sales, 3.6 percent above last year’s total for the same period and 8.4 percent below the 5 year quarterly average, which is again great news and shows continued strength of our local housing market.

Sales activity in the $300,000 – $349,999 increased significantly in the month of March with 151 homes sold in that range, a 49.5% increase from the same time last year. Pushing the average sales price up for the month were increased sales in the $500,000 – $749,999 range which posted a 61.5% increase equating to 63 sales compared to 39 in March 2014.

March’s sales included 436 single detached homes (up 25.3 %), 95 condominium units (down 2.1 %), 41 semi-detached (down 8.9) and 41 freehold townhouses (down 6.8%).The average sale price of all residential sales increased 7.4 percent to $347,722 compared with March 2014. Single detached homes sold for an average price of $384,635 an increase of 4.0 percent compared to last year. In the condominium market prices were up 12.1%, with the average condo unit selling for $238,846.

Overall the market is still moving forward and prices remain stable. We are expecting another busy spring market which seems to be well underway at this point.

If you have any questions about the local market or would like more information on home prices for your neighborhood, please feel free to give me a call or email direct at

Thanks and have a great week!


Top 10 Mortgage Tips for 2014 – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and Lofts

A peek at the year ahead: Our top ten mortgage tips for 2014!

Your home may be the biggest investment you’ll ever make. That means you want to be smart with your mortgage. Although we can’t say for sure what mortgage rates will do – or how the housing market will shift – we have compiled our top tips for the year ahead; sensible strategies for today’s homebuyers and owners.

  1. Variables are back. Several lenders are offering strong “prime minus” rates that could save you thousands in interest. And the Bank of Canada is still holding their key “overnight rate” very steady and very low… making variable-rate mortgages a sensible option right now. Fixed versus variable has always been a challenging mortgage decision. Let us help you decide which financing option best meets your needs.
  2. Don’t sleepwalk through your mortgage renewal. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to save thousands on your mortgage. When your lender sends you a letter saying it’s time to renew… then it’s time to get an expert second opinion. We’re independent and we have access to over 50 lenders. If there’s a better deal, we’ll find it.
  3. Pay your phone bill on time! Paying your bills on time has always been the most important credit habit. Equifax recently started to include phone companies on credit bureau reports – so your lender can see if you have any delinquencies with your phone bills. Look like a good borrower.
  4. Keep other good credit habits. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 30 per cent of your limit. Don’t cancel an old credit card without getting advice. And don’t sign up for store cards: they often have crazy interest rates, and the application triggers a credit inquiry (you don’t want a lot of those).
  5. Mortgage versus total debt. Do you have high-interest debt outside your mortgage that you won’t be able to pay off in the next few months? Then think about rolling that debt into a new low-rate mortgage. This one, smart strategy could save you thousands… and boost your monthly cash flow. We can analyze your situation to see if you qualify.
  6. What’s the prepayment penalty? Don’t let anyone tell you prepayment penalties are “all the same”. They’re not. If you ever need to get out of your mortgage early, the right mortgage could save you thousands. Not all lenders calculate penalties the same way, and the differences can be substantial. It helps to know which lenders have the most fair prepayment penalties. With access to dozens of lenders – we’ve got that information at our fingertips.
  7. If one of you wants to keep the marital home. If you are going through a separation or divorce and one of you wants to keep the marital home, we’ve got some great mortgage options, including a mortgage to 95 per cent. Your home can be the asset that gives you both a fresh start!
  8. A paydown will pay it forward. Take every opportunity to beat down your mortgage principal using any prepayment privileges! Use tax refunds, bonuses, whatever. Or switch to weekly or bi-weekly payments. Every dollar you pay down on principal means every future payment goes further.
  9. Thinking renovation? We see what you see. Your reno will add value to your home. That’s why we have a special “Refinance Plus Improvements” mortgage that lets you refinance up to 80 per cent of the new, post-reno value of your home. Cool deal.
  10. Come in for a checkup. Your mortgage needs an annual checkup. Really. Life doesn’t stand still, which means your needs may have changed. Even a minor tweak can pay big dividends.

October 2013 Market Update for Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate


KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON (November 5, 2013) –– Residential property sales through the Multiple Listing System
(MLS®) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in October were down 4.0 percent
compared to October of last year.

A total of 481 residential properties were sold compared to 501 the same time last year. Year-to-date sales are
up 3.3 percent with 5,620 homes trading hands so far this year. That stands 2.2 percent above the 5-year
average and up 3.2 percent from the same time in 2012. Residential sales in September included 313 single
detached homes (down 2.8% from last October), 44 semi-detached (down 8.3%), 36 townhomes (up 9.1%) and
85 condominium units (down 7.6%).

“On a monthly basis the number of sales in October was in line with the average of the past 5 years,” says
Dietmar Sommerfeld, President of KWAR. “Looking at year-to-date figures, homes sales are the highest they’ve
been compared to the last five years.”

Sommerfeld says he is confident about the local economy and the region’s housing market, pointing to a
recent Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) report (Fall 2013) that states steady mortgage rates
combined with stable/increasing employment in the Region will continue to keep housing demand strong
moving into early 2014.

Single detached homes sold for an average price of $352,807 an increase of 3.6 percent compared to last
year. The average sale price for a condominium was $214,226 a decrease of 0.7 percent compared to
October of last year. The average sale price of all residential sales through the KWAR’s MLS® System increased
3.3 percent to $312,785 compared to October 2012.

If you ever have any questions on the information provided or specific pricing of your home feel free to give me a call to discuss. I am always happy to help.

Get the Best Mortgage Rate: Five tips for Financial Fitness – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and Lofts


When the time is right for you to buy a home, make sure you are financially fit and eligible for the best possible mortgage rates. Here are our top five tips to boost your “financial fitness”:

1. Whip it. Whip your credit rating into shape: pay your bills on time… every time. Keep your oldest credit card for its history, and make sure it’s always paid on time. Try not to apply for any new credit.

2. Follow the 33% rule. Never run up a credit card or line of credit past 33% of its available limit. If you’ve got a $3,000 limit, then $1,000 is your absolute ceiling.

3. Cash is king. Gather up the maximum down payment possible. The more money you put down on a home, the better.

4. Be prepared. Put together a file folder with the following: pay stubs, or proof of self-employment income, list of debts and assets, and current bank statements. We can advise what you’ll need.

5. Start a dialogue. Talk to us about your plans. Find out if you can pre-qualify, and ask about how you might qualify for the best possible rate.

The process of qualifying for a mortgage begins long before you decide to buy a home! But if you make a plan to improve your financial fitness… you’ll have no shortage of lenders willing to compete for your business. For more information or a connection to a great Broker just give me a call. I am happy to help.

63 Great Tips To Get The Best Mortgage – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and lofts

Here is a great resource for trying to figure out what is the best mortgage product out there to fit your needs. This article gives you 63 different things too look for when trying to secure the best mortgage possible.  As always if you have any questions or need any Real Estate Related advice feel free to give me a call or email.

Five Ways to Prepare for Higher Mortgage Rates – Kitchener Condos and Lofts for sale

Five ways to prepare for higher mortgage rates

Mortgage rates on the rise? No need to panic; what you need is some smart strategies to prepare. Here are our top 5 tips:

1. Don’t take the money. If you’re buying a new home, don’t be tempted to borrow the maximum amount your lender will allow.

2. Do more than the minimum.If you have a variable-rate mortgage, build in some wiggle room by setting your payments higher than required.

3. Plan to pre-pay. Find out what your pre-payment privileges are and pay whatever you can.

4. Conduct a reality check.Find out what your mortgage balance will be at renewal and use our online mortgage calculator to project what your payments could be if you renewed at a higher rate. Start to ease up to your new payment level so at renewal, it’s like a merge lane!

5. Watch your bad debt. Be cautious about any credit card or other high-interest debt.

Getting prepared for higher rates is not about panicking, it’s about being prudent.Give me a call if you have any questions.

Renewing Your Mortgage? Don’t Just Take The Banks Word For It.

Almost half of homeowners sleepwalk through their mortgage renewal

Given the large financial commitment of a mortgage, it’s surprising that 44 per cent of Canadian homeowners either just accept whatever their lender offers at renewal, or don’t even remember how they renewed!

It’s tempting to just sleepwalk through the mortgage renewal process. But if you’re not doing even the slightest comparison shopping or negotiating, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to save thousands on your mortgage. When your lender sends you a letter saying it’s time to renew… what that really means is that it’s time to get advice. Professional, independent advice.

Get an expert second opinion on what you’re being offered. We’ll take a look, and compare it to what we can find out there as an alternative among the 50 or more lenders we have access to.

Got a mortgage renewal coming up in the next six months? Give me a call and I will connect you to someone that can help.

Prime Rate Remains Unchanged – Kitchener Waterloo Condos and Lofts

Today in Stephen Poloz’s first policy decision since he replaced Mark Carney as the Bank Governor he has kept the prime rate or the benchmark rate unchanged. This rate has held steady at 3% since September of 2010.

Today’s announcement noted that there will be a continuation of steady rates “as long as there is significant slack in the Canadian economy, the inflation outlook remains muted, and imbalances in the household sector continue to evolve constructively.”

The prime rate for most lenders should stay at 3%, great news for variable rate holders. In regards to fixed rates, that market is in a state of flux. With bond prices dropping of the past month that has put upwards pressure on yields which in turn raise interest rates. If you have any questions on what to do or who to call to get  a great rate locked in before your next home purchase please give me a call and I am happy to help.

Bank of Canada keeps Benchmark Interest Rate Unchanged!

Key Interest Rate Stays Put

With a lower growth forecast, the Bank of Canada is once again keeping its key policy rate unchanged, noting that our historic low rates “will likely remain appropriate for a period of time, after which some modest withdrawal will likely be required.” With a weaker second half of 2012, the bank projects that growth in Canada will regain some momentum through 2013, with the economy “reaching full capacity in mid 2015 – later than anticipated.”

The prime rate for most lenders should stay at 3%, now unchanged since September 2010.

The Bank’s next rate decision is scheduled for May 29.

As for fixed rates, we continue to enjoy historically low rates for those looking to purchase or refinance, perfect for the spring market!

Some of the Best Rates out there give me a call and I can connect to you to a great Mortgage Broker!
Terms Posted Rates Our Rates
6 MONTHS 4.00% 3.95%
1 YEAR 3.00% 2.65%
2 YEARS 3.04% 2.69%
3 YEARS 3.70% 2.65%
4 YEARS 4.64% 2.85%
5 YEARS 5.24% 2.84%
7 YEARS 6.35% 3.49%
10 YEARS 6.75% 3.69%
Rates are subject to change without notice. OAC E&OE





Mortgage Plus Improvements and how it works – Kitchener Waterloo Condo and loft

If you are in the market for a new condo and are having trouble finding something that suits or have found something but it needs a bit of work and you may not have the extra money out-of-pocket, then you can get a mortgage plus improvements type product to help make that home a possibility. Have  a look at the video to hear how the product works.

Mortgage Pre Approvals.. why they are a good idea! – Kitchener Waterloo Condos for sale

Before you start your home buying search a great first step is to get a mortgage preapproval from your bank or mortgage broker. There are a few key reasons as to why. Have a look at this video to hear some helpful advice.

Read the documents before signing – Waterloo Homes and condo for sale

If you are in the process of buying your first home or moving up to a larger one… make sure you read the mortgage documents before signing. See the video to hear my thoughts…..