Thursday, April 26, 2007

It Looks Like Banks Are Starting To Warm Up To The Idea Of Less Than 25% Down On A Mortgage

It looks like banks are starting to warm up to the idea of less than 25% down on a mortgage. Traditionally those without a large lump sum to put down on a house have had to pay mortgage insurance. Now banks, well one bank anyway, have lowered the limit to 20% down. This will make it easier for some prospective home buyers in Canada to find the home of their dreams. The privilege of owning a home has become easier thanks to a bill passed by our government. Read on.

Full Article

New mortgage rules can benefit home owners who have more than just a mortgage

WATERLOO, ON, April 24 /CNW/ - Manulife Bank is 'ready to do business' for Canadian homeowners who have as little as a 20 per cent down payment, with no high ratio premium required. As of today, the Bank's innovative Manulife One account, that includes a client's mortgage as well as other debts, is now available up to 80 per cent loan to value, without high ratio insurance.

New federal legislation that came into effect April 20 moved the minimum down payment requirement from 25 to 20 per cent. Previously, anyone wanting a mortgage greater than 75 per cent of their home's value was required to pay a lump sum premium to a third party insurance company to protect banks from possible loan defaults. This premium ranged anywhere from one per cent to 3.25 per cent of the mortgage amount, based on the ratio of the loan amount to the value of the home.

The change in legislation moved the maximum ratio available without paying a high ratio premium up to 80 per cent and Manulife Bank is among the first banks to offer this benefit to Canadians, and definitely the first to provide it in an account as innovative as their all-in-one account.

"This is great news for prospective homeowners," says Roman Fedchyshyn, President and CEO of Manulife Bank of Canada. "The cost of a mortgage is daunting enough. So, to be able to eliminate this fee for some mortgages, including other debts, means keeping more money in the pockets of our customers. And, that is what Manulife Bank is all about."

Full Article

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Canadian Real Estate Soars

Real estate prices in Canada are still rising, and fast. Provinces west of Ontario are seeing the biggest gains, with Alberta leading the way with over 30% increase over the same month last year. B.C. set a new record for average home price at over $410,000. Check out the full article below.

The average price of a resale home in Canada hit a record high in February, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said Monday.

The association said the average resale home sold for $294,880, based on Multiple Listing Service figures. That's an increase of 10.6 per cent from a year earlier.

Record highs were set in six provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

The most expensive real estate was again found in British Columbia, where the average MLS property sold for $412,847 in February — an increase of more than $10,000 from January and up more than $43,000 from February of last year.

But the biggest increase took place in Alberta, where provincial MLS figures showed the average price of a resale home jumped 34.1 per cent to $343,515. Put another way, the average Alberta homeowner saw their worth grow by $87,390 in the last year (at least, on paper) simply by living in their homes.

Smaller double-digit increases were also seen in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. But from Ontario east, the gains were all in the single digits.

"Recent mortgage interest cuts, together with a strong job market and rising incomes will keep home buyer sentiment upbeat and could make the spring home buying season one for the record books," CREA chief economist Greg Klump said in a statement.

CREA had released a preliminary price survey three weeks ago that foreshadowed Monday's announcement. That survey showed that resale prices in many of Canada's major cities had set a record in February.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Real Estate For Sale Signs

A Vancouver firm now offers FM radio for real estate. How it works: a low power FM frequency is broadcasted from the property that is for sale, a talking for sale sign. When people are driving by they can here about the home or condo while sitting in their car. The radio station only broadcasts for a one block radius. This has proven particularly useful for condo building that do not allow realtor signs.

Read the original article below.

Real estate radio hits the airwaves in Vancouver

Updated Tue. Apr. 10 2007 2:10 PM ET News Staff
A new radio station is on the air in Vancouver but you won't hear any pop music or the local news.

Instead, SellFM broadcasts real estate information about properties for sale using their 'Talking sign' feature.

The 'For Sale' sign on the property directs people to a radio frequency where, using an FM transmitter, information about a property is broadcast.

For potential home and condo buyers driving by, all they need is an FM radio.

"They drive by the house and they get the information right away. They don't have to call me, go back home and look it up on the internet," said realtor Rick Stonehouse, who came up with the idea alongside entrepreneur Riel Roussopolos.

In his studio, Roussopolos creates a custom tailored commercial for each home, adding music and suitable sound effects.

"This is 70-year-old technology for the most part," he said.

"The only confusion is that people think it's a radio station all over the place so we are adding stuff to the sign that says one-block radius only."

Stonehouse said the biggest benefit is for condo sellers in the city's downtown core.

We're "putting it in apartment buildings in downtown where they don't allow signs," said Stonehouse. "(People) drive by and listen to the listings selling in that building."

David Coates sold his home in two weeks after three open houses and the use of the FM transmitter.

"It's hard to say whether an FM transmitter broadcasting from the house got us thousands of dollars more," said Coates. Either way, Coates is satisfied as his home sold for $69,000 more than its original asking price.

With a report from CTV's Heron Hanuman in Vancouver