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Mortgage Rule Changes

January 18th, 2018 by wetaskiwinrealestate

New mortgage rule changes have come into effect and will definitely have an impact on your buying power. All buyers applying for a mortgage will have to qualify at 4.99% interest no matter what interest rate they are offered by their lender. Because of this change it is highly recommended you contact your lender and find out what you can actually borrow based on this new criteria. In real estate markets like Wetaskiwin the change shouldn’t affect buying power too much, but in the larger centers it will make a huge difference. Feel free to contact our office for more details at 780-352-2413/

Bank of Canada to hold interest rate!

December 7th, 2016 by wetaskiwinrealestate

The Bank of Canada is holding its benchmark interest rate at 0.5 per cent as economic conditions move along largely in line with its expectations.

In making the scheduled announcement, the central bank says while the global economy has strengthened, international uncertainty has negatively affected business confidence and investment among Canada’s trading partners.

The bank says Canada’s growth performance has also been close to its expectations, including a strong rebound in the third quarter.

It says Canadian inflation, which it carefully analyzes when making rate decisions, is slightly below what it had anticipated in large part because of lower food prices.

The decision to maintain the rate was widely anticipated by experts and comes ahead of an announcement next week by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is expected to raise its key interest rate.

In October, the Bank of Canada downgraded its growth outlook and governor Stephen Poloz said its governing council actively discussed cutting the trendsetting rate before deciding to keep it on hold.

TD Raises its mortgage lending rate

November 28th, 2016 by wetaskiwinrealestate

TORONTO – TD Bank (TSX:TD) raised the interest rate it charges customers with variable-rate mortgages amid the changes to the mortgage insurance rules announced by Ottawa last month.

The big Canadian bank increased its TD Mortgage Prime rate to 2.85 per cent from 2.7 per cent, effective Tuesday.

TD said it regularly reviews its rates and adjusts them based on a number of factors, including the cost that the bank pays to fund mortgages.

“Increasing our rates is not a decision we take lightly,” TD spokeswoman Cheryl Ficker said.

“We consider the impact on our customers before proceeding with any rate change, and we communicate directly with customers whose loans or mortgages are affected.

Customers with fixed-rate mortgages were unaffected by the change and TD’s prime rate for other products with a variable interest rate, such as lines of credit, was also not affected as that rate remained at 2.7 per cent.

Mortgage brokers had warned that the mortgage rule changes announced by Ottawa last month would make it harder for non-bank lenders to operate and could see Canadians pay higher interest rates.

James Laird, president of mortgage company CanWise Financial and co-founder of rate-watching website, said the changes are going to reduce the types of mortgages that are going to be eligible for portfolio insurance dramatically at the end of November.

“What that basically means is it’s more expensive to fund mortgages in Canada, so I think it’s most likely that this is kind of a pre-emptive move in anticipation of more expensive funding costs,” he said.

Laird also suggested that it was likely that the other big Canadian banks would follow suit in the coming days.

“In the eight years that I’ve been in this industry, I’ve never seen the major lenders have their prime rates different for more than a couple of days,” he said.

Laird noted that he didn’t see a change in TD’s fixed-rate mortgage offerings overnight, but that it would be something that he’d be watching.

Borrowers with variable-rate mortgages often negotiate a discount to the prime rate, but the rate they pay still goes up and down as the prime rate changes.

The increase means borrowers with variable-rate mortgages at TD will see a larger portion of their mortgage payment go toward paying interest instead of repaying principal if their payment remains the same.

TD’s prime rate had been at 2.7 per cent since July 2015 when it was cut in the wake of a decision by the Bank of Canada to reduce its overnight rate target by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.5 per cent.

TD initially lowered its rate to 2.75 per cent from 2.85 per cent following the July 2015 central bank decision, but later cut it to 2.7 per cent to match the moves by the other big Canadian banks.

New Mortgage Rules for insured borrowers

October 27th, 2016 by wetaskiwinrealestate

Mortgage borrowers may find they can’t afford as much house as they before under the federal Liberals’ new lending rules.

The Bank of Canada backed the rules on Wednesday, saying that, “over time,” they will reduce the risk of Canada’s financial system becoming unstable.

But for now, people will find they can only borrow enough to buy cheaper homes than they could just last week, Samantha Brookes of Mortgages of Canada wrote in a Monday blog post.


“If a potential homebuyer with a combined family income of approximately $125,000 was told they could afford something in the $630,000 range, they may now be restricted to the $500,000 range, based on the new rules,” she said.

Now Dominion Lending Centres has issued a chart showing just how much house people will be able to get a mortgage for, at various income levels.

The maximum amounts range from $125,483 for a household with $25,000 in income and 5 per cent down, to $1.837 million for a household earning $300,000 annually, with 20 per cent down.

Click for full size
home affordability chart

Interest rates headed up?

The new mortgage rules expand “stress tests” for borrowers to include five-year mortgages, the most common kind of mortgage in Canada. Though mortgages are being offered at around 2.5 per cent today, the stress test requires borrowers to qualify at the Bank of Canada’s posted rate — currently 4.64 per cent.

Some in the industry say one of the effects of the new rules could be higher mortgage rates to come.

“These changes work to limit competition in the mortgage market for many types of loans,” said Walter Melanson, a founding partner at, in an emailed statement. “Less competition means higher interest rates and less approvals, which are ultimately bad for consumers.”

Dominion Lending Centres says some banks are forecasting bond yields will rise by about one percentage point in the next 15 months. That would push home loan rates up, as banks set their mortgage rates according to bond yields.

Dominion’s Len Lane estimates that, under that scenario, someone who earns $85,000, bought a house for $500,000 and has $350 in monthly car payments would need to up their salary by $10,000 to afford the higher interest rates.

Time to ask the boss for a raise?

2016 Alberta Real Estate Forecast

November 3rd, 2015 by wetaskiwinrealestate

After a tough year in 2015, Alberta’s resale housing market is expected to rebound in 2016, according to a report by RBC Economics.

The bank’s senior economist, Robert Hogue, is forecasting sales in the province to dip by 17.8 per cent this year from 2014 to 59,000 transactions — the largest drop in the country.

But Alberta is then expected to see the biggest year-over-year hike in sales in 2016 of 7.1 per cent to 63,200 units.

Despite the drop in sales this year due to a slumping economy and continued depressed oil prices, the average sale price in Alberta is forecast to climb by 0.7 per cent to $378,500 and grow by another 2.1 per cent next year to $386,600.
Hogue said the 2016 sales forecast is elevated because it is compared to the steep decline overall in 2015.

“I wouldn’t necessarily call it a turnaround. It’s just that the depth of the correction in the early part of 2015 was so deep . . . We’ve seen home sales pick up slightly since the winter and we think that going forward it’s going to be about stable or might increase a bit,” he said.

The forecast is based on RBC assumptions for the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil at $52 US a barrel this year and $72 in 2016. In recent days, that price has ranged between $40-$41.

Hogue said the market has rebalanced in Alberta with sales picking up and new listings easing off from their levels earlier this year.

New home construction is going to feel the economic pinch in the next two years. Hogue is calling for an annual decline in Alberta of 12 per cent in 2015 to 35,700 units followed by another 15.1 per cent decrease in 2016 to 30,300 units.

At the national level, the RBC report said the number of resales in the country would jump by five per cent this year to 505,400 but drop by 0.7 per cent next year to 501,800.

Hogue is expecting the national average price to rise by 4.6 per cent this year to $392,600 and by 3.2 per cent in 2016 to $405,100.

As for housing starts, Canada will mirror what is happening in Alberta but at a lesser scale. Starts this year are expected to drop by 1.9 per cent year-over-year to 185,800 units and fall by another 2.1 per cent next year to 181,500 units.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, year-to-date until the end of July, MLS sales in Alberta are down by 20.5 per cent from the same period a year ago to 35,986 and the average sale price has dipped by 0.9 per cent to $397,412. New listings of 71,358 are down 3.3 per cent.

In Canada, MLS sales have risen by 5.9 per cent to 314,736 units and the average sale price has increased by 8.5 per cent to $441,945.

How does 2015 look?

February 25th, 2015 by wetaskiwinrealestate

There has been lots of concern and worry over the lower oil prices we have been experiencing. Many are worried about what that is going to do to property values and to the real estate market. Although overall we have seen a slight drop from this time last year, the biggest hit part of the market are the high end properties, the low to mid priced properties are actually performing better than last year. This is due to the extremely low interest rates. If interest rates stay low, the market is not expected to crash. Even though the oil industry is a big part of the Alberta economy, it is not the entire economy and other parts of the economy continue to perform well. This current downtrend in the market – if you can call it that – is not expected to be anything like the 2007 – 2008 crash. We do expect things to be slower than they were in 2014, but we don’t see everything coming to a screaming halt. Anyone considering purchasing a home this year, but have decided to put that idea on hold, should reconsider. This will be a great year for buyers!!

Real Estate Update

January 30th, 2014 by wetaskiwinrealestate

Well old man winter returned….we knew he would, but, ah, wasn’t it nice to get a couple weeks of a repreive?

The Real Estate Market picked up during that warm spell, so we saw a much busier than normal January..yay!

There have been 15 new rural listings come on the market over the past week, 1 in Millet and 8 in Wetaskiwin. Our office listed 5 of the rural properties and 3 of the Wetaskiwin properties.

Of the total 6 properties which SOLD over the last week, 3 were in Wetaskiwin and 3 were rural properties.

List Price – Sale Price

120,000 – 112,875 Our Listing and our Sale
184,900 – 185,000
824,900 – 780,000

29,900 – 25,500 Our Listing and our Sale
86,900 – 76,750 Our Sale
289,000 – 270,000

Today I am going to give you the top 5 projects you can do to help you sell your home faster!

1. Fix up the front yard (small repairs) like adding shrubbery, edging, adding perennial (but no garden gnomes or bird baths). Its kind of tough to do this right now, but keep it in the back of your mind for when the weather warms up.

2. Believe it or not, change the main front entrance, ie: repaint the door or replace it with whatever suits the style of your home’s style.

3. Replace windows, replacing them can be a substantial cost; however, you will be able to recoup the value of the windows when you sell the house. Windows can showcase your home.

4. Hold onto your hats!! Move the laundry room from the basement to the main floor! As we have seen, newer homes have main floor laundry facilities, it makes perfect sense to make an older home more in keeping with the times by bringing it more up to date.

5. And last but not least, buy a new stainless steel fridge for your kitchen; this is the centre point of a Buyer’s view when they first enter the kitchen. It’s been proven that they will open the fridge but not pay that close attention to the other appliances. You want to make a lasting impression!


We hope you have a fantastic week.

Real Estate Update for Wetaskiwin

January 24th, 2014 by wetaskiwinrealestate

Wow the weather has been spectacular! How weird getting spring weather in January, makes me a bit leery about what February is going to bring us. We have been very busy, lots of clients are getting ready to list their homes for the big Spring rush. The week’s numbers don’t really reflect how busy our office has been.

There was one sold, it was in Wetaskiwin, listed at $179,900 and sold for $167,500 and our office sold it.

There were 10 new properties listed, 9 in the country – 1 of which is our listing and one new listing in Wetaskiwin.

Because we are coming up on the busy season, we are once again going to give you tips on how to get your home ready for sale. I sometimes don’t think people realize how important staging your home really is, we have seen homes sell for $30,000 under market value simply because the house was dirty, cluttered and not “kept up”. The price to clean and stage is relatively low, and is well worth the effort if you want top dollar for your home.

2014 Real Estate Market should remain steady

January 9th, 2014 by wetaskiwinrealestate

Well it is more than a week into the new year and we have been incredibly busy. We have listed a new project, Windsor Park Condominiums which is an adult 45+ apartment style condo. There are 9 units for sale and come in quite a few sizes and price points, the starting price being $165,000. We have created a virtual tour and the link is:

Any feedback you might have would be appreciated as this is a fairly new thing we are doing.

The forecast for the 2014 Real Estate market in the Capital region – of which we are a part of – is steady as she goes, the average family home should see a 3% increase in price over the year. Thats good news as last year was a good year for real estate, so we are looking forward to another good year.

We have been working with some buyers already this year, but we expect the number of active buyers to steadily increase over the next couple of months. Those of you who have let things “slide” over the holiday season should start to get your homes ready again for showings. Some of the basics to remember:

Make beds
Pick up everything off the floor
Kitchens and bathrooms should GLEAM
Floors should be kept swept and vaccuumed
Garages should be emptied before showings
Keep animals areas clean and fresh
Make sure the house smells clean and fresh
Keep laundry areas neat and tidy
Keep sidewalks shoveled and clear of ice and snow


This week we saw 10 new properties come on the market, of those 5 belong to our office and one of them is already pending (yay!). Two properties were sold, one in Millet listed at $279,900 and sold for $270,000, the other in Wetaskiwin listed for $289,900 and sold for $285,000.

The weather is supposed to be decent for the next few days so get out and enjoy some fresh air if you can!

Realty Executives Discover

First Update of 2014!

January 2nd, 2014 by wetaskiwinrealestate

We hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season! It seems to go by so quickly, and now life returns to normal. The days are getting longer so we are on the downward slope towards spring – yay!!

We are back at work, ready to get back at it with renewed vigor after our break! January and Februrary tend to be slower months for Real Estate, but its a perfect time to get at those little indoor projects you may have been putting off. Get your house ready for the spring rush, as traditionally spring is the time when Real Estate is the busiest.

During the holiday one home was sold in Wetaskiwin, listed at $194,900 and sold for $190,000. Nothing new was listed and nothing else sold.

We wish you all the best in 2014 and we will do our utmost to help you acheive your goals in all matters “real estate”.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.