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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”.

Realty Executives Discover, Wetaskiwin – Weekly Update

December 12th, 2013 by wetaskiwinrealestate

So, winter is here to stay, no doubt about it. Its ironic when you realize that winter hasn’t even “officially” started yet! We have some very interesting fall weather.

The real estate market has almost ground to a stop! There were 2 properties listed over the past week, one in Wetaskiwin and one rural property.

Nothing sold in Wetaskiwin, and 3 rural properties sold.

List Price – Sale Price
194,000 – 180,000
249,000 – 235,000
282,900 – 260,000

It would not be the least bit surprising if little to nothing happens in real estate for the rest of the year and even into January. With Christmas coming up and the weather usually not great, people tend to not want to look at houses. That doesn’t mean you should forget all about keeping your home in somewhat show condition, just in case! Definitely keep those sidewalks and driveways shovelled.

The above link is to a really good article about Preparing your home for Sale. Its got great advice, hints, ideas, etc. If you can make the time you should read it.

Until next week, stay well.

Realty Executives Discover

Wetaskiwin Weekly Update Dec 5, 2013

December 9th, 2013 by wetaskiwinrealestate

Due to the extreme winter conditions we are experiencing, I thought it would be a good reminder to give you a list of Winter Survival Tips! Its easy to forget or overlook some of these:

Dressing Properly for Winter

1. Dress in Layers
Dressing in layers is one of the most important things to remember when dressing in cold winter months. The advantage to dressing in layers is that you can add or subtract layers as you need them, which will help you stay comfortable.

First, start with a thin layer, such as silk, polyester or nylon next to the skin. Do not use cotton as your first layer.
Second, add a layer of fleece or polyester. Wool is also excellent for the second layer, but is more restrictive and heavier.

Thirdly, add a water-proof, wind-resistant layer. The best outer layers are constructed with Gore-Tex or other man-made fabric.
Make sure that you wear appropriate layers on your legs as well. Jeans will freeze at colder temperatures and will not help keep you warm.

2. Keep Your Clothing Loose
Looser clothing insulates better as well as ensuring you can move more freely. Do not wear clothing that is too tight.

3. Less is (Ironically) More
You want to stay warm in winter, but wearing too many layers can cause you to sweat. This will cause you to become colder, due to the moisture created. It is best to wear layers of the proper materials, and choose clothing that is of good quality.

4. Avoid Cotton Near The Skin
Cotton is well known for absorbing water, or in this case sweat, which will result in you becoming cold very fast. Other fabrics, such as nylon, silk and wool are better suited for your first layer next to your skin.

5. Keep Your Feet Dry and Warm
Your feet will help to regulate your core body temperature. Keep them warm by wearing good quality socks, and layering your feet is also a good idea. Again, cotton socks are not recommended as a first layer. Wool socks will help keep your feet warm. To ensure your feet stay dry in your winter boots, you may want to wrap a plastic bag around each foot.

6. Remember Your Accessories
Hats, gloves or mittens, and a scarf will round out your winter ensemble and will ensure you are ready to enjoy all that winter in Alberta has to offer.
A hat, or toque, with ear flaps is highly recommended. Gloves that are lined with fur or fleece will keep your fingers toasty, and a scarf is essential to help fight the bite of a cool winter wind.
Don’t forget your sunglasses…they will help keep the wind out of your eyes, and protect your eyes from the glare of the newly fallen snow.

Winter Driving Tips (courtesy of Alberta Transportation)

Keep your vehicles in shape for winter driving

• Winterize your vehicles. This should include an examination of the spare tire, battery, belts, hoses, anti-freeze, tires, brakes, heater, defroster and windshield wipers.

• Carry an emergency road kit in your vehicle’s trunk or cargo space.

• Clear all snow and ice completely off windows, side view mirrors, headlights, taillights and licence plates.

• Buckle up and adjust head restraints. The centre of your head restraint should be even with the top of your ears.

• Try to keep your vehicle’s fuel tank more than half full. The extra volume can help reduce moisture problems in your fuel system and it adds extra weight to your vehicle. A topped-up gas tank will also be an asset if you become stranded.

Don’t expect clear and dry summer highway conditions in the winter

• The Alberta government and its highway maintenance contractors work hard to keep Alberta’s highways clear and open to traffic during the winter. However, some severe storms exceed their ability to keep highways free of snow and ice. This may be caused by the amount of snow, timing or duration of the storm, high winds, freezing rain or a combination of all of these factors.

Drive cautiously during bad weather

• Slow down when conditions aren’t ideal. The posted speed limit is intended for ideal road conditions. Even if road signs say you may drive 110 km/h, that doesn’t mean you should if the road is icy or snow-covered.

• Motorists have a legal obligation to drive according to road conditions. You can be charged with a traffic offence by police if you are found not to be doing so.

• Stay back from snowplows. They will let you pass every five to eight kilometres or when it is safe to do so.

• Plan the best route to your destination ahead of time.

• Keep your headlights on all the time – don’t rely on daytime running lights. Low beams are more effective than high beams in fog or heavy snow conditions.

• Never use cruise control in winter conditions.

• When travelling on snowy roads, try driving outside of the previous tire tracks to give you some extra traction. This also helps when there are shiny ruts in the road.

• Signal well in advance of turning to give other motorists time to anticipate and react to your actions. Check your rearview and side mirrors, and always shoulder check before changing lanes.

• Avoid sudden moves by anticipating turns or lane changes. Abrupt changes in direction or slamming on the brakes could cause you to spin out of control.

• On a wet or slick surface, allow yourself at least three times the normal following distance to stop.

• Remember that bridge decks may be slippery even when other parts of the highway are not, since they are subject to greater temperature fluctuations.

• Know your braking system and how it reacts on ice. Always be gentle with braking pressure on slick roads.

• Avoid braking on curves by driving through them at a safe, steady speed.

• Accelerate slightly when approaching a hill and then maintain a steady speed going up.

• Gear down for both uphill climbs and downhill grades. This can help you avoid brake wear and chances of sliding.

But be careful of abrupt downshifting as it can upset a vehicle’s balance and cause a skid to occur, particularly when turning.

• Take your foot off the brake if your vehicle begins to skid and steer in the direction you want to go. When the wheels regain their grip, brake firmly and smoothly.

• If you are driving a rear-wheel drive, prepare to steer just enough in the opposite direction in order to prevent a counter skid. 

Emergency Roadside Winter Kit

You should keep a complete winter roadside kit in each vehicle, either in the cargo space or your trunk. Always refill this kit before traveling in winter.

extra clothing and footwear
emergency non-perishable food
candle in a deep tin
flashlight, with extra batteries
first aid kit
booster cables
fire extinguisher
ice scraper and snow brush
road map
paper towels or rags
road salt, sand, or kitty litter
your cell phone.

As a reflection of both the time of year and the weather conditions, the real estate market has been very slow the past week. There were 4 new listings, 2 rural listings and 2 in Wetaskiwin, both of which are our listings.

There were 5 properties sold in the past week, 2 rural properties and 3 in Wetaskiwin.

List Price – Sold Price
282,900 – 260,000
359,900 – 345,000

189,900 – 170,000 Our Sale
284,900 – 265,000 Our Listing and our sale
139,900 – 128,900 Our Listing and our sale

As you can see our office is working hard to keep things moving during this slow time of year!

Check out our new look website at

Realty Executives Discover

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.