The amortizations gods have been good to Canadians over the past three years. Just 60 months ago, mortgage rates were nearly double what they are now, costing homeowners thousands of dollars in interest every year. In fact, if you were to compare interest costs in 2007 with today’s rates, you’d save over $100,000 in interest over a 25 year amortization period on a $200,000 home.
There’s no doubt that now’s the time to take advantage of these historically low rates. Which begs the question – are homeowners doing enough to capitalize on these record-breaking deals?
Housing affordability appears to be improving in Canada, according to RBC’s quarterly numbers released on Wednesday. RBC’s chief economist, Craig Wright, believes that continued low interest rates this year will help keep housing prices and costs reasonable in the near term.
RBC’s report also showed that the financial burden of owning a home declined for the second straight quarter in 2011, thanks to “softer” home prices and higher household incomes. The report found that all categories of housing in the nation, including condominiums and two-storey family properties, have since risen on the affordability scale. Which is great for homeowners, but even better for home hunters. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the Canadian housing marketing is predicted to see a 0.3 percent increase in unit sales. Read more
As a first-time homebuyer, chances are you’ve never heard of mortgage default insurance. More often than not, it isn’t until you’re sitting across from your lender that you learn about this expensive requirement. You see, in order to qualify for certain types of mortgage products in Canada you are required to be “insured”. While most insurance products are designed to protect your dependants in the case of an unexpected accident, mortgage default insurance actually protects your lender if ever you are unable to make your mortgage payments. It’s a strange concept for many property virgins, but one that should be discussed early in the homebuying process. Read more