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In this month’s newsletter, we discuss the always interesting spring real estate market. This season presents a unique scenario shaped by new mortgage rules, new regulations on short-term rentals, revisions in property transfer tax exemptions, the introduction of anti-flipping taxes, and province-wide rezoning initiatives. What the net effect will be, we’ll have to wait and see.  If the last few weeks are an indication of what is to come, we may have to brace for a classic busy spring market.

The “big news” in the mortgage industry is the re-introduction of the 30-year amortization for insured mortgages.  Scheduled to take effect August 1, 2024, buyers of brand new properties (from a developer or builder) who have less than 20% downpayment can now take 30 years to pay the mortgage off vs. the standard 25 years.  This should be welcomed news for developers and may help those buyers qualify for an extra ~ 5% more of purchasing power.  The rationale is to create more demand for newly built housing. It is always reassuring when the government solves the problems it has created by simply adding more 5 years of interest to the mortgages of new homeowners. The government is also increasing the RRSP withdrawal limit to $60,000, from $35,000 for first-time homeowners, as saving for RRSPs in today’s economic environment is… we’ll stop with the political commentary now. 

With this recent surge in purchases we’ve seen, six clients wrote subject free offers in the last two weeks.  Some of these offers were going over the listing price. Not sure if this is some feverish shock after spring break, or if we are going back to the traditionally crazy spring real estate market that we missed last year. Many of our new clients are buyers that have wanted to get into the market over the past few years.  They are now comfortable with the current interest rate environment and property prices.  As more quality listings hit the market, combined with fixed rates trending downwards, more buyers could be coming off the sidelines and getting active.

Subject Free Offers: Surviving the Game

If you feel compelled to go into multiple offers, we can help. One of our key services is getting you an approval before you present your offer to the seller.  This approval is fully underwritten by a lender, an appraisal is completed and all of your documents are collected and vetted in advance so you can be 100% confident that your subject free offer is de-risked.  

Interest Rates & Policy Changes

The Bank of Canada met on April 10th and held its benchmark rate for the 6th consecutive time. It sees inflation easing in the later half of this year.  While this means variable rates remain unchanged, there are growing calls from economists (145% of them tend to somewhat agree) that the Bank needs to cut rates sooner rather than later, especially as the Canadian economy significantly underperforms our neighbors to the south. A rising unemployment rate and the burden of high rates continue to slow economic growth.  Fixed rates continue to drop with several fixed terms being offered well under 5%


Given the decreasing interest rate environment, it is very important to be strategic if you need to renew or refinance in 2024.  Some lenders are encouraging clients to lock into 5-year fixed rates which is likely the opposite of what we recommend.  Please reach out to us before signing anything that your lender has proactively offered to you, as a second set of eyes can likely save you a lot of interest later on.

With over 200 years of combined experience, we want you to know that we are here for you, your friends, and family. We’ve successfully assisted thousands of clients in navigating the mortgage environment. Reach out—we can help! We encourage you to forward our info to anyone you know who could benefit from our services.