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Rental Payments can be used to build Credit Scores for Canadians

For the past eight years Canadians have had the ability to use mortgage payments to build their credit scores. However, for a large segment of the population — including first time home buyers — building a credit score to qualify for a mortgage can be a challenge since rental payment data has not historically been factored in.

Approximately 33 per cent of Canadians pay rent, which for most is the largest single monthly expense. To date, this information has not been factored into an individual’s credit score due to the burden of collecting the data, but the Landlord Credit Bureau is working hard to change that. They have created a portal where Landlords will upload rental payment data which will be provided directly to Equifax, where Landlords will also benefit from the ability to pull a tenant’s payment history data to determine their creditworthiness.

Although this won’t replace the need to build credit in other ways, it certainly is a step in the right direction to break down barriers to entry in the Canadian housing market.

Are you currently renting and thinking about purchasing your first property? Talk to our team today and let us help you find the best path toward owning your own home.

The Best of Bloor West Living

The Building

Constructed by renowned builder Tridel, One Old Mill is a touch of modern elegance in the classic and quaint neighbourhood of Bloor West Village. The condo is ideal for young professionals, new families, and older couples looking to downsize.

The 12 storey, 278 unit structure was completed in late 2014, and has provided the area with a much needed luxury condominium option. The south side of the building fronts on Bloor Street west, while the north side looks over the greenery of the Humber River Trail, making the building a sort of gateway between activity and serenity.

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Bloor West Village

Bloor West Village is one of the last communities in Toronto with a small town feel. Dozens of fantastic shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment are just steps away from the building. On weekends, Bloor Street is filled with pedestrians roaming the shops and fruit markets.

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Transit/Driving

Jane Subway Stations is a mere 200 metres from the front door of One Old Mill, allowing for quick and easy access to all Toronto has to offer. The Gardiner Expressway is just minutes away, allowing quick access to the downtown core by car. Access to other major highways such as the 400, 401, and 427 is quite convenient, allowing for easy weekend getaways.

Parks

Plenty of green space is located near One Old Mill, allowing for an escape from the concrete views that many experience in Toronto. The Humber River is a stones throw away from One Old Mill, and it flows south through Toronto’s west end, all the way to Lake Ontario. Numerous walking and cycling paths run adjacent to it, and many beautiful parks and gardens are located at various points along the river. Park is an incredible 400 acres of forest, playgrounds, recreational space, dog park, and zoo, that offers a little something for everyone. High Park is located just west along Bloor Street from One Old Mill.

Amenities

Few condo buildings in Toronto can compete with the amenities available to residents of One Old Mill. All rooms were designed with luxury and functionality in mind.

They include:

-Full Gym

-Yoga/Dance Room

-Indoor Salt Water Pool

-Whirlpool

-Theatre Room

-Private Dining Room

-Multi Purpose Library/Party/Gathering Room

-Rooftop Garden Lounge with BBQ’s

-2 Guest Suites

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Check out our featured listing at One Old Mill here. Unit 729 is a spacious 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo overlooking the Humber River.

Toronto Land Transfer Tax — What’s New and What’s Coming?

Provincial (Ontario) Land Transfer Tax Changes – 2017

2016 was a big year for changes in the Canadian Real Estate Market. On the heels of the announcement in October regarding changes in the mortgage underwriting rules for first time home buyers (ultimately reducing the buying power of first-time home buyers in Canada, read more here), the province announced changes to provincial land transfer tax which are aimed at helping increase affordability for first time home buyers, effective January 1, 2017.

Here are the changes:

Ultimately these changes are expected to have negative implications on transactions over $2 Million which, in the City of Toronto, represents a large part of the real estate market for centrally-located detached homes.

But Toronto is unique in that, unlike all other municipalities in Ontario, it has a municipal land transfer tax in addition to the provincial land transfer tax.

City of Toronto Municipal Land Transfer Tax – Proposed Changes

The City of Toronto is currently exploring raising the Municipal Land Transfer Tax in order to meet 2017 budget objectives. The effect would be an additional 0.5 per cent of tax on all buyers.

This could mean a seven per cent increase of $750 on top of the $11,000 for an average priced home purchased by a repeat buyer in Toronto.

Tim Hudak, CEO-designate of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) said that if the city increases the municipal land transfer tax, it would effectively be “clawing back” the additional rebate offered by the province. Hudak says, “Unfortunately, Toronto is proposing to swipe up to 25 per cent of the provincial savings out of the pockets of young couples and put it into city coffers instead.”

Toronto Real Estate Board has launched a website to combat the City on the increase of land transfer tax.

Toronto City Council will finalize its budget in February 2017.

Would you like to be kept informed on the latest in Toronto Real Estate? Contact a member of our team to be kept in the loop or sign up for our monthly real estate updates today.

Changes to High-Ratio Mortgage Rates Announced — January 2017

As the Canadian housing market undergoes some significant changes with rising interest rates, changes to mortgage underwriting rules creating barriers to entry in the housing market and increases in property taxes across Ontario, it seems like everyone’s jumping on board to make owning a house more expensive. CHMC has now announced that it will be raising rates on high-ratio mortgages, followed by a matching announcement from private lender Genworth Financial a couple of days later.

What is a high-ratio mortgage?

Mortgages can be divided into two categories from a loan-to-value perspective: conventional and high-ratio. Conventional mortgages are when the borrower has a down-payment of more than 20% and a high-ratio mortgage is when the borrower has a down-payment of less than 20%. High-ratio mortgages are insured through either a private source (Genworth Financial Canada) or a government source (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation). To clarify, if your down-payment is less than 20%, you are required as a homeowner to purchase Mortgage Default Insurance that protects the lender in the case you default on your mortgage.

So what’s new?

The two main sources of Mortgage Default Insurance in Canada announced recently that they will be raising the rates on high-ratio mortgages in an effort to increase the cash they have on hand to hold against their mortgages (see chart for new rates).

First, CMHC announced their rate increases which were as follows:

  • According to CMHC, the changes will work out to an extra $5 a month, on average, per borrower.
  • Increased rates are in effect as of March 17, 2017.
  • This will not affect homeowners who have existing mortgages, only new applications received as of March 17.

Two days later, Genworth Financial announced they would be matching CHMC’s new rates as well as the date of implementation.

Do you have questions about real estate and mortgage financing? Contact a member of our team to find out more.