20 Sep

Understanding Insurance


Posted by: Greg Domville

Understanding Insurance.

Not all insurance products are created equal. One of the most common mistakes homeowners and potential homeowners make is that they hear the word “insurance” and just assume they have it! Well, you might have one kind of insurance, but you might be missing coverage elsewhere. It is important to understand all the different insurance products to ensure you have proper coverage.

To help you get a better understanding of the insurance, below are the four main insurance product options you will encounter and what they mean:

Default Insurance: This insurance is mandatory for homes where the buyer puts less than 20% down. In fact, default insurance is the reason that lenders accept lower down payments, such as 5% minimum, and actually helps these buyers access comparable interest rates typically offered with larger down payments.

Default insurance typically requires a premium, which is based on the loan-to-value ratio (mortgage loan amount divided by the purchase price). This premium can be paid in a single lump sum, or it can be added to your mortgage and included in your monthly payments.

In Canada, most homeowners know of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which is run by the federal government, and have used them in the past. But did you know? We also have two private companies, Sagen Financial and Canada Guaranty, who can also provide this insurance.

Home (Property & Fire) Insurance: Next, we have another mandatory insurance option, property and fire coverage (or, home insurance, as most people know it by). This is number two on our list as it MUST be in place before you close the mortgage! It is especially important to note that not all homes or properties are insurable, so you will want to review this sooner rather than later.

In addition to protecting against fire damage, home insurance can also cover the contents of your home (depending on your policy). This is important for anyone looking at purchasing condos or townhouses as the strata insurance typically protects the building itself and common areas, as well as your suit “as is”, but it will not account for your personal belongings or any upgrades you made. Be sure to cross-check your strata insurance policy and take out an individual one on your unit to cover the difference.

One final thing to consider is that you may not be covered in the event of a flood or earthquake. You may need to purchase additional coverage to be protected from a natural disaster, depending on your location.

Title Insurance: Another insurance policy that potential homeowners may encounter is known as “title insurance”. When it comes to lenders, this insurance is mandatory with every single lender in Canada requiring you to purchase title insurance on their behalf.

In addition, you have the option of purchasing this for yourself as a homeowner. The benefit of title insurance is that it can protect you from existing liens on the property’s title, but the most common benefit is protection against title fraud. Title fraud typically involves someone using stolen personal information, or forged documents to transfer your home’s title to him or herself – without your knowledge.

Similar to default insurance, title insurance is charged as a one-time fee or a premium with the cost based on the value of your property.

Mortgage Protection Plan: Lastly, we have our mortgage protection plan coverage. This is optional coverage, but one that any agent can tell you is extremely important. The purpose of the mortgage protection plan is to protect you, and your family, should something happen. It acts as a disability and a life insurance policy in regards to your mortgage.

Typically, when you get approval for a mortgage, it is based on family income. If one of the partners in the mortgage is no longer able to contribute due to disability or death, a mortgage protection plan gives you protection for your mortgage payments.

If you have any questions about mortgage insurance or what are the best options for you, please do not hesitate to reach out to a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage expert for professional advice! They can take a look at your existing plan and discuss your needs to help you find the perfect coverage to suit you and your family.

Written by MY DLC Marketing Team

20 Sep

The Bank of Canada Hiked Rates Again And Isn’t Finished Yet


Posted by: Greg Domville

Bank of Canada hiked overnight rate by 75 bps to 3.25% with more to come.

The Bank of Canada Hiked Rates Again And Isn’t Finished Yet

The Governing Council of the Bank of Canada raised its target for the overnight policy rate by 75 basis points today to 3.25% and signalled that the policy rate would rise further. The Bank is also continuing its policy of quantitative tightening (QT), reducing its holdings of Government of Canada bonds, which puts additional upward pressure on longer-term interest rates.

While some Bay Street analysts believed this would be the last tightening move this cycle, the central bank’s press release has dissuaded them of this notion. There has been a misconception regarding the so-called neutral range for the overnight policy rate. With inflation at 2%, the Bank of Canada economists estimated some time ago that the neutral range for the policy rate was 2%-to-3%, leading some to believe that the Bank would only need to raise their policy target to just above 3%. However, the neutral range is considerably higher, with overall inflation at 7.6% and core inflation measures rising to 5.0%-to-5.5%. In other words, 3.25% is no longer sufficiently restrictive to temper domestic demand to levels consistent with the 2% inflation target.

As the Bank points out in today’s statement, though Q2 GDP growth in Canada was slower than expected at 3.3%, domestic demand indicators were robust – “consumption grew by about 9.5%, and business investment was up by close to 12%. With higher mortgage rates, the housing market is pulling back as anticipated, following unsustainable growth during the pandemic.”

Wage rates continue to rise, and labour markets are exceptionally tight, with job vacancies at record levels. We will know more on the labour front with the release of the August jobs report this Friday. But the Bank is concerned that rising inflation expectations risk embedding wage and price gains. To forestall this, the policy interest rate will need to rise further.

Traders are now betting that another 50-bps rate hike is likely when the Governing Council meets again on October 25th. There is another meeting this year on December 6th. I expect the policy rate to end the year at 4%.


Bottom Line

The implications of today’s Bank of Canada action are considerable for the housing market. The prime rate will now quickly rise to 5.45%, increasing the variable mortgage interest rate another 75 bps, which will likely take the qualifying rate to roughly 7%.

Fixed mortgage rates, tied to the 5-year government of Canada bond yield, will also rise, but not nearly as much. The 5-year yield has reversed some of its immediate post-announcement spike and remains at about 3.27% (see charts below). Expectations of an economic slowdown have muted the impact of higher short-term interest rates on longer-term bond yields. This inversion of the yield curve is consistent with the expectation of a mild recession next year. It is noteworthy that the Bank omitted the usual comment on a soft landing in the economy in today’s press release. Bank economists realize that the price paid for inflation control might well be at least a mild recession.

Another implication of today’s policy rate hike is the prospect of fixed-payment variable-rate mortgages taken at the meagre yields of 2021 and 2022, hitting their trigger rate. There is a good deal of uncertainty around how many these will be, as the terms vary from loan to loan, but it is another factor that will overhang the economy in the next year.

We maintain the view that the economy will slow considerably in the second half of this year and through much of 2023. The Bank of Canada will hold the target policy rate at its ultimate high point– at least one or two hikes away– through much of 2023, if not beyond. A return to 2% inflation will not occur until at least 2024, and (as Governor Macklem says) the Bank’s job is not finished until then.

Written by Dr Sherry Cooper