Canadian Mortgages, Insurance, Investment, Tax Planning


Revenu Québec - Tax News

XE Forex News

Canadian Mortgage Broker news

Thursday, December 25, 2008

BEST Mortgage rates

>>> Click here for my mortgage rates <<<

Monday, December 22, 2008

Canadian Mortgage Industry in the Media

In recent weeks, there have been numerous articles in the national media on the state of the Canadian mortgage industry. Issues regarding the impact of longer amortizations and a perceived failure to anticipate the effects of various mortgage products have been at the forefront.

You Should Be Aware Of The Following Important Facts

Arrears and default rates remain low in Canada particularly when compared to the U.S. Canadian mortgage holders have on average over 50% equity in their properties. For all home owners, (those with and those without a mortgage), the equity ratio exceeds 70%;Longer amortization periods and 100% LTV mortgages do not equate to subprime or alternative mortgages which are based on a borrower's credit worthiness. Relatively few outstanding mortgages in Canada have 40 year amortization periods – only six percent or just over 300,000 mortgage holders out of 5.25 million;Mortgage products in Canada are transparent. Mortgagors with a variable rate product know their rate and most have the option to convert to a fixed rate product. In the past year, 40% of mortgage holders took out a variable rate mortgage with the expectation that declining rates will continue to drop. This is in stark contrast to the U.S. where the resetting of option ARM mortgages means millions of mortgage holders have been and will continue to face higher rates;A rise in default rates in Canada is not apparent. It's a fact that the economy is slowing; however if borrowers find themselves with financial difficulties, it will most likely be a result of their employment situation rather than their mortgage product;Differences between the Canadian and U.S. markets remain. The option ARMs that have and continue to be reset to higher rates are not common in Canada. Those who hold variable and even fixed rate products in Canada are now doing so in a declining interest rate environment. A greater percentage of mortgages in Canada are funded by balance sheet lenders than in the U.S. Subprime or alternative lending products were never as common in Canada;Canada has a rich history of mortgage insurance. Nearly half of all mortgages obtained in any given year are insured with a second approval process for mortgage applications. Underwriting principles and guidelines in Canada, while not perfect, are more thorough than in the U.S.;Regulation for Canadian mortgage brokers and agents is more stringent than in the U.S. Several provinces have recently updated or are in the process of updating their origination legislation including Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia. There are now license requirements and in most provinces education and disclosure requirements. This will ultimately lead to enhanced professionalism in our industry and added security for Canadian borrowers.Statistics Source: CAAMP's Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada, by CAAMP Chief Economist Will Dunning. To view the report – click_here


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Self-Employed Borrowers

Self-Employed Borrowers

Mortgage Brokers Offer Expert Advice to Self-Employed Borrowers

While self-employed borrowers face some unique challenges in securing a mortgage, we have access to a range of specialized products created for this group.

If you are self-employed, chances are the income shown on your tax returns has been reduced by several legitimate tax “write-offs.” Historically, this situation left self-employed individuals at a disadvantage to those on salary when it came to the mortgage amount for which they could get approved. We have access to an arsenal of mortgage products that will recognize “undeclared income” or allow declared income to be “grossed up.” These products will allow a self- employed borrower to qualify for a larger mortgage than has traditionally been available.

There are also a range of new mortgage product features recently introduced into the Canadian marketplace that make it easier for self-employed individuals to get a mortgage.

If you are self-employed and have had some credit issues, a mortgage broker may still be able to arrange a mortgage without the standard proof of income.

For expert advice on getting a mortgage that suits your individual needs, call us today.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Tips for Boosting Affordability

Boosting Affordability

Tips for Boosting Affordability

For first-time buyers affordability is a key issue as they look for a home of their own. Fortunately, there are some ways to increase mortgage affordability and stretch one’s housing dollar. Here are some tips to consider:

Know what you can afford. A mortgage pre-approval helps you establish a price range and the maximum mortgage you can reasonably afford. Many lenders will lock-in a rate for up to 120 days when pre-approving potential borrowers for a mortgage.

Revisit your current debts. When applying for a mortgage, a lender will look at your total debt service ratio (TDS), or how much of your total income is going towards various types of debts, including car loans, credit cards, and other consumer loans. A mortgage broker can advise on restructuring your current debt (by increasing the amortization and lowering payments on your car loan, for example), to ensure that your TDS ratio is acceptable to prospective lenders.

Increase the size of your down payment. Increasing the size of your down payment means a lower monthly payment. A common way for first time buyers to come up with more cash for a down payment is to make use of the federal Home Buyers' Plan to withdraw up to $20,000 each from a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) without tax penalty to buy or build a qualifying home. Also, many lenders allow the down payment to come from a properly documented gift, and a borrowed down payment may be possible for some borrowers.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Home Renovations

Home Renovations

Financing Home Renovations

The first three months of the year are the busiest time for planning home renovations. If your spring renovation plans involve larger projects, it can pay to refinance your mortgage, which allows you to get the very best borrowing rates by using the equity in your home.

A mortgage refinance will allow you to spread your payments over a longer period of time than with a line of credit. You may also be able to consolidate a range of higher interest borrowings (credit cards and car payments, for example) at the time of your mortgage refinancing. We can look carefully at your financing needs and advise on how best to secure additional mortgage funding.

If you take the time now to establish a clear idea of the improvements to your home and how you will pay for them, you could be putting those plans into action by the time warmer weather finally arrives. Ideally, a well-planned renovation can boost both your enjoyment of your home and its equity.


Friday, March 7, 2008

Trouble signs are there: Hot market finally slowing down

Real estate chill; Trouble signs are there: Hot market finally slowing down
The Toronto Sun
Fri 22 Feb 2008

Blame Mayor David Miller's municipal land transfer tax. Blame one of the harshest winters on record. Blame skyrocketing property taxes. Blame a high dollar and gouging energy costs which are killing Ontario's golden goose.

And blame bonehead politicians who believe anyone who scrimps and saves to buy a home is fair game for higher taxes.

Here it comes: Finally, signs our hot real estate market that's been rockin' and rollin' since 1997 is slowing down.

In its latest report released yesterday, real estate giant Re/Max -- Ontario/Atlantic Canada, describes the last decade as one of the best ever with sales up 57% since 1997 to more than half a million sales last year, as more Canadians bought into the dream of home ownership.


Across the country, average prices almost doubled rising from $154,606 in 1997 to $307,265 in 2007. That's a decent 7.1% annual return on investment, even though there were some tumultuous events, like the high-tech meltdown, 9/11, SARS, mad cow disease and a blackout.

Returns were especially sweet out West, where record oil prices sparked a gusher of economic growth. Edmonton led the country with a whopping 203% spike in average home prices.

Calgary's prices were up 188.9%. And in Vancouver, home to the highest prices in the country, values were up 98.8%.

Even the GTA saw incredible growth, with prices up 78.1% to $376,236.

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), price gains continue this year, with an average GTA home at $385,735 by mid February, up 7% from a year ago. And in the City of Toronto, they're up 11% year over year to $434,657.


But, cracks are showing with GTA sales down 14% to 3,240 homes changing hands in the first two weeks of February, compared to a year ago.

Hit hardest was the City of Toronto, where Miller's hated municipal land transfer tax kicked in Feb. 1 and where sales plunged 18% to only 1,066 homes sold. Meanwhile, in the 905 suburbs, where there is no municipal land transfer tax, sales were off by only 11%.

TREB president Maureen O'Neill blames a brutally harsh winter for a slump in sales and inventory.

"If you can't get buyers out to your open house, then you are less inclined to list. And fewer listings means less appealing products for the potential homebuyers. It's a compound effect," she said.

O'Neill is still predicting a strong spring market based on strong economic fundamentals. Re/Max is also optimistic predicting "healthy activity" across the country, even though the pace will moderate.

But yesterday, economists at Scotiabank downgraded Ontario's outlook warning we'll only see 1.4% growth in 2008, while Canada's economy shrinks to 1.9% growth, down from 2.6% in 2007.

But again, it's best out West with 3% growth.


Here's how average prices increased in housing markets from 1997 to 2007:

CITY - 1997 PRICE - 2007 PRICE - % CHANGE

VANCOUVER - $287,094 - $570,795 - 98.8%
VICTORIA - $218,398 - $466,974 - 113.8%
KELOWNA - $178,525 - $497,322 - 178.6%
CALGARY - $143,305 - $414,066 - 188.9%
EDMONTON - $111,587 - $338,636 - 203.5%
SASKATOON - $98,270 - $232,754 - 136.9%
WINNIPEG - $86,040 - $187,456 - 117.9%
BARRIE - $140,569 - $258,999 - 84.3%
TORONTO GTA - $211,307 - $376,236 - 78.1%
HAMILTON-BURLINGTON - $151,538 - $268,857 - 77.4%
LONDON-ST. THOMAS - $131,382 - $202,908 - 54.4%
KITCHENER-WATERLOO - $141,387 - $252,429 - 78.5%
SUDBURY - $108,521 - $182,536 - 68.2%
KINGSTON - $124,123 - $222,300 - 79.1%
OTTAWA-CARLETON - $143,866 - $277,058 - 92.6%
HALIFAX-DARTMOUTH - $109,827 - $216,339 - 97.0%
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND - $86,403 - $133,457 - 54.5%
ST. JOHN'S - $92,226 - $149,258 - 61.8%
SAINT JOHN - $86,171 - $140,544 - 63.1%

NATIONAL - $154,606 - $307,265 - 98.7%

SOURCE: CREA, local boards and RE/MAX

New mortgages allow more immigrants to buy real estate

Changing the rules; New mortgages allow more immigrants to buy real estate
The Ottawa Sun
Fri 22 Feb 2008

Immigration is nothing new to Canada, with 250,000 immigrants arriving in this country every year. And with so many arriving, it should come as no surprise that 20% of the Canadian population is now foreign-born, according to Statistics Canada.

It should also come as no surprise that increasingly, immigrants are making their numbers felt in the housing market as they get settled and make the transition from renter to home owner.

Invis, Canada's largest mortgage brokerage firm, says that the influence of immigrants on real estate markets across the country will grow in the decades to come as the Canadian population ages and more newcomers arrive in this country.

However, there are home-ownership hurdles faced by immigrants that Canadian-born residents don't encounter.

"While many new immigrants to Canada would like to join in the investment advantages and pride of home ownership, they often face barriers when buying a home," says Invis' Jim Rawson. "One of the biggest challenges for new immigrants is establishing credit because they often don't have a financial history in Canada."

Rawson points out that without a credit history, it can be a struggle to get mortgage financing from traditional financial institutions. A 2007 study on the home-buying experiences of immigrants suggested that 91% of new immigrants said buying a home was important, yet nearly 75% of respondents felt the lack of credit history was a barrier.

A second home-ownership hurdle is that many financial institutions have traditionally insisted that new immigrants provide a downpayment of between 25% and 35%.

However, this is starting to change as more and more lenders in Canada begin to offer mortgages tailored to the needs of new immigrants, including those with non-landed status. These mortgages feature looser rules regarding proof of credit history and a much lower downpayment requirement -- up to 100% financing is available in some cases.

These mortgage product changes will help fuel the real estate sector, especially since many immigrants settle in Canada's larger -- and expensive -- cities.

Rawson adds that immigrants should shop around and get expert advice.

"It is important that newcomers know their options and explore mortgage choices before jumping into home ownership."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mortgage Pre-Approval A Mortgage Pre-Approval: A Smart First Step When Looking for a Home Mortgage Pre-Approval

Mortgage Pre-Approval

A Mortgage Pre-Approval:
A Smart First Step When Looking for a Home

With the spring home buying season just weeks away, getting a pre-approval for mortgage financing before you start to look for a home is a smart move.

With a pre-approval, you’ll get a clear-cut sense of how much you are eligible to borrow. A pre-approval also assures you of a locked-in mortgage rate for a set period – so there is no risk of any interest rate increases while you are house hunting. The great news for those who turn to a mortgage broker is that a broker may be able to obtain a longer pre-approval rate hold.

Keep in mind that the property you intend to purchase – along with your supporting information (such as income, down payment and employment history) – has to meet the financial institution's criteria to be approved for lending. Also, a pre-approval is not a guarantee of financing, and does not eliminate the need to make a conditional offer.

If you are planning on searching for a home this spring, call us today to get pre-approved. He or she can get you an extremely competitive interest rate and length of rate hold – you’ll soon be on track to finding the home that’s ideal for you and your family.


Monday, February 18, 2008

RRSP Strategies

RRSP Strategies

Mortgage brokers weigh in on key RRSP strategies

RRSP season is here and at this time of year, Canadians grapple with issues about finding money to contribute, deciding what to invest in, and determining whether to forfeit the RRSP contribution in lieu of the ‘saving for a house fund’. We offer the following suggestions:

Short on money? Consider your home equity to maximize your RRSP contribution.
Higher real estate values may offer a chance for many to maximize their RRSP contributions by tapping into existing home equity. Of the almost $526 billion in RRSP room available to Canadians in 2006, only $74 billion was actually used, according to Statistics Canada. With a home equity line of credit, a homeowner can withdraw funds at relatively low interest rates on an as needed basis for the purpose of increasing RRSP contributions, including unused contributions from previous years.

Planning to buy a home in 2007? Make a contribution to your RRSP.
Contribute to your RRSP then use up to $20,000 ($40,000 per couple) of your plan’s accumulated assets to purchase or build a home. Under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), the Canada Revenue Agency lets first time homebuyers access their retirement savings without tax consequences. Funds in your RRSP from previous years may be accessed right away. Contributions made to your RRSP by March 1, 2007 can be withdrawn after a period of 90 days, and the resulting tax refund can be used towards a down payment.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Check the pulse of the Canadian Economy

To check the pulse of the Canadian Economy,
click here

Monday, February 11, 2008

Looking for a down payment on a home? Check your RRSPs

Looking for a down payment on a home? Check your RRSPs

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, with the federal Home Buyer’s Plan you may be eligible to withdraw funds from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) for a down payment when buying or building a qualifying home. Under the program you can withdraw up to $20,000 (or, up to a maximum of $40,000 per couple) without tax penalties.

Here is a basic overview of some of the rules:

  • You must be considered a first time homebuyer, i.e. you cannot have owned an owner occupied home in the previous five years.
  • You must be a Canadian resident.
  • The property purchased must be for a principal residence.
  • The RRSP must be repaid within 15 years, with minimum annual payments of 1/15th of the withdrawn amount.
  • Funds must have remained in your RRSPs for a minimum of 90 days before they can be withdrawn under the Home Buyers Plan.
  • You will have to complete Form T1036, “Home Buyers Plan (HBP) – Request to Withdraw Funds from an RRSP” available at the Canada Revenue Agency website in the RRSP section.

No RRSPs? We can show you how to establish an RRSP with borrowed funds, and use the resultant tax refund for a down payment.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada.

Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada.

To start the online presentation, click here

To download the report, click here

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tips for Paying Off Your Mortgage Faster – Part 1

Paying Off Your Mortgage

Tips for Paying Off Your Mortgage Faster – Part 1

For most Canadian homeowners, paying off their mortgage as quickly as possible is a top priority. Paying down extra principal in the early years by whatever means possible can shorten the life of your mortgage – and dramatically lower the interest you'll pay over the long haul. Here are a few tips on how to make this happen:

1. Increase your payment annually to the most you can afford
The upside is that most lenders will allow you to reduce it again to the previous level if it turns out to be too great a burden or your circumstances change.

2. Prepayments give great return on investment
If, for example, you pay an average of 6.0% in mortgage interest, for each $1,000 by which you reduce your mortgage principal, you will save $60 in after tax cash every year.

3. Utilize your RRSP-driven tax rebate as a mortgage prepayment method
Even if you can only prepay annually, make sure tax refunds are set aside for paying down your mortgage. Many Canadians borrow (at prime) to buy an RRSP to ensure the maximum rebate. When applied to the mortgage principal, this refund is a "gift that keeps on giving". Combining the refund with the tax-free interest earned on the RRSP over the subsequent years will quickly outpace the short-term interest costs of the RRSP loan.

4. Increase the frequency of your payments
Make accelerated bi-weekly payments to get a "free" principal reduction equivalent to one full mortgage payment every year — painlessly.

Tips for Paying Off Your Mortgage Faster – Part 2

Paying Off Your Mortgage

Tips for Paying Off Your Mortgage Faster – Part 2

Last week we noted that homeowners have much to gain by paying off their mortgage as quickly as possible. By paying down extra principal in the early years of a mortgage, you can dramatically lower the interest you’ll pay throughout the life of the mortgage. Here are some additional tips on how to make this happen:

5. Make use of double-up privileges wherever possible
Tell yourself that you will "skip-a-payment" whenever necessary... then skip only when you absolutely must.

6. Round your payments up
By adding even a nominal amount of say, $10 per payment, the amount of interest you are saving will be unbelievable, and the extra money is relatively painless to part with.

7. Pay a lump sum whenever possible
By decreasing the principal of the mortgage, your payments will not be allocated as much to interest, thereby accelerating the end of your mortgage.

8. Keep payments the same when mortgage rates have fallen
If the payment amount has not been a problem so far, then keep it the same, thereby paying down the principal faster.

9. Raise payments in line with increased income on an after-tax basis
If your income increases, don't keep your mortgage payments the same. Although the disposable income may be fun to spend on unnecessary luxuries in the short-term, the long-term benefits of being mortgage free faster a far outweighs the short-term sacrifice.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

5 Trade Up Mistakes To Avoid

5 Trade Up Mistakes To Avoid

Unlike the experience of buying a first home, when you're looking to move-up, and already own a home, there are certain factors that can complicate the situation. It's very important for you to consider these issues before you list your home for sale.

Not only is there the issue of financing to consider, but you also have to sell your present home at exactly the right time in order to avoid either the financial burden of owning two homes or, just as bad, the dilemma of having no place to live during the gap between closings.

Five Strategies

In this report, we outline the five most common mistakes homeowners make when moving to a larger home. Knowledge of these five mistakes, and the strategies to overcome them, will help you make informed choices before you put your existing home on the market.

  1. Rose-coloured glasses
    Most of us dream of improving our lifestyle and moving to a larger home. The problem is that there's sometimes a discrepancy between our hearts and our bank accounts. You drive by a home that you fall in love with only to find that it's more than what you are willing to pay. Most homeowners get caught in this hit and miss strategy of house hunting when there's a much easier way of going about the process. For example, find out if your agent offers a Buyer Profile System or "House Hunting Service," which takes the guess work away and helps put you in a home of your dreams. This type of program will cross-match your criteria with ALL available homes on the market and supply you with printed or e-mailed information on an on-going basis. A program like this helps homeowners take off the rose-coloured glasses and, affordably, move into the home of their dreams.
  2. Failing to make the necessary improvements
    If you want to get the best price for the home you're selling, there will certainly be things you can do to enhance it in a prospective buyer's eyes. These fix-ups don't necessarily have to be expensive. But even if you do have to make a minor investment, it will often come back to you ten-fold in the price you are able to get when you sell. It's very important that these improvements be made before you put your home on the market. If cash is tight, investigate an equity loan that you can repay on closing.
  3. Not selling first
    You should plan to sell before you buy. This way you will not find yourself at a disadvantage at the negotiating table, feeling pressured to accept an offer that is below market value because you have to meet a purchase deadline. If you've already sold your home, you can buy your next one with no strings attached. If you do get a tempting offer on your home but haven't made significant headway on finding your next home, you might want to put in a contingency clause in the sales contract which gives you a reasonable time to find a home to buy. If the market is slow and you find your home is not selling quickly as you anticipated, another option could be renting your home and putting it up on the market later - particularly if you are selling a smaller, starter home. You'll have to investigate the tax rules if you choose the later option.
  4. Failing to get a pre-approved mortgage
    Pre-approval is a very simple process that many homeowners fail to take advantage of. While it doesn't cost or obligate you to anything , pre-approval gives you a significant advantage when you put an offer on the home you want to purchase because you know exactly how much house you can afford, and you already have the green light from your lending institution. With a pre-approved mortgage, your offer will be viewed far more favorably by the seller - sometimes even if it's a little lower than another offer that's contingent on financing. Don't fail to take this important step.
  5. Failing to coordinate closings
    With two major transactions to coordinate together with all the people involved such as mortgage experts, appraisers, lawyers, loan officers, title company representatives, home inspectors or pest inspectors the chances of mix-ups and miscommunication go up dramatically. To avoid a logistical nightmare ensure you work closely with your agent.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Understanding the 5 Cs of Credit

When you get a mortgage, lenders carefully analyse the details of your application before agreeing to proceed with financing. Many lenders determine how likely borrowers will be to repay a loan by making use of the so-called “5 Cs of Credit” – Character, Collateral, Capital, Credit and Capacity. Here’s a brief look at each:

Character – this is the general impression you make on the lender, a subjective opinion as to your trustworthiness and ability to repay the loan. Your educational background, professional experience, length at your current employer and current residence will be considered.

Collateral – in a real estate transaction, the lender needs the assurance that, should the borrower be unable to repay the mortgage, the property that is mortgaged is marketable and can be resold. This is why lenders require an appraisal of the value of the property.

Capital – this is your down payment. From a lender’s perspective, the higher the down payment, the more likely it is that you will do all you can to keep up with the mortgage payments. Capital may also reflect your ability and willingness to save money and accumulate assets.

Credit – this is an estimation of how well you meet your credit obligations, as measured by a national credit agency. The credit agency takes information on payments on major credit cards, auto loans, leases, etc. for the last six years and produces a credit score. An Invis Mortgage Consultant can offer advice on how to make sure your credit score is as high as it can be.

Capacity – based on your financial situation, how capable are you of repaying the mortgage? Lenders will review your income level and monthly financial obligations – mortgage payments typically should be no more than 32% of your gross income.

Direction of mortgage rates - helpful approaches

For consumers uncertain about the direction of mortgage rates, we suggests some helpful approaches.

1. For homebuyers not sure if they should “lock in” their payments, a variable-rate mortgage will allow them to monitor rates while having the option to convert to a fixed-rate mortgage. With a “closed” variable mortgage, the borrower would have to stay with the same lender when switching to a fixed-rate mortgage or be subject to a penalty. With an “open” variable mortgage the borrower is free to change lenders, which can give added negotiating power should they wish to change to a fixed rate.

2. For homebuyers wanting to go with a fixed-rate, a mortgage pre-approval with a rate hold offers some security in a shifting interest rate environment. A mortgage broker will often be able to obtain a rate hold for a 120 day period

“If rates for fixed mortgages rise during the rate hold, you have your original lower rate. If rates drop, you’ll benefit from the new, lower rate – the mortgage shopper can’t go wrong with this protection,” says Jim Rawson of Invis.

3. For homeowners currently in a fixed-rate mortgage, it can pay to fine-tune how they make their payments. Switching from regular monthly payments to accelerated bi-weekly payments can offer a way to pay down debt more quickly and save on interest costs over the life of the mortgage.

On a $200,000 fixed-rate mortgage at a now-competitive 5.99%, monthly payments would be $1,278.42. Over the 25 years of this mortgage the borrower would pay $183,529 in interest.

With the same mortgage but with accelerated bi-weekly payments, the borrower would pay $639.21 every second week, and save $33,923 in interest and pay off the mortgage in just 21 years.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Immobilier: plus facile de devenir propriétaire en 2008

Les Services économiques RBC s'attendent à ce qu'il soit plus facile pour les Canadiens d'accéder à la propriété cette année.

Leur plus récent rapport mentionne que les coûts de propriété d'un logement en 2007 ont augmenté mais que la situation devrait commencer à s'améliorer à l'échelle nationale en 2008.

Derek Holt, économiste en chef adjoint chez RBC, explique la baisse de l'an dernier par une longue série de fortes augmentations des prix des maisons plus importantes que les augmentations des revenus.

Au cours du trimestre le plus récent, l'accessibilité des quatre catégories d'habitations s'est érodée, à l'exception des appartements en copropriété à Calgary et des bungalows à Edmonton, qui ont enregistré une légère amélioration.

Selon RBC, l'appréciation des prix à la revente de maisons au Canada ralentira probablement entre cinq et 7% en 2008. Les volumes de constructions neuves et la croissance des revenus devraient aussi diminuer.

L'indice d'accessibilité à la propriété de RBC, qui mesure la proportion du revenu avant impôts qu'un ménage doit consacrer aux coûts de la possession d'un bungalow, s'est établi à 37% du revenu au Québec.

La part du revenu médian avant impôts absorbée était d'environ 29% pour l'achat d'un appartement en copropriété, de 32% pour une maison en rangée et de 45% pour une maison de deux étages.

Selon le rapport de RBC, les prix immobiliers résidentiels du Québec ont augmenté régulièrement de l'ordre de 5% par an et devraient continuer sur cette voie en 2008. La construction de maisons neuves devrait ralentir, puisque les mises en chantier devraient diminuer de 2500 logements cette année et de 7000 de plus en 2009.

Contrairement à un certain nombre de conditions du marché qui ont changé dans l'ensemble du pays, l'accessibilité à la propriété immobilière à Montréal est restée un peu plus stable.

L'augmentation des prix des maisons continue à un rythme annuel de 5% dans toutes les catégories d'habitations, et la croissance des revenus des ménages a aussi été honorable.

La montée des taux hypothécaires a contribué à la détérioration de l'accessibilité l'an dernier, mais les bases économiques sous-jacentes du marché immobilier laissent entrevoir de saines perspectives pour 2008.

Dans les grandes villes canadiennes, l'indice d'accessibilité de RBC pour un bungalow s'est établi au niveau suivant : 72% pour Vancouver, 46% pour Calgary, 46% pour Toronto, 37% pour Montréal et 32% pour Ottawa.

24 janvier 2008 - 08h45

Presse Canadienne

Immobilier: Montréal reste un marché de vendeurs

Moribond dans une bonne partie des États-Unis, le marché immobilier reste en pleine santé dans la grande région de Montréal.

Selon les statistiques de la Chambre immobilière du Grand Montréal, qui se basent sur les transactions effectuées sur son système MLS, utilisé par les courtiers, la croissance des ventes a été de 11% en 2007, soit la plus forte hausse en cinq ans.

Le volume des ventes enregistrées a lui aussi progressé et atteignait près de 13 G$, en hausse de 19%.

«Cette augmentation du nombre de transactions, combinée à un inventaire de propriétés à vendre comparable à 2006, a contribué à maintenir un marché à l'avantage des vendeurs en 2007», indique Michel Beauséjour, directeur de la Chambre immobilière du Grand Montréal.

«En conséquence, les hausses de prix sont demeurées soutenues, atteignant en moyenne 5 à 7 % selon le genre de propriété, c'est-à-dire de deux à trois fois le niveau de l'inflation.»

Depuis 1998, le prix des propriétés a doublé dans la grande région de Montréal, stimulé par la création d’emplois, la confiance des consommateurs, de même que des taux d’intérêt historiquement bas.

Toutes les régions en profitent

Toutes les régions faisant partie du Grand Montréal ont profité de cette croissance, la région de Lanaudière se démarquant avec des hausses de 13% du prix des propriétés entre 2006 et 2007.

Favorisé par des évolutions démographiques qui voient les baby-boomers délaisser progressivement la maison de banlieue pour une copropriété, à laquelle ils ajoutent souvent une maison de campagne, le condo est l’unité immobilière la plus en vogue dans le grand Montréal, avec une hausse du nombre de ventes de 20% à Montréal, de 24% en Montérégie et de 28% dans Lanaudière.

À Montréal, le prix des condos a grimpé en moyenne de 5% en 2007 pour atteindre 241 000$.

À Laval, il a atteint 175 000$ (+ 7%) et en Montérégie, 166 000$ (+ 6%).

Le marché de la résidence unifamiliale est porté lui par les enfants des baby-boomers.

La hausse du nombre de transactions est de l’ordre de 13% dans les Laurentides, de 10% en Montérégie et de 7% à Laval, mais la hausse des prix est plus substantielle : elle atteignait 8% en Montérégie (216 000$), 8% à Laval (236 000$) et 10% dans Lanaudière (174 000$).

Encore une bonne année en 2008

Michel Beauséjour s’attend encore à une bonne année en 2008 pour le marché immobilier montréalais : « Les taux d’intérêt, la création d’emplois et la confiance des consommateurs devraient continuer à pointer dans la bonne direction cette année, quoique peut-être un peu moins fortement qu’en 2007. »

«Il faudrait vraiment une récession sévère aux Etats-Unis pour ébranler l’économie canadienne, qui devrait sortir indemne d’un ralentissement économique moins important au sud de la frontière».

Selon lui, s’il y a eu un rattrapage certain depuis 10 ans dans le prix des résidences dans le Grand Montréal, il reste toutefois encore de l’espace pour des augmentations annuelles dépassant le niveau de l’inflation, Montréal restant un des grands marchés immobiliers les plus abordables en Amérique du Nord.

14 janvier 2008 - 12h42

Jean-François Cloutier