Looking forward to 2014


In 2013 we saw a largely balanced housing market, which showed surprising resiliency despite some gloomy predictions. While the market did slow in the early part of the year, the summer and fall months showed signs of life in most areas of the country. While there are still some issues surrounding affordability for first time home buyers, many economists believe the market will self-correct in the upcoming years. With fixed mortgage rates still relatively low and the return of discounts to variable rate mortgages, the market in 2014 is poised for growth.
The economy is still creating jobs and the US economy has seen improved job creation. Consumer confidence is trending upward — on a national level, the index of consumer confidence in the fourth quarter of 2013 was 84.4 – up nearly seven points from the first quarter. In 2014, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is forecasting national sales activity will increases by almost 4%. British Columbia is still forecast to post the strongest sales increase in 2014, while most other provinces are forecast to post gains in the range between two and four per cent.

If you’ve put off a home purchase or refinancing in 2013, then it may be a good time to review your goals for the upcoming year. If it’s a renewal year for your mortgage, there are decisions to make.

Many homeowners simply renew with their current lender, but that may not be the best strategy for your situation. You probably did a lot of research when you originally bought your home – making sure you got the best rate and the best mortgage product for your situation. It makes sense to do the same when renewing your mortgage. Don’t settle for the rate your lender is offering because it may be higher than the market average, which is often the case. Since a mortgage payment is the biggest expense you’ll have, discussing your goals with me is a good first step to help move you toward them.If you’re thinking of buying a new home, I can help you through the entire process and let you know how much house you can afford.  If it’s debt consolidation you need or are considering a renovation project, then refinancing your current mortgage may be a good option.
It’s also a good time to discuss any financial changes to your household and if and how that will affect your mortgage. Together, we will review your financial situation and tailor a mortgage product that works for you.

Wishing you health, happiness, and prosperity in 2014.

Guy Ward is a Mortgage Broker in Calgary, Alberta with TMG (The Mortgage Group Alberta).