This past year we saw many challenges in the housing sector. There were the recent changes to down payment minimums; we saw housing prices increase in some areas of the country while in other areas we saw a slowdown of housing activity, in part due to falling oil prices. We read media reports about bubbles again. The Canadian dollar is trading at approximately 72 cents to the US dollar (at the time of this writing). And we have a new Liberal majority Government in Ottawa. There is no doubt that we Canadians are resilient. Despite gloomy predictions, despite increasing debt loads, despite all the changes we have endured, we continue to look on the bright side and consumer confidence is high.
While the housing market did slow somewhat in many parts of the country 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.
The economy is still creating jobs. The U.S. economy, which has a definitive impact on our economy, is also growing and home prices there rose 5.5% from a year earlier, boosted by job growth and low mortgage rates. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is forecasting that low interest rates will continue to support overall national sales and prices in 2016.
If you’ve put off a home purchase or refinancing, 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 mortgage product for your situation. It makes sense to do the same when renewing your mortgage. Since a mortgage payment is the biggest expense you’ll likely have, discussing your goals 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 2016.
Guy Ward is a Mortgage Broker in Calgary, Alberta with TMG (The Mortgage Group Alberta) and can be contacted at WWW.GUYTHEMORTGAGEGUY.COM