Canadian government moves to address funding pressures at banks

In a move intended to “make loans more available and more affordable for Canadians and businesses,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced today that the Canadian government would purchase $25 billion dollars worth of mortgages already insured by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Flahrety insists that not a single Canadian bank is at risk of failing but that liquidity is the primary issue threatening the unimpeded flow of credit for Canadians.

“It is important to underline that Canada’s banks and other financial institutions are sound, well capitalized and less leveraged than their international peers,” he said.

Read the Globe and Mail story here

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Canadian house prices see first quarterly drop in nine years: CREA

Media release from the Canadian Real Estate Association yesterday.

“Over the past six months, easing sales activity and a surge in new listings caused the resale housing market to become considerably more balanced in many major housing markets. Vancouver, Regina, and Saskatoon were the most balanced major markets in June.”

Read CREA’s release here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Canadian government says, “No more 40-year mortgage for you!”

Canadian Government Says, “No More 40-year Mortgage for You!”In a move aimed at “protecting and strengthening the Canadian housing market,” the Government of Canada today announced pending adjustments to the policies of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) mortgage insurance programs.


At the top of the do not approve list is the 40-year mortgage. Effective October 15 of this year, CMHC, Canada’s housing agency won’t be insuring mortgages with amortization periods of more than 35 years.


Zero-down mortgages also meet their end when the new policies take effect. All CMHC insured mortgages will require a minimum down payment of 5%.


Other changes include the establishment of “consistent minimum credit score requirements” and the introduction on “new loan documentation standards.”


“Today’s announcement marks a responsible and measured approach by the Government to ensure Canada’s housing market remains strong and to reduce the risk of a U.S.-Style housing bubble developing in Canada.”


Prior to November of 2006 when CMHC relaxed its standards, the maximum amortization period allowed on a government insured mortgage was 25 years and a minimum down payment equal to 5% of the purchase price of the home was required. Introduced as “financial innovations,” zero-down mortgages and 40-year mortgages added fuel to a housing market that was already out of control in a number of Canadian cities.

Record house price increases followed in a number of Canadian cities including Saskatoon and Regina.

How do you see these changes affecting the Saskatoon real estate market?


Read the announcement here.

Read the Globe and Mail coverage here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Canada’s housing boom ends…again

Canada’s housing boom has ended for the second time since Douglas Porter; deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns officially declared it “over” in mid-April. Stay tuned for further endings as we move through summer and into the fall. 🙂


In a report released this week by TD Economics, economists Craig Alexander and Pascal Gauthier said, “The long-awaited end of the Canadian housing boom has occurred, reflecting more moderate demand and increased supply of properties for sale.”


In May, year-over-year price gains for existing home sales in Canada’s major markets fell to 1.1%, down from 8.6% just four months ago.


The report says that the cooling market is “nowhere as evident as in Alberta, with prices continuing to fall this year by eight to ten per cent from their peak.”


“The combination of significantly higher listings, reflecting the desire of homeowners to take advantage of the past increase in prices, and weaker demand, due to the past erosion in affordability, are leading to declining sales and softer price performance across the country, particularly in the west.”


“…Saskatchewan’s major markets offer an exception to the cooling trend on an annual basis, but this is mostly a question of timing. The price surge above 30% growth came late last year and much of the momentum is being carried into this year. But, if Regina and Saskatoon follow the path just recently threaded by Calgary and later Edmonton – and we think they will – Saskatchewan’s price growth will have come back down to earth by early next year. We are looking for 2-3% price growth in 2009, with a risk of a mild price correction.”


Not to be outdone, BMO economist Douglas Porter was quoted as saying, “Hey, I called it first!”


Well, not really, but he did throw this little gem forward in an interview with the Globe and Mail on June 27.


“It’s a bit unnerving to see how Canadian performance is beginning to look like that of the U.S. two years down the line.”


As disturbing as it is to see a “deputy chief economist” write reports in Comic Sans font, you have to admit that his graph is rather compelling.


“There is a litany of reasons why the Canadian market is different, but even a pale version of what we saw in the U.S. would not be good news,” said Porter.


The First “End” of Canada’s Housing Boom

TD Economics – Canada’s Housing Boom Comes to an End

Star Phoenix – Canada’s housing boom ends

Star Phoenix – National housing boom has come to an end

Globe and Mail – Housing Drop Looming in Canada?

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Canadians bullish on Phoenix real estate

Jason Warick wrote a story in the June 26 edition of the Saskatoon Star Phoenix titled, ”Sask. residents find Arizona opportunity.”


“The strong Canadian dollar, combined with rock-bottom prices for real estate in many cities such as Phoenix, means Canadians can snap up vacation homes or investment properties for less than half of the price of just one year ago. That’s attracted Saskatchewan buyers in droves.”


Two of my favourite Phoenix Realtors were quoted in the story.


Jay Thompson, also known as the Phoenix Real Estate guy writes about the article here.


Jonathon Dalton, the only “guest blogger” I’ve ever hosted here had this to say about his contribution to the story.


If you were considering a real estate purchase in the Phoenix area I would gladly vouch for either of these guys to treat you right and look after your interests.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate