Discount mortgages dry up as Canadian borrowers face tough test

Reblogged from The Globe and Mail, Tim Shufelt

The discount mortgages that stoked the Canadian housing boom are disappearing, increasing the likelihood of a correction in home values.

On Thursday, Royal Bank of Canada will hike its five-year fixed-rate mortgage to 3.89 per cent, one day after the Bank of Montreal raised its rate to 3.79 per cent. The other major lenders are all moving in the same direction.

The increases mean the cost of a new fixed-rate mortgage has climbed by more than a third in five months, signalling what could be the beginning of the end of ultra-cheap credit in Canada – and the start of fiscal pain for consumers who have overburdened themselves with debt.

“I think this is the real thing,” said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets. “This is the end of extremely low interest rates. They’re simply unsustainable.”

Read More … 586 more words

Jake Palmer, Real Estate Agent, Lists Home as ‘Not Haunted,’ ‘Fog Resistant’

Here’s a goody from last year’s news reel.

Reblogged from Graham Wood

What’s a home’s selling point? A gracious living room with a stunning fireplace and original moldings that capture its natural elegance? A private deck that spills onto a lush backyard lined with maple trees? Country charm just steps from the heartbeat of the city?

Well, one house in real estate agent Jake Palmer’s portfolio has all of this — but he’s not banking on any of those features to land a buyer. Instead, he’s advertising the home’s less obvious virtues: no ghosts, indoor plumbing and, of course, fog resistance.

To spice up a listing that has gone stale for months, Palmer, a RE/MAX agent based in Saint John in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, decided to use humor to light a fire under prospective buyers. He’s been posting signs in front of the home that say “not haunted,” “indoor plumbing” and “fog resistant.”

There’s also: “It’s a brick, house” and “love shack, baby!”

Read More … 214 more words and check out all of Jake Palmer’s Silly Signs