Stunning remarks from Ed Jensen appearing in the Calgary Sun's article - Mortgage Rule Change Dismissed. I don't expect Ed Jensen to go Housing Panic on us, but it would be nice to at least recognized basic realities when forming arguments. Don't take it from me, a bitter renter, that the statement is absurd, rather look to the financial industry. There is a broad consensus that these now defunct mortgages were popular among first time borrowers and helped stoke demand in real estate.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Crown corporation providing mortgage insurance on behalf of the government, eased the rules in 2006 to encourage homebuying.
That change, Jensen said, had little impact at the time.
"We didn't notice it in the market place," he said.
"So I believe in reverse, I don't think we're going to see a large impact on sales."
Longer payback loan fuels housing market:
"About 60 per cent of first-time buyers are opting for a 40-year mortgage," says Craig Alexander, deputy chief economist at TD Bank.Stretched buyers fuel boom in housing:
"If these longer amortization mortgages hadn't been around, the housing market would have cooled down a lot sooner."
There's a "huge adoption" of 40-year mortgages in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, where people stretch for affordability, says Catherine Adams, vice-president of home equity financing at Royal Bank of Canada. "I think it's given the housing market a boost and allowed prices to go up further than they would have otherwise."
Mortgages with longer amortizations grew to 37 per cent of new home loans – and 9 per cent of outstanding mortgages.
"That's phenomenal, considering they have been around for only the last two to three years," says association president Jim Murphy.
Legions of first-timers are adding years of extra mortgage payments so they can buy a house, or putting little or no money into a down payment, a Re/Max survey revealed yesterday. Nearly two-thirds of buyers in major centres now favour extended amortization periods of up to 40 years, while putting little or no money down was prevalent in 38 per cent of regional markets surveyed across Canada.
"The reason we think the market has been staying hotter much longer than anyone anticipated was because of these newer amortization mortgages," said Craig Alexander at Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Longer amortization mortgages "have had a very profound impact on the Canadian housing market since they were introduced" in 2006, he added.
Dodge warns of inflated housing market
Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge is raising a red flag about housing prices in Canada, saying that increasingly loose lending rules may be helping overheat the country's real estate market.
‘Innovations’ in lending minimize drop in new-home construction
Lofty prices in the country’s hottest markets, particularly Western Canada, would likely take a much bigger bite out of new construction if it weren’t for longer-term mortgage products, said Derek Holt, assistant chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada.
Last year, the federal government extended the maximum amortization period for mortgages from 25 years to up to 40 years.
Consumers have embraced these products, which raise the cost of a mortgage over time but lower the entry hurdle to buying a home because the longer payment period allows for smaller monthly payments.
“It’s my belief we would be 10 to 20 per cent below 200,000 housing starts next year if it wasn’t for the impact of these mortgage innovations,” Mr. Holt said.
Economist Derek Holt does warn, however, that the increasing popularity of long-duration mortgages to reduce monthly expenses could cause problems later on.
"Alberta, and then Ontario, lead the country on the take-up rates for new mortgage products introduced over the past two years," he said yesterday. "In fact, the 40-year mortgage is now only about 15 months old and already dominating mortgage purchase applications."
A rise in the number of extended-amortization mortgages, which lengthen the time it takes to repay a home loan to 30, 35 or 40 years from the traditional 25, have bolstered the recent strength of Canada's housing market, Ms. Warren said. These mortgages are stretching affordability for first-time home buyers, but because they are seldom combined with zero-down or interest-only structures, she does not seen them as particularly risky.Canadian housing boom over, says RBC
“I don't think this is a major risk, though it is supporting the housing boom more and we probably would have seen things level off this year instead of reaching a new peak,” Ms. Warren said.
Credit squeeze hits 40-year mortgages
"The delayed arrival of softer housing markets can be partly attributed to recent mortgage innovation that has seeped into the Canadian market during the last two years," it said, citing higher loan-to-value ratios and longer amortization periods of up to 40 years, which opened the market to a wider range of buyers and prolonged the boom.
The mortgage-market innovations, which make housing more affordable in the short term, also heighten the risk of default in the long term, it said.
Markets in the West, which have risen the furthest above their underlying values, are the most at risk of an increase in defaults as a result of recent mortgage innovations, the report's author, RBC economist Amy Goldbloom, said in an interview.
Feisal Panjwani, a senior mortgage consultant with Invis in Cloverdale estimates that 85 to 90 per cent of his first-time buyers have chosen the 40-year option.
"That zero-down program has been quite popular," Panjwani said.