One night last week, I met with several other brokers after a learning session we attended. The group included brokers from B.C., Alberta and Ontario.
Our evening included a great discussion about the changes we are seeing in our mortgage applications these days.
It is rare for most of us to see a straightforward application where all of the pieces line up. The common theme around the table was how more often than not, our clients are having to consider different ways to qualify for their mortgages.
What do I mean by all of the pieces lining up?
In an ideal world, clients will have squeaky-clean credit with limited consumer debt, have stable employment and have the appropriate down payment saved and ready to go.
For bonus points, they are able to find a home they love in their price range and preferred neighbourhood and negotiate an accepted offer.
More often than not, we are finding that some or most of the pieces don’t line up at first glance.
I am seeing more families buying homes together – several generations contributing to the down payment and coming together so that they have enough income to qualify for the home they want to purchase.
COVID-19 affected many peoples’ finances. Some took advantage of payment deferral options even if they didn’t need to, and that has been questioned by lenders. By virtue of their type of work, many clients went weeks or even months with reduced or no income, which led to bumps in their credit.
With interest rates rising the goal post has been moved a little further away so either more income or a larger down payment is needed to qualify for the same mortgage amount.
Our conversation turned to financial management and savings habits. We talked about different ways to build your savings and the importance of having a safety net set aside for the unexpected things life throws at us.
We then shifted into different options for helping clients qualify for the mortgages they need. What was particularly interesting to me was that regardless of the province or city we are working in, these brokers are all experiencing a sense of frustration with how clients seem to be facing more and more barriers to entering the housing market.
I was grateful for this conversation as it reinforced that, as brokers, we do have many tools and products available to help our clients get into their new homes.
Although interest rates are rising, housing prices are dropping in many markets. Even with higher rates, based on lower purchase prices we are starting to see the scale levelling out a little with monthly payments.
If you have been concerned about affordability with rates on the move it is a great idea to reach out to your mortgage person to see what you qualify for before you head out shopping.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.