Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Proud to be named Vice-Chair of CAAMP


I remember the first CIMBL (precursor to CAAMP) conference I attended 16 years ago. As a newly-minted mortgage executive I recall an excitement, enthusiasm and a sense that we were all learning and growing together. I knew at that moment that this was a very special industry and it was an association I would admire for many years to come.  CAAMP was a place where new and seasoned mortgage professionals would come together, share best practices and chart a course for the future.

Looking back on this past year it is remarkable to me the ground we have covered as an Association and what lies ahead.  I feel privileged to have been part of the discussion, and debate, over many issues that impact our industry and the members we represent.

Having sat behind ‘closed doors’ I can tell you that I feel your Board worked tirelessly on your behalf over  the past year.  The passion, commitment and understanding they have for our industry will continue to propel the Association forward, representing our member’s interests in a very meaningful way.  I feel privileged to be recognized as the Vice Chair of CAAMP for the upcoming year.

I advocate for CAAMP because:

  1.  Our association is inclusive of brokers, lenders and suppliers alike.  That mix actually makes our voice stronger when we are lobbying in Ottawa.
  2. Our different (broker, insurer, lender, etc) yet interdependent businesses helps unify our day-to-day business interests.
  3. Members are aligned in seeking a very strong and growing broker channel in Canada. 
  4. Quite honestly, because it is in my DNA, I have a deep passion for this industry and the people it serves just as the staff and volunteers at our association have. 

CAAMP is not perfect – but we are engaged.  We will continue the positive work done in recent years and be even more approachable to our members, still more relevant to our stakeholders and better coordinated with our regions.

I am extremely proud to count myself among such a committed and passionate group of fellow CAAMP Board members. I am confident that our Board will represent the voices of ours members.

If you have any feedback or seek to get more involved please reach out to me or any of your directors directly at any time:



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Consult a mortgage professional for sound mortgage planning

The housing market has dominated the headlines over the past years. Rumours of rate hikes have never materialized. The market didn’t crash. Prices continue to increase in large urban centres. Despite the most recent recession, Canada’s housing market soldiers on and is still at the core of media commentary and policy revisions.

Since 2011 we have seen changes come into effect to restrict mortgage lending in Canada, and those changes continue today – all in an effort to curb the market.

The housing market continues to be a vital component to the success of the Canadian economy as it has during the past decade. In many respects, the industry has helped to stabilize a faltering economy.  By allowing consumers an opportunity to purchase by taking advantage of low interest rates or to tap into their equity for either spending or investing purposes, the mortgage channel has contributed positively to consumer spending and confidence.

While debt-to-income levels are indeed at its highest point in Canadian history, over the past 20 years personal lines of credit have accounted almost exclusively for the surge in total consumer debt and consumer credit card debt has surged at higher levels than mortgage debt. However, consumers are managing their debt loads well.

Earlier this year, The Canadian Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) published a report titled A Profile of Home Buying in Canada.  The report offers information on homebuyers, and profiles some key aspects of their decision making process, as well as the financial parameters of their decisions. Here are the highlights:

  •  Each year in Canada, about 620,000 households move into dwellings they have purchased
  • Of those 620,000 approximately 45% (280,000) are first-time buyers -- most between the ages of 25 and 34.
  • Single-detached homes (estimated at 360,000 per year, or 57% of the total) account for the largest share of home buying for all of Canada. 
  • On average, the homebuyers made down payments of about $119,000, equal to one-third of the price of the homes. 
  •  For first-time buyers, down payments averaged $67,000, equal to 21% of their average purchase price.
  •  Buyers do relatively little shopping when they chose their real estate and mortgage professionals.
  • Among the buyers who obtained financing, only 16% did not consult  a mortgage professional 
  • Only 9% of borrowers say they did not shop for mortgage quotes  
  •  56% of mortgage borrowers consulted mortgage brokers 
  • Mortgage brokers are used most often by for first-time buyers 

The growth of the housing will remain neutral in the near term. The resale market activity is widely anticipated to remain close to current levels for the rest of the year and into 2016.  And low interest rates are with us for awhile.

Here’s the track record for the mortgage broker channel:

  1.  On average,  consumers using a mortgage broker saved 19bps on their interest rates (Competition in the Canadian Mortgage Market, Bank of Canada Review, Winter 2010-2011, p.5) 
  2.  Those who renewed or renegotiated recently with a mortgage professional reported an average rate decrease of 1.4 points, compared with 1.0 point among all renewers. (Maritz Research Canada, January 2011)
  3. Since 1992 changes to the Bank Act, the Big 8 (Big 6 plus Desjardins and ATB) now own more than 80% of mortgage assets in Canada. In the wake of that reduction in competition, the mortgage brokerage channel has grown by over 300% (from 10% to 30%).  This competition IS in the best interest of consumers.

As a country, we are fortunate to have weathered the global recession and we have managed to grow through the most recent “technical” recession. Canada is operating on sound financial principals and our housing and mortgage markets will continue to remain robust. It’s been proven that mortgage professionals  get better deals for Canadians and it’s been proven that competition is vital to Canadians’ best interests.

Clearly, home buyers, other than new home buyers, would benefit from consulting with a mortgage professional.