Mortgage growth has slowed… so why are BANKS winning & CONSUMERS losing? + MORE Feb 13th

Mortgages in Canada can be a murky subject – one that we hope to shed some light on with a series of highly informational articles.
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National Housing Update: How the Real Estate Industry is Faring One Month into 2019 + MORE Feb 16th

Real estate news is typically quiet in January, but there’s been quite a few developments as of late. To quickly recap, Canadian real estate in 2018 ended with four consecutive months of sales declines. Overall, there was a drop of 11 per cent nationwide, with the 2.5 per cent drop from November .... More »
Mortgage growth has slowed… so why are BANKS winning & CONSUMERS losing?
I reviewed some recent stats that explain how overall mortgage growth has fallen to its lowest level in the past 17 years!
Overall, mortgages outstanding across Canada total more than $1.5 trillion. And, while this total continues to increase year over year, the rate of growth has decreased. We should pay attention to this!
Typically, when we experience lower mortgage growth or no growth at all, house prices will follow suit and come down.
But, why aren’t the banks up in arms over this given that they make huge profits by lending money? (More on this below.)

Vancouver could be the first major casualty. January 2019 sales were down 39% over January 2018, while listings were up 55% in January 2019 vs January 2018.
Sale prices are down more than 7% in the past six months.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is putting some of the blame (I’ll say a lot!) on the Trudeau government’s infamous ‘stress test’. Next at fault are the interest rate hikes of around 1…

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The challenge of estate planning with blended families
Q. My husband and I are senior citizens, have both been married before, and each has adult children from a previous marriage. We each have investments we accumulated during our working years, which we have kept strictly separate (about $200,000 each). We purchased and own a home together, which is mortgage free, worth about $250,000. Seems simple, right?
Recently we made a will together, but now I am questioning that will. Here’s what was done: My husband wants to leave his investments to me. They are all in RSP’s and a LLIF. The plan is to pass these on to his children once I pass away. They are already his beneficiaries should I go first. I wish he would just leave these to his children directly but he won’t hear of it.
My own investments of about $80,000 are in a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), a TFSA and a margin account and the three total $200,000. My RRIF goes to my husband if I die first, with my children as beneficiaries in case my husband dies first. My TFSA goes to my children immediately upon my death, and my margin account will be part of my/our estate, as I cannot designate a beneficiary…

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Meridian Ushers in New Way for Canadians to Bank with Motusbank
Meridian holds the position as the biggest credit union in Ontario, and the third biggest country-wide. The company recently created a new subsidiary named Motusbank, a full-service digital bank that’s set to change the way Canadians handle their finances.
What’s Different About Motusbank
Motusbank, much like its parent credit union, has a member-centric approach to banking. Members enjoy access to the full retail product line and receive favourable pricing since shareholders are not a part of the credit union banking model. The competitive rates and fees provide plenty of incentive to take a look at this digital bank.
Online and mobile banking are included, which provides access to all of the bank’s services. One area that stands out is the digital mortgage platform. Savings and checking accounts do not have any fees, and Motusbank includes access to the no-fee ATM network The Exchange. David Baldarelli, Motusbank’s COO says “We’ve responded to what Canadians want by developing a simple and intuitive digital platform that makes banking feel good, and an experience that makes people feel valued and secure…

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