Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You'll Never Know If You Never Ask

Canadians are getting to be quite good a negotiating lower mortgage rates, according to a new report from an industry trade group.
For example, in the last year, the typical mortgage-seeking consumer was able to knock 1.68 per cent off the rate posted by their lender,.
That news flash comes to us from CAAMP, the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals. Other highlights:
Three quarters of Canadians who renewed this year saw their interest rate reduced.
The big lesson here? Always ask for a rate reduction. If you aren't confident that you can negotiate with your lender, use a mortgage broker. You don't have to pay for their services. What you might not know is that when you shop for mortgage credit it can actually have a negative effect on your credit rating. Better to let a broker make the call for you.
Other CAAMP tidbits:
There are 9.1 million homes owned in Canada. with a combined estimated value of $2.67 trillion. The outstanding mortgage balance, or money owing, on these homes equals $739 billion.
As a country, we have a 72.3 per cent ownership stake in our homes, compared to the U.S. average of 43 per cent.
But wait, you say. We don't own our houses collectively. Right!
According to CAAMP, 40 per cent of Canadian homeowners have at least a 50 per cent equity stake in their homes.
Two per cent of homeowners owe more on their mortgages than the properties are currently worth. How can that be? Just remortgage your house and then watch a market - Calgary? Vancouver? take a downward turn.
15 per cent of Canadian mortgage holders took money out of their houses this year, often to pay down other debt or consolidate debt. In all Canadians applied $34 billion of their built-up home home equity to other debt or projects or this year.

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