If you're lucky enough to own a small slice of the GTA's pricey property pie, you could find yourself among those vehemently opposed to any new development in their neighbourhood. After all, established Toronto hot spots like The Annex, Bloor West Village and Mount Pleasant are full, right? But here's the problem.
While the federal government is trying to rein in some of the borrowing that's taking place by making it more difficult to borrow, every one of us should take heed -- interest rates will rise. I believe the most important thing individuals should be doing is locking in their mortgages (ideally for five years).
One of the biggest factors that determines whether people will stay healthy or wind up needing emergency or chronic medical care is where they live. People without access to stable housing are at higher risk of illness, and their likelihood of recovering well from that illness is greatly diminished.
Under new mortgage rules just announced by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, all insured mortgage borrowers must now pass a "stress test" proving that they can carry a mortgage at a realistic rate (the Bank of Canada's conventional five-year fixed posted rate), and not simply the "teaser" rate offered for a short period by the mortgage lender.
Getting a first-time mortgage from a Canadian bank is like getting security clearance to work at NORAD. Income, credit history, source of down payment funds... are all key measurements to qualifying. These rules, of course, only apply to Canadians. Foreign buyers, some have speculated this week, may be receiving preferential treatment.
If you can't picture what that looks like, a quick drive down the Gardiner Expressway will make it very clear. Interest rates are low, renter demand is high and investors are looking for alternate income streams. These combined factors create the perfect condition for purpose-built housing projects to thrive.