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What Happened in 2011?

It’s that time of year again. The market slows to a crawl as Canadians prepare for the holiday season, and we all stop to reflect on the year that has passed. What did 2011 mean to CENTUM and to the mortgage industry? When we think about it, one word comes to mind as the best description: Change.


The vast majority of Canadians have been sheltered from the economic turmoil seen around the world this year. There has been an ongoing debt crisis in Europe and the United States. There has been a significant shift to the political landscape in the east, most notably, the Middle East. Those feeling disenfranchised are now participating in the worldwide OCCUPY movement, which has been experienced in all major Canadian cities, and though most of them are now fading into memory, there is still a movement against the burgeoning separation between the rich and the poor.

This is even more evident with the release of a recent Statistics Canada report that states that Canadian Household debt has reached a record high. With ever increasing debt levels and continued instability, more and more Canadians are in jeopardy of overextending themselves. So far, the Bank of Canada has held interest rates at a historical low, but there is speculation that interest rates will rise in 2012.

 

Efforts have been made to rein in debt, starting with changes to the mortgage rules. In January of 2011, the Government of Canada announced adjustments to the rules for government-backed insured mortgages. The maximum amortization period was reduced to 30 years. The maximum amount Canadians can borrow in refinancing their mortgages was reduced to 85% of the value of their home. Lastly, government insurance backing was withdrawn on lines of credits secured by homes, like home equity lines of credits. There was fear that the adjustments would hurt the housing market in Canada, but as we’ve seen, it’s been fairly stable around the country.

 

So what’s in store for the industry in the future? Debt reduction will continue to be a big topic in 2012. Technology and social media will continue playing a big part in creating competition in the mortgage industry. Our clients have access to more information than ever before and CENTUM Mortgage Professionals will be here to help you make sense of it all. CENTUM will continue to be an industry leader in providing their Network with tools and programs that will help our clients manage debt levels and become mortgage-free faster.

We are here to look out for your best interest.

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