The Facts About the Mortgage Market in Canada

The facts about the mortgage market in Canada is that in the last forty years, it has undergone substantial changes. Depository institutions account for the majority of the market holding 69 percent of outstanding Canadian residential mortgage debt by the end of-2007. By the end of 2008, CAD 566 billion or 62 percent of the CAD 906 billion outstanding residential mortgage debt in Canada was held by depository institutions. The main reason for the growth in the bank share was due to the 1992 Bank Act changes, which permitted banks to own trust and loan companies that had been dominant players in the market. Prior to 1954, banks were not permitted to make mortgage loans. However gradually from the 1954 Bank Act amendments and thereafter, laws allowed banks an expanding share in the market over time. Yet, until 1992 conventional mortgages value could only be below 10 percent of bank deposits. Mortgage brokers have played a growing role in the market.

A mortgage consumer survey conducted by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in 2009 revealed that between June of 2008 and June of 2009, a quarter of all mortgage transactions were arranged through mortgage brokers. According to statistics, over 50 percent of the homebuyers accept the first rate their bank offers. This means that the majority are not using a mortgage broker who shops around for the best rate for its client. However, among first-time buyers and young women, a rising number are turning to mortgage brokers. In the last decade, mortgage brokers have seen a surge in business. Ten years ago, they comprised under 10 percent of the mortgage market; today, they comprise 25 percent of the share. Brokers bring personalized service and they can be used to get banks to offer more favourable terms.

There are several reasons for using an accredited independent mortgage broker. They educates you on your options. You get independent, unbiased advice. Unlike a bank employee, that is tied to a bank, an independent mortgage broker offers unbiased advice. As a freelancer, will not favour one lender over another based on anything other than rates. They will negotiate rates with lenders on your behalf and all their services are for free. Provincial laws require education, training and licensing standards for qualified brokers. A competent mortgage broker is licensed and in good standing with the provincial regulator.

The main difference between a mortgage agent and a mortgage broker is that to be a mortgage broker requires at least two years of working experience. The mortgage broker must pass an approved mortgage course. Mortgage agents must be supervised by a mortgage broker. Brokers work for a mortgage brokerage or on their own and bring together prospective borrowers and lenders. They do not administer the mortgage. After the client fills an application using the information contained therein, the brokerage scouts the market for the best mortgage. The mortgage request of the client is tendered through an electronic system to lenders.

A mortgage agent is an individual who carries out mortgage activities for a mortgage brokerage under the supervision of a licensed mortgage broker. The agent can only work for one mortgage brokerage. Under the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act you have to be licensed to deal in mortgages to be licensed, unless an exemption is applicable. To be licensed, a mortgage agent has to meet educational requirements. To meet these requirements, approved education courses must be taken. Application for a licence must be within two years of successfully completing the approved education courses. These courses are provided commercially, and tuition fees are set by the provider. The courses use the same curriculum, but different providers may use different formats. All approved courses are followed by a final examination.

The first step for obtaining a mortgage brokerage licence requires passing the mortgage agent education program. Then a mortgage agent licence should be obtained. The mortgage brokerage education course must be completed successfully. Thereafter application can be made for a mortgage broker licence. In the course of this process, the prospective broker should have worked as an agent for a year and worked under a broker.

Brokers and agents do your research and shop around for the best solution. Financing your home through a mortgage brokerage rather than a lending institution can save you both time and money. They work on behalf of their client to find the most suitable product at the best rate. Brokers provide access to virtually every mortgage product available. Consumers expect their own bank will give them the best rate and product. But, the bank does not have access to all the lenders and products available. The bank offers a limited number of mortgages. But, the brokers provide access to over 400 mortgage products on the market. Each of these products have their own distinctive features. They also have access to the new products launching frequently in this dynamic industry. Access to unique products also may only be offered through the mortgage broker.