Debt is endemic. They use lines of credit to make mortgage payments. They routinely increase the size of their home loans to renovate. Four in ten people now say they have trouble paying their monthly bills. And yet 70% own a house. Prices have been bloated by cheap money, not greater income.
Mortgage brokers, realtors and developers have seen a surge the last few months in people who bought pre-construction condos two to three years ago “scrambling” to get financing to close deals.
Some have had to walk away from deposits worth tens of thousands of dollars. Others have been forced to borrow from family — or against their principal residence — to come up with final payments on condos that lenders are no longer keen to finance, according to interviews with a number of players in Toronto’s condo industry.
Hardest hit have been the self-employed who had pre-approvals from lenders when they bought their pre-construction units. But now, with the unit almost complete and final payments due, they are being told they need 35 to 50 per cent down, instead of just 20 per cent of the purchase price, unless they want to rely on secondary lenders offering rates that can hit double digits.
Many investors who bought units intending to flip them on completion, or rent them out for a few years, have also been shocked to find they thought they had pre-approvals, but they are no longer being honoured in the wake of tighter lending rules imposed by Ottawa.
Click 'comments' below to contribute to this post.