Alberta brokers struggle

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Alberta brokers have more than just dwindling home sales to grapple with, according to one broker who is experiencing tightened lending standards.

“The real frustrating thing out here is there has been real tightening of policy from the lenders,” Dave Trithart, broker/owner of Dominion Lending Centres 1st Financial Link, told “One lender recently came out with a policy change and now they will only use half the overtime and bonus income over the past two years (for qualification); in the past, they used the average for the prior two years.”

According to Trithart, the change significantly impacts client qualification.

“People will not qualify for as much house under this new change,” Trithart said. “And what impact will it have on home prices?”

Trithart shared with the email from the lender explaining the policy change.

“Due to possible volatile market conditions, [we have] made a few changes to our loan qualifying criteria,” the lender wrote. “50% of the 2 year average for overtime, commissions, bonuses, shift differential and vacation pay for Full Time or Permanent Part Time borrowers (verified by year end pay advice for the most recent 2 years).”

It’s unwelcome news to brokers in oil country who have had a rough year due to sagging oil prices and the impact it has had on the real estate market.

Sales activity is down 20.7% year-to-date, as of September, according to recently released statistics from CREA. Further, dollar volume is down 21.9% year-to-date.
  • Derrick on 2015-10-26 10:32:17 AM

    I find it ironic that Alberta brokers are now experiencing what we in Windsor Ontario have had to deal with for the past seven years.
    We have lenders that will lend everywhere but in Windsor or some of those who do have very restrictive and selective policies when it comes to this city.
    While I understand your frustrations all I can say is welcome to my world.

  • vittorio on 2015-10-27 6:44:44 PM

    when it comes to the new restrictions it is the name of the game. The lender that the broker is talking about is only one lender that has that issue. it is important that brokers do not get stuck using only one lender for most of their deals. You have to keep option open. I recently visit an old broker who upset that they had lost their biggest lender- and now they lost more than 1/2 their renewal. I asked how she was coping and she said she found a new lender and she is putting basically 95% with the lender. I told her you new learn. as a broker you need to keep between 7-10 lender available to you and send them volume, I know that you hear from each lender how they need at least 5 million, and some lender get three times that much, but others just get the 3-5 million and most lender are ok with that. By keeping these many lender, when one does not work out, then you can switch. The lender that has changed their policy I do a lot of deals with them, when the policy changed I just moved the business elsewhere. That does not mean I stop using them, know but now they get about half of what I can normally give them. and they are ok with that, they understand the issues and our concern, but the actual lender cannot do anything about it. It is their investor that make the rules. So keep your chin up, things will change and it will get better. Think this as an opportunity to be more creative in getting business and get involved in talking to your lender so they can see what you are all about . You will be surprised what some lender do if they like you

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