B.C.'s Plummeting Home Values Affect Eligibility for Lower Interest Rates

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - With interest rates at an all time low,
mortgage brokers are being inundated with calls from optimistic homeowners
looking to refinance at lower rates. Unfortunately a 10 to 15 per cent plunge
in B.C.'s real estate market over the past year means refinancing to take
advantage of lower interest rates is impossible for some. A recent study by
independent broker firm Averbach Mortgages found only two out of 10 clients
actually qualified for refinancing.
    "If you purchased your property with 10 per cent down or less in the last
couple of years, you're out of luck," said Mike Averbach with Averbach
Mortgages. "Every day we are contacted by homeowners who want to take
advantage of the lower rates. What they need to consider is how much they owe
on their mortgage and what is their current home value?"
    A combination of decreasing home values and over financing has left many
homeowners in a position of negative equity, making them ineligible for lower
interest rates. Homeowners who purchased with 15 per cent down or more could
still be eligible for the lower rates, but Averbach cautions them to look into
the cost benefit. Legal fees and penalties for breaking mortgage agreements
can outweigh the benefit of switching to a lower interest rate.
    "There's no point in getting our clients all excited about greater
savings when in fact it can cost them more to break their current terms," he
explained. "A good broker should be able to suggest what is the most equitable
in each situation."
    Vancouver homeowners interested in refinancing, should contact their
current lender to find out if they are eligible for the lower rates and if
refinancing will result in savings.
    For more information, visit: www.averbachmortgages.com

For further information:

For further information: Mike Averbach: mike@averbachmortgages.com or
(604) 710-2550; Justin Blacklock: justin@averbachmortgages.com or (604)

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