KEEPING YOU INFORMED: COVID-19 information for residential customers & commercial borrowers

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Seniors housing

Standard financing

Properties with stable cash flow and consistent operating histories are favourable candidates for standard financing. For retirement assets, this can mean properties with consistent occupancy and a history of stabilized operations. The borrower’s experience as an operator is also a critical loan consideration. If there is an ownership group, management guarantees and competencies are required.

Standard financing offers a term of five years or more, a fixed interest rate and is typically closed to prepayment for the term’s duration.

For seniors properties, the two most common types of standard financing are Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation insured (CMHC) and conventional.

CMHC-insured financing: CMHC-insured financing offers lower interest rates, terms of 5 years or more and higher loan to value ratios, making it a popular choice for most borrowers. There are also programs available to borrowers (i.e. the Energy Efficiency Program) that can help them increase their loan amounts, access premium credits and lower their monthly expenses.  

First National is Canada’s largest CMHC-insured lender.

Standard financing is usually considered when borrowers want the payment predictability that comes with a fixed interest rate. However, it is important to note that a typical conventional financing term for a retirement asset is five years. Longer terms are available, but there is often greater scrutiny on future cash flows. Borrowers must be able to show that longer-term leases (i.e. maturing in 10 years or more) are in place for the duration of the mortgage term.

Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS): CMBS is a conventional financing solution available for first mortgages on established, stabilized properties (generally three or more years of stable operating history). This type of financing works well for properties with in-place, stabilized net cash flow.

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Economic and political developments – both in Canada and globally – can impact the commercial real estate market. First National experts follow these trends closely and provide honest, real and professional perspectives into what they could mean for your portfolio.


Smart risk solutions in action for seniors

See how we’ve applied our financing products innovatively to help seniors borrowers achieve their goals with performance and value.

Obtaining a new CMHC insured first mortgage to be used for future capex and acquisitions

  • $29 million
  • 131 units
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • CMHC insured first mortgage
  • 10 years term, 25 years amortization
  • LTV: 78%

Providing funds to pay out the existing construction financing loan

  • $15 million
  • 89 units
  • Picton, Ontario
  • Conventional first mortgage loan
  • 18 months term, interest only amortization
  • LTV: 61%

Providing funds to finish renovations to the property

  • $9 million
  • 105 units
  • Toronto, Ontario
• Conventional first mortgage
• 10 years term, 25 years amortization
• LTV: 70%

To refinance existing second mortgage construction loan and for future developments

  • $27 million
  • 332 units
  • Quebec City, Quebec
  • Conventional second mortgage
  • 12 months, 25 years
  • LTV: 63%

Topping up second mortgage to provide capital for future capex

  • $2 million
  • 23,504 Sq. ft.
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • CMHC insured first mortgage loan
  • 20 months term, 16 years amortization
  • LTV: 66%

Refinancing to have capital for repairs and other investments

  • $1 million
  • 27,071 Sq. ft.
  • Longueuil, Quebec
  • CMHC insured first mortgage loan
  • 5 years term, 25 years amortization
  • LTV: 66%

Providing funded needed to complete the construction of the second phase of the retirement community

  • $15 million
  • 131 units
  • Montreal, Quebec
  • Conventional construction loan
  • 36 months term, interest only amortization
  • LTV: 75%

Provide second rank purchase financing

  • $3 million
  • 347, 341 Sq. ft.
  • Sorel-Tracy, Quebec
  • Conventional second mortgage
  • 3 years, 8 months co-terminus with expiry of the of the first Mortgage loan
  • LTV: 76%

Latest resources and insights

Original perspectives and personal viewpoints on developments and industry trends in commercial real estate.

Growth, Value and Risk

This morning, the Bank of Canada left its target overnight benchmark rate unchanged at what it previously described as its “lower bound” of ¼ percent.

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Expert insights

We asked Jeremy to share his views on the state of the market and the outlook for apartment construction activity. Read them here.

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Borrower perspectives

JD Development’s business has focused its business on purpose-built student residences, residential development and town homes. We recently spoke to Jason Qi about their vision for growth and their relationship with First National.

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Capital Markets update

In this week’s commentary, Neil Silverberg, Analyst, Capital Markets, reviews the latest changes in rates as well as an announcement by OSFI, the launch of an NHA MBS from Merrill Lynch Canada and more. Read the commentary here.

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View other seniors mortgage solutions

Short-term (bridge) financing

Bridge financing addresses a borrower’s short-term needs, usually three months to three years.

Learn More

Repositioning / Renovating

This short-term financing option enables access to a property’s equity for improvements, renovations or repairs, eliminating the need to raise funds from personal sources.

Learn More

Secondary financing

Second mortgages are often used to access equity in a property when a borrower wants to purchase another asset or renovate/repair a property.

Learn More

Development / Construction

Construction financing is available for condominiums, retail, office, industrial, retirement and purpose-built apartments. 

Learn More

Sign up for Market updates

Economic and political developments – both in Canada and globally – can impact the commercial real estate market. First National experts follow these trends closely and provide honest, real and professional perspectives into what they could mean for your portfolio.