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Everything to Understand about Commercial Mortgages

Posted on June 25, 2023 by Circle Mortgage

Commercial mortgages play a crucial role in the Canadian real estate market, facilitating the growth and expansion of businesses across the country. Whether you're a business owner looking to purchase a property or an investor exploring opportunities, understanding Canadian commercial mortgages is essential.

What Is a Commercial Mortgage?

A commercial mortgage is a loan secured by a commercial property, such as an office building, retail space, industrial facility, or multi-unit residential complex. These mortgages are specifically designed for business purposes and differ from residential mortgages in several ways.

Key Distinctions Between Residential and Commercial Mortgages:

  1. Property Type: Commercial mortgages finance income-generating properties, while residential mortgages are for homes where the borrower lives.
  2. Terms and Rates: Commercial mortgages typically have shorter terms (e.g., 5 to 20 years) and higher interest rates compared to residential mortgages.
  3. Loan-to-Value Ratio: The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for commercial mortgages is often lower than that of residential mortgages, requiring a larger down payment.
  4. Underwriting Criteria: Commercial mortgage approvals consider factors like property income, business financials, and the borrower's creditworthiness.

Types of Canadian Commercial Mortgages:

  1. Owner-Occupied Mortgages: Business owners purchase properties to operate their businesses. These mortgages enable them to acquire a location for their operations while building equity.
  2. Investment Mortgages: Investors buy commercial properties to generate rental income and capital appreciation. These mortgages help finance real estate investments.
  3. Construction Loans: These loans fund the construction of new commercial properties or significant renovations and typically convert into permanent mortgages once the project is complete.

Factors Influencing Commercial Mortgage Approval:

  1. Property Income: Lenders assess the property's income potential and its ability to cover mortgage payments.
  2. Business Financials: For owner-occupied mortgages, the financial health of the business plays a significant role in the approval process.
  3. Creditworthiness: Borrowers' personal and business credit histories are evaluated.
  4. Down Payment: Lenders typically require a down payment ranging from 15% to 35% of the property's purchase price.

Interest Rates and Terms:

Interest rates for Canadian commercial mortgages can be fixed or variable and are influenced by market conditions, the borrower's creditworthiness, and the property's income potential. Terms vary but commonly range from 5 to 20 years, with amortization periods of up to 25 years.

Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV):

Lenders assess the property's value and the borrower's creditworthiness to determine the maximum LTV ratio. Commercial mortgages often require an LTV ratio of 65% to 80%, meaning borrowers must provide a substantial down payment.

Prepayment Penalties:

Commercial mortgages may include prepayment penalties if borrowers pay off the loan before the term ends. These penalties vary and should be carefully considered when selecting a mortgage.

Choosing the Right Commercial Mortgage:

Selecting the most suitable commercial mortgage involves evaluating your specific needs, property type, financial situation, and long-term goals. It's essential to work closely with a knowledgeable mortgage broker or lender who can guide you through the process.


Commercial mortgages Burlington are essential financial tools that facilitate business growth and real estate investments. Understanding the nuances of these mortgages, including their types, approval factors, interest rates, and terms, is vital for making informed decisions. Whether you're an entrepreneur looking to expand your business or an investor seeking income-generating properties, Canadian commercial mortgages offer opportunities to achieve your objectives in the dynamic Canadian real estate market.

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