Just the Latest Head-Turning Rate: What would a week be without a new low in mortgage rates? The latest term to wear the low-rate crown is the 1-year fixed, thanks to a new promo available through deep-discount brokers. Priced at 1.69%, it’s the cheapest effective rate on a 12-month mortgage since 2016. It’s also officially the lowest rate we’re tracking in Canada. Of course, people don’t usually line up for 1-year terms. Most prefer to avoid the hassle and minor expense of renewing in 12 months. But, for those who want financing to fill the gap until aggressive variable-rate discounts return, a 1-year fits the bill. (For background: Variable-rate discounts were prime – 1.00% and better as of early March. They’ve since deteriorated to prime – 0.70%, at best.) This deal has strings attached, however. It applies only to default-insured purchases and insurable purchases with 35% or more equity. If you’re interested, here are all the best 1-year fixed rate offers on the market.
Tiff Speaks: Freshman BoC Governor Tiff Macklem made his first in-public speech today. Here were some takeaways for mortgage consumers (the Spy’s comments in italics):
“If, as we expect, supply is restored more quickly than demand, this could lead to a large gap between the two, putting a lot of downward pressure on inflation. Rate Impact: Bearish
“Some central banks have taken their policy rates below zero. We feel that bringing that rate into negative territory could lead to distortions in the behaviour of financial institutions.” Rate Impact: Minimal
“The Bank has committed to buying at least $5 billion of Canadian government bonds a week until the recovery is well underway.” Rate Impact: Bearish, For Now
“Quantitative easing can…send a signal that our policy interest rate is likely to remain low for a long period.” It’s sending that signal as we speak.
“The pandemic is likely to inflict some lasting damage to demand and supply.” Rate Impact: Bearish Longer-term
Real Estate Supply Ahead: RBC: “The delay in spring listings will likely boost supply during the summer at a time when homebuyer demand will still be soft—albeit recovering,” wrote RBC last week. “The eventual winding down of financial support programs is also poised to bring more supply to market later this year.”
Quotable: “If you think that the economy did hit bottom in April, a rate hike in two years … is a plausible outcome I think”— Andrew Kelvin, chief Canada strategist at TD Securities, via Reuters