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Prime Rate Jumps 1/4 Point

RBC waited exactly three hours and 11 minutes to take advantage of the Bank of Canada’s 1/4 point rate hike today. RBC, which is typically Canada’s mortgage rate leader, boosted its prime rate by the same amount, to 3.45%. The other...

Mortgage Rules 2018: Credit Unions & The Stress Test

We’re one week into 2018, OSFI’s new mortgage stress test is live and the earth is still spinning on its axis. But that axis is now tilted…in credit unions’ favour. If you’re a mortgage shopper who’s been turned down by...

B-20 Backfire

Big-city home values were out of control. The real estate market needed de-risking. But the solution policy-makers gave us (the B-20 mortgage guideline) was imperfect, very imperfect. What’s About to Happen Effective January 1, 2018, the banking regulator (OSFI) will...

BoC Stands Pat. Prepare for B-20

Not much to see at today’s Bank of Canada meeting. It was another yawner as prime rate held at 3.20%. Among the few takeaways: The Bank stated: “While higher interest rates will likely be required over time, Governing Council will...

Don’t Buy Mortgage Insurance for Nothing

We don’t buy the numbers in this story. Its premise is that some people are better off paying for mortgage default insurance—even if they don’t technically need it—just to get a better rate. The reason: insured rates are lower than...

Over Half of Us to Get Online Mortgages: Meridian CU

It’s not a question of whether mortgages will someday be arranged completely online. The question is, how long will it take? When we do finally get there, you’ll still be able to speak with a human advisor for mortgage help,...

A Case Where Banks Lose & Credit Unions Win

Canada’s new “B-20” mortgage stress test will be a tectonic shift for the roughly 1 in 6 borrowers it affects, starting January 1. It’s going to force higher-indebted creditworthy borrowers to either: reduce their loan amount, seek help qualifying (e.g.,...

No Rate Change Today

If you have a mortgage that floats with prime rate, the constant chatter about rate hikes may be unnerving. Well, now you can take a breather—because the Bank of Canada has taken a breather. The Bank left rates alone today and hinted that...

Stress Testing May Start Sooner

On Tuesday the government announced a January 1, 2018, implementation date for its new uninsured mortgage stress test. In that announcement it said something else that many glossed over: “Where possible, federally regulated financial institutions are expected to comply with the principles and expectations...

Key Mortgage Rule Clarifications from OSFI

Below are important clarifications on Canada’s new B-20 mortgage rules. Most of this stuff was not explicitly discussed in OSFI’s announcement yesterday. But if you’re getting a mortgage or HELOC, it’s need-to-know info. Amortization Limits:  One way to partially mitigate the new stress test...