Categories for Mortgage Briefs

The Latest on Ottawa’s First-Time Home Buyer Program

The details on the government’s much-hyped First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) continue to trickle out. The latest clues on its operation come from Evan Solomon’s interview with CMHC CEO Evan Siddall. In that interview, Siddall comments on some lingering FTHBI question marks, namely: The Maximum Home Price The maximum home price under the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive ranges from $505,000...

Rate Nuggets: TD and HSBC Cut Big

The latest happenings from the rate world: HSBC Won’t Let Up Despite moving to an everyday-low-rate online model a few years ago, competitors keep thinking (or maybe hoping) that HSBC is just a flash in the pan. Then it does what it did today. The bank hammered rates lower this morning, to: 2.74% for insured 5-year fixed mortgages (down 15...

Rate Nuggets: Even Mortgage Rates are Inverting

Quick news nuggets from Canada’s mortgage rate market: Not only has the yield curve inverted, but in some cases the mortgage rate curve has inverted. Among uninsured mortgages available in multiple provinces, for example, the best 5-year fixed rate is now below the best variable rate. There’s still tremendous value in insured variable rates—now effectively as low as 2.54% in some provinces. Markets are...

Perpetuating Online Mortgage Myths

Hopefully people don’t believe everything they read, especially when they read stories like this: “Instant mortgages are coming soon – what could go wrong?“ We’ve been meaning to comment on this piece of imaginative writing for a few months now, but real news got in the way. The article, originally published in October—from a respected journalist no less—is heavy on...

Why Comparing Rates is Now More Rewarding

Comparing mortgage rates is more worthwhile today than it was two years ago, for multiple reasons. For one thing, Canada’s average mortgage balance is now up to $263,657, according to TransUnion. This number has been rising for years, and it’s risen another 4.23% in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2018 (the latest data available). The bigger your mortgage, the mortgage...

New Capital Requirements: The Rate Impact

It’s sort of counterintuitive that making banks safer often costs you more as a borrower, but that’s what may happen in this case. Canada’s banking regulator (OSFI) has raised the minimum capital that banks must maintain…again. And there’s a good chance banks could take it out on mortgage borrowers, eventually. Here’s What Happened Back in June, OSFI created the “Domestic...

Canadians Got Fewer New Mortgages Last Year

Mortgage activity fell more than many people thought last year. New data from CMHC shows a 9% drop in the number of consumers getting new mortgages in 2017, among the metro areas it surveyed. Stricter mortgage rules, higher mortgage rates and higher home prices were some of the likely causes. Of particular interest was the drop in refinances. The number of...

A New Leader in Mortgage Rate Holds: BMO

BMO now has the longest regular rate guarantee period of any Big 6 Bank. On Tuesday, Canada’s fourth largest bank upped its rate hold period from 90 to 130 days. Prior to that, 120 days was the longest normal rate hold of any big bank. Note: “Normal” rate hold means a rate hold that applies to the lender’s regular rates. Banks...

Private Rates Still Elevated Amid Tight Funding

Private (non-prime) lenders are getting tapped out across the country. Fisgard Asset Management Corporation, one of Canada’s largest mortgage investment corporations (MICs), is no exception. “It’s a dynamic time right now,” says Hali Noble, SVP at Fisgard. She explains that Home Capitals’ near-failure, Equitable Bank’s funding problems and government rule tightening have spiked demand for private mortgages. The company, which manages $240 million in loans, has almost fully utilized...

The Dark Secret About Rate Sites

A reader asked this on one of our message boards this week: “I don’t understand why every site doesn’t have a refinance selector. How are you supposed to find a rate for a refinance otherwise?” Heck of a good question. After all, there are only three reasons you get a mortgage: to purchase a property (20% of borrowers get a mortgage for...