Categories for Mortgage Rate Research

The Flex Down Payment Mortgage. One to Avoid.

Oh the lengths people will go to squeeze themselves into a new property. That includes putting their home, or at least part of it, on their credit card. Yep, believe it or not, some lenders are more than happy to let you borrow your down payment off a credit card. And government-backed default insurers support it. That’s despite Ottawa outlawing...

Canadians Can’t Predict Interest Rates. But They Try.

Two-thirds of consumers expect interest rates to rise in the next 12 months, according to a new report from Mortgage Professionals Canada. Only a measly 2% expect rates to fall. But that’s not as surprising as it seems. There is a built-in bias towards higher rates and there has been for years. “Through the entire history of this question, Canadians...

New Mortgage Rate Insights From BMO

Rising rates and new mortgage regulations aren’t enough to scare nearly 1 in 4 Canadians. That’s how many plan to buy a home within the next year. This comes from a new BMO survey, which also found the national average price buyers expect to pay is about $474,000. That jumps to $580,000 in Toronto and $603,000 for Vancouver buyers. Most concerning...

Economists or Puppies: Who Predicts Rates Better?

If Jimmy Fallon’s “puppy predictors” ever start forecasting interest rates, some economists could be out of work. These four-legged furballs may very well have just as much forecasting ability as your typical Bay Street analyst. To “prove” it, we use 20/20 hindsight to our advantage (and economists’ disadvantage). Taking a trip back to 2015 shows just how reliable economic forecasts...

Canadians Notoriously Indifferent About Rate Shopping

You know the situation is bad when Canadians need to be told by a bank to shop around for mortgage rates. While we at the Spy beat that drum daily, banks are normally happy to sell you mediocre “special offer” rates, or even posted rates (for renewers who are gullible enough). That’s why it’s eye-catching to see Larry Tomei, Executive...

Canada’s Most Misconstrued Mortgage Study

If we only had a milli-bitcoin for every time someone said this: “…Long-term data tells us that a variable-rate mortgage is the best option.”—LowestRates.ca No, it doesn’t. What the “data” tell us is that a variable-rate mortgage was the best option in a specified timeframe based on particular assumptions. The data in no way mean that a variable-rate mortgage is the best...

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 uninsured rates (45 bps lower, claims the broker in the story). Really? Let’s test this theory and see if mortgage...

Canadians Not Doing Enough Mortgage Homework at Renewal

Three in five Canadians say they do “a lot” of research before choosing their mortgage, according to a recent Ipsos poll. But when it comes to mortgage renewals, too many put in too little effort. Only 42% of renewal customers claim to do a lot of mortgage research. A disappointing 1 in 5 (22%) admit to doing no research at all. That’s a real problem...

Average Mortgage Rates Fell in 2016

If you got a mortgage last year and paid less than 2.76%, you beat the averages. That was the typical rate for a new mortgages in 2016, according to Mortgage Professionals Canada’s (MPC’s) annual mortgage survey. It was a good year for those renewing a mortgage. A majority (64%) switched into a lower rate, with the average being 2.70%. This data confirms the obvious, of...

Why Do Mortgage Rates Vary by Province?

When it comes to getting the lowest mortgage rate, where you live matters. Someone searching RateSpy.com from Halifax, for example, sees 2.49% as today’s lowest 5-year fixed mortgage rate. Meanwhile, someone in Vancouver with the exact same qualifications sees 2.32%. Both of those rates are clearly exceptional, but 0.17 percentage points is still 0.17 percentage points. We’re talking about $1,593 of interest differential on a standard $200,000 five-year...