Categories for Mortgage Rate Research

Record-Low Fixed Rates May Depend on the BoC

—The Mortgage Report: Oct. 21— Canada’s budget deficit will end 2020 “near 20% of GDP,” according to the IMF. “That represents the fourth-highest projected deficit in the world, after Libya, Aruba and the Maldives,” says Bloomberg News. With that degree of fiscal hemorrhaging in Ottawa, bond yields (and hence fixed mortgage rates) would jump sooner were it not for Bank...

Encouraging More 10-year Mortgages

There’s a big chunk of Canadians out there who: Dislike the mortgage renewal process Are risk averse, and Would gladly trade their stodgy old 5-year fixed term for something longer, if the economics made sense. Ten-year mortgages could fit the bill, if the rates weren’t as high. Knowing that, C.D. Howe issued a report last month on how lenders might be able...

A Chunk of New Buyers “Disappears”: CMHC

Where did all the first-time buyers go? New data from CMHC suggests there are noticeably fewer of them out there (stats below). Maybe they’re hibernating until they can save up a bigger down payment, amid home prices that (in many regions) remain near record highs. Or, perhaps fewer of them are able to pass the mortgage stress test given today’s...

When a 10-Year Mortgage Term Isn’t So Bad

Special to RateSpy, By John Bordignon, Capital Markets Consultant Earlier this year, while calling for innovation in the mortgage industry, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz discussed the need for mortgages longer than five years. Longer-term mortgages, he explained, would benefit both consumers and the Canadian financial system. Based on volumes to date, Poloz’s comments moved the needle only slightly...

How People Choose Between Fixed & Variable Rates

As much as academics advise against it, people (consciously or subconsciously) try to predict interest rates before choosing a mortgage. But, interestingly, they don’t look very far into the future when making these forecasts. “…Households are forward-looking over relatively short periods of time,” research shows. A 2015 international study by Cristian Badarinza, John Y. Campbell and Tarun Ramadorai found that “the...

HELOC Growth Isn’t What Everyone Thought

It turns out home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) aren’t growing as fast as previous government reports suggest. Prior regulatory filings showed HELOC balances increasingly at roughly double the pace of mortgages. Now, a new report from the Bank of Canada confirms the opposite. “The total balance of HELOCs contracted by 1% year-over-year…” in the fourth quarter of 2018, it...

Fair Penalty Lenders: Which Lenders Have the Lowest Mortgage Penalties?

Which lenders have the best (lowest) mortgage prepayment penalties? It’s a question we’re asked continually. So we’ve now created a list of them. If you want to know if your lender will treat you fairly (i.e., charge you a reasonable penalty for breaking your mortgage early), read on. What’s a “fair penalty?” A fair penalty is a mortgage prepayment charge...

OSFI’s Stress Test – How We Got Here – Part I

Never before has Canada’s banking regulator received so much pushback on a mortgage rule. OSFI has felt such heat from its controversial “B-20” stress test, that it’s started a campaign to defend its position—e.g., this speech last Tuesday (video) and this one last Thursday. From that and from what we know of regulators’ non-public comments, one thing appears clear. The government has...

Mortgage Growth Ain’t What it Used To Be

And that’s as the government intended. Albeit, the deceleration may be less pronounced than some might expect, given all the recent headlines about this year’s real estate slowdown and mortgage rule tightening. Here are fresh new mortgage stats from CMHC and Equifax (as of second quarter of 2018): Number of active mortgages: 5.98 million This number essentially stayed the same...

The Odd Spike in Insured Variable-Rate Mortgages

Something unusual has happened in the high-ratio mortgage world. Homebuyers with less than 20% equity are gravitating to floating-rates — more than ever in recent history. New data from the country’s top default insurer (CMHC) shows that almost a third of transactionally insured borrowers (31.3%) chose a variable- or adjustable-rate mortgage from July 1 to September 30. Jargon-Buster: “Transactionally insured” just...