Categories for Mortgage Rate Research

Variable vs. ARM: One’s Not Better Than the Other

Many don’t realize that there are two flavours of floating-rate mortgages: The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) Its payment rises and falls with prime rate The variable-rate mortgage (VRM) Its payment doesn’t change when prime rate changes The only exception is when rates soar so much that you’re not paying all the interest. Then the payment generally rises to cover the interest...

Your Tech Habits May Someday Get You Approved (or Declined) for a Mortgage

When you go online, you leave a trail of digital bread crumbs. And if new research catches on, mortgage lenders could someday use those crumbs against you (or for you). The U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has published a study showing that creditworthiness is linked to a borrower’s “digital footprint.” NBER studied nine digital footprint variables: the borrower’s...

Confusing Data on Online Rate Shopping

There’s still way too much inefficiency in the mortgage research process. That is, if we’re to believe the latest CMHC data. Three out of four homebuyers used websites to gather mortgage-related information, says Canada’s housing agency. But, among those, only 20% of first-time buyers, 24% of repeat buyers and 23% of renewers used “interest rate comparison” websites. It’s bad enough...

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...