Categories for Mortgage Rate Tips

Mortgage Rate Differentials: Unusually Narrow

—The Mortgage Report: Sept. 8— One of the most important factors determining your success with a mortgage is the rate, relative to other rates you could have chosen. Over the long run and other things equal: The higher your rate relative to other rate options, the worse your odds of success. The lower your rate relative to other rate options,...

Could 5-Year Fixed Rates Sink to 1.49%?

—The Mortgage Report: Aug. 25— Yes. The Question is: When? Most readers know that fixed mortgage rates follow bond yields. But it’s bond yields south of the border that are particularly influential for Canadian mortgage rates — given U.S. influence on our economy. To get to 1.49% on discounted 5-year fixed rates, we need a Canadian 5-year bond yield near...

Fixed Wins Enough of the Time

The debate over fixed or variable rates never ends. But there are now two things that are far less debatable: 1) The Bank of Canada is telling us that prime rate has likely hit bottom, and 2) “Safer” 5-year fixed rates are now as low as “riskier” variable rates. (Safer, particularly if you choose a fair penalty lender.) Given the...

Weekend Tip: Debt Swapping With a Readvanceable Mortgage

—The Mortgage Report: Saturday Edition— The Readvanceable Shuffle: Got a fixed rate above 3% in a readvanceable mortgage? Does your lender let you lock in the HELOC portion to a low-cost short-term fixed rate? If so, here’s a tip that might save you some interest. Jargon Buster: A “readvanceable mortgage” is one that has a regular amortizing mortgage linked to...

16 things that impact your mortgage rate

—The Mortgage Report: July 22— Rate Influencers: When people ask, “What’s the best rate?” most just want you to reel off a number with minimal complexity. Many don’t realize all the elements that determine mortgage pricing. That’s why it’s almost impossible to spit out an accurate quote on the fly. If you want a standard 5-year fixed, for example, factors...

When to Buy Mortgage Insurance—Even When It’s Not Required

—The Mortgage Report: July 21— A Seldom-used Strategy: Usually, it doesn’t make sense to buy default insurance on your mortgage if you have a big down payment. But there are exceptions, like when you have 35% equity and the difference between insured and insurable mortgage rates is 15 basis points or more. In those infrequent cases, you end up saving...

Did the BoC Just Unleash the Bulls?

—The Mortgage Report: Weekend Edition— It Might as Well Have: On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada threw caution to the wind and changed its playbook. It pledged not to hike rates until “the 2 percent inflation target is sustainably achieved.” The significance of that statement is now sinking in and here’s why. Normally, the Bank of Canada doesn’t wait for...

It’s Time for a Fixed Rate

—The Happy Canada Day Report: July 1— Fixed or Bust: Canada’s lowest nationally available conventional variable rate is just nine basis points cheaper than a comparable 5-year fixed rate. That minuscule “fixed-variable” spread is now 80% narrower than its 10-year average. In other words, the market is no longer compensating new borrowers for the risk of a floating-rate mortgage. And...

Divorcing 1.99%

— The Mortgage Report : June 18 — For Better or Worse: When you take a bank’s 5-year fixed you’re married to it for half a decade. That is, unless you file for divorce, so to speak (i.e., discharge or transfer the mortgage to a new lender early). But as unwedded people find out, splitting up has a financial price....

Mortgage Penalties Make News…Again

The Mortgage Report – June 1 Penalty Boxed: Despite a horrid mortgage market in Q2, banks still booked $5 billion in profits. But they aren’t cutting people much slack on mortgage penalties, even folks who break their mortgage early due to COVID-related income loss—as this CBC story chronicles. Banks have some great mortgage products (e.g., BMO’s Cash Account, Scotiabank’s STEP,...