Categories for Mortgage Rate Tips

How to Get Ripped Off with Cashback Mortgage Rates

The most competitive online mortgage brokers are just itching to give you a better rate. But many lenders won’t let them. Most broker lenders have what’s called “rate buydown limits.” In other words, the lender limits how much a mortgage broker can reduce your interest rate by giving up some of their commission. Here’s a simple example. Suppose a lender...

A Tip for Those With a HELOC Who Want to Switch Lenders

In Canada, the cheapest mortgage rates are usually available on insured (or insurable) mortgages. But refinances cannot be insured thanks to rule changes in 2016. That’s been a problem for folks with existing mortgages—particularly those who have “collateral charges.” Collateral charges are mortgages that readvance or have a line of credit attached to them. Examples include the: RBC Homeline Scotiabank...

Canada’s Inverted Yield Curve. What Happens to Mortgage Rates Now?

The Canadian yield curve has officially inverted and that’s bearish for mortgage rates. An “inverted yield curve” (in this context) means that the interest rate on almost every Canadian government bond is now below the Bank of Canada’s 1.75% overnight rate. That’s pretty rare. Why it Matters Inverted yield curves are a danger sign. In a normal economy investors like...

Banks Entice Borrowers with Cash

Some big banks want to buy your mortgage business, literally, with cash. HSBC, CIBC and BMO are all “giving away” money. Here’s a quick run-down of their offers: HSBC Cash offer: $1,000 for $200,000 to $499,999.99 mortgages $2,000 for $500,000+ mortgages Available on all 5-year closed terms CIBC Cash offer: $1,000 for $100,000 to $299,999.99 mortgages $1,200 for $300,000 to...

Why Aren’t Rate Sites Showing You the Lowest Rates?

The number of Canadians who blindly trust mortgage rate comparison websites is staggering. This year, almost two million households will renew or take out a new mortgage. Of these, CMHC found that over 78% who research mortgages online compare interest rates. The majority of these folks, those who visit a rate comparison website, are simply not being shown the market’s best...

Down Payment Assistance Programs Across Canada

So many young people want to build home equity and get out from under their landlord’s thumb. But they can’t. They don’t have the down payment to qualify for a mortgage. For many modest-income Canadians, saving up the 5 percent minimum down payment (or 20 percent if you want to avoid CMHC insurance) can take years—many, many years. While some...

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...

Pay Your Variable Like a Fixed: A Strategy Check

A lot of people in the mortgage biz like to tell customers: “Pay your variable like a fixed.” In other words, increase the payment on your adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to match the payment you would have made, had you chosen a 5-year fixed. The purpose of this strategy is to pay more up front so that if rates (and your...

The Bank of Canada May Do You a Favour

The market is betting on rates heading higher this Wednesday. That’s bad news for mortgage shoppers. Or is it? One could argue that a rate hike on July 11 makes the fixed or variable rate decision even easier. Essentially the Bank of Canada is doing mortgage shoppers a favour. Here’s why… Closer to the Finish The higher rates go, the...

Mortgage Renewals Now More Costly — For Those Least Able to Pay

One in four borrowers will renew their mortgage this year, estimates the Bank of Canada. Some of them are about to find renewing a whole lot trickier and potentially more expensive — thanks to two important rule changes: #1.  The Much-Publicized Stress Test As most of you now know, on January 1 the government (OSFI) made it harder to get...