Categories for Mortgage Rate Tips

Don’t Trust Prime Rate

Remember the days of: VCRs Paper maps Beepers Being able to rely on banks lowering prime rate when the Bank of Canada cut its overnight rate? Well, times change. And so has the pressure on banks to grow earnings each quarter. Falling rates and a flattening yield curve have squeezed bank profitability, leading them to resort to unconventional earnings tactics....

Mortgage Paydown Overtakes Investing

The #1 financial priority for people with a mortgage is, you guessed it, paying down their mortgage. 42% of Canadians with mortgages say that is their top money goal, according to Manulife Bank’s latest Canadian Debt Survey. And it’s a number that may rise. Fuelling the Trend The urgency to become mortgage-free could intensify further over time, for several reasons: Mortgage Balances Have Grown: Mortgage...

10-Year Fixed Rates Break Record. But Don’t Get One, Says Broker

Ever since decade-long mortgages slipped under 3% for the first time in May, those offering such rates have fielded more inquiries than ever before. And today, we saw another record breaker, with Sigma Mortgage offering the lowest 10-year fixed of all time: 2.89% (details below). But the more interesting aspect may be this: The company who just advertised that rate...

People are Locking in Variables at Lower Fixed Rates

In a normal universe, people who lock in a floating-rate mortgage lock into a fixed rate. And that fixed rate is almost always higher than their current variable rate. But this is not a normal universe. In the world we now live in, variable borrowers are actually locking into five-year fixed rates that are lower than their current rate. For...

Got a Shabby Variable Rate? Consider Breaking Your Mortgage

Back in 2016 some poor souls were getting variable-rate mortgages with unsavoury discounts. We’re talking prime – 0.50% or worse in some cases. That compares to prime – 1.00% or better today. If you’re in this boat, you need to do some math because breaking your mortgage early may be your best option. Here’s a simple example. Assume you’ve got...

Bona-Fide Sale Clauses: Mortgage Saver or Mortgage Trap?

Imagine spending hours of your life to: research the best mortgage negotiate for a better rate apply to refinance at a new lender answer all the new lender’s questions collect all your documents get an appraisal review all the paperwork submit all the documents find a lawyer to close the mortgage get ready to close …then be told just five...

Interest-Only Mortgages. Back in Canada

You’ve probably never thought about not paying the principal on your mortgage. It sounds almost un-Canadian. But it’s a crazy-sounding idea that, in limited cases, is not so crazy. Out of thousands of home loans in Canada, only two products let you pay just the interest each month: A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) An interest-only mortgage (I/O). HELOCs...

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...