Categories for Mortgage Rate Trends

How the Lowest Rates Cause Banks Headaches

For years now, policy-makers have been reining in government backing of the mortgage market, ostensibly to “reduce taxpayer risk.” Meanwhile, the riskiest mortgages in the prime owner-occupied market get the best mortgage rates. A “high-ratio” default insured borrower with only 5% down, for example, can fetch 5-year fixed rates at 3.29% or less. Yet, an uninsured borrower with four times the equity...

Bond Yield Massacre

The deluge in yields continues. Canada’s benchmark 5-year yield just hit its lowest point since June. The last time we saw this kind of carnage was January 2015. Back then, the Bank of Canada made emergency rate cuts to stave off the oil crisis. Implied odds are slim that the bank will reverse course and lower its key rate near-term. But...

The Market Tempers its Rate Hike Bets

The smart guys betting billions of dollars on interest rates are pulling back their wagers on 2019 rate hikes. (More on that, if you’re interested.) And if you believe those traders, the end of the current rate-tightening cycle may not be far off. The market is now pricing in just two more U.S. rate increases between now and the end...

Waiting for a Rate Drop?

So are a lot of other people. So far, all we’ve gotten is a dozen large or mid-sized lenders hiking 5-year fixed rates over the past week or so. Meanwhile, the 5-year swap yield (one of the best leading indicators for fixed mortgage rates) is back down to levels it saw six months ago. Back then (in May), the best...

HSBC: Making Mortgages Easier

Few lenders in Canada are adapting better to online mortgage lending than HSBC. Thanks to league-leading rates and strong online marketing, the bank’s mortgage growth continues to outpace big banks. Since we last checked in with HSBC it’s been up to something interesting—something that foreshadows the future of how lenders sell mortgages in this country. The “Mortgage Centre” Mortgage shoppers...

National Bank’s New Online Mortgage Pre-approval

In the next few years you’re going to see press release after press release announcing new mortgage technology from big banks. And that’s a good thing. Big banks are finally innovating mortgage processes that have been materially unchanged for years. And it’s being inspired by countries that are well ahead of Canada in online mortgage innovation. Take the UK, for...

Banks Refuse to Hike Posted Rates…So Far

Fixed mortgage rates are rising all around us. The latest players to move are RBC, BMO and NBC. Each of them hiked fixed rates this morning. (The latest bank mortgage rates.) What they didn’t raise was the 5-year posted rate. That matters because big bank posted rates are used to qualify roughly 9 out of 10 mortgage borrowers in this country. They...

The NAFTA Rate Rally is On

The wait for good news on trade is over. The U.S. and Canada reached a last-minute deal on Sunday to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). And we’re seeing the rate effects already. Canada’s 5-year bond yield, which steers fixed mortgage rates, has rallied to a fresh seven-and-a-half-year high. The new deal, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA),...

Mortgage Rates. The Day of Reckoning

“You better be prepared to deal with rates 5% or higher. It’s a higher probability than most people think” —JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon What if interest rates surged far higher and faster than you now envision? Picture this scenario for a moment: U.S. core price inflation above 3% for the first time since 1995 U.S. unemployment at 60-year lows...

So Long, Cheap One-Year Fixed Rates

Short-term rates are taking off. TD Canada Trust, one of the last big banks with cheap short-term rates, is a case in point. TD had the lowest one-year rates of any big lender for months. Today, it boosted its posted one-year rate by 30 basis points (that’s a lot in one increase), to 3.34%. The move comes as short-maturity government...