Categories for Mortgage Rate Trends

The Fed Moves

Here are five things to know about Wednesday’s 1/4% U.S. rate hike: It’s over and done with, and it’s about time. Talking heads have yacked about the start of Fed tightening for years now. Meanwhile, the big event finally happened yesterday and bond yields (which guide fixed mortgage rates) barely moved. Yes, the Fed’s actions could push up Canadian long-term rates somewhat, out of sympathy alone. But ultimately...

Mortgage Briefs – Down Payments & Rates

As we turn the page on 2015, get ready for a host of new mortgage trends in the next 12 months. We’ll see new down payment rules, more talk of negative interest rates, and surprising moves with bond yields. Analysts are already making their predictions on how mortgage shoppers will be affected. Here’s a glimpse of what they’re saying now: On Higher Down Payments Last week the...

Rate Surveillance

The Spy’s latest mortgage rate intel… Fixed Rates 5-year fixed rates are up 15-20 basis points in the last 60 days (ouch). A basis point, or bps, is 1/100th of a percentage point. Fixed rates track swap rates (and bond yields, but swap rates are a better proxy if you have the data). 5-year swap rates shot up with U.S. Treasury yields a...

Interest Rate Forecasts Take a Dive

Interest rate projections are always a moving target so you never want to rely on them. But it’s nonetheless notable when forecasts from all major banks plunge at once. That’s what happened recently, after the Bank of Canada (BoC) unexpectedly chopped rates by 1/4% on July 15. Prior to that rate announcement, Canada’s Big 5 banks all saw Canada’s key rate climbing to 0.75% by the end...

Variable Rates Going the Wrong Way

Variable mortgage rates are under some pressure. A half-dozen lenders, including some major banks and large non-bank lenders, have shrunk their variable-rate discounts by 0.10 to 0.15 percentage points in the last few days. Their going rate is now prime – 0.50%. Lenders blame it on a combination of: Shrinking mortgage spreads (Spread refers to the difference between what a lender lends at and its cost...

Variable Rates Gain Appeal

The mortgage market is a bit like Baskin Robbins. The flavour of the month can change. Take the popularity of variable rates, for example. “The proportion of new mortgages being advanced at variable rates has increased over the past several years and has reached about 32% (in April 2015),” says the Bank of Canada (BoC). Compare that to all outstanding mortgages, in which...

It’s About the Features, Remember?

Here we go. It’s starting. Amid cold-blooded rate competition, the banks are turning on the “feature charm” and touting their mortgage perks. The goal: to shift your attention from their higher rates. And why shouldn’t you? Features, advice and mortgage flexibility really do matter, as mortgage penalty victims routinely find out. But there’s more to it than that. The banks’...

BMOs Smart Fixed Mortgage Drops to 2.79%

It must be spring in the mortgage market. You can tell because BMO is making headlines again with a cut-rate mortgage. The bank announced today that it is slashing its Smart Fixed Mortgage rate to 2.79%. That’s the lowest advertised 5-year fixed rate of any big bank. Of course, most well-qualified borrowers know that banks routinely quote below their advertised rates....

Prime Falls (Finally)

The 24% of us with variable-rate mortgages were starting to get nervous. Six days had passed since the Bank of Canada’s (BoC’s) rate cut and many feared the banks wouldn’t pass along that savings. Well, they did. Sort of. In not-so-generous fashion, the Big 6 banks all cut their prime rate by just 15/100ths of a percent. That’s instead of...

The Prime Rate Decision. Tick Tock (Updated)

All eyes are on the Big 6 banks. The mortgage industry is waiting for confirmation on whether they’ll pass along the Bank of Canada’s rate cut by reducing their own prime rates. One major bank executive I spoke with characterized things like this: “Prime rate is not a business line call like, say, 5-year fixed rates. It comes from the...