Categories for Mortgage Rate Trends

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...