Categories for Mortgage Rate Trends

Yields Wake Up

A Two-Month High for the 5-year Yield Canada’s #1 fixed mortgage rate indicator, the 5-year bond yield, has stubbornly refused to challenge its March record low. And now it has turned upwards, closing Thursday at the highest level in two months: 0.44%. Concerns over inflation and massive government debt issuance are two key reasons. A close above 0.55% could indicate...

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The Mortgage Stress Test Loosens Up

Effective this week, it gets a little easier to buy a house or refinance. On Saturday, BMO and CIBC shaved 15 basis points off their posted 5-year fixed rates. That’s enough to drop the benchmark 5-year posted rate to 4.79%. Given regulators use this benchmark rate to calculate Canada’s minimum mortgage stress test, today’s cuts mean you’ll now need less...

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Rates Get Closer to Zero

—The Mortgage Report: Aug. 4— Historic 5-year Yield: On Tuesday the U.S. 5-year Treasury traded just 19 basis points above zero—where it’s never been before. If it drops a smidgen lower, that could be enough to drag Canada’s 5-year yield (and hence, 5-year fixed mortgage rates) to record lows as well. Stay tuned. Setting the Pace: Tangerine now has the...

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Variable-rate Advantage All But Gone

—The Mortgage Report: July 28— A Paper-Thin Spread: The gap between fixed and variable rates is as narrow as it’s been in months. The most competitive mortgage providers now sell 5-year fixed rates for less than 7 basis points above the cheapest variable rates. That “fixed-variable spread” could soon become negative, as it was in early March. Fixed rates are...

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COVID Re-Openings: Too Soon?

—The Mortgage Report: July 13— False Start: Parts of the U.S are going back into lockdown, Fed officials are warning the economy is regressing and Ottawa is extending wage subsidies until December. That’s the kind of ominous news that makes people buy bonds. And if enough investors think the economy is heading back into the toilet, bonds will go up...

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No Price Crash. Quite the Opposite in Some Cities.

—The Mortgage Report: July 7— Price Expectations vs. Reality: “…Consumer expectations for house price growth in Canada dropped to zero,” according to a BoC survey released yesterday. But the data is about a month and a half old. Since then, home prices in the Greater Toronto Area have broken their 2017 record high. Imagine where prices would be if employment...

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Canada Kicked Out of the AAA Club

—The Mortgage Report: June 24— We Just Got Downgraded: The government is spending too much and it’s caught up with them. Our record quarter-trillion deficit worried Fitch, a ratings firm, enough to cut Canada’s credit rating today. “Pandemic lockdown measures and depressed global oil demand will cause a severe recession of the Canadian economy,” it says. Fitch projects Canada’s consolidated...

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CMHC Bearish on Home Prices, But…

—The Mortgage Report: June 23— Prices Will Fall, Unless They Don’t: “Short-term uncertainty will lead to severe declines in sales activity and in new construction,” CMHC reported Tuesday. “House prices will fall as well and are unlikely to recover over the horizon of this report (through 2022).” But that statement is a tad general. It would be a mistake to...

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10-year Fixed Rates Sink to Record Lows

—The Mortgage Report: June 19 — Long-term Money on Sale: If you’re willing to commit to a decade-long term, and you live in Ontario, you can now do it for less than at any time in history. 10-year fixed rates are now as low as 2.79% (an effective rate including cash back) for well-qualified borrowers in Ontario. Outside of Ontario,...

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How Low Can Inflation Go?

— The Mortgage Report : June 17 — Prices Slide: The Bank of Canada wants average core inflation at/near 2%, but it’s currently 1.67% and diving. That’s noteworthy for borrowers given inflation expectations are a primary determinant of mortgage rates. Inflation’s descent may slow thanks to rebounding oil prices, but it’ll continue dropping economists say—potentially to lows we haven’t seen...

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