Mortgage Rate News

Amid Pandemic Potential: 5-Year Fixed or Variable?

Consider the state of our world: The yield curve is inverted (usually recessionary) Unemployment may be close to a cycle bottom (often recessionary) Oil prices are plunging (disinflationary) Consumers have too much debt and not enough savings (usually disinflationary) The market is desperate for yield (bullish for bonds / bearish for rates) Inflation is well-anchored (eliminating the need for rate hikes)...

Rates Fall Again & “No Float-Down”

One of the best short-term leading indicators of 5-year fixed mortgage rates is making a beeline towards a 2.5-year low. Canada’s 5-year swap rate is now just 1/10th of a percentage point away from this key threshold, which, if broken, will lead to further fixed-rate cuts. Banks routinely price fixed mortgages against swaps, which are interest rate derivatives used to...

Diving Bond Yields. The Stress Test Effect.

Bond yields are plummeting globally as the coronavirus spreads to South Korea (833 cases), Italy (215 cases) and Japan (154 cases), among other countries. Media outlets are increasingly using the “P” word (pandemic), and the more they do, the more yields will drop. Even though we have just 9 cases so far, Canada is not an island in this crisis....

2020 Mortgage Stress Test: More Lift for Housing

Some experts downplayed the effects of the new mortgage stress test last week. The roughly 3% improvement in home-buying power—a result of the government lowering the qualifying rate—apparently didn’t impress them. And while we’re loath to overplay the new stress test’s significance, it seems that some analysts’ attempts to quantify the housing impact may be lacking. Quick Explainer: Mortgage borrowers must...

Despite Rising Home Prices, 75% of Regions Still “Undervalued,” Say Realtors

Spring is officially more than a month away, but in hot housing markets “spring” homebuying season has already begun. And it’s shaping up to be a competitive one, especially with the just-announced stress test easing. A recent survey from RE/MAX suggests that more than 6 in 10 real estate agents in major cities (62%) are seeing buyers being priced out...

The Mortgage Stress Test Changes

The Department of Finance today announced changes to Canada’s benchmark qualifying rate, a key component used in stress-testing insured mortgages. The new benchmark rate will come into effect on April 6, 2020. It means insured borrowers (including those buying with less than a 20% down payment) will have to prove they can afford a monthly payment based on a rate...

EQ Bank Drops Its Reverse Mortgage Rates to All-Time Lows

For the first time on record, a non-promotional reverse mortgage rate is below a standard HELOC rate. EQ Bank, one of only two Canadian lenders offering reverse mortgages, announced a 15-bps drop to all of its rates Thursday, including its already discounted “Lump-Sum” rates that we reported on in December. For the lump-sum withdrawal option, borrowers can now access rates...

Encouraging More 10-year Mortgages

There’s a big chunk of Canadians out there who: Dislike the mortgage renewal process Are risk averse, and Would gladly trade their stodgy old 5-year fixed term for something longer, if the economics made sense. Ten-year mortgages could fit the bill, if the rates weren’t as high. Knowing that, C.D. Howe issued a report last month on how lenders might be able...

OSFI’s Mortgage Update Raises Questions

Don’t worry about the nagging side effects from the federal mortgage stress test. You might have heard about them in the media, but based on recent stats shared by the banking regulator, they’re overblown. Nothing to see here… Well, actually, there is more to see. OSFI’s latest assertions raise just as many questions as answers. Here were six points from its January...

TD’s Digital Mortgage Evolves

For years you’ve been able to apply for a big-bank mortgage on the internet. But you’ve never been able to complete the entire approval—including choosing a good rate—100% online. That changed in 2019. TD and Scotiabank became leaders by launching digital mortgage applications where consumers could process almost the entire mortgage online—by themselves—including choosing a discounted rate. And that rate...