Mortgage Rate News

Invest or Prepay Your Mortgage?

—The Mortgage Report: July 9— Play Stocks or Play it Safe?: That’s a common question for otherwise debt-free mortgagors with nothing else to do with their money. It’s not a question we can answer for everyone, given all the personal variables to consider. But here’s an interesting look at what might have happened had you got a standard mortgage 10...

Will Mortgage Deferrals be Extended?

—The Mortgage Report: July 8— Avoiding the Cliff: If six-month payment deferrals end as planned in September, tens of thousands of homeowners will default on their mortgages—no question about it. CMHC calls this the looming “deferral cliff,” and analysts want to know what the government will do about it. If Australia is any guide, deferrals could very well be extended....

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...

Rates to Stay Low as Jobs Won’t Recover for a Decade: CBO

—The Mortgage Report: July 3— Long Road Back for Jobs: Avid rate watchers all want to know the same thing: how long will unemployment stay elevated? The answer to that is essential to knowing how long rates could remain in a trough. On Thursday, we got a sobering projection from a reputable source. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says...

It’s Time for a Fixed Rate

—The Happy Canada Day Report: July 1— Fixed or Bust: Canada’s lowest nationally available conventional variable rate is just nine basis points cheaper than a comparable 5-year fixed rate. That minuscule “fixed-variable” spread is now 80% narrower than its 10-year average. In other words, the market is no longer compensating new borrowers for the risk of a floating-rate mortgage. And...

Industry Leader Calls for Stress Test Fixes Now

—The Mortgage Report: June 29— Stress Test Fix Overdue: Ottawa was sensible to pause the mortgage stress test changes “given the marketplace uncertainty in March,” says Paul Taylor, President and CEO, Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC). “However, as we begin to open businesses again, and as economists are generally expecting a housing price downturn, now is the time for OSFI and...

People Get Squeezed on Mortgage Renewals

—The Mortgage Report: Weekend Edition— Renewal Tax: Borrowers get worse deals on mortgage renewals than on brand new mortgages. And it’s been that way for decades. Interest rates on renewals have historically been about nine basis-points (0.09%) higher than rates on new mortgages. That’s based on a survey of five-year uninsured mortgages from 19 of the largest federally regulated lenders...

Internal Emails From OSFI Document its Stress Test Tweaks

—The Mortgage Report: June 25— OSFI Unplugged: Alberta MP Tom Kmiec has obtained internal emails from OSFI that chronicle the regulator’s efforts to improve the mortgage stress test—in particular its efforts to “fix” the minimum qualifying rate (a.k.a., “MQR” or benchmark rate). The emails show that OSFI’s PR staff wanted the public to know it was making “efforts to get...

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...

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...