Mortgage Rate News

How the Stress Test Has Changed in 2019

“There’s no doubt that mortgage rate declines since the start of this year have contributed to stabilize Canada’s housing market,” said RBC economist Robert Hogue in a report last week. That might be news to some, given the rates used to qualify borrowers for approval have barely moved in 2019. We asked Mr. Hogue to share what he sees and he...

Canada’s Stress-Test Rate Falls. First Time in Three Years.

The most important rate in the mortgage industry has dropped. Better late than never. The benchmark posted 5-year fixed rate has fallen from 5.34% to 5.19%. It’s the first change since May 9, 2018. And it’s the first decrease since Sept. 7, 2016, despite a 106-basis-point nosedive in Canada’s 5-year bond rate since November 8. Why it Matters The benchmark rate...

An Avalanche of New Mortgage Data

Here are seven things you may not know about Canada’s mortgage market. The source: CMHC’s insightful new Residential Mortgage Industry Report. 1) Variable Rates Looked Good (Keyword Being “Looked”) Almost 3 in 10 borrowers (29%) went variable in the first quarter. That’s 12 percentage points higher than two years prior. And that’s despite the historically narrow gap between fixed and variable...

The Mortgage Risk of Resurrecting Inflation (+ Rate Nuggets)

In 18 days the Fed is expected to do what it’s virtually never done: inflate the U.S. economy with a rate cut — despite 50-year lows in unemployment and record highs in stocks. Some argue the Fed is dangerously veering off its normal course, that Trump’s browbeating of Powell is working. The risk is clear: more inflation. And inflation is...

Bank of Canada Rate Decision: Still Waiting

Canada’s rate czars stunned no one this morning. They left the country’s most important rate unchanged. Here’s a quick look at the BoC’s statement: Rate Decision: No change Overnight rate: Remains at 1.75% Prime Rate: Remains at 3.95% Market Rate Forecast: No change to prime through 2020 BoC’s Headline Quote: “…the Canadian economy is returning to potential growth. However, the outlook is clouded by...

10-Year Fixed Rates Break Record. But Don’t Get One, Says Broker

Ever since decade-long mortgages slipped under 3% for the first time in May, those offering such rates have fielded more inquiries than ever before. And today, we saw another record breaker, with Sigma Mortgage offering the lowest 10-year fixed of all time: 2.89% (details below). But the more interesting aspect may be this: The company who just advertised that rate...

Two-year Fixed Rates Dive. Entail Less Prime Rate Risk

motusbank just launched the lowest fixed rate in Canada for an uninsured mortgage: 2.49%. It’s the cheapest widely available 2-year fixed since September 2017. Compare that to the lowest nationally-available conventional variable (2.84% from HSBC) and it begs the question: Why bother floating your rate? For default insured borrowers in Ontario, this question is even more imperative. That’s because DUCA...

Bond Rates Surge Most in 2 Years + More Rate Nuggets

The latest intel from Canada’s mortgage market… Rates Bounce Bigly Canada’s 5-year bond yield catapulted to 1.53% on Friday. Its 11-basis-point gain was the biggest since June 2017. That establishes at least a short-term bottom and suggests the best fixed mortgage rates probably won’t drop much more near-term. In fact, if yields close up in the 1.60’s, the lowest 5-year fixed...

People are Locking in Variables at Lower Fixed Rates

In a normal universe, people who lock in a floating-rate mortgage lock into a fixed rate. And that fixed rate is almost always higher than their current variable rate. But this is not a normal universe. In the world we now live in, variable borrowers are actually locking into five-year fixed rates that are lower than their current rate. For...

Got a Shabby Variable Rate? Consider Breaking Your Mortgage

Back in 2016 some poor souls were getting variable-rate mortgages with unsavoury discounts. We’re talking prime – 0.50% or worse in some cases. That compares to prime – 1.00% or better today. If you’re in this boat, you need to do some math because breaking your mortgage early may be your best option. Here’s a simple example. Assume you’ve got...