Mortgage Rate News

Year in Review: Top Mortgage Stories of 2019

Compared to the chilling regulatory news of 2018 (i.e., the launch of OSFI’s mortgage stress test), this was a year of turnarounds in the mortgage market. For one thing, the year ended with palpable optimism in the housing sector. It was a degree of bullish sentiment that many didn’t think we’d see when 2019 began. Below we recap that and...

2020 Mortgage Predictions

Every December, we try to read the tea leaves and prognosticate what’s ahead for real estate lending. (See this year’s 2020 mortgage predictions.) It’s always a fun exploit, and this year, unlike most, there’s a good shot that our calls go 5 for 5. One topic that remains a crap-shoot in 2020 is housing appreciation. Canada is entering the year with...

More Good News for Reverse Mortgage Rates

For years, seniors, mortgage advisors and financial professionals have complained that reverse mortgage rates are too high. Well, things are looking up. Last month we saw the biggest one-day drop in the industry’s history with Equitable Bank’s new (much lower) “Lump-Sum Reverse Mortgage” rates. Canada’s lowest reverse mortgage rates dropped 60 basis points in one day when Equitable launched that...

How Mortgage Payments Could Rise in 2020

6.2%. That’s how much Canada’s average home price could rise in 2020, according to CREA. The national average home price is already up 8.4% in the last 12 months. A country-wide average doesn’t tell the whole story, of course. The Prairies and Newfoundland are seeing much softer markets. And, economists’ 2020 consensus price growth estimate is just 3%. But given we’re...

An Insurance Trick to Get Better Rates

Many of you know that the lowest mortgage rates in Canada often require default insurance. Insurance reduces credit risk and losses for lenders, and lenders often pass that savings through to consumers. What many don’t know is how to get insured rates if you already have a mortgage. Consider this example… Suppose you bought a $900,000 home a few years ago...

We May Again See Mortgage Insurance for Properties Over $1 Million

In 2012, Canadians lost the ability to buy $1 million+ homes with less than 20% down. The Finance Department put the kibosh on it, in its hotly debated quest to “reduce taxpayer risk.” But now, there’s hope that well-qualified borrowers will once again be able to buy a 7-figure shack with just 10% down. Genworth Canada, the nation’s biggest private...

10-Year Rates Can’t Close the Gap

The difference between a lender’s cost to lend for 10 years versus five years is near an all-time low. Yet, 10-year rates remain too high to attract much interest. This chart below is one example of how competitive basic 10-year funding costs have become. It shows a long-term view of Canada Mortgage Bond (CMB) yields. Lenders use CMBs to fund insured 5-...

Morneau to Review Mortgage Stress Test Improvements

For two years, the federal government and regulators have been talking up the virtues of their mortgage stress test. So, imagine the surprise today when the Prime Minister asked the Minister of Finance to: “Review and consider recommendations from financial agencies related to making the borrower stress test more dynamic.” The request came in a mandate letter sent by Trudeau’s...

Rates Pop, RBC Hikes and the Fed’s “Dead”

Rates are breaking out. Canada’s widely watched 5-year bond yield just hit a seven-month high. That’s typically bullish for fixed mortgage rates. Trendsetter RBC wasted no time this morning. It ran a press release announcing it was boosting 3-, 4- and 5-year fixed rates by 10, 20 and 20 bps, respectively. RBC doesn’t usually issue press releases when it’s merely...

2-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates. Looking Good

Five-year fixed rates have dominated consumer mindset all year, but that dominance may start waning in 2020. If you believe unemployment has bottomed out in this country, and you believe an inverted yield curve is rate-bearish, and you’re a financially secure borrower, you’re probably going to steer clear of a 5-year fixed. Instead, you might focus on terms that cost...