Mortgage Rate News

Rate Inertia Persists (For Now)

Variable-rate holders can sit back in their easy-chair. Prime rate is cemented at 2.70% after the Bank of Canada pushed out its forecasted economic recovery for the umpteenth time. The Bank said there’s now “heightened uncertainty” in its rate outlook, as if it had any certainty before. It nevertheless has consulted its black box models, which purblindly forecast 2% growth through 2018. Two percent growth...

Biggest Mortgage Change Since the ’70s

The new posted-rate qualification rule kicked in today on high-ratio insured mortgages. It could shut out more buyers from the housing market than any single mortgage change since the late ’70s, when rates soared into the teens. That’s according to one lender veteran I spoke with this morning. The lender, who didn’t want to be identified for fear of regulator reprisal, called Ottawa’s...

Reprieve for Low-Ratio Borrowers

The policy dudes at the Department of Finance (DoF) have deferred the implementation date for their controversial new posted-rate “stress test.” The change applies to low-ratio insured mortgages and gives people more time to plan a purchase or refinance. When the new rules were first announced, the DoF said that effective Oct. 17 all insured borrowers would have to prove they can afford a higher payment...

Prediction: Pain…

“Since 2007, the share of all banking assets controlled by the largest six banks grew from 90% to 93%.”—John Jason, C.D. Howe ******* Fine time to land a crushing regulatory uppercut on bank challengers. That’s what the good intentioned folks in Ottawa did this week when they turned the tables on borrowers and mortgage competition. (Those details) In doing so, the Finance Department left borrowers...

Feds Nuke the Mortgage Market

The government dropped a bomb on the mortgage industry today, and disguised it as a firecracker. Policy-makers imposed a range of new measures with the stated goal of improving housing “stability.” Here’s a summary from the Department of Finance –> DoF Press Release. Preliminary official estimates are that 1 in 12 homebuyers could be affected. I don’t buy it. We’ve heard from numerous...

New Rate Features – October 2

The Spy’s tech team has been cooking up lots of new features to help you better analyze, track and compare mortgage rates. The latest additions were just launched and you can now: View historical rates! This was one of the Spy’s most requested features. It took an epic effort but you’re now able to view rates from prior days. To use the...

Mortgage Costs Going Up

Effective January 1, 2017, financial regulators will make default insurers (like CMHC) hold more capital when insuring mortgages in highly valued cities. The purpose is to keep government-backed insurers more solvent if home prices fall off a cliff. But financial stability has a cost. Capital is not free so both insurers and lenders will look for ways to offset this higher cost. Potential ramifications for borrowers could include: Higher insurance premiums expect...

Thank You, Mr. Poloz?

“Young folks with mortgages regularly thank me for keeping interest rates low.“ —Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz In fact, Mr. Poloz’s decisions to keep rates low have practically been made for him, by serially disappointing economic data. Monetary policy has merely reacted to what he terms “a steady decline in the potential growth rate of the economy.” The...

Latest From the Rate Front

The mortgage industry’s most-watched number — Canada’s 5-year government yield — is back above its midpoint for the year. As regular readers know, bond yields drive the fixed mortgage rate bus. The best mortgage rates barely budged this week. Yields have sprung back to life, however, in reaction to: the U.S. Fed’s incessant chirping about approaching rate hikes (chirping punctuated by its continual contradictions on rate...

Another All-time Low

Mortgage competition is an exquisite thing, especially on days like this. Canada’s 5-year government bond yield sprang to a two-month high today. Normally that’s a clue that fixed mortgage rates are on the up escalator. Not this time. Instead, 5-year fixeds defied bonds (and logic) and actually dropped — at least the ones tracked by RateSpy.com. The nation’s leading 5-year fixed...