Mortgage Rate News

Confusing Data on Online Rate Shopping

There’s still way too much inefficiency in the mortgage research process. That is, if we’re to believe the latest CMHC data. Three out of four homebuyers used websites to gather mortgage-related information, says Canada’s housing agency. But, among those, only 20% of first-time buyers, 24% of repeat buyers and 23% of renewers used “interest rate comparison” websites. It’s bad enough...

OSFI Dismisses Renewal Impact of B-20

We’ve said it many times over. OSFI’s imposition of a stress test on borrowers switching lenders is potentially the most short-sighted government mortgage policy in Canadian history. See: “Mortgage Renewals Now More Costly — For Those Least Able to Pay“ The policy keeps borrowers—who have proven their ability to handle their mortgage—from switching lenders to reduce their interest bill. These...

Crashing Oil Could Affect Your Mortgage Rate

Significant rate catalysts often come out of left field. Case in point: collapsing Canadian oil prices. Check out this chart below. It shows Canadian oil (a.k.a., Western Canada select, or “WCS“) rapidly cheapening versus higher-demand “WTI” oil from the U.S. This is a record discount. Its thickness, inferior quality and delivery challenges mean Canadian oil always trades at a discount to...

Banks Refuse to Hike Posted Rates…So Far

Fixed mortgage rates are rising all around us. The latest players to move are RBC, BMO and NBC. Each of them hiked fixed rates this morning. (The latest bank mortgage rates.) What they didn’t raise was the 5-year posted rate. That matters because big bank posted rates are used to qualify roughly 9 out of 10 mortgage borrowers in this country. They...

HELOCs Under the Microscope Again

HELOCs have been getting a bad rap ever since the FCAC proclaimed in 2017 that “home equity lines of credit may put consumers at risk.” Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz then followed soon after by including HELOCs in a speech about what keeps him up at night. Policy-makers’ concern is that HELOC rates are rising and people are using them...

The NAFTA Rate Rally is On

The wait for good news on trade is over. The U.S. and Canada reached a last-minute deal on Sunday to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). And we’re seeing the rate effects already. Canada’s 5-year bond yield, which steers fixed mortgage rates, has rallied to a fresh seven-and-a-half-year high. The new deal, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA),...

Affordability Crisis? Not Yet, RBC

“RBC’s affordability measure hasn’t been this bad since 1990.”—RBC Economics That’s according to RBC’s “Housing Trends and Affordability” report, which is making headlines across the country as we speak. But if you’re house hunting and terrified you won’t get a mortgage, don’t soil your trousers just yet. There’s a devil in RBC’s details. It’s the mortgage rates they assume in...

Mortgage Rates. The Day of Reckoning

“You better be prepared to deal with rates 5% or higher. It’s a higher probability than most people think” —JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon What if interest rates surged far higher and faster than you now envision? Picture this scenario for a moment: U.S. core price inflation above 3% for the first time since 1995 U.S. unemployment at 60-year lows...

So Long, Cheap One-Year Fixed Rates

Short-term rates are taking off. TD Canada Trust, one of the last big banks with cheap short-term rates, is a case in point. TD had the lowest one-year rates of any big lender for months. Today, it boosted its posted one-year rate by 30 basis points (that’s a lot in one increase), to 3.34%. The move comes as short-maturity government...

Equifax’s Upcoming Credit Score Change

Equifax Canada recently announced it was getting rid of the “Beacon” score, which lenders use to assess mortgage applicants. It’s replacing it with the “FICO” credit score. “The FICO Score has been a critical part of the lending process in Canada for nearly 30 years,” said FICO Canada’s Kevin Deveau in a press release. So we dug a little deeper...