Mortgage Rate News

The Economic Ice Age & Mortgage Rates

Yesterday’s Bank of Canada Decision: Roses in a Weed-patch You’ve got to hand it to Bank of Canada head Stephen Poloz. He’s remained as optimistic as a dog before dinner. The problem is, the BoC’s undying economic optimism doesn’t jibe with its repeated cuts to Canada’s growth outlook. The BoC wants to stay positive because negativity doesn’t help recoveries. It wants us...

Higher Hurdles for Variable Rates?

This past week, Canada’s bank regulator (OSFI) told lenders to consider increasing the hypothetical interest rates they use when stress testing applicants’ mortgage payments. Currently, if you’re getting a variable or 1- to 4-year fixed term, lenders typically check to ensure you can afford a payment at the Bank of Canada’s “qualifying rate” — i.e., the mode average of the Big 6 banks’ 5-year posted...

UK/EU Fuss Keeping a Lid on Rates

Brexit Fallout: Non-Radioactive (So Far) It’s been 12 days since Britain voted to cancel its EU membership. That news dropped a bomb on the market but thankfully it wasn’t nuclear. So far, the pundits have brushed off any adverse effects for Canada. But dismissing Brexit’s impact on mortgage rates would be premature. For one thing, it will continue causing insecurity among...

Brexit and Mortgage Rates

Traders around the world had their bets in the wrong place. They thought that the UK would stay in the European Union. But in a cliffhanger vote, Brits decided otherwise. Now the world is realizing just what a big deal this is (see BMO’s note). For the UK, the world’s 9th biggest economy, ramifications include a historic collapse in the pound,...

Mortgage Rate Alerts: NEW

Unlike us mortgage geeks, you may not have time to sit and gawk at rates all day. That’s why we’re juiced about the Spy’s latest feature: Rate Alerts. Literally dozens of readers have asked for them and our trusty coders have delivered. Rate Alerts let you create up to five alarms that trigger when your custom criteria are met. Here are just a few examples: Tell me when...

The Fed: Half-Blind Leading the Blind

Months of Wasted Fed-Speak Summer Fed hikes are dead. But not before the economy was misread, leaving many borrowers mislead — wishing the Fed left its rate-hike calls unsaid. The U.S. Federal Reserve is having trouble seeing through the economic mist and, as this little ditty conveys, it’s confusing the heck out of borrowers. Amid its ongoing rate-hike forecasts comes last Friday’s...

Rate Watch: Oil Outweighs Bank of Canada

Somebody poke us when the Bank of Canada has a rate meeting of consequence. At the moment, the BOC is doing the same thing as everyone else, watching see-saw economic data for inflation clues. That’s sort of like watching a TV full of static and trying to make out a picture. Despite hints of stronger inflation, the tentative economy gave...

Variable Rate Discounts Slowly Returning

When it comes to the best variable rates, the trend has become our friend. Floating rates continue to creep lower after spiking at the end of 2015. Much of the improvement is thanks to shrinking credit spreads. In other words, lenders have been paying less to access short-term capital in the financial markets than a few months ago. Another part of the equation is...

Higher Prices, Lower Payments. But For How Long?

Down payments are the entry fee to home ownership, and in some cities that fee has shot up big time. But while rising prices and government rule-making have forced homebuyers to save a bigger ante, modest income gains and the lowest rates in a lifetime have kept monthly payments tolerable, in all but a few boom towns. And you probably know which ones. This table paints the...

Rate Reprieve

Not So Fast… A slew of lenders have hoisted fixed mortgage rates in the last few weeks. Their motivation was the recent spike in government bond yields, which hit multi-month highs and (temporarily) boosted banks’ funding costs. Meanwhile, numerous lenders simply absorbed those higher yields and kept their rates as-is. For mortgage providers, staying price-competitive is not optional in the March through June stretch,...