Mortgage Rate News

Rates Dominate the Consumer Mindset

Your mortgage rate isn’t everything, unless you’re in the majority of Canadians. A full 60% of those polled said getting the lowest rate possible is the “only thing that matters” when it comes to picking the best mortgage, CIBC found in a recent survey. That mindset is something lenders grapple with daily while trying to differentiate themselves. And with the...

What Determines Variable-Rate Mortgage Discounts?

Mortgage shoppers ask this question all the time. It’s useful information if you’re trying to discern variable rate trends. While the answer is convoluted, below is some insight into how variable-rate discounts are formed and why they change. Setting the Discount Most of the time, lenders price closed variable mortgage rates at a discount from their prime rate. There are two...

Canadians Got Fewer New Mortgages Last Year

Mortgage activity fell more than many people thought last year. New data from CMHC shows a 9% drop in the number of consumers getting new mortgages in 2017, among the metro areas it surveyed. Stricter mortgage rules, higher mortgage rates and higher home prices were some of the likely causes. Of particular interest was the drop in refinances. The number of...

BMO Launches 1% Cash Back Mortgage Promo

BMO is now luring 5-year fixed borrowers with 1% cash back. If you get a $400,000 five-year BMO mortgage, that’s $4k in your pocket. In fact, the bank will rebate up to $30,000 if you qualify and your mortgage is big enough. The catch: you need to pay the mortgage from a BMO chequing account. If you don’t have one,...

HELOC Growth Doubles Mortgage Growth

Home equity line of credit (HELOC) balances are growing more than twice as fast as mortgages, shows a new report by CMHC. That will certainly raise more eyebrows in Ottawa. The government has been closely surveilling HELOC risk for a few years now. Their concern: homeowners are relying too much on HELOCs, taking on debt that’ll slow their consumption in the future...

The Flex Down Payment Mortgage. One to Avoid.

Oh the lengths people will go to squeeze themselves into a new property. That includes putting their home, or at least part of it, on their credit card. Yep, believe it or not, some lenders are more than happy to let you borrow your down payment off a credit card. And government-backed default insurers support it. That’s despite Ottawa outlawing...

Canadians Can’t Predict Interest Rates. But They Try.

Two-thirds of consumers expect interest rates to rise in the next 12 months, according to a new report from Mortgage Professionals Canada. Only a measly 2% expect rates to fall. But that’s not as surprising as it seems. There is a built-in bias towards higher rates and there has been for years. “Through the entire history of this question, Canadians...

CMHC Makes Life Easier for Self-Employed Borrowers

Roughly 1 in 6 Canadians work for themselves and CMHC wants to help them get a mortgage. Most notably, the nation’s largest default insurer is allowing lenders more flexibility when approving borrowers with less than two years of self-employment income. If you’re in business for yourself and getting a default-insured mortgage, CMHC has announced the following changes that may help...

Canada’s “Neutral Rate” in Perspective

The “neutral rate” has taken on a life of its own. The Bank of Canada is talking about it, analysts are talking about it, the media is talking about it and everyday mortgagors are talking about it. Millions of Canadians, us included, use it as reference when trying to estimate how high rates might go. But the neutral rate is...

TD’s Variable Rate Goes on Sale

The variable-rate market just got a shade more interesting. TD has announced that, effective tomorrow, its 5-year variable rate drops from 2.90% to 2.75%. That’s equivalent to TD mortgage prime minus 1.10%. (In case anyone forgot, TD’s mortgage prime is 15 basis points higher than other banks’ prime rates.) “Canada’s housing market continues to fluctuate, and rates continue to rise,”...