Mortgage Rate News

HELOCs: The Next Lending Crackdown?

HELOC balances appear to be surging at their fastest pace in five years—even faster than mortgages, reports Bloomberg. That’s got ever-vigilant regulators raising an eyebrow. And it’s got certain lenders we talk to expecting HELOCs to be the next area of mortgage rule tightening. Under the Microscope Currently, 2 in 5 secured residential loans in this country (roughly 3 million)...

OSFI and the Giant Gorilla

Mortgage growth in Canada is like King Kong—it’s hard to kill. You can riddle it with bullets (mortgage rules), but it just keeps beating its chest and roaring on. More than 60 mortgage rule tightenings later (including insurance and securitization fee increases) the question is, has Canada’s mortgage market finally been shot down? Nationally, average home prices are already down...

Reprieve from Lender Loss Sharing

If you like low mortgage rates, there was good news from Canada’s housing agency Wednesday. CMHC CEO Evan Siddall said a proposal to have lenders potentially share losses when insured borrowers default is now on the back burner. This Department of Finance scheme was sold as a way to encourage more prudence in lender underwriting. But it also threatened to...

The Mortgage Market Post B-20. Are the Wheels Coming Off?

Not exactly. One month after the mother of all mortgage rule changes, the wheels are still turning in Canada’s real estate and mortgage market. They’re just turning slower. But make no mistake, OSFI’s mortgage stress test has changed the landscape—for both borrowers and lenders. Here’s how: Fewer Mortgages Our best anecdotal guesstimate after speaking to a sampling of federally regulated...

Prime Rate Jumps 1/4 Point

RBC waited exactly three hours and 11 minutes to take advantage of the Bank of Canada’s 1/4 point rate hike today. RBC, which is typically Canada’s mortgage rate leader, boosted its prime rate by the same amount, to 3.45%. The other Big 5 banks matched its move within a few hours. Prime Time The new 3.45% prime rate takes effect tomorrow...

Mortgage Rules 2018: Credit Unions & The Stress Test

We’re one week into 2018, OSFI’s new mortgage stress test is live and the earth is still spinning on its axis. But that axis is now tilted…in credit unions’ favour. If you’re a mortgage shopper who’s been turned down by a bank—courtesy of the aforementioned new mortgage rules—then credit unions want to talk to you. Credit unions aren’t bound by...

BMO’s 10-Year Fixed: Not Too Shabby

If you look back over the last 40-odd years, there’s never been a time where a 10-year fixed rate has saved you more than a 5-year fixed. A 10-year term’s rate premium over a 5-year fixed, let alone over a variable, is simply too steep…most of the time. But this time might be different. According to our records, BMO’s 3.49%...

B-20 Backfire

Big-city home values were out of control. The real estate market needed de-risking. But the solution policy-makers gave us (the B-20 mortgage guideline) was imperfect, very imperfect. What’s About to Happen Effective January 1, 2018, the banking regulator (OSFI) will force the vast majority of low-ratio mortgage applicants to prove they can afford a payment based on a rate that’s...

BoC Stands Pat. Prepare for B-20

Not much to see at today’s Bank of Canada meeting. It was another yawner as prime rate held at 3.20%. Among the few takeaways: The Bank stated: “While higher interest rates will likely be required over time, Governing Council will continue to be cautious…” Interpreted this means: Higher rates are on their way, between now and when we die. If...

Low Rate or Low Borrowing Cost?

Would you rather have the lowest mortgage rate or the lowest borrowing cost? If you picked the latter, good for you. You’re mortgage savvy, and you’re in the minority. Check out this chart from a recent Manulife survey. Its findings show that the “interest rate” dominates all other factors when consumers pick a mortgage. That’s great news for a rate comparison...