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How to Get Ripped Off with Cashback Mortgage Rates

The most competitive online mortgage brokers are just itching to give you a better rate. But many lenders won’t let them. Most broker lenders have what’s called “rate buydown limits.” In other words, the lender limits how much a mortgage broker can reduce your interest rate by giving up some of their commission. Here’s a simple example. Suppose a lender...

A Tip for Those With a HELOC Who Want to Switch Lenders

In Canada, the cheapest mortgage rates are usually available on insured (or insurable) mortgages. But refinances cannot be insured thanks to rule changes in 2016. That’s been a problem for folks with existing mortgages—particularly those who have “collateral charges.” Collateral charges are mortgages that readvance or have a line of credit attached to them. Examples include the: RBC Homeline Scotiabank...

Financial Optimism Linked to Mortgage Size

Think you’re going to be materially better off in the next two years? Odds are, you’ll get a bigger mortgage than someone who doesn’t. That’s StatsCan’s finding in this just-released study. “Families with positive expectations about their financial situation…held about $27,900 more in mortgage debt than other comparable families during the period from 1999 to 2016,” StatsCan said. That’s like a 38% bigger mortgage. The more...

More Details on the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

If you’ve been waiting for facts on the government’s new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), read on. In a statement today, CMHC said “we still have work to do” before bringing it to market. Among other things, it says: “…The proposal requires some government approvals.” “We also plan to consult with lenders and other industry participants to make sure the...

Rate Nuggets: TD and HSBC Cut Big

The latest happenings from the rate world: HSBC Won’t Let Up Despite moving to an everyday-low-rate online model a few years ago, competitors keep thinking (or maybe hoping) that HSBC is just a flash in the pan. Then it does what it did today. The bank hammered rates lower this morning, to: 2.74% for insured 5-year fixed mortgages (down 15...

motusbank Mortgages Are Here

It’s been two and a half years since Ontario’s biggest credit union (Meridian) announced its new digital bank (motusbank), and now it’s here. motusbank brings mortgage shoppers one helluva good offering. For one thing, its process is super easy and fully online. That’s becoming mandatory for time-pressed, smartphone-addicted borrowers. More importantly, by eschewing bricks and mortars, the bank can trim...

Rate Nuggets: Yields Slow the Descent in Fixed Rates

Bond yields have found at least a near-term bottom after four-and-a-half months of declines. That means Canadian fixed mortgage rates may also have found a bottom…for now. Here’s a quick look at the lowest effective 5-year fixed rates, and how far they’ve fallen since the peak last fall: Insured: 2.79% -44 bps Insurable (80% LTV or less): 2.93% -40 bps Uninsured:...

RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan Repayment Rates…Dismal

Drain your RRSP further to buy a new home. That’s what the government is encouraging with its newly increased RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) limit, which just rose from $25,000 to $35,000. You’ll probably draw your own conclusion as to whether that’s a good idea. We support it in limited cases, with caution. In fact, yours truly used it to...

Rate Nuggets: Even Mortgage Rates are Inverting

Quick news nuggets from Canada’s mortgage rate market: Not only has the yield curve inverted, but in some cases the mortgage rate curve has inverted. Among uninsured mortgages available in multiple provinces, for example, the best 5-year fixed rate is now below the best variable rate. There’s still tremendous value in insured variable rates—now effectively as low as 2.54% in some provinces. Markets are...

Scotiabank’s New eHOME Mortgage: Canada’s Digital Mortgage Standard

When Scotiabank announced its new “digital mortgage” offering called eHOME, we thought to ourselves, “Oh, how grand, another glorified online application from a big bank.” But after digging into this thing a little, we have come away genuinely impressed. Scotiabank’s eHOME app is officially the best online mortgage experience we’ve reviewed to date. The bank took some risks with this...