Tag Archive: Bank of Canada


What the Fed Rate Cut Decision Means for Canadian Mortgages

Canadian mortgage rates take their cues from many things, and U.S. monetary policy is near the top of the list. That’s why today’s Fed rate cut—the first since the financial crisis—is meaningful to borrowers. Fed decisions always move Canadian rates in some respect but in this case, key questions remain. Here are the two biggest ones. How Many Cuts Are...

Canada’s Stress-Test Rate Falls. First Time in Three Years.

The most important rate in the mortgage industry has dropped. Better late than never. The benchmark posted 5-year fixed rate has fallen from 5.34% to 5.19%. It’s the first change since May 9, 2018. And it’s the first decrease since Sept. 7, 2016, despite a 106-basis-point nosedive in Canada’s 5-year bond rate since November 8. Why it Matters The benchmark rate...

Bank of Canada Rate Decision: Still Waiting

Canada’s rate czars stunned no one this morning. They left the country’s most important rate unchanged. Here’s a quick look at the BoC’s statement: Rate Decision: No change Overnight rate: Remains at 1.75% Prime Rate: Remains at 3.95% Market Rate Forecast: No change to prime through 2020 BoC’s Headline Quote: “…the Canadian economy is returning to potential growth. However, the outlook is clouded by...

Bank of Canada Rate Decision: Flat For Longer

Last meeting, the Bank of Canada finally shifted its rate outlook to neutral. After today’s meeting, the gear shifter is still firmly there. Here’s a quick glance at what the BoC did today: Rate Decision: No change Overnight rate: 1.75% Prime Rate: Prime rate remains at 3.95% Market Rate Forecast: Likely one rate cut by the end of 2020 BoC’s Headline Quote: “…the...

HELOC Growth Isn’t What Everyone Thought

It turns out home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) aren’t growing as fast as previous government reports suggest. Prior regulatory filings showed HELOC balances increasingly at roughly double the pace of mortgages. Now, a new report from the Bank of Canada confirms the opposite. “The total balance of HELOCs contracted by 1% year-over-year…” in the fourth quarter of 2018, it...

Poloz Pushes Longer Mortgages

Three-decade-long mortgages are a mainstay in the U.S. mortgage market. But in Canada, 5-year fixed terms dominate the landscape. Forty-five per cent of mortgagors chose them last year, says the Bank of Canada. BoC chief Stephen Poloz wants to see that change. In what he termed a “call to arms,” he challenged the mortgage industry to think outside the five-year fixed....

A Falling Neutral Rate Implies Limited Variable Rate Risk

It’s remarkable how much people focus on the Bank of Canada’s “neutral rate” nowadays. It has become a lighthouse in the rate fog. People rely on it to gauge how far we are from “normal” interest rates. If you’re not familiar with the “neutral rate,” it’s basically the theoretical overnight rate that neither accelerates nor slows the economy and inflation. Last...

Save for 4,635 Days. Beat the Stress Test

Just failed the mortgage stress test and feeling down? Have no fear, a bigger down payment will get you to the mortgage promised land. By putting down more, you’ll lower your debt ratio and be passing the stress test before you know it…as long as you don’t expect a mortgage before 2031. That’s how long stress test flunkies would have...

Bank of Canada Rate Decision: Long Pause

The Bank of Canada’s decision to leave rates alone was far from its most important message today. More on that to follow, but first, here’s a quick take on what the BoC said this morning: Rate Decision: It left Canada’s key interest rate at 1.75% Prime Rate: Prime rate remains at 3.95% Market Rate Forecast: At least one rate cut by...

Canada’s Inverted Yield Curve. What Happens to Mortgage Rates Now?

The Canadian yield curve has officially inverted and that’s bearish for mortgage rates. An “inverted yield curve” (in this context) means that the interest rate on almost every Canadian government bond is now below the Bank of Canada’s 1.75% overnight rate. That’s pretty rare. Why it Matters Inverted yield curves are a danger sign. In a normal economy investors like...