Tag Archive: coronavirus


Getting Past the Next Three Months

The bad news: COVID cases have exploded, hospitalization numbers are surging and most people may be slow to get vaccinated. The good news: the fatality rate is dropping and vaccine distribution could start next month. The question is, which news will the bond market pay more attention to? Our guess is the latter. Black swans aside, markets often discount major...

How Far We’ve Come

—The Mortgage Report: Nov. 17— Remember that rate: 8 3/4%? Your average first-time buyer wouldn’t, as he/she would’ve been just seven years old at the time (1991). 8.75% was a tremendous 1-year fixed rate back then. But man, did it take a bite out of people’s budgets. Consider that on a standard $100,000 mortgage, you would’ve paid: $811 a month,...

Refi Ahead of Condo Trouble?

—The Mortgage Report: Oct. 7— Toronto condo listings have exploded 215% to a record high, reports Bloomberg. And they’re projected to be even higher in October, according to HouseSigma. Driving that surprising number: skittish investors (many with negative cash flow given surging rental listings and a 14% y/y drop in rents) “elevator phobia” people coming off mortgage deferrals relatively higher...

Prepayment Envy

—The Mortgage Report: Sept. 28— Ever wonder who’s got the most generous prepayment privileges in Canada on a closed mortgage? So did we, so we just looked in our database of 3,000+ rates to find out. It turns out that credit unions rule the roost when it comes to annual lump-sum prepayment allowances. The leaders: 30% per year: Casera Credit...

One-Year Mortgages Edge Closer to 1%

Not One and Done If you’re going to gamble on a short-term rate, you could do a lot worse than 1.29%. On a contract rate basis, that’s the lowest fixed mortgage rate Canada has ever seen. And it’s probably not done dropping yet. This latest one-year offer is available in select provinces and applies to high-ratio and insurable mortgages up...

Bank of Canada Re-Signals a Long Road to Recovery

Quick Rundown Today’s Announcement:No change to rates Overnight rate:0.25% Prime Rate:2.45% (also no change; seePrime Rate) Market Rate Forecast:No BoC hikes until at least 2023 BoC’s Headline Quote: “The Governing Council will hold the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound [intended to be 0.25%] until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2% inflation target is sustainably achieved.”...

Mortgage Rate Differentials: Unusually Narrow

—The Mortgage Report: Sept. 8— One of the most important factors determining your success with a mortgage is the rate, relative to other rates you could have chosen. Over the long run and other things equal: The higher your rate relative to other rate options, the worse your odds of success. The lower your rate relative to other rate options,...

Mortgage Deferrers are Weaker Borrowers: But How Much Weaker?

Six hundred thousand Canadians weren’t paying their mortgages on July 31. They were getting by with the help of lenders who agreed to postpone their payments. Not long from now, lenders are going to cut off most of those payment deferrals. The housing risk this poses was the topic of my latest Globe column, which estimated that up to 61,000...

OSFI on When It Will Reassess the New Stress Test

On March 13, 2020, our banking regulator suspended its work on improving Canada’s uninsured mortgage stress test. Its decision was made in response to challenges posed by COVID-19. Prior to that, OSFI had indicated that a new and improved stress test would start as soon as April 6, 2020, pending public consultation and review. At the time, the regulator acknowledged...

Get Yer Affordable Housing Here!

—The Mortgage Report: Aug. 5— Is This a Joke?: “The CMHC defines housing as affordable when ‘it costs less than 30% of a household’s before-tax income,’ which includes rent or mortgage (principal and interest) payments, property taxes and other home bills,” reports the Financial Post. The punchline is, you have to move to a remote fishing village in Newfoundland to...