Tag Archive: fixed or variable


It’s Time for a Fixed Rate

—The Happy Canada Day Report: July 1— Fixed or Bust: Canada’s lowest nationally available conventional variable rate is just nine basis points cheaper than a comparable 5-year fixed rate. That minuscule “fixed-variable” spread is now 80% narrower than its 10-year average. In other words, the market is no longer compensating new borrowers for the risk of a floating-rate mortgage. And...

Coronavirus Mortgage Update – March 26

5:56 p.m. Update Payment Worries: 1 in 3 Canadians fear they’ll miss a rent or mortgage payment (Survey.) If you’re one of them, here’s an updated list of lender links for payment deferral info. Appraisal Stop-gap: More lenders are announcing that they will accept “Modified Full Appraisals.” That’s where appraisers do virtual inspections of the property with the homeowner’s help,...

Distress in Money Markets Greatest Since 2009

Prior to the last few days, consumers had expected falling Bank of Canada rates and lower bond yields to translate into cheaper mortgage rates. And they have, big-time. But these two benchmarks aren’t the only things that determine mortgage pricing. Borrowers were reminded this weekend that liquidity and credit risk are also in the equation. Ten days ago we noted...

Canada’s Prime Rate Drops to 3.45%

A lot of folks out there were skeptical that the big banks would show borrowers love and pass along the full Bank of Canada rate cut. Us included. But banks showed they still have a heart and did us right. RBC led the charge by slashing its prime rate 50 basis points to 3.45%. The rest of the bank herd then...

Amid Pandemic Potential: 5-Year Fixed or Variable?

Consider the state of our world: The yield curve is inverted (usually recessionary) Unemployment may be close to a cycle bottom (often recessionary) Oil prices are plunging (disinflationary) Consumers have too much debt and not enough savings (usually disinflationary) The market is desperate for yield (bullish for bonds / bearish for rates) Inflation is well-anchored (eliminating the need for rate hikes)...

How to View the Bank of Canada’s More Sombre Tone

Canada’s rate-setter left its key rate untouched today while striking a less-than-cheery chord on the country’s outlook. Here’s a quick take on this morning’s Bank of Canada rate decision: Rate Announcement: No change Overnight rate: Remains at 1.75% Prime Rate: Remains at 3.95% (see Prime Rate) Market Rate Forecast: One rate cut in 2020 BoC’s Headline Quote: “…Governing Council will be watching closely to...

Friday’s Unemployment Number May Change the Game

Canada just witnessed its worst spike in unemployment since the Great Recession of 2009. An estimated 71,200 jobs were lost in November. And we all know what happens when unemployment bottoms and starts climbing. Rates usually drop. Is This Really the Bottom in Unemployment? No one knows what tomorrow will bring (until tomorrow). But here’s what we know: Economic cycles have...

Bank of Canada Stands Pat

The Bank of Canada ended 2019 where it ended 2018, with prime rate frozen at 3.95%. Here’s a summary of the Bank of Canada rate decision this morning: Rate Announcement: No change Overnight rate: Remains at 1.75% Prime Rate: Remains at 3.95% (see Prime Rate) Market Rate Forecast: One rate cut in 2020 BoC’s Headline Quote: “Future interest rate decisions will be guided by…the...

Unemployment as a Rate Indicator

People are constantly hoping to time the rate market, despite how ineffective it may be. For the brave souls who try, here’s some interesting research from the U.S. Federal Reserve. One of its economists, Claudia Sahm, has documented a pattern in unemployment data. In her Fed report, she writes, “…Comparing the three-month average [U.S.] unemployment rate to its low over the prior...

How People Choose Between Fixed & Variable Rates

As much as academics advise against it, people (consciously or subconsciously) try to predict interest rates before choosing a mortgage. But, interestingly, they don’t look very far into the future when making these forecasts. “…Households are forward-looking over relatively short periods of time,” research shows. A 2015 international study by Cristian Badarinza, John Y. Campbell and Tarun Ramadorai found that “the...