Tag Archive: mortgage trends


RateWatch: Bond Yields Going Vertical

Some people think we’re in a bond market bubble. If that’s true, and we’re not declaring it is, the last four days are kinda what you get when a bubble pops. Bond investors are in a momentary state of panic. Canada’s bellwether 5-year government yield has catapulted 31 basis points in just four trading days. The last time that happened...

Mortgage Stress Test Changes in 2019

“There’s no doubt that mortgage rate declines since the start of this year have contributed to stabilize Canada’s housing market,” said RBC economist Robert Hogue in a report last week. That might be news to some, given the rates used to qualify borrowers for approval have barely moved in 2019. We asked Mr. Hogue to share what he sees and he...

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...

The Mortgage Risk of Resurrecting Inflation (+ Rate Nuggets)

In 18 days the Fed is expected to do what it’s virtually never done: inflate the U.S. economy with a rate cut — despite 50-year lows in unemployment and record highs in stocks. Some argue the Fed is dangerously veering off its normal course, that Trump’s browbeating of Powell is working. The risk is clear: more inflation. And inflation is...

Rates Slip Further

Canadian interest rates are still sliding. On Monday, Canada’s 5-year bond yield—which drives fixed mortgage rates—closed in the 1.50% range, something it hasn’t done since November 2017. Dozens of lenders have trimmed fixed rates in recent days as yields keep tumbling. And big banks are not excepted. With skidding home sales, weakening property values and mortgage growth near multi-decade lows, the...

5-year Fixed Rates Back Under 3%

Canada’s spring mortgage market is officially underway. HSBC kicked it off today with a head-turning 2.99% 5-year fixed rate. It’s the first time since September 24, 2018, that Canadians have seen the best 5-year fixed rate start with a “2.” Much has changed in those five short months: Market expectations have gone from 100+ basis points of rate hikes in the next few...

New Regulation Could Boost Mortgage Rates

So many factors can cause you to pay a higher mortgage rate. One of the least transparent is government regulation. Since 2008, Ottawa has layered mortgage policy upon mortgage policy, thereby boosting lender funding costs an estimated 25-50+ basis points depending on lender and mortgage type. These changes include the removal of insurability on various loan types (default-insured mortgages are...

OSFI’s Stress Test – How We Got Here – Part I

Never before has Canada’s banking regulator received so much pushback on a mortgage rule. OSFI has felt such heat from its controversial “B-20” stress test, that it’s started a campaign to defend its position—e.g., this speech last Tuesday (video) and this one last Thursday. From that and from what we know of regulators’ non-public comments, one thing appears clear. The government has...

Perpetuating Online Mortgage Myths

Hopefully people don’t believe everything they read, especially when they read stories like this: “Instant mortgages are coming soon – what could go wrong?“ We’ve been meaning to comment on this piece of imaginative writing for a few months now, but real news got in the way. The article, originally published in October—from a respected journalist no less—is heavy on...

A Closer Look at TD’s Online Mortgage Play

Canada’s banking giants have invested massively in branches and mortgage salesforces. But now mortgages are moving online, and that creates both opportunity and conflict for the Big 6. “Canadians are predominantly using online tools as they start the homebuying journey,” says Pat Giles, VP Real Estate Secured Lending at TD. His bank, like every other, is working hard to be...