Tag Archive: mortgage trends


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...

The Stealth Hike in Variable Rates

The most unexpected trend in the mortgage rate world of late has been the squeezing of variable-rate discounts. The Spy warned of diminishing variable-rate discounts last month. Since that time, they’ve shrunk 20 basis points on the most competitive uninsured variables, costing new borrowers over $2,300 more interest over five years on a typical $250,000 mortgage. On the insured side, the...

The Fixed-Variable Spread Shrinks Further

A regular consideration when choosing between a fixed or variable rate is the difference between them. As of late that “fixed-variable spread,” as we jargony industry people call it, has been slowly narrowing. So far, it has mostly been a result of diminishing variable-rate discounts. Just this morning, for example, TD hiked its advertised variable rate a head-turning 20 bps....

Mortgage Rates & Oligopoly Costs

Five-year Canadian yields are down 60 basis points in two months. Average 5-year fixed mortgage rates are down a measly 4 basis points.* Meanwhile south of the border, where they have this thing called mortgage competition, 5-year yields are down 54 bps and average 5-year fixed rates have fallen 16 bps so far. Average rates on the most popular U.S....

Oops – Bonds – Did – It – Again

Recessionary warnings from Apple and China, weak U.S. manufacturing data and a plunging stock market accelerated the market rate collapse today. Canada’s 5-year bond yield almost touched 1.75%, where it hasn’t been since 2017. The last time yields fell this fast was March 2015, while the Bank of Canada was in the midst of cutting rates. This is not your...