Tag Archive: variable mortgage rates


Mortgage Rates Under 3% Shine…If Neutral is 2%

BMO Capital Markets has taken a “scalpel to [its] Canadian rate forecast,” as it describes it. The company now projects just one Bank of Canada rate increase in all of 2019. By comparison, financial traders peg the odds of a rate hike this year at just 49%. That’s according to implied probabilities in the bond market, as tracked by Reuters. BMO is...

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....

Rangebound Rates are Variable-Friendly

Markets are “well ahead of the data.” …said the world’s most powerful banker Friday. With his comments, Fed chief Jerome Powell reminded everyone that bond markets usually price in economic slowdowns 6-24 months ahead of time. The market’s fear going into today was that the Fed would snuff out economic growth with “auto-pilot” rate hikes, that the Fed wasn’t listening...

2018 – One Tough Mortgage Year

Few years have altered the mortgage landscape like 2018. Canada experienced what is arguably the biggest mortgage rule change of all time (OSFI’s B-20 and its “stress test”). It was a policy that hammered mortgage growth to almost three-decade lows, slashing buying power over 20% for uninsured mortgagors and forcing roughly 1 in 7 borrowers to change or abandon their mortgage...

Variable Rates: Get ‘Em While Fat Discounts Last

There’s a concerning new trend with variable rates. Discounts are shrinking. In the last few weeks, at least a dozen relevant lenders have shrunk their discounts from prime rate—by anywhere from 5 to 20 bps. This includes discretionary mortgage rates at some banks. How Convenient Wouldn’t you know it? Just as variable rates start attracting more consumer interest, lenders start...

Variable vs. ARM: One’s Not Better Than the Other

Many don’t realize that there are two flavours of floating-rate mortgages: The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) Its payment rises and falls with prime rate The variable-rate mortgage (VRM) Its payment doesn’t change when prime rate changes The only exception is when rates soar so much that you’re not paying all the interest. Then the payment generally rises to cover the interest...

Pay Your Variable Like a Fixed: A Strategy Check

A lot of people in the mortgage biz like to tell customers: “Pay your variable like a fixed.” In other words, increase the payment on your adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to match the payment you would have made, had you chosen a 5-year fixed. The purpose of this strategy is to pay more up front so that if rates (and your...

What Determines Variable-Rate Mortgage Discounts?

Mortgage shoppers ask this question all the time. It’s useful information if you’re trying to discern variable rate trends. While the answer is convoluted, below is some insight into how variable-rate discounts are formed and why they change. Setting the Discount Most of the time, lenders price closed variable mortgage rates at a discount from their prime rate. There are two...

Canadians Can’t Predict Interest Rates. But They Try.

Two-thirds of consumers expect interest rates to rise in the next 12 months, according to a new report from Mortgage Professionals Canada. Only a measly 2% expect rates to fall. But that’s not as surprising as it seems. There is a built-in bias towards higher rates and there has been for years. “Through the entire history of this question, Canadians...