Bank of Canada says no rate hikes, but possible rate drops!!

stephen poloz  Last week, the Bank of Canada governor, Stephen Poloz, held the first of 8 scheduled meetings to set the Target Rate.    This is the rate used to set the Bank Prime rate which currently sits at 3.00%.   No surprise, no change in the rate.  It has been the same since Sept 2010.

From 2011 to 2013, the previous Bank of Canada governor, Mark Carney, continually announced of a pending rate increase.   But late last year, Poloz changed the tide when he announced it could be a few years before rates go up.   One of the key drivers for rate hikes is inflation.  The BoC target for inflation is between 1% and 3%.  If inflation goes above 3%, we can expect rate hikes.

Inflation is not a concern.  In fact, there are concerns about deflation as the current inflation rate sit at 1.2%.  Some experts believe we could see the BoC rate drop.  Great news for anyone in a Variable rate.   We are also seeing the govt of Cda bond yields drop.   Friday’s close was down to 1.59% for 5 yr bonds.  Haven’t seen that level since June 2013.   This means Fixed mortgage rates will probably go down further. Read the rest of this entry »

Unexpected job loss report and effect on mortgage rates.

unemployment Last week’s Employment Stats shocked everyone when we didn’t see the expected 14,000 new jobs created as Economists were expecting.  Instead, we got hit with a reported 46,000 jobs lost in December.    Economists aren’t always accurate with their forecasts (news flash) but they usually aren’t this far off either. We won’t look at why they miscalculated here, but I do want to look at the effects of this bad news on your mortgage.

EFFECT ON FIXED MORTGAGE RATES

Higher unemployment and job loss is never a good thing.  We’re not celebrating here.   But we need to understand how it affects our mortgage rates.     When it comes to rates, bad economic news is good news.    And we saw the effects almost immediately.  Bond yields dropped by around 0.15% to 1.73%, taking the pressure off Lenders to raise rates (fixed mortgage rates are priced closely to Govt of Cda bond yields).   This means fixed mortgages won’t go up anytime soon and could even fall should the bond yields remain at this level. Read the rest of this entry »

You heard it here first!… Rule of thumb for choosing Variable over Fixed.

First For the past few years, the Bank of Canada has warned us about the imminent interest rate hikes.   Reminds me of the boy that cried wolf.    “Interest rates are going up…  soon!…  real soon…. really, really soon!!”   But last week, the new Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz, surprised many experts when he said rates would remain low for quite a while.

This announcement prompted many advisors to jump on the Variable Rate bandwagon and start recommending Variable rate over Fixed rate.   I agree…  Variable rate is the obvious choice for most of us today.   But I also noticed a familiar rule of thumb being quoted in the media.   So I wanted to set the record straight. Read the rest of this entry »

5 year Fixed rates are going up.. time to consider Variable rate.

graph trend upThe 5 yr Gov of Cda bond yields hit a 2 yr high on Friday reaching just over 2.00%.  That’s up around 0.35% since mid July and up around 0.75% since May.   The increase started in May when the U.S. Federal Bank Chair, Ben Bernanke, made some comments about possible easing of the Fed’s stimulus program beginning as early as September.

Fixed mortgage rates are closely tied to the Gov of Cda bond yield.   When the yield goes up, mortgage rates are sure to follow.  With 5 yr fixed rates expected to rise, it makes for an interesting mortgage market.  Which product and term is best to choose today?   The answer is different for everyone.   We all have different needs, goals and risk tolerances.   Read the rest of this entry »

Looking back 5 years.. which mortgage product did your Banker recommend in 2008?

greedy bankerRemember 2008?  It was almost 5 years ago that the U.S. sub-prime mortgage scandal erupted.   October 2008, to be exact.  That’s almost 5 years ago…  And with October and November 2013 renewals being less than 120 days away, we can now lock in some rates for those upcoming renewals.  So I thought this would be a great time to see what sort of advice and recommendations the Banks were giving to their mortgage customers.

THE BANK’S ADVICE

The funny thing is, Banks have never changed their advice or strategy.  ‘Take a 5 year fixed rate’.  That’s all the Banks seem to want to promote.  And with good reason… it’s the most profitable product FOR THE BANKS.   But historically, it’s NOT the best product to take.   There is no historical data that I am aware of that shows taking a 5 year fixed is the best strategy.  But I’ll get into that in more detail later. Read the rest of this entry »

When the U.S. sneezes, Canada gets a cold… I’m getting the sniffles…mortgage rates are headed up.

US sneezes Canada catches coldYesterday, the U.S. Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, announced he ‘could’ start to ease their stimulation of the economy later this year.   That small announcement has had a huge impact on the global stock markets and bond yields.   Stock Markets are down around 2.00% around the world as of 2.30pm today.

The U.S. has been buying around $85billion worth of bonds every month in an attempt to keep interest rates low.  And with that simple announcement yesterday, the world’s markets have reacted.   Bond yields have started to climb…

Our own 5 yr Govt of Cda bond yield is up to 1.75%.  That’s up around 10bps from yesterday, and up 60bps from the beginning of May.  In fact, we haven’t seen these levels since October 2011 and again in March 2012.   We already received warnings from our Lenders that wholesale mortgage rates are likely to go up.   Remember, bond yields affect Fixed mortgage rates.. but they will have an indirect affect on Variable rates, too. Read the rest of this entry »

5 yr Bond yields up significantly.. expect fixed rates to go up..!

big news 5 yr Govt of Canada bond yields are up over 30bps in May.   We should expect fixed mortgage rates to increase if they hold at this level.  If you are thinking of buying, refinancing or if your mortgage is coming up for renewal, I suggest you contact your mortgage broker and get some rates held.  This could be the beginning of the long-awaited mortgage rate hikes.

There is another chart you should look at if you want to see where Fixed mortgage rates are headed over the next 6 months.   The 2 year Govt of Canada bond yields are a good 6 month indicator of where rates are going…. and this chart shows the 2 year bond yields jumped over 25bps in May.

We’ll report any changes as they get announced.

Your best interest is my only interest.

As always, I welcome your comments, calls and questions.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

 

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