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Will Lockdowns Have an Impact on the Housing Market?

Well, here we are again. Right back where we were last year. Provinces across the country have reintroduced restrictions that will no doubt leave a lasting impact on our economy. The housing market of course is no exception.

In my estimation, there will be quite a few similarities between our current situation and the one we faced last winter. However, there are some ways in which this lockdown could prove slightly different.

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Is It Better to Rent or Buy Your Home?

Spoiler alert: this isn’t one of those pro-renting articles that seem to be so in-vogue these days. You’ve probably seen the type. They purport that contrary to popular belief, if you look deeply into the long term economics of homeownership, you’ll find that it actually makes much more sense to rent. Some even tout the psychological benefits of foregoing homeownership (based on… not all that much).

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Surprise, Surprise: No Rate Hike From Bank of Canada

For months we’ve been warned by “experts” that rates are sure to shoot up. That the Bank of Canada will change their tune based on the state of the economy. That by year’s end, we’ll be well on our way to pre-pandemic rates that will make anyone with a variable rate mortgage regret ever buying a home.

It’s December. None of that has happened.

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What Nobody Is Telling You About Fixed Rate Mortgages

My father keeps the news on constantly. It’s like an addiction, and CP24 is his drug of choice. It hurls bad news all day and all night. Not because it’s helpful, or even that interesting – but because it keeps his eyeballs on the screen. My father isn’t alone. CP24 and other 24-hour news sources are tattooed onto screens across the country.

Unfortunately, a lot of that bad news has to do with the housing market. It seems as though there’s a constant parade of “experts” telling you that we’re in a bubble. To sell now and rent until the market corrects itself. To avoid “risk” and go with a fixed rate mortgage. 

This last myth in particular has gone viral and needs to be dispelled.

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Don’t Fall For Low Fixed Rates

The fixed rate versus variable rate debate has never been more heated. With fixed rates currently averaging historical lows of roughly 2.25%, a lot of people are left wondering, “why wouldn’t I choose a fixed rate mortgage?” Fair enough – it certainly appears to be a safe bet on the surface. Lock in a low rate. Maintain it for the entirety of your term. Never worry about rates going up.

This belief is fuelled by the big banks spreading hysteria that variable rates are sure to shoot up. Why risk it when you can go with a record low fixed rate? Here’s the truth: The banks are pushing 5-year fixed rate mortgages because they’re more profitable for them. A variable rate mortgage isn’t the gamble it’s made out to be. In fact, it’s by far the more prudent move. 

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