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 »

Banks raise mortgage rates

RBC-BankRBC is raising their rates… As expected, fixed mortgage rates have gone up.  RBC is the first of the BIG SIX to raise their rates.  RBC’s 4 yr rate special will go to 3.09% from 2.99% and their 5 yr rate special will go to 3.29% from 2.99%.

Of course, these are NOT the best rates in the wholesale mortgage market, nor are they the best fixed rate products.  But RBC is the largest mortgage lender in Canada, so we must take note.   This rate increase is no surprise.  As reported on May 13th and May 28th, bond yields had increased over 30bps in May.  A rate increase was imminent.

Wholesale mortgage rates started to go up a few weeks ago.  And as of June 10th, all Lenders will have increased their rates by around 10bps.

Remember, 5 yr fixed rates are still below 3.00%.  I don’t think there is any reason to panic.  We can expect the other BIG SIX banks to follow with their own rate increases.  Fixed rates are closely tied to the Canadian govt bond yields.   And with the stock market in the U.S. hitting unexpected record highs, and the our own Toronto Stock market making significant gains, it was only a matter of time before rates moved.  Economists still believe rates won’t go up quickly.  It will take time for rates to go up significantly.

Your best interest is my only interest.

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

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Poloz in, Carney out as Bank of Canada Governor…3 major changes in less than a year!! Anyone else find this strange??!.

Poloz, Carney, Flaherty Stephen Poloz was announced as Mark Carney’s replacement as the new Bank of Canada Governor.  The announcement was a surprise for many… Most thought the Deputy Governor, Tiff Macklem, would have been a more likely candidate.  But Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, chose Poloz…. probably because he shares the same vision as Flaherty…  tighter lending rules, higher rates.. etc..

But this article isn’t about why Poloz is in, and Macklem is out.   I want to bring something else to your attention.   Did you know that we have had 3 major changes in less than 6 months?   Mark Carney is leaving Canada to head the Bank of England.   Then, within 6 months, the head of OSFI, Julie Dickson, announced she will be leaving in 2014.   And now Karen Kinsley, CEO of CMHC, has announced she is stepping down.  I’ll add in a fourth.. Robert P. Kelly has come in as Chairperson of CMHC… You’ll need to read this to understand why this is relevant.

These are major changes folks.  OSFI, CMHC and the Bank of Canada Governor.   3 major players that run and regulate Canada’s Financial and Banking sectors.  Has anyone asked why  they are all leaving now? Read the rest of this entry »

CMHC CEO Karen Kinsley out, Wall Street banker Robert Kelly in… anybody asking why??

Karen Kinsley Karen Kinsley has been with CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) for 25 years.  The last 10 as it’s CEO.  CMHC makes buying a home more affordable by insuring the mortgage against default.  End result is a lower down payment requirement and lower interest rates.   CMHC is profitable.  They earned $1.7 billion in 2012 and $17 billion over the last 10 years.

In 2012, the Federal govt and the Minister of Finance decided to move CMHC under OSFI (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions).   OSFI is a regulatory body that provides regulation and supervision to 152 Banks, Trust companies and other Lenders.   They function like auditors.  A move questioned by many and one that contradicts the spirit of what CMHC is supposed to stand for.

Enter Robert P. Kelly.  Mr. Kelly was appointed as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of CMHC this same month.  Coincidence?  Here’s a bit of history on Robert KellyKelly….He worked at TD Bank from 1981 to 2000 leaving as a senior executive that was on the short list to be TD’s CEO.. he didn’t get the job and left for the U.S. to join Wachovia, then later Bank of New York Mellon as CEO and Chairman.  I remember Mr. Kelly from my days working at TD.  He was always a higher profile, more visible executive…  Read the rest of this entry »

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