A 2nd Bank of Canada rate hike surprises many.. what’s it mean?

 The Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz, has been full of surprises since he took on his current role.  With a second 0.25% rate hike today in consecutive BoC meetings, he’s pushed the rate to 1.00%.  This should result in a Bank Prime rate of 3.20%.   The move has surprised many experts as the economic indicators don’t justify a rate hike.

The move comes following last week’s surprising positive stats showing the Canadian economy grew by 4.5% in the 2nd quarter, according to stats Canada.   Could this be a knee jerk reaction?

Usually, the Bank of Canada increases rates when inflation rises above the Target level of between 1% and 3%.  A quick search on the BankofCanada.ca website and we see the inflation level is just 1.2%.   So, why raise the rate now?   According to the BoC press release, it’s all about that recent positive economic data. Hmmm, you have to wonder is they jumped the gun on this one?

WHAT’S THIS MEAN FOR MORTGAGE BORROWERS IN CANADA?

Standing back, we need to look at where current interest rates are in relation to historical rates.  With an expected Bank Prime rate set to increase by 0.25% (Banks usually follow and match the BoC rate movement except 2 yrs ago when the Boc cut the Target rate by 0.50% in 6 months, but the BIG SIX BANKS only cut their Prime rate by 0.30%, pocketing the difference and stumbling to explain why they would profit off the backs of Canadian consumers and businesses during an economic recovery…nice, huh?) This means the new Bank Prime rate will be 3.20%.

REALITY CHECK.

Are rates high? Are they low?  Historically, we are still in record low territory.   Fixed Mortgage rates are still just over 3.00% today.  Variable rate mortgages are 2.45% to 2.55%.    Hey, that’s not bad at all. In fact, it’s still great!  Too much emphasis has been put on these rate hikes, as though they would paralyze consumers from being able to spend or make their mortgage payments.   This is just untrue.

Canadians have had to qualify at Bank Posted 5 yr fixed rates for years, if you chose and Variable rate mortgage.  That means you had to pass the stress test using a rate that was 2.00% higher than your actual mortgage.   And what’s not talked about enough is that Canadians don’t just pay their minimum required payment.  They accelerate and increase their payments.  They pay more to pay the debt off faster!.  Canadians pay their mortgages off in around 17 yrs on average….with many paying them off in 12 years.

Bet ya didn’t know that?!

FUTURE RATE HIKES

Not likely.. at least not for a while.  These 2 consecutive rate hikes will be closely monitored to see how the consumer and the economy can absorb them.   If we start to see negative economic stats, we could see rate cuts.  It’s not out of the question and it wouldn’t be the first time the Bank of Canada had to reverse their increases.

Remember, we have seen major mortgage rule changes that have made it harder than EVER to qualify for a mortgage.  This lack of access to mortgage money is having a negative effect on the housing market.  Sales are down.  Prices have fallen (price decrease isn’t bad but we don’t want a free fall)..  Put it all together and you end up with less money flowing into the economy.   A slower economy usually means sustained low-interest rate environment… stay tuned folks..

MY ADVICE

If you are in a Variable rate mortgage, I would stay there.  Your rate is less than 3.00%.  Why would you want to lock in at over 3.00%?   If you are worried that rates could skyrocket, it’s unlikely given the fragile global economy and even our own economic instability.  However, if you can’t sleep at night because you are worried about the rates, and don’t mind paying a higher fixed rate for the assurance of knowing what your payment will be, then lock in or choose a fixed rate.   I’ll be staying in short term priced products like the Variable rate or a 2 or 3 yr term.  These products have proven to be the lowest cost products.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Bank of Canada rate hike.. it’s really not a big deal.

BREAKING NEWS… BANK OF CANADA RAISES RATE BY 0.25% AND THE SKY HASN’T FALLEN!!

Stephen Poloz, the Bank of Canada Governor, raised the Target rate by 0.25% to 0.75%.   Maybe now the media will move on to other news.

Seriously, aren’t we all kinda tired of hearing how rates are going to skyrocket,…how this is going to make our mortgages unaffordable… how we have record debt levels.. how we are going to default our mortgages, lose our homes and go into a recession…it’s doom and gloom?  This isn’t happening.

SOME FACTS ABOUT THE RATE HIKE Read the rest of this entry »

Enjoy the low rates..No rate hike with Bank of Canada

The Bank held their third, of eight, scheduled meetings this week.   As widely predicted, the Bank of Canada announced that it is holding the key rate steady.

While noting that “economic growth has been faster than expected”, the bank said it’s too early to determine if the economy is on a “sustainable growth path”, citing weakness in export growth, business investment and employment.

The Bank’s three measures of core inflation, taken together, continue to point to material excess capacity in the economy. While there have been recent gains in employment, little growth in wages and hours worked continue to reflect economic slack in Canada, in contrast to the United States.

The bank also took into account uncertainties that include the potential impact of U.S. trade policies. The next rate-setting day is May 24.

This announcement means there should be no change to the prime rate. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or line of credit, need a new mortgage, are renewing, or want to save thousands by consolidating debt at the lowest-cost funds. Or perhaps you are thinking of using home equity to invest in a rental property or second home, or cost effectively complete renovations.

Given the uncertain economic outlook, we continue to expect interest rates to stay low in Canada well into 2020, although the new mortgage rules have caused mortgage rates to be very complicated. Quick rate quotes are not very reliable! That’s why it’s so beneficial to work with an experienced mortgage broker who has access to a wide range of lenders and knows the right questions to ask to assess your situation and provide the best mortgage for your needs. Save yourself time and stress; don’t just ask what the rate is, have a conversation instead.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

BIG FIVE BANKS employees speak out about deplorable sales tactics… and it’s gone viral!

A news story from CBC has gone viral.   The BANK employees are under tremendous pressure to sell YOU products.  They will say and do almost anything, according to the CBC news article.

For those of us working in Financial Services, this is old news.   Stories of high pressures sales and tied selling has been going on for over two decades.   Sales targets were introduced to the retail branch network in the ’90s.  It was the beginning of a new sales culture.  Prior to this, bank tellers and account managers had always worked with a ‘soft sell’ approach.  They were there to help and service your needs.  This was about to change forever.

Your bank teller is now scanning your financial profile to see if they can up sell you some bank product.   Last week, my son and I were in the TD Bank and they informed my son he was preapproved for a TD Visa card..  of course, there was a small annual fee… so we can add to the BANK’s $billion profits!

Now we are seeing Mobile Mortgage Reps working for Banks.  They come to your home or business.  They are paid on a commission basis.   Think about it. How can anyone expect them to be unbiased?   They can only sell you one brand and one range of products.  Are all mortgage products the same?   They can never truly provide neutral advice or recommend other brands.

It will be interesting to see if this issue gets swept under the rug or if it will become a big stink.  The BIG FIVE BANKS rank in the top EIGHT largest corporations in Canada.  And last year, RBC was the first Canadian corporation to report over $10billion in net profit.

Hmm, I wonder how they make all that money, year after year, after year, after year.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Another example of BIG SIX BANK inflated penalty calculation.. $13,634.00! Wow!

big-six-banks1 If you still think your local BANK is your best friend, think again.  Last week, one of my client’s discovered it would cost them $13,634 to exit their mortgage early.  Compared with only $2736 if they had chosen a BETTER mortgage Lender.

Here’s the details..  The clients had a $395,000 mortgage balance remaining.  Renewal date was October 2018.  Original term was 5 yrs and their rate was 2.77%.  The rate is competitive, but not any better than what I could have offered at that time.  There had to pay the mortgage out.

Penalty quote is $13,634.  That’s equal to over 14 months interest!!  Wow!  Incredible.   $13,634 compared to $2736.

I’ve shared many examples similar to this in the past.  It’s really simple.  DON’T FOCUS ON THE RATE!.   There is so much more to choosing a mortgage than just rate.  The average Canadian changes their mortgage ever 3 years.  And there are many reason this happens.. change of job, marital status, family issues, health issues, etc.

And if you are expecting your Banker to show you other products to compare, well, that’s just not gonna happen.  It’s like expecting Ford to send you to Toyota for a new car.  Not gonna happen. Do yourself a favour and speak with an unbiased, neutral professional. Speak with an experienced Mortgage Broker that deals with dozens of Lenders.  You’ll be glad you did.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Mortgage brief… New Liberal govt mortgage rule changes..and what it means.

Bill Morneauthumbs down Yesterday, Federal Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, announced tighter lending rules.  The big focus is on the new ‘stress test’. To sum it up, here’s what’s gonna happen and how it will affect you.

First, let me say this..   IT’S NOT THAT BAD… It will affect those with tighter budgets, but not the vast majority of buyers.

NEW RULE:

-As of October 17, everyone must qualify using the Bank posted 5 year fixed rate.  Today, that’s 4.64% (well over the discounted 5 yr, which is averaging around 2.59%..lower with most Brokers).

-borrowing less than 80% of the value of your home allows you to extend your amortization to 30 years…. but not any longer..it now be capped at 25 years.

There were some other changes, but these are the ones that will affect us most.  So here’s some other facts the media may not be telling you:

-You remember I said it wasn’t that bad?  It’s true.  Over 90% of my clients are qualifying already, using the Bank 5 yr posted fixed rates.  I suspect that most homebuyers can qualify just as well on October 17, as they can today.

-I’ll repeat…Most homebuyers can qualify easily with a 25 year amortization, but choose to extend that to a 30 year amortization as a fail safe or preventative measure, just in case their incomes are affected in the future … job loss, family illness, child school fees, other financial crisis.

-The govt wants to stop house prices from rising in Toronto, Vancouver and other major urban hotspots.   But if you are an investor, earning good income, or have a good down payment, this won’t affect you.   Yes, some homebuyers will no longer qualify under traditional lending policies….

-But watch out for the secondary lenders.  Secondary lenders AREN’T offering loan shark rates, contrary to what the media might have you believe.  They will gain market share as traditional lenders can’t help these borrowers.  I’m talking about financial institutions that specialize in that gray market where borrowers don’t quite qualify but can still afford it.  They will pay 4% or 5%  on their mortgage.  (wasn’t that long ago that 4% was a fully discounted AAA rate).

More on this follow..   stay tuned.

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Attn: Firstline mortgage clients… beware CIBC brand renewal offer!

FirstlinecibcIn June 2012, CIBC announced they would close Firstline Mortgages. All existing Firstline mortgage clients would be offered a CIBC brand mortgage renewal.

Hey, did anybody catch that?  “…..offered a CIBC brand mortgage renewal.”   This means your Firstline mortgage CANNOT be renewed into a Firstline brand because the brand is being discontinued.

In fact, in 2015, CIBC was sending all upcoming renewals a ‘Special CIBC Early Renewal Rate Offer’.  My first piece of advice…If you get this, don’t sign it without reviewing with your Mortgage Broker.   Read the rest of this entry »

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