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TagBond yields

TD & RBC raised the POSTED rate… but not their REAL rates

Rate Image, May 2018

Much has been written about last week’s Posted rate hikes by TD and RBC. Don’t panic! This is just their posted rate – it’s not the actual rate they give to clients.

I do, however, think we’ll see a minimal rate hike in the coming weeks due to five-year Government of Canada bond yields increasing slightly. Fixed rates are priced closely to bond yields.

Continue reading “TD & RBC raised the POSTED rate… but not their REAL rates”

Unexpected Trump win on Canadian mortgage rates and market.

US electionThe surprise Donald Trump US election win has caught many off-guard.  The pollsters have been quiet to comment after they all predicted a Clinton win.

Here’s what week 1 looks like, after the Trump win.  The first few days saw some chaos in the stock market.  Stock market went down and so did Govt of Canada bond yields.

However within a day, the stock market began to rise.  The Dow Jones hit all time record highs.  The Toronto market was up also, but not as much as the US.  The Canadian $ took a bit of a beating.  And the Govt of Canada bond yields started to rise.  This last one is important to watch.

Fixed mortgage rates are closely tied to govt of Canada bond yields.  We’ve now seen Bond yields increase by over 0.35%.  that’s a huge increase in such a short period of time.   Banks and Mortgage Lenders have begun to increase fixed mortgage rates.

Investors are betting on Trump stimulating the US economy and taking no foreign prisoners.  That’s caused some jitters in the markets.  I’m watching the markets closely.   This could just be a short term reaction.  Or, it could be an adjustment to the record low mortgage rates.

MY VIEW…   Continue reading “Unexpected Trump win on Canadian mortgage rates and market.”

Record low Bond yields means even lower fixed mortgage rates

graph trend downFixed mortgage rates are tied into Govt of Cda bond yields.  As the yields go done, so does the fixed mortgage rates.. well, usually.. more on that later..These bond yields have hit all-time lows in the past week… Yesterday, they were as low as 0.55%...  To put that into perspective, the 5 yr bond yield is lower than the Bank or Canada overnight rate, which now stands at 0.75%.  Another historical event.  That almost never happens.

Check out these 2 historical charts to compare the Bank of Canada rate from 1935 to Dec 2014 and 5 year Govt of Cda bond yield from 1980 to Dec 2014….

If you’re wondering what this means for you, a Canadian consumer, it means mortgage rates should go even lower.   Institutional investors are pricing in a further Bank of Canada rate cut at their next schedule meeting on March 4th, 2015. Continue reading “Record low Bond yields means even lower fixed mortgage rates”

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. Continue reading “Unexpected job loss report and effect on mortgage rates.”

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

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

 

Bond rates up 0.30%…and 5 yr mortgages at 2.99% disappear.. for now.

Last week we saw 5 yr fixed mortgage rates hit 2.99% for the first time ever (these are full featured mortgages, not No Frills products).   But these rates didn’t last long… just 3 days later, bond yields spiked up and mortgage rates followed…  5 yr fixed rates now sit at 3.09%.

The 5 year Govt of Canada bond yields are up 0.30% since July 24th, and are currently sitting at 1.42%.  That’s a 26% increase in 2 weeks.  These bond yields have a direct effect on 5 yr fixed mortgage rates.     If bond yields continue to go up, we could see mortgage rates go up further.    Looking further ahead, the 2yr Govt of Canada bond yields provide us with a 6 month outlook…  they have also gone up from 0.93% to 1.16%, a 20% increase… if the yields stay at this level, we should look for rates to go up slightly…

Still, these are historical low rates… anything under 4.00% is ridiculously low…  We haven’t seen 5 yr fixed rates under 4.00% for over 40 yrs..  This isn’t time to panic…it’s still a great time to borrow money…

This seems to be an ongoing pattern.  Rates go up temporarily, then they drop… they go up, then they drop…    We’ve been stuck in this cycle for over 2 years.  But hey, who’s complaining?  Not anyone with a mortgage….not any real estate investors… this means money is cheap….. and it makes investing in real estate a very attractive option.

For those of us with a pension or if you are heavily invested in stocks, bonds or mutual funds, then you won’t like these low rates as they are keeping your Return On Investment very low……  Personally, I have some money in mutual funds and some stocks…..I started with my RRSP in 1990…. they were supposed to be a safe, long-term investments…. The only problem is, I’ve never made any positive return… Sound familiar?   The only ones making money are the Fund Managers (with their 2% Management fees) and Investment Advisors (with their 5% or 6% Deferred Sales Charges).

I lost my appetite for stocks and mutual funds, in 2000… the year of the dot com, dot bomb, internet stock market crash… the markets have been a roller coaster ride ever since… I got off that ride in 2004 and have never looked back.

If you’re looking for investment strategies in mortgages and real estate, drop me a line or give me a call… I’d be happy to share some of my knowledge and experiences of others that are enjoying positive returns elsewhere.

Steve Garganis

416 224 0114  steve@mortgagenow.ca

 

 

Wanna know where rates are going? Look at 2 yr bond yields.

Probably the most popular question asked is, “where are rates heading?”  Or “when will they go up?”   Let’s face it, if you have a mortgage or are invested in real estate, then you better know the answer or understand what affects rates.  After all, interest rates can make or break a housing market.

We decided to take a few minutes to explain how you can follow the indicators that affect interest rate movement….  We won’t make you a Financial Expert, but you will gain a better understanding of what affects rate movements…

My first suggestion is to stop paying so much attention to the news or TV… (apologies to my media friends)… but the wild headlines are there to grab your attention…  it’s not that difficult to understand…

Last week, the Bank of Canada met for the 5th time in 2012.   There are 8 scheduled meetings each year… (and by the way, this helps to keep rate movement and monetary policy more predictable…. the more predictable a Govt is, the more stable it’s economy is.)   The Key Rate is set during these meetings… this rate directly affects Variable rate mortgages…. No surprise, the Bank of Canada Governor, Mark Carney, kept the rate unchanged.

That means Bank Prime is still 3.00%.   And with more negative economic news from Greece, Spain, other parts of Europe, the U.S, and now Canada, it’s safe to say rates should remain flat for some time……(remember, bad economic news usually means rates will drop or stay low).

So the Bank of Canada’s Key Rate (also known as Target Rate or Overnight rate) directly affects Variable rate mortgages… but indirectly, they also affect Fixed Rates.   A better short term indicator to watch is the 5 yr Govt of Cda bond yield.   We watch this to see where fixed rates are headed in the short term… say, over the next few days or or few weeks.   A good long term indicator for Fixed rates is the 2 yr Gov of Cda bond yields.   Financial Experts  pay very close attention to this index if they want to know where rates are going in 6 months or longer.  And at present, the 2 yr yields are very low…..

Bottom line, rates should remain low for some time…   Not so hard to follow, right?

And not to confuse you, but historically, Fixed rates usually go up ahead of Variable rates…. so we need to watch Bond yields together, with the Bank of Canada’s Key Rate to gauge where rates are going…

Hope this helps… and as always, feel free to call or email me…

Steve Garganis

416 224 0114

steve@mortgagenow.ca

BMO’s No-Frills 2.99% mortgage offer is not ground breaking…just another trap by the Big Banks..

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT…. 5 years fixed No-Frills mortgage for 2.99% by BMO….wow, can you believe it?    Well, don’t get too excited…  At CanadaMortgageNews.ca we  give you the straight talk…  and guess what, No-Frills mortgages aren’t anything new…

I’m giving a BIG THUMBS DOWNS to this product… and you should too…

I’ve had access to these products in the past and we still have access to them….  but I have NEVER recommended it to any of my clients….  the limitations can be too costly and any potential savings can easily be eaten away with prepayment penalties, fees and the inability to even exit the mortgage…. That’s right, you can’t exit the mortgage in many cases…  read on, I’ll explain more..

Make sure you understand how the rates are calculated

Before you start thanking BMO and putting your arm around the banker’s back, you should understand that rates have been inflated for several months… they should actually be much lower…..

Fixed mortgage rates are closely priced to the Govt of Cda bond yields.   5 year Bond yields have been below 1.50% since Nov 1….and have been hovering at around 1.30% since Dec 1.   Historically, the best discounted rates are between 1.25% and 1.50% above the bond yields….  That means fixed rates should be at around 2.80%…. Okay, let’s add in a premium for some market uncertainty….  That doesn’t explain why 5 yr Fixed mortgage rates have not been below 3.29%?

Well, I think Canadians are smart enough to know why the savings hasn’t been passed down to them….  yup, Banks are just maximizing their profits…  And now, this past week, we saw an announcement that BMO was announcing a special low rate…  5 years fixed for 2.99% …  WOW, that does sound great…doesn’t it?    Well, maybe not… let’s take a closer look before giving this product the ‘thumbs up’.

A closer look at BMO’s NO-Frills 2.99% special

There are too many limitations to this product…

-maximum amortization is 25 years.   your prepayment privileges is reduced to and annual lump sum payment of 10% of the original principal balance and you can only increase your payment by 10%.

-90 day rate hold instead of the usual 120 day rate hold.

-you cannot payout this mortgage prior to maturity unless through a bona fide sale…

-you can only refinance the mortgage with BMO and not with any other lender before maturity…. this will all but eliminate your ability to negotiate the rate… a huge loss for borrowers….  ( you can take your mortgage with you if you move to another house but if you need more money, you will have to negotiate the rate… do you really think BMO will give you the best rate at that time???).

-BMO’s penalty calculation… the BIG SIX banks have the worst penalty calculation formula in Canada.   This is one of the biggest kept secrets in the industry… If you had to pay your mortgage early, for any reason.. or if you had to refinance, you would be hit with a penalty calculation that could break your savings account…  That’s because the BIG SIX banks use a formula that makes you pay for your mortgage discount, for the entire term of the mortgage… read this article on how they do it…. don’t get caught having to pay a 10, 12, 14 month interest penalty….  (just worked out a mortgage penalty for a client.. if they stayed with RBC, they would have to pay a penalty of $7,000, if they went with one of our wholesale lenders, they would only pay $2,000.  this penalty calculating formula is similar to BMO).

By the way, the competition has responded and bettered BMO’s offer

There is some good news to BMO coming out with this product…  just as we are writing this, we see that a big lender has come out with a 4 year fixed rate of 2.99% with NO restrictions or limitations…  For us, that eliminates BMO’s Low rate special as a serious competitor in the mortgage market.  But thank you, BMO, for pushing the Lenders…

My advice, stay away from these No Frills mortgage…   speak with your mortgage broker and get full disclosure on this and other products before making any decisions that could end up costing you dearly…

Bond market drops… expect fixed rates to follow.

It’s the morning after the US govt agreed on a new Debt Ceiling…… and like a scene from ‘The Hangover’, many of us are waking up to unfamiliar surroundings with a big headache and an uncertain feeling in our stomach…. let’s call it a ‘financial hangover’.   The global stock markets are down…..giving back all gains made this year…  The Chinese credit agency has downgraded the US credit rating...

The 5 year Canada govt bond yields has dropped to 1.84%...  A level only seen twice before…  first, just after the October 2008 US mortgage crisis and again late last year.

So what’s the good news??   This should mean lower fixed mortgage rates are coming… let’s hope the Banks move as fast to cut the rate as they do when they raise them.   This also means less chance of any rate hikes….

Enjoy the low rates.

Fixed mortgage rates down again!

We haven’t seen the bond market this low since November 2010.  The current 5 year Canadian Bond yield is 2.24%.  It’s only been below 2.00% a couple of times… Just after the 2008 U.S. mortgage crisis from December 2008 to January 2009 and late last year in October 2010.

Last year we saw the 5 year fixed mortgage rates hit an all time low of around 3.49%.  Today’s best 5 year fixed rate is hovering at around 3.79%….   Could be even be more room for fixed rates to drop….

Enjoy the low rates!

Bond yields fall after Middle East turmoil

Earlier this month, we saw Fixed mortgage rates go up and the forecasts were calling for rates to continue to go up over the next 2 years.   It’s important to remember that all forecasts make certain assumptions and don’t allow for the unexpected… These forecasts may still be accurate but of course, no one was expecting the uprising in Egypt, now Libya and possibly other Middle East countries…

The Canada Bond yield has dropped around 22bps to 2.58% from a 10 month high of 2.80%.    This takes some of the pressure off to raise fixed rates… and we might even start to see some Fixed rate decreases if the Bond yields fall further…(or course, the Banks are famous for raising rates immediately but lowering them slowly and this was even identified by the most recent Bank of Canada quarterly review)

I can’t help but to reflect on Professor Moshe Milevsky’s article from a few weeks about how to deal with rising interest rates…. In this article he cautioned us about overreacting to warnings of huge rate hikes or calls to lock in your mortgage…    Wow, the timing of his article couldn’t be more perfect.   I recommend you take a moment and read what the Professor has to say.

Banks slow to lower rates…but quick to raise them

Some things never change…..On Oct 19th, 2010, the 5 year Canadian Bond yield was 1.85%… It fluctuated up and down but staying below 2.00% until Nov 5th when it closed at 2.053%…  We were expecting the Banks to adjust their Fixed rates downward but it didn’t happen..

Since then, it has kept above 2.00% and is currently at 2.27%….  This increase in the Bond yield usually means Fixed Mortgage Rates will go up..  See the chart here.

But earlier this week, the Big Six Banks lowered their posted 5 year mortgage rate to 5.19% from 5.29%…  This is just a delayed reaction the low bond yields.. but it just goes to show that the Banks continue their pattern of reacting slowing to lowering rates but move like Formula 1 race car to raise rates..

Of course, Posted Mortgage Rates really don’t mean much as the Wholesale Market or Broker Market deals with the true rates.. And Fixed rates dropped late last week to their lowest levels ever. … 5 year fixed rates are now at around 3.49%… with some Lenders even offering 3.39%…  WOW!

Watch for Fixed rates to move upward slightly as the Bond yield is now high enough to warrant an increase…

Sounds like a broken record…5 yr Bond rates remain low as do mortgage rates..

We’ve reached the middle of summer and there is very little to report… hey, that’s a good thing.. remember, boring is good when it comes to mortgage rates..

Remember those Experts that called for people to lock into a long-term fixed rate at or around 4.00% last year?.. Variable rates have been under 2.00% for over a year and recently went above 2.00%….   I do understand why some would call for us to lock in….but I’m glad I wasn’t one of them…

Look at today’s 5 year bond rate and it’s 2.29%… WOW!   That’s unbelievably low… the 5 year fixed rate is priced from the Bond market and normally, we will see a spread of 1.20% to 1.40% above that… so really, we should be seeing fixed rates as low at 3.50% but the Banks are taking advantage of the spreads and maximizing their profits…..

Let’s not be in too much of a hurry to improve bank profits….

Watch for possible increases in fixed and variable rates later this year.. but remember, we’re still near record low rates.. they will go up, but slowly… no need to panic… yes, this is boring news.. but boring is good…

Are you one of these people?

Was reading this survey about First Time Home Buyers that TD Canada Trust did recently...

Thought the most interesting stat was that 3/4 of the people surveyed were opting for a Fixed Rate mortgage.   And in the same paragraph, the TD rep acknowledged that Variable Rate mortgages performed better… Does any of this sound familiar?

Here’s some more good news.. well, actually it’s bad news for the Stock Market and investor confidence but it’s good news for interest rates… The 5 year Canada Bond has dropped significantly…  We were at 2.33% at one point today… meaning 5 year fixed mortgage rates should really be hovering around 3.80%… but instead we are seeing best rates at around 4.29%…   WHY?  Pure profit taking by the Banks…

But don’t fret…this uncertainty means there is less chance for rates to increase and less chance they will increase significantly…. And for those in a Variable rate, rates of 3.80% and 4.29% are still too high….  Variable rate mortgage clients are enjoying 2.00% or better…   Enjoy the summer!

Canadian$ at par with U.S.$….Bonds over 3.00% first time since Oct. 2008

Canadian $ at par with the U.S. $

Today, the Canadian $ hit 100.12 cents briefly this morning…. A clear signal that the rest of the world is viewing Canada as having a very stable and solid economy…. Here’s an article with forecasts of the dollar remaining at these levels into next year….

But if the Canadian $ remains at these high levels, it puts pressure on the Bank of Canada not to raise the Bank rate as high or as quickly…. Any increase in the Bank rate will drive the Canadian $ higher…

5 Year Bond yields over 3.00%

The 5 year Canadian Bond yields jumped to over 3.00% for the first time since October 2008… That’s the same time the U.S. Sub-Prime mortgage crisis hit and the world fell into a recession.   Bond yields affect fixed rates…..current 5 year fixed rates are hovering between 4.19% and 4.39%… today’s Banks and Mortgage Lenders are looking for a 1.20% to 1.30% spread and we are that level… Further increases in the Bond yield will cause fixed rates to go up….

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