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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 Continue reading “Bank of Canada rate hike.. it’s really not a big deal.”

Mortgage rate outlook 2017.. Expect Fixed mortgage rates to go up…Expect Variable rate pricing to drop.

trudeau-trumpFixed mortgage rates have increased by about 0.40% in the last 6 weeks.   Today’s 5 year fixed rates are at around 2.89% and will could continue to go up in 2017.   There are political and fundamental reasons why rates have gone up. (oh, by the way..  it’s not panic time.. who ever said that 5 yr fixed rates were the best product to choose anyways? more on this later.)

FUNDAMENTAL REASONS

Govt of Cda bond yields have gone up around 0.55% since October (fixed rates are priced from govt of Cda bond yields).  It’s more expensive for Lenders to fund mortgages due to stricter government regulation and higher Capital holding requirements.  These increased costs are being passed down to the consumer.

Okay, this is the “how” the rates are higher.. but what’s prompted these fundamentals?  Why are rates higher?

POLITICAL REASONS.. IT’S ALL POLITICS Continue reading “Mortgage rate outlook 2017.. Expect Fixed mortgage rates to go up…Expect Variable rate pricing to drop.”

New record low fixed rates… how low can they go?

record low rates5 yr fixed rates just got better.  With last weeks U.S. Fed chair, Janet Yellen, saying these low rates are the ‘new normal’, the markets reacted.

Bond yields are down and that has moved fixed rates lower.   The best full featured, no handcuffs 5 yr fixed rate is 2.49% (yes, some fast closing specials exist but 2.49% is the best today).  (oh, by the way, Yellen wasn’t the first govt rep to say this.  Our own Senior Deputy Governor for the Bank of Canada, Carolyn Wilkins, said this 2 yrs ago.. Go Canada!)

Hard to believe they keep going lower.  Does that mean we should jump into a 5 yr fixed?  For some, yes. But for many of us, no.    For over a decade, I’ve recommended Variable rate or a short term priced products.   History has proven that short term priced products result in lower cost to the borrower.

However, there is something to be said for peace of mind.  Many of us want to set it and forget it.   For those that can’t sleep at night or for those that are borrowing to invest, then perhaps, 5 yr fixed makes sense.

If you really want to know what’s best for you and your situation, you must speak with an unbiased mortgage professional.   A Mortgage Broker doesn’t work for any one Bank.  They work for you.  They will give you unbiased, neutral advice and they can offer hundreds of different 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

Mortgage rates went up…. but why? And will they continue to go up?

fearup down graph

A month ago, I said Fixed mortgage rates probably hit the bottom.   A week later, fixed mortgage rates started to go up… around 0.20% over the past 3 weeks.  Variable rate mortgage pricing has gone from Prime less 0.65% to Prime less Prime less 0.40%.

Now, here’s the thing….  I don’t think rates will skyrocket over the next 6 or 12 months, like the pessimists would have you believe.  I think mortgage rates hit the bottom….BUT, they probably won’t go up very quickly.

In fact, the forecast now is for the Bank of Canada rate to stay the same until 2017.   This is just another example of how the world has become a smaller place.  If someone sneezes in Germany, we catch a cold.  With most of the global economies just getting by, there isn’t much reason for mortgage rates to go crazy.   They should remain low.

The key driver for rates going up recently is nothing more than profit taking.  Banks have had a great year… In case you didn’t know.  That’s right.. we seem to forget that 2015 was one of the best years on record for real estate and mortgage volume…  and house prices have never been higher.    Funny how that seems to get lost in the media reports.

Look for Variable rate pricing to fall in the new year…  Fixed rates could also come down slightly, but don’t count on them hitting the record lows that we saw this summer.   Hey, that’s not to say rates are bad.   We are still well under 3.00%.   These are ridiculously low mortgage rates.    Enjoy them while you can.

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

Trudeau sworn in as new PM, and bond yields jump leading to higher fixed mortgage rates!

Trudeal Liberal majorityYesterday, our new Prime Minister gets sworn in.  Justin Trudeau is Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister.   Some interesting facts…  Bond yields have gone up significantly in the last 2 weeks, since the election.  Fixed rates are priced directly from the Govt of Cda Bond yields.  If the yields go up, then fixed mortgage rates go up.  If they go down, then fixed mortgage rates go down.

Since the election on Oct 19, the bond yields have made a steady climb upwards.  Going from around 0.80% to 0.97% today..     Investors seem to think the Trudeau govt will keep it’s promise and spend our way to prosperity.   The concern is that if the govt of Canada increases its borrowing, the borrowing costs will go up.  Meaning it will cost the govt more, which in turn affects personal borrowing costs.   That’s you and I.

Watch for fixed mortgage rates to climb over the next month or so.  Right now, the increase is expected to be minimal…. but that could change.

I’ll be watching and reporting how this plays out.   Let’s hope the campaign promise of increasing the deficit was one of those promises that doesn’t get honored.   If you want to keep borrowing costs low, then you also want less govt, not more.

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

Bond Yields are up… will Fixed Mortgage rates follow?

graph trend upFixed mortgage rates are tied closely to the Govt of Cda bond yields.   And bond yields are up…  Since mid April, the 5 yr Gov of Cda bond yield has gone from 0.75% to 1.07%.   That’s a 0.32% jump.   Normally, we would see fixed mortgage rates go up.

So far, no increase.  But that’s probably more to do with a competitive Spring housing market.   This is when most house sales and mortgage transactions take place.   The Banks need to maintain certain market share levels in order to keep shareholders happy.    They are willing to sacrifice a little profit margin (and I do mean little… they seem to make up for this with higher service fees as was recently reported, but let’s not get into that now…).

If the bond yields continue to increase, we will see fixed mortgage rates rise.  That’s an automatic.   The real question is how long will the bond yields continue their climb?   It will be interesting to watch the next few months.   We can expect to see some rate increases as the Spring market ends and Banks look to increase their profit…. A pattern that repeats itself year after year..   but here’s what you can do to protect yourself… Continue reading “Bond Yields are up… will Fixed Mortgage rates follow?”

2.99% is back… does that mean we should take it?

record low rates5 year fixed @ 2.99% is back.   This is NOT a NO FRILLS product (for those of you that saw a similar rate elsewhere earlier this year) but there is tougher qualifying.   This seems to have become an annual event.  For the past 3 years, we’ve seen 2.99% or less, being offered each Spring.   So, why haven’t rates gone up like the Bank’s economists, government analysts and other so-called ‘experts’ had predicted?

There are several reasons but, to sum it all up, the global economies haven’t recovered from the 2008 recession.    The US recovery is slower than expected.   Canada’s inflation rate is below target levels.   There were even concerns we could see deflation, which would cause the Bank of Canada to lower rates… those concerns have gone away…. for now!

WHAT’S THE FORECAST NOW?

Continue reading “2.99% is back… does that mean we should take it?”

Stay away from mortgage cashback offers!

CanadianBills It’s the Spring market…  ok, the weather isn’t saying this but the real estate market is.  You’re gonna start seeing and hearing more ads on TV, radio, news sites, even finance blogs.    So here’s a some quick words of advice.  STAY AWAY FROM TODAY’S CASH BACK OFFERS!

There are a few different types of mortgage cash back offers.   The most common offer is one where the Bank or Lender gives you 5% of the mortgage balance on closing.  That’s right they give you 5% back in cash.  For example: a $400,000 mortgage would get you back $20,000 in cash.

This type of cash back does serve a purpose.  If you are a young home buyer with little or no down payment, but you have a good job and don’t want to wait to save up that down payment, then this isn’t a bad way to get in the market.  Just ask those that did this 5 years ago.   With real estate values up by around 35% to 50% in that time, this isn’t a bad deal.   Continue reading “Stay away from mortgage cashback offers!”

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.”

Banks maximizing mortgage penalties again… but there’s a bright side..

BankstersIn case you haven’t heard, Fixed rates are up around 0.50% over the last 3 weeks.  But the Banks haven’t increased their posted rates…  How can that be?? And how does that affect you?

The BIG SIX BANKS have played the rate guessing game for as long as I can remember..  This time, they’ve added another twist to ensure you will be paying those inflated penalties even longer..   By not increasing the posted rates, they ensure themselves any existing BANK customer will pay the same inflated penalties.

Look back to 5 years ago when fixed rate discounts we around 1.10% off Bank posted rates..  Now fast forward to May 2013.  Rate discounts reached an all-time high of 2.25%.  And whether it was by design or not, this inflated your penalty by the same margin.  (I’ll let you decide if this is just good old BANK luck… yeah, right.) Continue reading “Banks maximizing mortgage penalties again… but there’s a bright side..”

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

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

 

Fixed mortgage rates could move up this week.

graph trend up Guess I shouldn’t have talked about the record low interest rates last week…   Today, 2 small lenders increased their fixed mortgage rates and another Lender warned of a potential increase coming sometime this week.  What’s driving the higher rates?   A jump in the 5 year bond yields.  Fixed mortgage rates are directly affected by the Govt of Canada bond yield.

With bond yields jumping 20 basis points in the past 1o days, it’s only logical to assume mortgage rates will go up.   click here to see bond yields.   But hey, with interest rates at record low levels, it’s no reason to panic.  Rates are still great…. if you want to protect yourself against a possible increase, get a rate hold… it’s free and there’s no obligation.   Most Lenders will hold rates for 120 days..

Need help to get a rate hold?  Call me.   I can help.

Your best interest is my only interest.

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

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Giving up the Bank Kool-aid.

Big six banksRecently, I’ve had several new clients contact me about getting out of their higher rate BANK mortgage… No surprise here… with interest rates reaching new all-time lows, it only makes sense to look into this further…

But I’ve noticed a very familiar pattern developing….See if this sounds familiar:

1-First, you hear about these record low fixed rates… maybe online, from a friend, or from one of my current clients…

2- You contact your Bank to see what they can do…

3-Your Banker gives you 2 options… 1- pay an inflated prepayment penalty (BIG SIX BANKS make you pay for any rate discount) and get into a new 5 yr fixed rate of 3.29% (this is the best advertised rate today by a BIG SIX BANK).  OR 2- they’ll blend the penalty into a new mortgage but your rate will be higher… (this never works to your advantage.. there is NO assurance the Bank will offer you the absolute best discounted rate when calculating your new rate.. it’s been a favorite tactic of the Banks for decades…don’t drink this kool-aid… it will cost you $$thousands). 

Most of us will stop right there and go no further…We’ve consumed so much Bank kool-aid that it’s turned us into a flock of sheep… But if you’ve started to become immune to the Bank tactics and want to explore further, then read on…

4- You call a Mortgage Broker, maybe me… you discover that today’s best 5 yr fixed rate is under 3.00%…   (That’s today’s best 5 year wholesale mortgage rate with NO ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS OR LIMITATIONS…It’s important to understand this fine point.)  And you discover it’s now worth paying the penalty to get into this new mortgage.

5- Everything is going great… but come payout time, your Banker contacts you… They make a last-minute plea to save your business… Somehow, they miraculously offer to match the Broker rate…

Every heard of this before?  What would you do?

Most of my clients, that go through this process, quickly discover who has their best interests at heart.  They realize it’s better to deal with ‘rate-setters’ vs ‘rate-matchers’.    But oddly enough, I have seen some clients stick with their Bank… Like other addicts, they can’t seem to explain it..   Even after going through the entire mortgage review and approval process (or what I refer to as the  Bank detox process).   When asked why they stayed, they couldn’t give any logical reason.  They just keep going back to the Bank for another fix.

10 years ago, this happened more often.  But times have changed.  Kool-aid is out.  Protein shakes and Red Bull are in.  Today’s consumer is more educated… information flows faster.  Even the Bank of Canada said “borrowers who use a mortgage broker pay less, on average, than borrowers who negotiate with lenders directly”. (February 2011 entitled ‘Competition in the Canadian Mortgage Market’’).

As always, if you have any questions or comments or are just looking for a better mortgage, please free to contact me anytime.

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

 

 

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