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Tagfixed rate mortgage

Only two things in life are certain Death and Taxes

Death, taxes and interest payments. Part 2 of 2.

Only two things in life are certain Death and Taxes

Part 2 of 2….  In Part 1, we examined rental properties and how they can be a great way to reduce your taxes, build net worth and create an income stream.  Part 2 looks at Interest payments.  Interest payments are a big part of our personal expenses.  Here are a few suggestions on how to reduce your interest costs.

Continue reading “Death, taxes and interest payments. Part 2 of 2.”

Remember when I said rates could go down, not up?!

saving money-young woman putting a coin into a money-box-close up

If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’ll know I’ve been very skeptical and critical of the Bank of Canada (BoC) for continuing to increase interest rates. It just hasn’t made sense.

The BoC raised rates FIVE TIMES between July 2017 and October 2018. That’s a 1.25% increase. For anyone with a $300,000 mortgage, your payment increased by $189 per month. Or, to put it another way, for every $100,000 of mortgage, your payment went up by around $63 per month.

Yet, we kept hearing that the BoC wanted to raise rates further. Economists and other experts were saying we should expect more rate increases by the end of 2018! Wow!

Continue reading “Remember when I said rates could go down, not up?!”

Where are rates headed? Down!

Rate Image, Nov 2018

Whenever there’s speculation that the Bank of Canada (BoC) will raise its key interest rate – or rates actually rise – many people are preoccupied worrying about locking in if they have a variable rate or renewing early in a fixed rate.

But, don’t panic! Rates aren’t going through the roof.

Continue reading “Where are rates headed? Down!”

Why Did the Bank of Canada Raise Rates Last Week?!

Canada Mortgage rate 20180509

Last Wednesday, the Bank of Canada (BoC) raised its overnight target rate to 1.5% – up from 1.25%. This is the fourth increase since last June, when the target rate was 0.5%.

The timing is suspect to me. Last year, we had an increase around this time, but that was coming off of the hottest housing market in 29 years. We’re currently on the heels of a brutally slow spring market, yet rates are still rising? I don’t get it… this is a poor decision, in my opinion.

When it comes to four rate increases in the past year, there are facts, realities and perceptions that come into play… Continue reading “Why Did the Bank of Canada Raise Rates Last Week?!”

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”

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

Rates usually drop leading up to a Federal election!

Election 2015History tells us that mortgage rates usually drop leading up to an election. And 2015 has followed that trend.   It started in January of this year, when the Bank of Canada (BOC) Governor, Stephen Poloz, shocked Economists with his surprise 0.25% Bank Rate cut.

(CanadaMortgageNews.ca readers will remember, not all were shocked, as I had predicted a rate drop just days earlier).

Then in July, the BOC Govr did it again..  this time, it wasn’t as much a shock.  The Bank Prime was cut by another 0.25% after months of negative Economist data showed the Canadian economy was slowing.  Continue reading “Rates usually drop leading up to a Federal election!”

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?”

Mortgage Rates hit Record lows again!

record low rates This isn’t 2010, 11, 12, 13 or even 2014…  It’s 2015, and once again, we are making this announcement.  5 year Fixed Mortgage rates are an new all-time lows!  Today, you can get a 5 yr fixed rate for 2.79%, even 2.74%, with some conditions.  (and by the way, yes, I am seeing slightly lower rates advertised, and I have access to these, but I won’t recommend these to my clients as they contain inferior terms, limited privileges, product restrictions and inflated prepayment penalty calculations… I won’t promote these.)

Just 2 years ago, the Federal Minister of Finance’s office picked up the phone, and called a Bank because they were advertising a 5 yr fixed rate at 2.99%.    The federal govt was concerned that the record low rate, at the time, would promote more consumer spending and make the already hot real estate market, even hotter. Continue reading “Mortgage Rates hit Record lows again!”

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.”

Tips on how to reduce your mortgage penalty

break your mortgage

Interest rates are still near record low levels. You’ve heard your co-workers,  friends or family brag how lucky they were to renew into these once in a lifetime rates.

But how you do you take advantage?  If you break your fixed rate mortgage then you face an enormous prepayment penalty…we’ve seen reports of $10k, $15k, $20k and even $30k in penalties….Wow!

Well, here’s a few tips…

-first, if you are in a 10 year fixed rate mortgage, and your are at least 5 years into the term, then the maximum penalty is 3 months interest  (this is a little known fact… Section 10 of the Interest Act of Canada).

-One more way to reduce the penalty is to utilize the annual prepayment privilege that’s within the mortgage.  Most mortgages have between 15% and 25% prepayment privileges which equates to a 15% to 25% reduction in the penalty…. Continue reading “Tips on how to reduce your mortgage penalty”

Real estate sales up 21% and 52% due to end of low fixed rates.

home-prices-upAugust real estate resale numbers are in….  and what a jump!  Up 21% in the Greater Toronto Area and an incredible 52% in Vancouver.   And here’s another interesting stat.  The average home price in Toronto is $505,000.  That’s a 5.5% increase from the previous month.

REAL ESTATE SALES DRIVEN BY HIGHER RATES..

But here are my thoughts on what caused the increased sales.  I think it has more to do with the steady mortgage rate increases that we’ve seen since May.  You see, most Lenders and Banks will offer rate holds of 120 days.   So that means you could have got a 5 year fixed rate mortgage preapproval in May for under 3.00%….  Those record low Fixed rates definitely forced many homebuyers to buy for fear they could miss out on the low rates. Continue reading “Real estate sales up 21% and 52% due to end of low fixed rates.”

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

Canadian Govt doesn’t want you to find the lowest mortgage rate.

communism in canada Yesterday, we saw our Federal Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, admit to having his office phone up Manulife Financial and ask them to stop advertising their 2.89% 5 year fixed rate mortgage special.  An unprecedented move for a government official…  Yes, it’s true!  But wait, it gets better (or worse).  Flaherty admitted to calling up BMO personally,  to ask them to stop advertising their 2.99% 5 year fixed rate (NO FRILLS mortgage).  click here for the article.

Now, just a comment about these products and rates…. if you are a regular visitor to CanadaMortgageNews.ca then you’ll know the BMO low-rate (or NO FRILLS to be more accurate) is a terrible product with too many restrictions and limitations…  Manulife has a decent product….rate is competitive, however, like most other Bank’s, there is some mystery about what their best rates really are…  so once again, you can’t rely on a website or bank advertising when it comes to finding the best mortgage…a mortgage broker is the best way to get unbiased advice with access to dozens of Lenders. Continue reading “Canadian Govt doesn’t want you to find the lowest mortgage rate.”

O’Leary only wants Fixed rate mortgages…really?

CBC News did a report about Renting vs. Buying, earlier this week.. And it featured Kevin O’Leary and Amanda Lang, two well-known TV personalities….Ok, we covered Rent vs. Own in great detail just a few months ago…  And I also talked about using your home as a retirement fund, earlier this week in my Baby Boomer 10 year retirement plan article.. But this isn’t what I want to talk about…  I want to talk about some comments O’Leary made about Fixed Rates, during that report.

UNPOPULAR COMMENTS AGAINST O’LEARY

I’m taking a chance by speaking out against Kevin O’Leary.   But I must speak up regarding something as important as this…   So here it goes…

O’Leary is starting a new mortgage company….Congrats!  I’m sure he’ll do well.    He said his company would ONLY offer Fixed rate mortgages because Mr. O’Leary doesn’t believe ANYONE should be in a Variable Rate mortgage…. he went on to say that because Fixed Rates are so low, you would have to be insane to stay in a Variable Rate…Hmm.. well, if you are one of my clients then you know how absurd this statement is…

2008-09 MORTGAGE HISTORY LESSONS

Over 80% of my clients are, or have been in a Variable rate mortgage… Most of them enjoyed rates of Prime less 0.75% or better… some even had Prime less 0.90%..and for a while, they enjoyed rates as low at 1.35%!!!  During the 2008-09 recession, we were inundated with TV and Media personalities telling us to lock into a 5 year Fixed rate mortgage because of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and stock market crash…  You remember that?  I do… and I recommended clients do the opposite..  take short-term mortgages until the dust settled on interest rates…  This WAS NOT the popular advice…  It was panic time…. but that’s when you need to remain calm and review the facts…

Fortunately, most of my clients didn’t listen to the media and followed my advice.   I recommended several different products… 6 months, 1 year, 2 year, 3 year and even the short-lived 3 yr Variable rate… In ALL cases, it was the right product choice…. It was the best option at the time for that particular client…My clients have saved $$thousands each and every year through my advice!

(historical fact… Variable rate mortgages have been a cheaper way to finance your home in over 88% of time…Professor Milevsky study.) 

TODAY’S STRATEGY

Unfortunately, new Variable rate products aren’t priced as well today…. This is probably that other 12% of the time….And although I am not recommending Variable rates today for most borrowers, it still might be the right product for some…  To say everyone should get out of their Variable rate is just bad advice!  The GOAL IS TO PAY THE LEAST AMOUNT OF MONEY TO OWN OUR HOMES!

My criteria for choosing Fixed over Variable depends on many factors but here are 3 things I pay close attention to:

1-Variable rate pricing not as attractive.. the best Variable rate today is Prime less 0.35% (3.00% less 0.35% = 2.65%)…..

2-Fixed rates are at historical lows (just over 3.00%).

3-the spread between 5 yr Fixed and Variable should be over 1.00%…today it’s less than 0.50%.

Add all of this up and it’s an easy choice today….I cannot recommend Variable Rate for most NEW mortgages….

THIS DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD GET OUT OF YOUR VARIABLE RATE!!!

If you have a Variable rate of Prime less 0.75%, I would stick with that… that’s 2.25%…  why start paying over 3.00%?   There is no forecast for immediate rate increases…   And this is where I am very concerned…. We have a very well known TV personality that comes out and says everyone should lock into a Fixed Rate mortgage…. I’m sure the BANKS would love to see you out of a 2.25% mortgage and into a 3.00%+ rate.   I completely disagree with O’Leary.    There is no ‘One size fits all’ mortgage.   Everyone is different and has different needs…   I’d be very careful about listening to anyone that wants to pigeon-hole all Canadians.

BEWARE THE TV EXPERTS…  Just a final note….  How many times have you heard ‘Rates are going up soon’ in the last 4 years.?  You must lock into a Fixed Rate…    I hear it everyday…. and if my clients listened to these ‘Experts’ they would have been out of their Prime less 0.75% Variable rate and into a 4.00%, 5.00% or even 6.00% fixed rate mortgage!   Those that have listened to the facts have done extremely well.   There isn’t a crystal ball… it’s not magic, it’s simply viewing the mortgage landscape, current economic trends, monitoring inflation rates and paying attention to govt and policy makers… I really don’t watch the news or listen to any media or TV personalities.   I just look at the facts and present them here.

As always, if you have any comments or questions or would like to know what strategy is best for you, give your mortgage broker a call.. or call me if you don’t have a broker.  I’d be happy to help.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

 

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