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More Banks raise their variable rates

BMO has joined RBC in raising their Variable rate mortgage pricing. The Financial Post reports that BMO raised their Variable rate mortgages from Prime 015% to Prime less 0%.

Can you say, ‘we want to force borrowers into the more profitable 5 year fixed rate products’???  That’s right.. The Banks would rather see you in a 4.00% rate vs. a 2.25% rate…  And why not?  They are a business after all.

We have also just received reports from other wholesale lenders that they will raise their pricing as well…  If you were looking at buying a house, refinancing your mortgage or had a mortgage coming up for renewal in the next 4 months, I would suggest you speak with your Mortgage Broker and get some rates locked in…

It’s important to understand, the Bank of Canada is not likely to raise their rate anytime soon.   Bank Prime remains at 3.00%.  We are seeing the Bank Economists tell us they think the economy will remain slow… The Banks do not make as much profit with the low Variable rate mortgages… They want and prefer you to take a 5 year fixed.. these are the most profitable mortgage products for them.

So  the bad news is Lenders will raise their Variable rates slightly, the good news is that we are probably going to continue to enjoy mortgage rates under 3.00% for some time to come…..

Stock market drop and slight recovery.

Did you know that between July 22nd and August 8th, the TSX index dropped 14%?   Did you know that since August 8th, it has recovered 9% of that loss?  What a roller coaster ride…But there’s good news here…

So how will this affect your mortgage rates?

Fixed mortgage rates are priced from the 5 year Cda govt bonds.. Bond yields also dropped like a rock.. from 2.27% to 1.35% during that same time period…  that’s a 0.92% decrease.  A visit to TD Bank’s website shows us their ‘5 year fixed rate Special offer’ is 4.19%... no drop at all.   Call a Mortgage broker and you’ll see rates of around 3.49% today.

Sure, fixed rates are very low but they should be lower….  Fixed rates are usually priced around 1.30% to 1. 70% above the 5 year bond yield…  Why haven’t you seen mortgage rates keep pace with the bond yield drop?   That’s not hard to figure out… The Banks are maximizing their profits… same old story…Banks are infamous for hiking rates quickly and but slow to move when it comes to cutting rates.

How about Variable rates?

Well, not much to report there… The Bank of Canada meets 8 times a year.   Last meeting was July 19th.  Next meeting is Sept 7th.    You can forget about any immediate rate hike.   Economists have done an about-face with their forecasts…. We were expecting a rate hike this September or October… That’s now been pushed back to 2012… and there were even some rumblings about a possible BOC rate cut (but I’m not sure that’s gonna happen).

At 3.00%, the Bank Prime rate is still very, very low and makes borrowing very attractive…   Current Variable rate mortgages are priced at between Prime less 0.65% to 0.80%…    We may not see interest rates drop, but there is no reason for them to go up for the next little while…. Enjoy the low rates.

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.

Banks quick to raise but slow to lower rates

Nothing new about this story…. Since April 11-2011, the 5 year bond yields went from 2.87%,  down to 2.10% on June 24th, and have gone up slightly to 2.34% on July 1st….  Remember, fixed rates are closely tied to the govt of Canada bond yields…So that means the Banks would have lowered their fixed rates accordingly and then raise them slightly, right?

Well, not really…  On April 11th, the Big Six Banks posted rates were 5.69%.. they went down slightly to 5.39% recently but are back up to 5.54%…   What’s wrong with math…?  Why didn’t the Banks reduce their rates accordingly?    It’s called MAXIMIZING your PROFIT…  The banks want to earn a little more at the borrowers expense.

I find it kinda funny but also frustrating when I see articles reporting that Bank profit margins on mortgages is shrinking…  The spread between the 5 year bond yield and the posted 5 year fixed rate is around 3.20%…  and historically, it’s been around 2.50% and sometimes even as low as 2.00%….  Where’s the fierce competition, I wonder?

Banks are a business that want to maximize their profits… Let’s not forget this.

TD Economics forecasts no Variable rate hike til 2012

This week, TD Economics said the Bank of Canada probably won’t raise rates til 2012.   How quickly things can change.  Just a few months ago, most Economists and Financial Experts were calling for the Bank of Canada to raise rates this summer.. some said as early as May… Well, that didn’t happen.

There are many reasons but TD’s Chief Economist, Craig Alexander, said it was low inflationary expectations, the negative impact on the European financial instability (Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal) and the high $Canadian dollar.  We can also through in Japan’s Tsunami and the Middle East political uprising.

Fixed rates have also not gone up as the Economists were forecasting earlier this year.  Instead, they have come back down to historical lows, once again… The Bond market affects fixed rates and we’ve seen the 5 year Canadian Bond drop 80 basis points since mid April.

All this is great news for borrowers as there appears to be little pressure to raise interest rates anytime soon.

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