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Fixed Rates increase for the second time in 2 weeks..

Royal Bank increased their fixed mortgage rates again by 0.25%….that’s an 0.85% increase in 2 weeks…  Scotiabank increased their rates shortly afterwards.    We can expect the other Major Banks to follow this latest increase.

What’s interesting about this move is that the bond market has not increased by the same amount…. On February 15th 2010, the 5 year Bond yield was 2.53%…today, it’s 3.08%….Mortgage Lenders and Banks want to earn a 1.20% to 1.30% spread in the wholesale mortgage market… Today’s best 5 year fixed rate mortgage is 4.39% but will increase to around 4.64%….  That puts the spread all the way up to a whopping 1.56%.

By the way, not all Lenders have increased their rates… there are still Lenders with rates in the 4.39% range but we should expect them to follow suit…

Historical rate trends favour variable rates..

Sometimes it’s just easier to see the numbers on a graph.. Here are a few updated graphs from Firstline Trust… Firstline Trust Historical Rates February 2010… Notice the spread between the Bank Prime rate and Fixed Rates… the spread is usually around 1.00% to 2.00% in favour of Variable rates.

Variable rate mortgages have outperformed Fixed rates in over 88% of the time…. here’s a great study by Professor Moshe Milevsky of Schulich School of Business… Milvesky variable rate 2008.    And here’s an article today by the Canadian Press that comments quietly, that Variable Rate should still be considered…

Hey, by the way… did I mention that we are still in historical rate territory?  If you look back at historical rates, you will see that it’s still a GREAT time to borrow money… Fixed rates in the 4.00% range… Variable rates still under 2.00%…  Doesn’t sound too bad to me…

TD and RBC raise rates by 0.60%.

TD and RBC have increased their 5 year posted mortgage rates this morning. We can expect others to follow. This comes as no surprise as the 5 year Bond Market increased to 2.87% causing the margins to shrink.

This is probably the beginning of several increases to come over the coming months. If the Economists are right, then we will see these types of hikes followed by a pause to see how the economy reacts.

We will be paying close attention to inflation, unemployment and the $Canadian dollar.

Fixing or locking in your rate may be an option for some but variable rate mortgages are still around 2.00% below 5 year Fixed Rates.

I’m still a fan of variable rate mortgages. I just think that they are a better product. But hey, that’s just me. We are all different and have different needs. Always talk to a Mortgage Broker to get your needs evaluated.

Is Affordability better or worse?

Here’s an interesting statistic…  5 years ago, a 5 year fixed rate mortgage was around 4.35%… and the maximum amortization was 25 years…. a $250,000 mortgage would cost you $1363/mth.

Today, a 5 year fixed rate mortgage can be found at 3.89% (and lower)… and the payment is $1300/mth….. let’s increase the mortgage to $300,000 and use the new maximum amortization of 35 years… new monthly payment is $1303/mth….

Affordability is better than ever… these historical low rates will not be here forever.. make sure you are taking full advantage…. talk with your Mortgage Broker for full details…

Expect fixed rate increase of 20bp to 30bps as 5 yr Bonds up to 2.70%

Fixed rates could increase as the 5 year Bond yield jumped to 2.70%….this is up 21bps from a week ago… The spread now is 1.19% between 5 yr fixed rate and the 5 yr Bond… normally, lenders want to see a 1.35% spread …. if the Bond market continues to stay at this level or increases further, we will see fixed rates rise.

The U.S. employment stats also came out today…..unemployment held steady at 9.7% which is better than analysts expected… This will also put pressure on the Bond Market… Canadian employment figures come out next week…

Remember, fixed rates has historically increased sooner than the Bank prime rate which affects Variable rate….. This could be the beginning of the slow but steady rise in rates…. It’s certainly not time to panic but we should pay attention…

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