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Rates are going up… for now… is this the end of low rates?

 Next Wednesday will be the first Bank of Canada meeting date to set the Target rate, which directly affects Bank Prime rate and Variable rate mortgages. It’s almost a certainty that the Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz, will raise the rates.

POSITIVE DATA MEANS HIGHER RATES

There’s been too much positive economic data lately. Low unemployment levels (5.7%, the lowest since the ’70s), higher spending by consumers, slightly higher inflation (2.1%), record level stock market. We’ve also seen some comments and posturing by the Bank of Canada Govr that suggests we should expect a 0.25% increase.

Bond yields have also been moving steadily upward. Yup, we should expect a rate hike. And depending on how the market reacts to this, we could possibly see another rate hike at the next Bank of Canada meeting on March 7th.

BUT WAIT, IS THIS THE END OF MORTGAGE RATES IN THE 3.00%’s?

Continue reading “Rates are going up… for now… is this the end of low rates?”

Mortgage Brief.. Mortgages rules explained… and why didn’t the govt consult experts?

Bill Morneautrudeau

They say we don’t read emails or articles anymore.. we just skim through them.   But some things can’t be understood with a quick glance.  The new mortgage rules will impact EVERYONE!

If you want to understand how they impact you, continue reading… If you don’t care or want to be oblivious, take the blue pill and move on.

I’ve put together a list of the mortgage rules so that you can understand what they mean and how they will impact you.   Hey, let’s give The Federal govt some credit… they’ve been transparent about a few things, right?:

  • They want house prices to drop.
  • They don’t want anyone to have a mortgage if their home is worth more than $1,000,000.
  • They don’t want you to ever refinance your mortgage.  You should only require a mortgage when you buy a house.
  • They don’t want you to buy a house and rent it out.  You should only buy a rental property if it has 2 or more units.
  • Mortgages should not be amortized for longer than 25 years.
  • They want rates to go way up.

Here’s the official update from our Department of Finance.

Here we go.. Forget the data and stats being reported today.  Those stats don’t matter!  We want to see the stats after March 30th, 2017.

Remember the mortgage rule changes of October 17th?  How about the ones on November 30th?  Get ready, we won’t see the full effect of these changes until after March 30th 2017.

That’s when the last of the mortgage approvals will have closed, that were done under the old rules. And all the new mortgage closings beyond this date, will have had to been qualified with the new rules.  This is when we’ll begin to see the impact of these rules… And we’ll begin to see just how many Canadians will be have been impacted.

If you think I’m wrong, read the rule changes below and tell me what other conclusions you can come up with. Continue reading “Mortgage Brief.. Mortgages rules explained… and why didn’t the govt consult experts?”

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..”

BMO caves in to Federal govt pressure and raises mortgage rate.

Bmo wide It was bound to happen.  BMO announced their so-called ‘low-rate’ (NO FRILLS) 5 yr fixed rate mortgage would be increasing to 3.09% from 2.99%.   This comes shortly after the Federal Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, said that he called BMO and asked them to pull their 2.99% ads.   Last week, the Minister’s office asked Manulife Bank to withdraw their recent ad promoting a similar low rate.  Flaherty i don't know

While, 2.99% isn’t the best rate today, it was the lowest advertised rate from the BIG SIX BANKs.    It was somewhat symbolic.    Of course, Mortgage Brokers have access to even lower rates through the wholesale mortgage market, but these lenders don’t have the deep advertising pockets that BMO or the other BIG SIX BANKs have.   So the publicity surrounding this rate and the increase will get much more air-time.   You can actually find full-featured 5 year mortgages at 2.89% today, through a good mortgage broker (a word of warning.. I’ve seen lower rates offered, and I have access to these products… but these products are not full-featured and come with some limitations that make them less attractive… just be careful when choosing your mortgage and your mortgage broker)Continue reading “BMO caves in to Federal govt pressure and raises mortgage rate.”

Higher Bond yields are bringing higher fixed rates..but that’s not all.

Some of Canada’s major banks have raised their 5 year fixed mortgage rates… but not their posted rates.   It’s become common practice for the Big Six Retail banks to show a posted 5 year fixed rate ….but in the past few years the Banks have also started to advertise their so-called ‘special’ rate.

The ‘special’ rate has increased by 0.25% to 4.19% to 4.29%, depending on which Bank you visit.  Of course, these rates are still much higher than the true discounted rates available through Mortgage Brokers.   Wholesale 5 year fixed rates are still around 3.69% to 3.79% (these will probably go up in a few days by 0.25%).  But this is nothing new.

What’s different this time is that the Posted Rates didn’t go up.  We’re not sure why, but here is one definite result of this move…your mortgage prepayment penalty will not decrease, which is the usual effect of an interest rate hike.   That’s right, if you have a closed fixed rate mortgage to payout, your penalty is either 3 months interest or Interest Rate Differential (IRD).

IRD is calculated many different ways now and we are hoping the Federal Govt’s announcement of a standardized prepayment penalty will come soon (we hear it could come this spring).   Currently, Banks use formulas that include the Posted rate to calculate your penalty.  This calculation has become a lucrative source of revenue for the Banks.  Reports of 6, 10 and even 14 months worth of interest have been charged to unsuspecting borrowers.  Record low rates means record HIGH penalties.  Come on Federal Govt, we need this change now.

As an aside, Variable rates are still around 2.25%…. this larger gap between fixed and variable is going to make Variable more attractive.

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