Another great Q & A between myself and Jenelle Cameron of Remax. We had a chance to discuss what’s happening with mortgages, interest rates and the real estate market in general.Continue reading “Mortgage and Real Estate Q & A | April 23 2020”
Following are the highlights from a telephone conversation with Jean-Francois Perrault, Chief Economist Scotiabank and John Webster, President and CEO Scotia Mortgage Corporation which took place on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.
First, it’s not all bad news. While I’ll have to include some unpleasant information in order to provide a complete picture, that is not the focus.
I’ve never seen more competition with mortgage rates in my 30-year career than I have in the first five months of 2019!
Rates are under 3%!
On May 10th, a new jobs report was released by the federal government showing 106,000 new jobs created in the month of April. This blew away all expectations. And, the reaction was immediate, including higher mortgages being imminent and a bull stock market on the horizon… and yet, this didn’t happen. Continue reading “A Rate War on Canada Day?”
With warmer weather comes a renewed energy and hope for the coming months. It’s also the official start of the Spring housing market.
Are you considering buying a home? If so, here are a few things you should know before you head out house hunting.
Something strange has been going on over the past decade. We’re often being told – and, in many cases, convinced – that it’s better to rent than to own.
I firmly believe everyone should own their home. In fact, I think we should own at least one investment property… and, in many cases, more than one, but I’ll get to that in a minute…
I can understand why many people, particularly Millennials, are believing it’s better to rent than own. After all, it’s easier to rent. Just look online for a condo or house for rent. Apply, sign the lease and you’re done. We’ll call this the Convenience factor.
The beginning of the year is typically tough financially for most of us. Holiday bill payments, RRSP contributions, property tax bills, etc. And, if you’re self-employed, you probably have to make some sort of business tax or corporate tax payment. If December is the Holiday Season, then January and February feel like a hangover!
Banks and credit card companies love this time of year because this is when we’re most likely to carry a balance, forcing us to pay those crazy interest rates that range from 9% to 24%.
But, wait! Before you get too depressed, there may be a better option. There’s a less expensive way to manage your debt.
I reviewed some recent stats that explain how overall mortgage growth has fallen to its lowest level in the past 17 years!
Overall, mortgages outstanding across Canada total more than $1.5 trillion. And, while this total continues to increase year over year, the rate of growth has decreased. We should pay attention to this!
Typically, when we experience lower mortgage growth or no growth at all, house prices will follow suit and come down.
But, why aren’t the banks up in arms over this given that they make huge profits by lending money? (More on this below.)
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!
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.
The incredible variable rate wars we’re seeing this month are about to come to a close! It would be a shame to miss out on these savings! And, while there is a possibility that they’ll extend into June, I wouldn’t risk it – deep savings like these don’t come around every day! In fact, I’ve never seen advertised variable rates this low!
If your mortgage is coming up for renewal soon – or, even if it’s not – it’s worth a call to your mortgage broker to discuss the possible savings. The math speaks for itself…
In order to fully understand how to take advantage of record-low variable rates, it’s important to learn some mortgage history.
BMO came out swinging first a week ago with a variable rate of Prime minus 1.00%. Historically, when a BIG SIX BANK comes out with a huge price decrease, it’s only for a very short time – likely 2-3 weeks. But, during that time, they can gain massive volumes and satisfy their market share requirements from the average borrower.
With all the talk of interest rates going up, this is welcome news for borrowers. Last week, I wrote about Variable rates at Prime minus 1.09%. This week, the banks have caught on.
Quoting rates isn’t straightforward anymore. Your final rate is based on your credit score, purchase price or home value (homes over $1 million purchased after Oct 17, 2016 have higher rates), the loan to value (mortgages under 65% LTV and above 80% LTV get best rates), location, job type and income confirmation documents.
That’s right… ALL these factors will determine your interest rate!
Today, there’s a great variable rate available at Prime minus 1.09%. That translates to 2.39%. This is a real rate… it’s not a bait-and-switch ad like so many rate-comparison sites are quoting these days.
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.
Fixed 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?”
I’ll make this quick as I’m sure you have some New Year’s Eve celebrations to attend to.
QUICK YEAR IN REVIEW.
- Interest rates haven’t really changed this year.
- 5 yr fixed rates are under 3.00%.
- Variable rate pricing improved to around Prime less 0.60% (less in some cases and dropping).
- In fact, looking at the big picture, interest rates haven’t really changed much in the last 4 yrs. Yet, you wouldn’t know it by reading the newspaper headlines….(sorry to my media friends…)
Let’s get to it. MY THOUGHTS ON 2015. Continue reading “Looking ahead to 2015 rates and trends”
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.”