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Important week for mortgage rates

Important week for mortgage rates could cost or save you thousands.

Important week for mortgage rates

Mortgage rates fell by about 1% since January of this year. That rate drop has created a surge in real estate sales across Canada, with September and October seeing a greater than average number of real estate transactions.  We also saw consumers taking advantage of these low rates by refinancing their mortgages early.

The Five-Year Government of Canada bond yields have been going up and down like a yo-yo over the last three months, with a low point being 1.13% and a high of 1.58% just this past week. This uncertainty/volatility forced financial institutions to raise their interest rate by about .2% to .3%.  Having said that, interest rates are still very low. In my discussions with the major lenders, they are all telling me that it’s busier than usual for home purchases and refinance purposes. Continue reading “Important week for mortgage rates could cost or save you thousands.”

Why didn't the Bank of Canada Gov cut rates last week

Why didn’t the Bank of Canada Gov cut rates last week?

Why didn't the Bank of Canada Gov cut rates last week

WAS THIS A BIG MISTAKE?

Last week, Stephen Poloz, the Bank of Canada Governor, kept the Prime Rate as is during the 6th of their eight scheduled meetings for 2019.  The Current Target rate is 1.75%.  (Bank Prime rate is derived from this rate.  Today’s Bank Prime rate is 3.95%.  Over 99% of time, when the Target Rate is cut, the Banks will reduce the Bank Prime Rate by an equal amount).

This was a very calculated decision that has politics written all over it.  While the rest of the world banks have been cutting rates to combat a looming recession due to growing global trade wars and slowing global economies, our Government did nothing.  Apparently, the Canadian economy is ‘resilient’.  The next Bank of Canada meeting is set for October 30, 2019.  Oh, and there’s a Federal election on Oct 21, 2019.  Yeah, this has politics written all over it.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MORTGAGE RATES TODAY.  Continue reading “Why didn’t the Bank of Canada Gov cut rates last week?”

Mortgage Rates have Dropped and Will Fall Further

Mortgage shopping

Rate forecasting isn’t rocket science – it’s more common sense than you think! But, it requires a clear mind to make sense of all the rubbish that’s being published these days.

I’ve been forecasting for a while now that interest rates would start to come back down this year. Currently, interest rates are down by around 0.4% and will come down further.

WHY ARE RATES FALLING?  Continue reading “Mortgage Rates have Dropped and Will Fall Further”

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!”

Got a mortgage? Good news: Bank of Canada didn’t raise rates yesterday!

Blog Image, Your Best Mortgage is About More than Rate, Feb Mar 2018

Yesterday, Bank of Canada (BoC) Governor, Stephen Poloz, left rates unchanged. This kept the bank prime rate at 3.45%.

This also, indirectly, affects fixed mortgage rates. Great news for anyone with a mortgage. Go ahead, it’s okay to feel good about paying a low interest rate on what’s probably the biggest debt of your life!

ARE ECONOMISTS RIGHT?

For months we’ve heard economists forecasting 2-4 BoC rate hikes for 2018. So far, we’ve had one increase – in January. Should we be expecting three more increases? Only time will tell, since the BoC raises its rate when inflation rises above the target inflation rate… currently the range is between 1% and 3%, and sits at an acceptable 2.10%. Some believe inflation has increased temporarily, in part, due to increased minimum wage.

Continue reading “Got a mortgage? Good news: Bank of Canada didn’t raise rates yesterday!”

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?”

A 2nd Bank of Canada rate hike surprises many.. what’s it mean?

 The Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz, has been full of surprises since he took on his current role.  With a second 0.25% rate hike today in consecutive BoC meetings, he’s pushed the rate to 1.00%.  This should result in a Bank Prime rate of 3.20%.   The move has surprised many experts as the economic indicators don’t justify a rate hike.

The move comes following last week’s surprising positive stats showing the Canadian economy grew by 4.5% in the 2nd quarter, according to stats Canada.   Could this be a knee jerk reaction?

Usually, the Bank of Canada increases rates when inflation rises above the Target level of between 1% and 3%.  A quick search on the BankofCanada.ca website and we see the inflation level is just 1.2%.   So, why raise the rate now?   According to the BoC press release, it’s all about that recent positive economic data. Hmmm, you have to wonder is they jumped the gun on this one?

WHAT’S THIS MEAN FOR MORTGAGE BORROWERS IN CANADA?

Standing back, we need to look at where current interest rates are in relation to historical rates.  With an expected Bank Prime rate set to increase by 0.25% (Banks usually follow and match the BoC rate movement except 2 yrs ago when the Boc cut the Target rate by 0.50% in 6 months, but the BIG SIX BANKS only cut their Prime rate by 0.30%, pocketing the difference and stumbling to explain why they would profit off the backs of Canadian consumers and businesses during an economic recovery…nice, huh?) This means the new Bank Prime rate will be 3.20%.

REALITY CHECK.

Are rates high? Are they low?  Historically, we are still in record low territory.   Fixed Mortgage rates are still just over 3.00% today.  Variable rate mortgages are 2.45% to 2.55%.    Hey, that’s not bad at all. In fact, it’s still great!  Too much emphasis has been put on these rate hikes, as though they would paralyze consumers from being able to spend or make their mortgage payments.   This is just untrue.

Canadians have had to qualify at Bank Posted 5 yr fixed rates for years, if you chose and Variable rate mortgage.  That means you had to pass the stress test using a rate that was 2.00% higher than your actual mortgage.   And what’s not talked about enough is that Canadians don’t just pay their minimum required payment.  They accelerate and increase their payments.  They pay more to pay the debt off faster!.  Canadians pay their mortgages off in around 17 yrs on average….with many paying them off in 12 years.

Bet ya didn’t know that?!

FUTURE RATE HIKES

Not likely.. at least not for a while.  These 2 consecutive rate hikes will be closely monitored to see how the consumer and the economy can absorb them.   If we start to see negative economic stats, we could see rate cuts.  It’s not out of the question and it wouldn’t be the first time the Bank of Canada had to reverse their increases.

Remember, we have seen major mortgage rule changes that have made it harder than EVER to qualify for a mortgage.  This lack of access to mortgage money is having a negative effect on the housing market.  Sales are down.  Prices have fallen (price decrease isn’t bad but we don’t want a free fall)..  Put it all together and you end up with less money flowing into the economy.   A slower economy usually means sustained low-interest rate environment… stay tuned folks..

MY ADVICE

If you are in a Variable rate mortgage, I would stay there.  Your rate is less than 3.00%.  Why would you want to lock in at over 3.00%?   If you are worried that rates could skyrocket, it’s unlikely given the fragile global economy and even our own economic instability.  However, if you can’t sleep at night because you are worried about the rates, and don’t mind paying a higher fixed rate for the assurance of knowing what your payment will be, then lock in or choose a fixed rate.   I’ll be staying in short term priced products like the Variable rate or a 2 or 3 yr term.  These products have proven to be the lowest cost products.

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 went up, so now what do you do?

fearOn July 12th, for the first time in seven years, the Bank of Canada increased the overnight rate by .25%, withdrawing some of the stimulus that was needed after the oil price collapse and 2008 financial crisis. Variable rate mortgages and lines of credit will see higher rates and modest payment increases. Fixed-rate mortgage – which are based on the bond market – had already been trending slightly upward, although if you have a fixed mortgage, you aren’t affected until it’s time to renew. Keep in mind that this is a very small increase, and we’re still in an ultra-low rate environment and an incredibly stable market. We’ve also seen increases before to only see them decrease again. But rates have risen, so here are answers to the questions I’m getting:

Should I jump into the market now? Actually, my advice is always the same: buy when you are financially ready. Don’t jump the gun just because rates “may” go higher. But by all means, if you’re thinking about buying, I can arrange a pre-approval so you’re protected from rate increases while you shop around.

Should I lock in my variable rate mortgage ASAP? 
Continue reading “Rates went up, so now what do you do?”

US Fed rate hike doesn’t mean Bank of Cda rate hike!

Janet YellenLast month, the US Fed Reserve Bank Chairperson, Janet Yellen, raised rates for the first time since 2006.    Historically, Canada follows the US with rate movement..  However, times are changing…Don’t expect Canada to follow the US move anytime soon.

stephen polozDivergence.  That’s the new buzz-word.  Bank of Cda Govr, Stephen Poloz said, “Usually you think of the Canadian economy following the U.S. economy fairly closely. This will be one of those places where it really doesn’t.”   “But as a macro statement, there will a divergence there. We’re already seeing it, and so you should expect a divergence in policy too,” he said. Continue reading “US Fed rate hike doesn’t mean Bank of Cda rate hike!”

Mortgage rates went up…. but why? And will they continue to go up?

fearup down graph

A month ago, I said Fixed mortgage rates probably hit the bottom.   A week later, fixed mortgage rates started to go up… around 0.20% over the past 3 weeks.  Variable rate mortgage pricing has gone from Prime less 0.65% to Prime less Prime less 0.40%.

Now, here’s the thing….  I don’t think rates will skyrocket over the next 6 or 12 months, like the pessimists would have you believe.  I think mortgage rates hit the bottom….BUT, they probably won’t go up very quickly.

In fact, the forecast now is for the Bank of Canada rate to stay the same until 2017.   This is just another example of how the world has become a smaller place.  If someone sneezes in Germany, we catch a cold.  With most of the global economies just getting by, there isn’t much reason for mortgage rates to go crazy.   They should remain low.

The key driver for rates going up recently is nothing more than profit taking.  Banks have had a great year… In case you didn’t know.  That’s right.. we seem to forget that 2015 was one of the best years on record for real estate and mortgage volume…  and house prices have never been higher.    Funny how that seems to get lost in the media reports.

Look for Variable rate pricing to fall in the new year…  Fixed rates could also come down slightly, but don’t count on them hitting the record lows that we saw this summer.   Hey, that’s not to say rates are bad.   We are still well under 3.00%.   These are ridiculously low mortgage rates.    Enjoy them while you can.

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

Trudeau sworn in as new PM, and bond yields jump leading to higher fixed mortgage rates!

Trudeal Liberal majorityYesterday, our new Prime Minister gets sworn in.  Justin Trudeau is Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister.   Some interesting facts…  Bond yields have gone up significantly in the last 2 weeks, since the election.  Fixed rates are priced directly from the Govt of Cda Bond yields.  If the yields go up, then fixed mortgage rates go up.  If they go down, then fixed mortgage rates go down.

Since the election on Oct 19, the bond yields have made a steady climb upwards.  Going from around 0.80% to 0.97% today..     Investors seem to think the Trudeau govt will keep it’s promise and spend our way to prosperity.   The concern is that if the govt of Canada increases its borrowing, the borrowing costs will go up.  Meaning it will cost the govt more, which in turn affects personal borrowing costs.   That’s you and I.

Watch for fixed mortgage rates to climb over the next month or so.  Right now, the increase is expected to be minimal…. but that could change.

I’ll be watching and reporting how this plays out.   Let’s hope the campaign promise of increasing the deficit was one of those promises that doesn’t get honored.   If you want to keep borrowing costs low, then you also want less govt, not more.

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

Bank of Canada says no rate hikes, but possible rate drops!!

stephen poloz  Last week, the Bank of Canada governor, Stephen Poloz, held the first of 8 scheduled meetings to set the Target Rate.    This is the rate used to set the Bank Prime rate which currently sits at 3.00%.   No surprise, no change in the rate.  It has been the same since Sept 2010.

From 2011 to 2013, the previous Bank of Canada governor, Mark Carney, continually announced of a pending rate increase.   But late last year, Poloz changed the tide when he announced it could be a few years before rates go up.   One of the key drivers for rate hikes is inflation.  The BoC target for inflation is between 1% and 3%.  If inflation goes above 3%, we can expect rate hikes.

Inflation is not a concern.  In fact, there are concerns about deflation as the current inflation rate sit at 1.2%.  Some experts believe we could see the BoC rate drop.  Great news for anyone in a Variable rate.   We are also seeing the govt of Cda bond yields drop.   Friday’s close was down to 1.59% for 5 yr bonds.  Haven’t seen that level since June 2013.   This means Fixed mortgage rates will probably go down further. Continue reading “Bank of Canada says no rate hikes, but possible rate drops!!”

Another US Govt shutdown… could mean lower mortgage rates for Canada.

debt ceilingRemember the U.S. Debt ceiling crisis in the summer of 2011?   Panic was an understatement.   That story dominated headlines for close to 2 months.   Stock markets dropped, but mortgage rates dropped, too.  In fact, fixed wholesale mortgage rates dropped 0.50% in the months leading up to the Debt Ceiling deadline, from June to August….  And continued to drop another 0.70% into 2012.

Mortgage rates hit all-time lows in the fall of 2011 and just kept right on dropping.  We hit our the all-time low in May 2013 before rates jumped almost 1.00% to our present 3.69%.  (This is for 5 year fixed mortgages.  Variable rates did not budge… Bank Prime rate has changed since Sept 2010…that’s important to remember as I will explain later) Continue reading “Another US Govt shutdown… could mean lower mortgage rates for Canada.”

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.”

5 year Fixed rates are going up.. time to consider Variable rate.

graph trend upThe 5 yr Gov of Cda bond yields hit a 2 yr high on Friday reaching just over 2.00%.  That’s up around 0.35% since mid July and up around 0.75% since May.   The increase started in May when the U.S. Federal Bank Chair, Ben Bernanke, made some comments about possible easing of the Fed’s stimulus program beginning as early as September.

Fixed mortgage rates are closely tied to the Gov of Cda bond yield.   When the yield goes up, mortgage rates are sure to follow.  With 5 yr fixed rates expected to rise, it makes for an interesting mortgage market.  Which product and term is best to choose today?   The answer is different for everyone.   We all have different needs, goals and risk tolerances.   Continue reading “5 year Fixed rates are going up.. time to consider Variable rate.”

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