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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?”

Mortgage rates going up a little.. for now. What should you do?

Happy 150th Canada!  Mortgage rates are going up.  Hooray!  Ok, yes, I’m being sarcastic.

This isn’t the cheery message you wanna hear if you have a mortgage coming up for renewal soon. But, hold on.  What does this really mean?  It’s a great attention grabber.  And now that you’re reading, let’s cut through the bull!

It’s true.  Wholesale fixed mortgage rates have gone up.. around 0.15%.  Yup, that’s it.  Yet, reading all the media headlines would make you believe mortgage rates went up 1.00% or something like that!!   This just isn’t the case.   And Variable rates haven’t changed as of yet.. Mind you, we could see an increase of 0.25% on July 12.. That’s still putting most Variable rate borrowers at 2.25% and 2.40%.. That’s a ridiculously low rate.

Here’s what’s happening…We’ve seen the media take little snippets of the Bank of Canada Governor, Mr. Stephen Poloz’s comments and turn them into front page headlines.  Great for headlines but short of full disclosure.  Here’s a more complete picture. Continue reading “Mortgage rates going up a little.. for now. What should you do?”

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

It’s September, sharpen your pencils!

Sharpen pencil

It’s September…and as green turns to gold we return refreshed to the rhythm of our daily routines. It’s our seasonal cue. Autumn is the perfect time to “get back to business” with a fresh look at your finances. Maybe you spent a little extra on that summer vacation, or the little home reno job that grew. That’s okay. Get out your calculator and get back on track.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RECORD LOW RATES!

Mortgage rates have hovered around historic lows for longer than anyone thought they would or could. That’s created a golden moment of opportunity for Canadian homeowners. In fact, the right mortgage can build your wealth… and save you thousands of dollars.

Thinking about a cottage or investment property? Wondering if it’s the right time to expand your space… or find a new one? Looking at ways to reduce your debt? Talk to an experienced Mortgage Broker.  A good broker will provide a free, no-obligation review of your situation – wherever you are in your current mortgage journey.

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 usually drop leading up to a Federal election!

Election 2015History tells us that mortgage rates usually drop leading up to an election. And 2015 has followed that trend.   It started in January of this year, when the Bank of Canada (BOC) Governor, Stephen Poloz, shocked Economists with his surprise 0.25% Bank Rate cut.

(CanadaMortgageNews.ca readers will remember, not all were shocked, as I had predicted a rate drop just days earlier).

Then in July, the BOC Govr did it again..  this time, it wasn’t as much a shock.  The Bank Prime was cut by another 0.25% after months of negative Economist data showed the Canadian economy was slowing.  Continue reading “Rates usually drop leading up to a Federal election!”

Bond Yields are up… will Fixed Mortgage rates follow?

graph trend upFixed 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?”

Record low Bond yields means even lower fixed mortgage rates

graph trend downFixed mortgage rates are tied into Govt of Cda bond yields.  As the yields go done, so does the fixed mortgage rates.. well, usually.. more on that later..These bond yields have hit all-time lows in the past week… Yesterday, they were as low as 0.55%...  To put that into perspective, the 5 yr bond yield is lower than the Bank or Canada overnight rate, which now stands at 0.75%.  Another historical event.  That almost never happens.

Check out these 2 historical charts to compare the Bank of Canada rate from 1935 to Dec 2014 and 5 year Govt of Cda bond yield from 1980 to Dec 2014….

If you’re wondering what this means for you, a Canadian consumer, it means mortgage rates should go even lower.   Institutional investors are pricing in a further Bank of Canada rate cut at their next schedule meeting on March 4th, 2015. Continue reading “Record low Bond yields means even lower fixed mortgage rates”

Interest rate surprise? Not to our readers! : Bank of Canada drops key lending rate to 0.75%

big newsLast week, I made a bold statement about interest rates.   I said rates will remain low for some time.   And they could even decline.

That forecast was met with a certain degree of criticism.    Well, no surprise for CanadaMortgageNews.ca followers, the Bank of Canada cut the rate by 0.25% to 0.75%.

This means Variable Mortgage rates will fall by 0.25%.   It also means we’ll probably see fixed rate mortgages also fall….. As I predicted.

Stay tuned for more details on this…

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/business/key-interest-rate-unexpectedly-lowered-1.2198493

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

So, you think rates are gonna spike up this year? Who says?

Variable rate mortgage Here we go again…  The beginning of a new year, and the same annual forecasts for interest rates to go up!   Before I share my thoughts.. Here’s some of the recent headlines that I’ve seen….

  • a report by CBC News sharing 4 ways to prepare.. including selling your home, waiting to buy and locking into a Fixed rate mortgage!    (Can you say panic?)
  • Here’s another from The Globe and Mail telling us it’s “Bad News for Borrowers: The economy could improve this year”.  Really?  Tell that to the people in Alberta, Newfoundland and Saskatchewan.
  • And this one from last week says Get ready for Interest Rate Shock in 2015.

Wow, reading this means rates are certain to up this year…right?  So let’s see.. we should sell our home, put off buying (yet again) and lock in our Variable rates into Fixed rate mortgages..

Now let’s look at the most recent headlines.. Continue reading “So, you think rates are gonna spike up this year? Who says?”

Looking ahead to 2015 rates and trends

happyholidays (1) Seasons Greetings!  Happy New Year!   Quick thank you for making 2014 a great year!  Hope yours was just as special.  And I’m wishing you much success and happiness in 2015.

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”

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!!”

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..”

When the U.S. sneezes, Canada gets a cold… I’m getting the sniffles…mortgage rates are headed up.

US sneezes Canada catches coldYesterday, the U.S. Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, announced he ‘could’ start to ease their stimulation of the economy later this year.   That small announcement has had a huge impact on the global stock markets and bond yields.   Stock Markets are down around 2.00% around the world as of 2.30pm today.

The U.S. has been buying around $85billion worth of bonds every month in an attempt to keep interest rates low.  And with that simple announcement yesterday, the world’s markets have reacted.   Bond yields have started to climb…

Our own 5 yr Govt of Cda bond yield is up to 1.75%.  That’s up around 10bps from yesterday, and up 60bps from the beginning of May.  In fact, we haven’t seen these levels since October 2011 and again in March 2012.   We already received warnings from our Lenders that wholesale mortgage rates are likely to go up.   Remember, bond yields affect Fixed mortgage rates.. but they will have an indirect affect on Variable rates, too. Continue reading “When the U.S. sneezes, Canada gets a cold… I’m getting the sniffles…mortgage rates are headed up.”

Banks raise mortgage rates

RBC-BankRBC is raising their rates… As expected, fixed mortgage rates have gone up.  RBC is the first of the BIG SIX to raise their rates.  RBC’s 4 yr rate special will go to 3.09% from 2.99% and their 5 yr rate special will go to 3.29% from 2.99%.

Of course, these are NOT the best rates in the wholesale mortgage market, nor are they the best fixed rate products.  But RBC is the largest mortgage lender in Canada, so we must take note.   This rate increase is no surprise.  As reported on May 13th and May 28th, bond yields had increased over 30bps in May.  A rate increase was imminent.

Wholesale mortgage rates started to go up a few weeks ago.  And as of June 10th, all Lenders will have increased their rates by around 10bps.

Remember, 5 yr fixed rates are still below 3.00%.  I don’t think there is any reason to panic.  We can expect the other BIG SIX banks to follow with their own rate increases.  Fixed rates are closely tied to the Canadian govt bond yields.   And with the stock market in the U.S. hitting unexpected record highs, and the our own Toronto Stock market making significant gains, it was only a matter of time before rates moved.  Economists still believe rates won’t go up quickly.  It will take time for rates to go up significantly.

Your best interest is my only interest.

As always, I welcome your comments, calls and questions.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Fixed mortgage rates could move up this week.

graph trend up Guess I shouldn’t have talked about the record low interest rates last week…   Today, 2 small lenders increased their fixed mortgage rates and another Lender warned of a potential increase coming sometime this week.  What’s driving the higher rates?   A jump in the 5 year bond yields.  Fixed mortgage rates are directly affected by the Govt of Canada bond yield.

With bond yields jumping 20 basis points in the past 1o days, it’s only logical to assume mortgage rates will go up.   click here to see bond yields.   But hey, with interest rates at record low levels, it’s no reason to panic.  Rates are still great…. if you want to protect yourself against a possible increase, get a rate hold… it’s free and there’s no obligation.   Most Lenders will hold rates for 120 days..

Need help to get a rate hold?  Call me.   I can help.

Your best interest is my only interest.

As always, I welcome your comments, calls and questions.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Interest rates to stay low for longer than expected…

Mark Carney The, soon to be, ex-Bank of Canada Governor, Mark Carney, is leaving us with a present…  During yesterday’s Rate Announcement, the first of eight regularly scheduled rate meetings this year, Carney said the economy is growing at a slower pace than expected….  we having a cooling housing market….. inflation remains low and is not an immediate concern….  Last but not least, he expects the economy will not reach it’s full capacity in late 2014 and that withdrawing any monetary policy stimulus is less imminent than previously anticipated.

End result, no rate hikes are expected til 2014…  These comments come as a bit of a surprise given the Bank of Canada has wanted to raise rates for the past 2 years.  Well, maybe it’s Carney’s way of giving us a departing present….Let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth. Continue reading “Interest rates to stay low for longer than expected…”

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