For the past few years, the Bank of Canada has warned us about the imminent interest rate hikes. Reminds me of the boy that cried wolf. “Interest rates are going up… soon!… real soon…. really, really soon!!” But last week, the new Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz, surprised many experts when he said rates would remain low for quite a while.
This announcement prompted many advisors to jump on the Variable Rate bandwagon and start recommending Variable rate over Fixed rate. I agree… Variable rate is the obvious choice for most of us today. But I also noticed a familiar rule of thumb being quoted in the media. So I wanted to set the record straight. Continue reading “You heard it here first!… Rule of thumb for choosing Variable over Fixed.”
August 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.”
Only recently has 5 year fixed rate become a product worth considering when it comes to paying the least amount of interest on your mortgage. Studies prove that short term mortgage funds are the cheapest way to finance a house.. this includes Variable rate mortgages.
Historically, Variable rate and short term fixed rates have had lower rates than long term rates. And yet, the BIG SIX BANKS, the Federal govt, and several popular finance experts have preached 5 yr fixed. ‘You must take 5 year fixed so you know what your rate is.’ That’s a load of nonsense. It’s true, that over the past 2 years, 5 yr fixed did make more sense given that the spread between Variable and Fixed was less than my target of 1.00%. (I like to see a 1.00% spread between Variable and 5 yr fixed before recommending Variable). Continue reading “Choose short term money for long term gains.”
With fixed rates up around 0.60% over the last 4 weeks (currently at around 3.49%.. there are some lower rates but these come with conditions so we are using the more widely available rate) we must again take a look at Variable rates. Today’s best Variable rate product is sitting at around Prime less 0.40% … there’s even a few promotional Variables at Prime less 0.50% for qualified applicants. But for this article we will stick with Prime less 0.40%. That’s 2.60% today. We are almost at that 1.00% spread that I like to see.
Two years ago, the best Variable rate was at Prime less 0.75% with the option to lock into the BEST discounted fixed rate at any time (this option is important, don’t ever settle for a variable product that doesn’t have this clause). And 5 years ago, we had Variable rate products as low at Prime less 0.90%. Continue reading “Time to look at Variable Rates again.”
Today we saw 2 announcements…. For the first time ever, we saw a 5 yr fixed rate being offered for 2.99%. This is not a No Frills mortgage… so you don’t have to worry about minimal prepayment privileges, or restricted payout options, and no monkey business when it comes to penalty calculation…. You probably won’t see a lot of publicity about this because of the mainstream media was quick to promote the BMO NO FRILLS mortgage as the first 5 yr fixed mortgage under 3.00%….earlier this year. But I can tell you, it’s a significant milestone.
And we also saw the introduction of the lowest Variable rate mortgage in almost a year… Prime less 0.35%, or 2.65%. This isn’t one of those NO FRILLS Variable rate mortgages that is full of restrictions… you have all the regular options including being able to lock into the BEST discounted fixed rate at any time.
These 2 offers are very special… They don’t come with hidden clauses or back door penalties, or exit fees. These products are legit!
The driver behind the pricing is competition, the increased spread in profit margins and a slowing housing market.. The thirst to grow a business and keep the business on the books is going to see a lot of competition…. and the winners are us… the borrowers…
If you want more info on these rates or other mortgage related issues, call me anytime.
416 224 0114