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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

Banks pass on rate hikes but not the savings.. Shame on the BANKS!

On January 2015, the Bank of Canada cut the prime rate by 0.25%.  But the BIG SIX BANKS didn’t cut the Prime rate as they normally do.  Instead, they waited a week… tried to justify why they couldn’t cut the rate… and finally caved in and cut it.. but ONLY by 0.15%.

That’s right, they pocketed the remaining 0.10%.  And in case you haven’t heard, the BIG SIX BANKS have been posting record profits, year after year after year after year after year.   In 2016, the 5 most profitable corporations were:

  1. RBC
  2. TD
  3. SCOTIABANK
  4. BMO
  5. CIBC

Continue reading “Banks pass on rate hikes but not the savings.. Shame on the BANKS!”

Bank of Canada rate hike.. it’s really not a big deal.

BREAKING NEWS… BANK OF CANADA RAISES RATE BY 0.25% AND THE SKY HASN’T FALLEN!!

Stephen Poloz, the Bank of Canada Governor, raised the Target rate by 0.25% to 0.75%.   Maybe now the media will move on to other news.

Seriously, aren’t we all kinda tired of hearing how rates are going to skyrocket,…how this is going to make our mortgages unaffordable… how we have record debt levels.. how we are going to default our mortgages, lose our homes and go into a recession…it’s doom and gloom?  This isn’t happening.

SOME FACTS ABOUT THE RATE HIKE Continue reading “Bank of Canada rate hike.. it’s really not a big deal.”

Enjoy the low rates..No rate hike with Bank of Canada

The Bank held their third, of eight, scheduled meetings this week.   As widely predicted, the Bank of Canada announced that it is holding the key rate steady.

While noting that “economic growth has been faster than expected”, the bank said it’s too early to determine if the economy is on a “sustainable growth path”, citing weakness in export growth, business investment and employment.

The Bank’s three measures of core inflation, taken together, continue to point to material excess capacity in the economy. While there have been recent gains in employment, little growth in wages and hours worked continue to reflect economic slack in Canada, in contrast to the United States.

The bank also took into account uncertainties that include the potential impact of U.S. trade policies. The next rate-setting day is May 24.

This announcement means there should be no change to the prime rate. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or line of credit, need a new mortgage, are renewing, or want to save thousands by consolidating debt at the lowest-cost funds. Or perhaps you are thinking of using home equity to invest in a rental property or second home, or cost effectively complete renovations.

Given the uncertain economic outlook, we continue to expect interest rates to stay low in Canada well into 2020, although the new mortgage rules have caused mortgage rates to be very complicated. Quick rate quotes are not very reliable! That’s why it’s so beneficial to work with an experienced mortgage broker who has access to a wide range of lenders and knows the right questions to ask to assess your situation and provide the best mortgage for your needs. Save yourself time and stress; don’t just ask what the rate is, have a conversation instead.

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

Variable rate is out, Fixed rates are in…. But, which term…?

Variable rate mortgageFor more than a decade, I’ve been recommending Variable rate mortgages, as the product of choice. My clients have saved $thousands.  It’s been a great 11 year run..   But now, the strategy has changed slightly.   Read on, to see my newest recommendations..

QUICK VARIABLE RATE HISTORY.

First, you need to understand the history..  Variable rate had lots of pluses.   It had a lower rate of interest, the penalty can never go over 3 months interest, and you have the option to lock into a Fixed rate at any time.

Being in a Variable meant paying lower rates.  In fact, the difference, compared with Fixed rates, ranged between 1.00% and 3.00%.  This translated to several $$thousand in less interest each year. Continue reading “Variable rate is out, Fixed rates are in…. But, which term…?”

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

Have Fixed mortgage rates hit the bottom?

record low ratesEarlier this year, Fixed rates hit new all-time lows.  This must sounds like a broken record, or for those in the modern error, sounds like a glitch or a skip (somehow, ‘broken record’ sounds better).

5 year fixed rates hit 2.59%.  This is the lowest we have ever seen. (before you start emailing me that you’ve seen lower rates, yes, I know.. I see them too and have access to them.. but those products are full of restrictions, limitations and inflated prepayment penalty calculations… for our purposes, I’m only discussing quality mortgage products with no gimmicks or strings attached).

Now, looking at the 5 yr govt of Cda bond yields (this is where fixed rates are closely priced from), we have seen this drop down to as low as 0.70%… it’s been holding steady in the 0.80% range since July.    Normally, the 5 fixed rate is priced 1.10% to 1.50% above the 5 yr bond yield..  but the spread has been at or over 1.79% for quite a while.   So, why haven’t the fixed rates gone down further? Continue reading “Have Fixed mortgage rates hit the bottom?”

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!”

BIG SIX BANKS aren’t passing along the Bank of Canada rate cut to consumers?

banksters monopolyToday, the actual BANK PRIME rate should be 2.50%, not 2.70%.   What am I talking about?… follow me on this and let’s see if this makes sense.

It’s been a few weeks since the Bank of Canada cut the rate.  I’ve been waiting to see how this would play out… First, let’s get the terminology clear.    Bank of Canada overnight rate, or Key rate as it’s referred to, directly affects the Retail Bank Prime rate and Variable rate mortgages.   This does not have a direct impact on fixed rate mortgages.

Last January, the Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz, surprised most economists and financial experts when he cut the rate by 0.25% (well, not all experts, I called for a rate cut just a week earlier).
Continue reading “BIG SIX BANKS aren’t passing along the Bank of Canada rate cut to consumers?”

BIG SIX BANKS finally cut Prime rate.. Well, sort of…!

banksters monopolyLast week, the Bank of Canada (BoC) cut their overnight rate by 0.25%.  The move surprised all the so-called ‘Financial Experts’…  (well, not me… As I had suggested rates were likely to drop in the previous week’s article and also in the previous month).

Our BIG SIX BANKS had their own surprise for us.   Instead of passing along the usual rate cut to consumers, they sat on their hands and did nothing.   In fact, TD Bank felt good about it and made public statements about how their Bank Prime rate wasn’t fully influenced by the BOC rate.     (That’s such a load of bull, you can almost smell it coming out of your screens!)

And also last week, the Banks immediately cut the rate they pay you on your savings by that same 0.25%.   Continue reading “BIG SIX BANKS finally cut Prime rate.. Well, sort of…!”

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

Senior Deputy Governor says lower rates are the new normal.

Carolyn Wilkins In her first public speech as Senior Deputy Governor for the Bank of Canada, Carolyn Wilkins brought some good news to Canadians with mortgages.    Interest rates should remain low for some time….. and we can expect lower rates to be the “new normal”.

Ms. Wilkins went on to say that “the recovery has had repeated false starts and still faces considerable headwinds.”  This seems to be the new message coming from the Bank of Canada.  And I must say, it’s a refreshing change from the previous high-profile Governor, Mark Carney.

UNPOPULAR COMMENTS

Remember our previous Bank of Canada governor?  Mr. Carney earned high praise for helping Canada avoid any U.S. style recession.   But in the years leading up to his 2013 departure, his repeated warnings of pending interest rate hikes never materialized.  In fact, we now know they were way off.  Interest rates went down and have stayed down.    Looking back, Carney’s rate hike warnings sounded more like ‘the boy who cried wolf’. Continue reading “Senior Deputy Governor says lower rates are the new normal.”

Variable or Fixed? an update on how to choose.

Variable rate mortgage

FIXED OR VARIABLE?

The debate over fixed vs variable never seems to end.   For the past 5 years, the Federal govt and the BIG SIX BANKS have been doing everything in their power to force us into choosing a 5 year Fixed rate.    The govt says it gives us security and protection against the anticipated interest rate hikes.   BANKS jumped on this bandwagon because 5 yr fixed is the most profitable mortgage product.. and with fixed rates hovering at 3.00% for the last 3 years, it’s been an easy sell.

On the surface, it’s not bad advice.    Fixed rates were supposed to go up.   The spread between Fixed and Variable has been less than 1.00% over the last 3 years.     My rule of thumb is that Variable rates should be 1.00% lower than 5 yr fixed in order to benefit from the possible rate fluctuations.   So naturally, 5 yr fixed was a better choice.

DO YOU TRUST YOUR GOVT AND YOUR BANK? Continue reading “Variable or Fixed? an update on how to choose.”

2.99% is back… does that mean we should take it?

record low rates5 year fixed @ 2.99% is back.   This is NOT a NO FRILLS product (for those of you that saw a similar rate elsewhere earlier this year) but there is tougher qualifying.   This seems to have become an annual event.  For the past 3 years, we’ve seen 2.99% or less, being offered each Spring.   So, why haven’t rates gone up like the Bank’s economists, government analysts and other so-called ‘experts’ had predicted?

There are several reasons but, to sum it all up, the global economies haven’t recovered from the 2008 recession.    The US recovery is slower than expected.   Canada’s inflation rate is below target levels.   There were even concerns we could see deflation, which would cause the Bank of Canada to lower rates… those concerns have gone away…. for now!

WHAT’S THE FORECAST NOW?

Continue reading “2.99% is back… does that mean we should take it?”

Lower rate = Lower payment and a Lower balance in 5 years!

Mortgage Burning1 We all know that a lower interest means a lower monthly payment.   But did you know that a lower interest rate means you will also owe less when your mortgage comes up for renewal?    This has been overlooked by consumers and experts alike.  I haven’t seen any articles covering this.  And it should change how you choose your next mortgage product.

It all has to do with the effects of compounding interest.   Let’s take a look at 2 borrowers, each with a $400k mortgage.  Borrower 1 is Mary.   Borrower 2 is Dave.   Mary has today’s 5 yr fixed rate of 3.29%.   Dave has the more normal rate of 5.50% (the rate most experts think we will see in the next 3 to 5 yrs).    We’ll amortize both mortgage over a 25 yr term.

Dave’s mortgage has monthly payments of $2441 and a balance owing of $356,749 at the end of 5 years.   Mary’s mortgage has monthly payments of $1953 and a balance owing of $343,728 at the end of the first 5 years.  Notice the difference in the balance owing after 5 years.    We are talking about a $13,021 difference.  That’s the effects of compounding interest. Continue reading “Lower rate = Lower payment and a Lower balance in 5 years!”

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!!”

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