Randy Miller

Broker Of Record

Urban Avenue Realty Ltd., Brokerage

Whitby & Brooklin Real Estate

Office 905-430-1800

Direct 905-430-9444

Email: randy@randymiller.ca

Categories

Mortgage News Canada

Bank of Canada holds mortgage rate steady

The Bank of Canada has decided to hold the rate steady. Variable rate mortgages remain unchanged. 2015 could be status quo for the rate,  Bank of Canada now estimates economy reaching and remaining at full capacity around the end of 2016.  

CMHC and mortgage insurers increase rate premium

In early April 2015, CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) announced effective June 1, 2015, the mortgage loan insurance premiums for homebuyers with less than a 10% down payment will increase by approximately 15% . The remaining two private insurers, Genworth and Canada Guaranty, followed suit with the same announcement.   This affects owner-occupied homebuyers, a vast majority being first time homebuyers.  Rental property is not affected by this announcement, as the required down payment is above the 10% threshold (minimum 20%).  

The mortgage insurance premium is added to the mortgage.  The immediate effect is a modest increase in monthly payment, approximately $7 more per month (based 5% down payment on $350K purchase price, 2.79%,  25 year amortization).  The more significant impact is the additional premium increases the mortgage, by approximately $1575 in the example previously mentioned.  

This is yet another rule that hits mostly first time homebuyers ready to enter the market.  Over the last several years, mortgage rules have tightened up, shutting out more prospective homebuyers.  Conservative lending is important to maintain stability, however if too many consumers are shut out, the pendulum may swing a little bit the other way.  For now, these are the new rules, plan accordingly and assume insurers will maintain their conservative approach.

As a consequence of the rule change, there will be a large influx of homebuyers purchasing and submitting application before the June 1st deadline. This happened in prior years when CMHC made a rule change. This means everyone applying for mortgages will be affected due to the large volumes presented to lenders and the insurers.  Take note, and provide yourself enough time for processing financing and also check with your lawyer to make sure they can accommodate your closing date.

If you are planning to buy a house in Whitby, Brooklin or other areas within Durham Region, contact me. I can help you with the buying process and refer you to a mortgage specialist that can explain the products and help you choose the right mortgage product.

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Randy Miller
Broker of Record
Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby

905-430-1800

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red house mortgage rate

On the heels of headlines forecasting ‘inevitable interest rate hikes’ came the announcement of a 0.25% rate reduction to the Bank of Canada’s overnight lending rate.

The majority of Mortgage Brokers found themselves spending the first two work weeks of 2015 calming clients in the face of multiple headlines forecasting interest rate ‘shocks’ ahead. In turn, the past two weeks were spent explaining to variable-rate clients the subtle, yet important difference between the bank of Canada’s Prime rate and their mortgage lenders' ‘Prime’ rate.

Lenders base variable-rate mortgages on what is referred to as their own internal Prime rate. Although historically lenders have moved in lockstep with the Bank of Canada decisions, there was some initial reticence to lower effective interest rates on current variable-rate mortgages and after nearly a week without movement Lenders reduced their internal Prime rate from 3.00 to 2.85% sharing some of the Bank of Canada’s reduction with variable rate mortgage and line of credit holders, but not all of the rate reduction.

One important point is that the Bank of Canada’s Prime rate is specifically NOT used to qualify clients for mortgages. In other words, Canadians do not currently qualify for any more mortgage debt today than they did the day before the rate reduction announcement. Accordingly this reduction in interest rates does not directly strengthen purchasing power for home buyers, and thus should do little to add more fuel to real estate values.

It is further worth noting that, historically, as lenders reduce their own Prime lending rate on variable-rate products, the discounts offered on these products - mortgages, lines of credit, etc . tend to be adjusted upward, negating any potential gains for new mortgage applicants. Existing closed variable-rate discounts will of course continue to be honoured until the end of the client's mortgage term.

In short, although this rate reduction may bode well for clients currently in a variable-rate mortgage, it may not be of significant net benefit for clients applying for a variable-rate product in the coming weeks. Although today we have both deep discounts on variable rate products, and the new lower 2.85% Lender Prime rate. New applicants may have their cake and eat it too.

Fixed rates, although largely dictated by the bond market, have been edging downward since Jan 5. Despite this material and documented decline, there had not been a major headline noting this. Rather headlines were largely promoting the opposite of what was occurring in reality. The day that the Bank of Canada announced the cut of 0.25%, the bond market saw a (then) record low of 0.83% and has since dipped below 0.60%.

This has created significant increases in lenders' fixed-rate profit margins, and arguably calls for further rate reductions to fixed-rate products, in particular the five-year fixed-rate mortgage. However, as with the cut to Prime, lenders have thus far been slow to respond. Offering 0.05% and 0.010% reductions and reaping the increased profits. Lenders remain unlikely to make any significant moves until one breaks ranks. With strong property values coupled with strong sales activity in most major markets, there seems little incentive - or fundamental desire - on the part of lenders to reduce rates further.

What is evident at this time is that variable-rate clients will continue to be the big winners into the foreseeable future, and those clients who prefer a fixed-rate product will also continue to benefit from historic lows as well. 

If you are planning to buy a house in Whitby, Brooklin or other areas within Durham Region, contact me. I can help you with the buying process and refer you to a mortgage specialist that can explain the products and help you choose the right mortgage product.

Randy Miller
Broker of Record

Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby

905-430-1800

Post CommentComments: 0Read Full Story