Canadians have enjoyed some of the lowest mortgage rates ever experienced over the last decade. Now that rates are on the rise again, homeowners may be worried about how higher mortgage payments will impact their lives.
Understanding what affects mortgage rates can be a relief. Read on to gain more knowledge of how interest rates are determined and where they’re headed.
Securing Your Future
Home purchases are a life-altering financial decision that should be carefully thought through. Understanding mortgage rates will enable you to make informed choices for your future and help make the best choice available to you. With interest rates constantly fluctuating, keeping up is crucial if you wish to find your ideal property!
Mortgage rates can be affected by multiple factors, but one key influencer is the Bank of Canada’s policy interest rate. The BoC’s interest rate establishes the prime lending rate which lenders use when setting variable and fixed mortgage rates – this often results in similar or identical prime lending rates among lenders who will then adjust them according to overnight Bank rates.
Since the mortgage market is so competitive, it’s essential that you shop around for the best rate. Furthermore, getting pre-approved will give you an idea of the maximum amount that you can afford and will narrow your home search significantly. Finally, monitoring your credit score regularly and improving any negative items affecting it could save thousands in interest over time!
Interest rates have steadily been on an upward trend across the United States in 2022 and into 2023, and are projected to keep climbing through 2023. Mortgage costs will likely increase significantly and may threaten household affordability.
No matter whether your loan has a variable or fixed rate, it is vitally important that you stay abreast of its movement to safeguard yourself against future increases. A website which regularly updates can ensure you remain aware of current interest rates.
Hybrid or combination rate mortgages provide borrowers with ways to offset rising interest rates, by offering both variable and fixed rate components of the loan loan balance – providing protection from future increases while still taking advantage of any decreases that might come their way in future years.
Understanding the Variable Rate
Variable rate mortgages were popular during the COVID-19 pandemic due to low borrowing costs; however, with rates increasing quickly since taking out such a mortgage they may now find their monthly mortgage payments increasing significantly.
Mortgage rates move with the Bank of Canada’s policy interest rate, more commonly known as the overnight rate. Banks use it as a benchmark when deciding how much to lend each other and since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2019, banks have kept this benchmark low to try and combat inflation while supporting economic growth.
According to changes made by the Bank of Canada to its overnight rate, lenders will adjust their prime mortgage rate accordingly, thus leading to variable mortgage rates going up or down.
An integral factor of variable mortgage rates lies with how much of a down payment borrowers make on their home purchase. The minimum down payment requirement in Canada is currently set at 5%; this helps reduce mortgage size while eliminating costly mortgage insurance premiums. Usually, higher down payments tend to result in lower mortgage rates.
Another factor is how long a borrower plans on keeping their mortgage. Some opt for fixed rate mortgages for the entirety of their loan term while others may prefer variable rate loans that may have more short-term volatility than fixed. Unfortunately, early prepayment penalties could cost borrowers thousands in additional expenses.
No matter which mortgage product a person opts for, rates can change quickly and dramatically. To help keep track of mortgage rates accurately and maintain accurate information on changes over time – basis points (0.01%). When looking at increasing or decreasing mortgage rates over time. A daily bulletin from an established source such as CIBC provides accurate updates. It also displays current mortgage rates while detailing changes that have happened over time in terms of “basis points.” A basis point represents one hundredth of one percent (0.01%). As the amount changes increases or decreases more significantly – more basis points will reflect any significant rate change over time – more likely it is.
Understanding the Fixed Rate
As its name implies, a fixed mortgage rate remains constant throughout its entirety – unlike other forms with adjustable interest rates. Fixed-rate loans are among the most sought-after in Canada’s six banks, who tend to offer them competitively; 5-year fixed rates currently range between 2.7% – 3.0%.
Attributes that distinguish an ideal mortgage rate depend on your specific circumstances. A low rate means lower overall interest payments over time while higher rates could potentially cost more than its value. When considering purchasing new property, checking current interest rates is the easiest way to assess whether you can afford it or not.
Mortgage rates in Canada can be driven by several different influences, but one of the key ones is the Bank of Canada’s policy interest rate (also referred to as overnight rate). When the Bank raises it, prime mortgage rates also tend to increase accordingly and variable mortgage rates drop accordingly.
Predicting mortgage rates in Canada can be challenging due to multiple variables that influence them on a daily basis, but you can use trends over time as an indication of where mortgage rates may be headed.
As your mortgage term lengthens, interest costs will grow more as lenders assume more risk by loaning more money to you. A longer-term mortgage will typically have higher rates due to this increased exposure for lenders.
Canadian law stipulates a minimum down payment requirement of 5% when purchasing a home; however, many first-time buyers find this to be insufficient. A larger down payment can significantly reduce debt load and help avoid expensive mortgage insurance premiums. Mortgage brokers are available to assist in calculating how much of a down payment you need while also offering exclusive rates not accessible directly through lenders.
Forecast for Mortgage Rates in Canada
Experts predict that mortgage rates are likely to keep trending downward in the short term due to Bank of Canada’s decision not to raise rates anytime soon and inflation’s decline, making an unlikely prospect of raising them again anytime soon.
As mortgages typically extend over three to five year terms, your interest rate will tend to fluctuate more as market forces change. Therefore, if you want to minimize risk by locking in a fixed rate for some time period such as three or five years it might make more sense to go with shorter mortgage terms such as three to five years.
Though mortgage rates remain uncertain in the short term, experts believe they will eventually rise once the economy improves and the Bank of Canada gains more confidence to increase interest rates. Now is an excellent time to get preapproved with your preferred lender so you know your rate options clearly and can act swiftly when finding your ideal property!
The Bank of Canada’s overnight lending rate serves as the baseline rate for variable-rate mortgages offered by banks across Canada, while each individual institution sets its own prime lending rate which may differ between institutions; for instance TD’s current prime lending rate stands at 6.70% while Scotiabank and BMO offer variable rate mortgages at 5.75% respectively.
Many are feeling the ripple effects of higher rates in real-time, especially those who rely on variable-rate mortgages. TD Stories recently featured a video depicting one family navigating increased mortgage costs and its effects on household budgets.
As we head into spring, Perch expects fixed rates will decrease slightly while variable rates remain flat, due to Bank of Canada pause in rate hikes which has resulted in five-year Government of Canada bond yields falling (which directly impact mortgage rates). But Perch does not believe interest rates will remain elevated for too long as many economists predict central bank will cut rates again next year as part of an effort to stimulate economy and boost homebuyer trust.
Forecast for mortgage rates in Canada suggest that rates will remain low in the near future, though some economists predict that a rise could occur in 2021, making it important to understand your options now and stay informed of market changes.