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Mortgage Rate Forecast - May 2020
Mortgage Rate Forecast
Mortgage rates are expected to remain stable over the coming months. We may see continued reductions to rates are the financial markets begin to stabilize.
The Bank of Canada prime rate remains at %. There has been 3 drops in the Prime Rate in the month of March. Each drop was %. These changes were made as a direct result to add stimulus and support to the anticipated economic challenges caused by the COVID-19. In addition, the Bank of Canada has provided billions of dollars in Quantitative Easing. The purpose it to provide confidence and reduce risk to the participants in the financial markets.
Fixed mortgage rates have been extremely volatile with significant declines in rates, then rapid increases to rates to levels slightly higher than when the pandemic occurred. We are currently seeing fixed term mortgages settled into more normal levels based on more typical cost of funds. Expect fixed rates to remain at current level in the next few months, with a slight bias to declining more.
It is important to remember the economic stress we are experience is due to a health crisis. Once the COVID-19 virus can be effectively managed, our economy will begin to return to pre-pandemic levels.
National Bank of Canada Weekly Economic Watch
Housing starts rose from 166.5K in April to 193.5K in May (seasonally adjusted and annualized). Urban starts improved 22K to 181.1K on increases in both the multi-unit (+14.9K to 135.9K) and the single-detached (+7.1K to 45.3K) segments. At the provincial level, urban starts shot up in Quebec from 0K in April to 56.3K as social distancing measures were eased but plunged 37.1K to 56.5K in Ontario. June results should provide a clearer snapshot of the post-lockdown residential construction industry in Canada. Projects delayed on account of the Covid-19 pandemic might sustain starts at a relatively high level for a short while but the longer-term horizon looks less promising in light of much higher joblessness and reduced immigration. Moreover, tougher CMHC standards for mortgage insurance will likely exclude some potential buyers by shrinking their purchasing power. We estimate that the new rules governing maximum gross debt service will reduce by about 11% the amount that the median Canadian household will be allowed to borrow.
Source: NBA Economics and Strategy
Virtual Tours and Live Streams a Hit on REALTOR.ca
While staying home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Canadians are spending more time looking at properties on REALTOR.ca, Canadas No. 1 real estate platform*. During the week of March 9, visits to REALTOR.ca dropped by 30%; however, since April 12 traffic has crept back up by 14% and consumer inquiries to REALTORS through the site rose by 25%similar to levels during the same period last year. Despite the pandemic, REALTOR.ca has seen a 14% increase of visitors during the first quarter of 2020.
As COVID-19 is limiting how buyers can visit homes that interest them, REALTOR.ca makes it possible for Canadian REALTORS to virtually showcase listings by integrating video and 3D tours from 10 of the most popular services. Since April 7, REALTORS can also schedule and promote live stream open houses using popular platforms such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom and YouTube.
If theres one thing 30-plus years in this business has taught me, its that as an industry we are early adopters of technology, said Costa Poulopoulos, Chair of the Canadian Real Estate Association. With restrictions on how we can continue to serve our clients, Im proud that weve been able to add features for REALTORS that allow them to continue to show homes to interested buyers.