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How much?!?! Mortgage pre-payment penalties explained.
If you were hoping the Canadian government had introduced a new law standardizing mortgage penalties, youll be sad to learn no changes yet. Rumours swirl that something has to or will be done in regards to this issues. But, until that time were stuck with what we have. So, it is in your best interest to understand how pre-payment penalties work.
Youll be shocked to know that the average Canadian breaks their mortgages every 3.5 years, and the most common term people take is 5 years. Its easy to see why understanding mortgage penalties can end up saving you thousands. Of course, there are some simple strategies to avoid a penalty:
Wait until your maturity date to refinance, buy and sell, or switch lenders.
Porting Most mortgages include a portability features that essentially allows you to transfer your mortgage to a new property.
Early Renewal Some lenders will allow you to renew up to 6 months early without penalty.
However, when these situations dont line up, or arent available, clients are forced to pay what sometimes can be a massive mortgage penalty. For example, if you started a new mortgage exactly one year ago when rates were around 2.99% for a 5 year fixed closed term and you wanted to pay out your loan in full, here are some numbers to consider:
BMO - $4,640.00
MCAP - $2,167.00
These calculations can be done at home if you want to test your individual mortgage. Each financial institution is now required to disclose a pre-payment calculator or formula on their websites to allow Canadians to calculate their own penalty.
So, youre probably wondering how these penalties are calculated? Well its a method of two formulas, Interest Rate Differential (IRD), or 3 Months Interest. With a Variable Rate Mortgage, it is always 3 months interest. If you have a fixed mortgage, its the IRD or 3-Months Interest and it always depends on which is greater. I should note that No Frills Mortgages, or super low rate mortgages can sometimes have completely different ways of calculating a penalty. Beware of what youre signing!
IRD What it means..
Interest rate differential is the difference of your current mortgage rate and what the lender could offer in todays current market. For example, if you have 4 years left on your mortgage, the lender will compare their rate to what their current 4-year rate is.
This calculation differs between lenders in regards to how they determine what rates to compare. Banks have posted and discounted rates. If you review any mortgage documents from the Big 6 Banks, it shows you the discount offered from the posted rate.
Right now, Scotabank has a 5 year rate of 4.79%, however, you could walk in there today and get 3.09% on the same 5 year term. But, when they go to calculate the penalty, dont think they wont consider the original discount. This is huge when picking your lender, especially if you know you may need to break your mortgage.
Other lenders, especially those available through the broker channel, compare rates at face value. Meaning, the discount rate is compared to the discount rate. That is what you saw MCAP (above) with the lowest mortgage penalty.
In essence, when selecting a mortgage lender, be sure to consider all your options. It could end up saving you thousands.
Mortgage Agent in Kingston, Ontario, License #M13000201
Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 ¾ percent
The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1 percent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 percent and the deposit rate is 1 percent.
The global economy is showing signs of stabilization, and some recent trade developments have been positive. However, there remains a high degree of uncertainty and geopolitical tensions have re-emerged, with tragic consequences. The Canadian economy has been resilient but indicators since the October Monetary Policy Report(MPR) have been mixed.
Data for Canada indicate that growth in the near term will be weaker, and the output gap wider, than the Bank projected in October. The Bank now estimates growth of 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 and 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2020. Exports fell in late 2019, and business investment appears to have weakened after a strong third quarter. Job creation has slowed and indicators of consumer confidence and spending have been unexpectedly soft. In contrast, residential investment was robust through most of 2019, moderating to a still-solid pace in the fourth quarter.
LISTINGS FALL AGAIN TO END 2019, PUSHING PRICES HIGHER
Canadian Real Estate Association data show that national-level home sales fell 0.9% (sa m/m) in December 2019 after rising in the previous nine months. Limited availability looks to be increasingly weighing on sales activity. The month saw another broad-based decline in new listings18 of the 31 centres for which we have data witnessed fallsthat lifted the national sales-to-new listings ratio to 66.9%. It was the highest ratio since 2004 and a third straight month of supply- demand conditions tilted in favour of sellers (after data revisions). Fourteen cities reported sellers market conditions; the rest were balanced. The aggregate MLS Home Price Index (HPI) rose 3.4% (nsa y/y), its best gain since March 2018.
Montreal remained Canadas tightest local market, with rising sales and falling listings leading to yet another record-high sales-to-new listings ratio and the citys steepest y/y MLS HPI gains since 2005. Ottawas ratio also reached a new high as new listings plunged by more than 20% (sa m/m), driving a record 12.5% (nsa y/y) MLS HPI increase. Toronto also crept into sellers market territory for the first time since March 2017as in Montreal, home purchases rose and new listings felland its 7.3% (nsa y/y) HPI rise was the sharpest since 2017.
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Source: Scotiabank Economics