Bank of Canada Increases Prime again Sept 2017
Many of us were surprised today when Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz announced another increase in the Prime rate raising it to 3.20%. This means that your mortgage rate has likely risen by the same .25%.
The Variable rate mortgage has consistently been an excellent choice because of the savings weve generated compared to the 5 year fixed rate. Those savings have not dissappeared because of a slight increase over the past few months. The variable rate mortgage still has a spread of .40-1.20% compared to the prevailing 5 year fixed rate of 3.39% today. Meaning it is still not the right time to convert to a fixed term. That being said I would be happy to discuss your specific situation.
The recent increase in interest rates is a result of the stronger than expected performance in the Canadian economy. The year over year Canadian GDP (Gross Domestic Product) jumped 3.6% in the first quarter of 2017, to 4.5% in the second quarter. This growth rate exceeds the predictions of the Bank of Canada.
You wouldnt be wrong in assuming that the Bank of Canada is pumping the brakes on our economy. The growth was unexpected by almost all. Last month in August 2017 there was a slight dip in manufacturing numbers and unemployment continues to be low. Canada actually has the best performing economy in the entire G7, and that is factoring in the downward pressure on housing, and lower oil prices. Todays increase put prime back to where it was in January 2015 just before the crash in Oil prices.
So what will happen with housing? Well I believe that you will see a continue softening of values. The likely result of todays rate increase will likely cause housing market to decrease by another 5 to 10 percent. I estimate a more normal 3 - 7% annual increase in home values beginning next year. The days of 20% year over year price increases are done for now. And that is a good thing.
When you got your Variable Rate Mortgage we did a stress test. Even a mortgage at Prime today is still about 35% lower than what we used to Qualify you for your mortgage. So please dont worry about affordability. You can expect an increase in the interest portion of your mortgage of approx 25 dollars per 100k per month. Its not money anyone wants to spend, but it is still a far better deal than a fixed rate.
I hope this information has been of value to you. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at email@example.com or by cell at 905 334 9111.
Similar Housing Demand Conditions in Canada and US
Housing markets in Canada and the US are sizzling. Recent headlines have used superlatives to describe housing market conditions in both countries and the data do back this up. Still, a closer look reveals some interesting distinctions as well. Home price and sales metrics show that while the US market is hot, Canadas is hotter. For example, existing home sales, which make up the majority of overall sales in both countries, is well above historical averages, but Canadian home sales have outperformed. As of March 2021, home sales in Canada were 75% higher than the average over 2018 and 2019, while it was 13% above in the US. Likewise, home prices also spiked. In Canada, the average home sold was 32% more expensive than what it was a year ago, and it was 17% higher stateside.
From a high level, the list of commonalties across markets during the pandemic is longer than the areas of difference, particularly on the demand side. Perhaps the most influential demand-side driver has been historically low mortgage rates. Responding to the impacts of the pandemic, the Bank of Canada and the Federal Reserve slashed rates and enacted large quantitative easing programs early last year, resulting in a sharp drop in borrowing costs. Given that the US conventional mortgage rate is a 30-year rate compared to Canadas 5-year benchmark, borrowing costs fell faster in America as flight to safety flows lowered longer term yields at the onset of the pandemic.
CANADA HOUSING MARKET and new stress test
Canadian home sales took a turn in April 2021, declining by 12.5% (sa m/m) from the highest level on record in March 2021. Listings followed suit, falling by 5.4% (sa m/m). While both sales and listings decreased in April, the smaller decline in listings further eased the national-level sales-to-new listings to 75.2% from record high readings earlier this year (the highest being 91% in January). While this is a move in the right direction towards a better supply-demand balance, the ratio is still significantly higher than its long-term average of 54.5%. As a result of this persistent tightness in the housing market, the composite MLS Home Price Index (HPI) rose by 2.4% (sa m/m). This is a deceleration in price gains from paces observed over the last two months, owing in the most part to a slowing in prices for single-family homes and townhouses. Apartments, which had remained relatively close to pre-pandemic levels before accelerating earlier this year have maintained momentum in April.
Movements in the housing market this month continued to be broad-based rather than market-specific, as declines in sales were spread out across much of the country.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) also announced that, effective June 1, the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages (i.e., residential mortgages with a down payment of 20 percent or more) will be the greater of the mortgage contract rate plus 2 percent or 5.25 percent.