inflation and Canadain mortgages

Inflation & Mortgage Interest Rates

Here is the near term expectations of mortgage interest rates.
Short version:
  • 5 Year fixed are going up and never getting back down to where they are now.
  • Variables are also great – right now they are Prime – 1% or 2.45% – 1% = 1.45%, and as below, should stay there until 2023! Almost 20 more months!
Both of these are awesome options right now.
Mortgage Mark Herman, Top Calgary Alberta mortgage broker for 1st time home buyers
THE DATA:

Bond traders believe inflation is going to be rising over the coming months and have been demanding increased bond yields.  That has led to increasing interest rates for bonds and, consequently, increasing rates for the fixed-rate mortgages that are funded by those bonds.

The traders say the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and plans for vast infrastructure spending – particularly in the U.S. – are boosting expectations of a broad recovery and an increase in inflation. Better than expected GDP growth in Canada and shrinking unemployment in the U.S. would tend to support those expectations.

This, however, puts the traders at odds with the central banks in both Canada and the United States.

The Bank of Canada and the U.S. Federal Reserve also expect inflation will climb as the pandemic fades and the economy reopens.  There is a pent-up demand for goods and services, after all.  The central banks see that as transitory, though, and appear to be looking past it.  The U.S. Fed has gone so far as to alter its inflation target from 2% to an average of 2%, over time, thereby rolling any post-pandemic spikes into the bigger, longer-term calculations.

The Bank of Canada and the Fed have committed to keeping interest rates low, probably through 2023.  Both say inflation will have to be sustained before interest rate moves are made to contain it.  The integrated nature of the Canadian and American economies means it is unlikely the BoC will move on interest rates before the U.S. Fed.

History of Economic Bubbles

This is a most interesting info graphic

https://fortunly.com/infographics/historical-financial-bubbles-infographic/

Economic Bubbles: The History, Causes, and Effects

Historical Financial Bubbles Infographic - Featured Illustration

You don’t need to be an expert to understand what economic bubbles are and how they happen. The simplest definition is the rapid and unrealistic inflation of asset prices without any basis in the intrinsic value of the given asset.

Despite the fact that financial bubbles (also known as speculative bubbles) are not rare, people repeatedly fail to recognize speculative trading as it’s happening. Too often, those involved only identify these risky activities in the autopsy. Once the bubble bursts, it’s already too late.

One of the crucial reasons for this is that bubbles are often driven by strong emotions, blurring people’s ability to make rational decisions. When gung-ho traders who are willing to take huge risks start operating in that environment, you have a recipe for disaster.

Investors’ greed (believing that someone will pay more for something than they paid themselves) is accompanied by strong feelings of euphoria (“wow, this investment will be so profitable, let’s buy!”), but also anxiety. Buyers go into denial when prices start to fall (“this is just a temporary reversal, my investment is long-term”). Then, finally, panic sets in, causing a domino effect: everyone starts to sell, ultimately leading to a crash.

A bubble burst can have a devastating effect on the economy, even on a global scale. The most recent example is the Great Recession after the market crash in 2008. However, depending on the economic sector or industry, bubbles can also have some positive effects.

Just consider the dot-com bubble, which forced the information technology industry to consolidate. Although people lost a lot of capital at the time, that money has since been invested many times over in infrastructure, software, servers, and databases. Pretty much every American house and business is now connected to the internet, which has changed how we live and work for good.

The best way to prevent an asset bubble from happening is strategic, common-sense investing. Unfortunately, humans don’t always act sensibly. Bearing that in mind, chances are economic bubbles will continue to occur in the future.

To help you notice these patterns early, we at Fortunly have created an infographic detailing how some of the biggest financial bubbles in history have formed and then burst. Check it out to make sure you don’t fall victim to the hype of “the next big thing.”

Very cool
Mark Herman, Best Calgary Alberta Mortgage Broker

Variable rates to hold steady for 2019

Here is the latest on changes to the Prime rate for variable mortgages. The news is good as Prime is now expected to stay the same for the balance of 2019!

Remember:

  1. Variable rates can be locked in at any time for what the rates are on the day you lock in on.
  2. The maximum payout fee for is 3 months of interest

Rate hike disappears over the horizon

Apr 22, 2019
from First National Financial LP

The likelihood of a Bank of Canada interest rate increase appears to be getting pushed further and further beyond the horizon.

The Bank is expected to remain on the sidelines again this week when it makes its scheduled rate announcement on Wednesday.

A recent survey by Reuters suggests economists have had a significant change of heart about the Bank’s plans.  Just last month forecasters were calling for quarter-point increase in the third quarter with another hike next year.  Now the betting is for no change until early 2020.  There is virtually no expectation there will any rate cut before the end of next year.

The findings put the Bank of Canada in line with the U.S. Federal Reserve and other major central banks.  World economies have hit a soft spot largely due to trade uncertainties between China and the United States.

This is good news for variables

Mark Herman, Top Calgary Mortgage Broker

Inverted Yield Curves, Impacts on Prime Rate Changes and Variable Rate Mortgages

Summary:

For the 2nd time in 50 years the “Yield Curve” has inverted – meaning that long term rates are now lower than short term rates. This can signal a recession is on the way.

This Means …

  1. Alberta will look better comparatively to Canada’s hot housing markets which should finally cool down.
  2. Canada’s Prime rate increases look to be on hold until Spring. This makes the variable rates now look MUCH Better. There were 3 rate increases expected and these may not materialize – making the VARIABLE rate look better.
  3. Broker lender’s have VARIABLE rates that range between .1% and .65% BETTER than the banks do. If you are looking at variable rates we should look further into this in more detail.

DATA BELOW …

  1. More on the predictions on rate increases
  2. WTF is an inverted Yield Curve – lifted from “the Hustle”

 

  1. Predictions on Prime

Three interest rate hikes in 2019 — that’s what economists have been predicting for months, as part of the Bank of Canada’s ongoing strategy to keep the country’s inflation levels in check. But, according to one economist, that plan may have changed.

The BoC held the overnight rate at 1.75 percent yesterday, and released a statement a senior economist at TD, believes hints that the next hike may not come until next spring.

“We no longer expect the Bank of Canada to hike its policy interest rate in January,” he writes, in a recent note examining the BoC’s decision. “Spring 2019 now appears to be the more likely timing.”

Meanwhile the Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO, puts the odds of a rate hike in January at 50 percent.

“While the Bank reiterated its desire to get policy rates to neutral, the path to neutral is clearly more uncertain than just a couple of months ago,” he writes, in his most recent note. “Looking ahead to January, the BoC will likely need to be convinced to hike (rather than not).”

A VIDEO ON WHY VARIABLE RATE MAY BE THE WAY TO GO FOR YOUR PLANS

  • https://vimeo.com/279581066
  • This video is from my colleague Dustin Woodhouse and he perfectly presents the story on the variable. He also ONLY works in the BC Lower Mainland; if you live there HE should be doing your mortgage, if you don’t WE should be.

2.      WTF is an ‘inverted yield curve,’ and what does it mean for the economy?

For the first time since 2007, the 2- to 5-year US Treasury yield curve has inverted. Historically, this has served as a somewhat reliable indicator of economic downturn, which means people are freaking out, which means…

OK, hold up: What exactly is a yield curve, and why is it inverting?

‘Lend long and prosper’ (so say the banks)

In short, a yield curve is a way to gauge the difference between interest rates and the return investors will get from buying shorter- or longer-term debt. Most of the time, banks demand higher interest for longer periods of time (cuz who knows when they’re gonna see that money again?!).

A yield curve goes flat when the premium for longer-term bonds drops to zero. If the spread turns negative (meaning shorter-term yields are higher than longer maturity debt), the curve is inverted

Which is what is happening now

So what caused this? It’s hard to say — but we prefer this explanation: Since December 2015, the Fed has implemented a series of 6 interest rate hikes and simultaneously cut its balance sheet by $50B a month.

According to Forbes, the Fed has played a major part in suppressing long-term interest rates while raising short-term interest rates.

Yield curve + inversion = economic downturn (sometimes)

The data don’t lie. A yield curve inversion preceded both the first tech bubble and the 2008 market crash.

Though, this theory has had some notable “false positives” in its lifetime — so it’s not exactly a foolproof fortune teller.

Heck, IBM found the size of high heels tends to spike during hard times. As of now, the experts who believe the sky to be falling remain in the minority.

 

There is lots to digest in the data above. Please feel free to contact me to discuss in more detail.

Mark Herman, 403-681-4376

Top Calgary Alberta Mortgage Broker

 

Numbers on why this recession is not that bad

All recessions are tough – but the sky is not falling. Below is one of the better articles we have seen on why this one will not be that bad.

Mortgage Mark Herman,

Calgary Alberta mortgage broker for home purchase and mortgage renewal.


Only two recessions in Calgary since 1987 and both more severe than 2015 forecast

http://calgaryherald.com/business/energy/only-two-recessions-in-calgary-since-1987-and-both-more-severe-than-2015-forecast

Calgary Housing Affordabilty IMPROVES!

This short version of the article should provide some confidence that the sky is not falling in Calgary and we will recover.

Mortgage Mark Herman, Best Calgary mortgage broker for home purchases and mortgage renewals


Housing affordability continues to improve in Calgary market

Owning a home in Calgary at market price remains more affordable than it has been on average since the middle of the 1980s, says a new report released Monday by RBC Economics Research.

But the latest Housing Trends and Affordability Report said movements in oil prices are likely to exert a stronger influence on the market direction in the short term.

“Alberta’s housing market is still feeling the impact from the oil price shock,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. “That said, the dust began to settle this spring, and we saw a gradual recovery in confidence, which helped rebalance demand-supply conditions. Home re-sales started to turn around, and sellers no longer rushed to list their properties.”

The RBC Housing Affordability measures, which capture the proportion of pre-tax household income needed to service the costs of owning a home at market values, fell slightly in Calgary for both two-storey homes, to 31.9 per cent, and bungalows to 32.4 per cent. The measure for condos stayed relatively the same 19.5 per cent.

RBC’s Housing Affordability measure for the benchmark detached bungalow in Canada’s largest cities was: Vancouver 88.6 (up 3.0 percentage points); Toronto 59.4 (up 2.1 percentage points); Montreal 36.0 (down 1.2 percentage points); Ottawa 35.4 (unchanged); Calgary 32.4 (down 0.4 percentage points); Edmonton 32.5 (down 0.4 percentage points).

“With home resales beginning to turn around and sellers no longer rushing to list their properties in the spring, there was evidence that confidence slowly returned to the Alberta market in the second quarter following the hard blow delivered by the oil price plunge in the previous two quarters,” said the report.

mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

http://calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/housing-affordability-continues-to-improve-in-calgary-market

How the US may start to raise interest rates

This bite of an article is as interesting and as funny as US interest rate increase articles can be.

See why it is better to have your mortgage broker follow this stuff for you then to read it yourself!

Mark Herman, Top Calgary Alberta mortgage broker for home purchases and mortgage renewals


Bill Gross, the former Pimco “bond king” … believes the Federal Reserve could – and should – raise interest rates in September and then hold off on another rate hike for at least six months, a strategy he calls “one and done.”

The strategy adheres in principle if not specifics to numerous messages conveyed recently by influential Fed policy makers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who have said rates will rise “gradually” after the initial rate hike is announced.

“The Fed … seems intent on raising (short-term interest rates) if only to prove that they can begin the journey to ‘normalization,’” Gross wrote in his September Investment Outlook. “They should, but their September meeting language must be so careful, that ‘one and done’ represents an increasing possibility – at least for the next six months.”

Gross, who has been calling for higher interest rates for months, suggested the Fed may have missed its opportunity to raise rates earlier this year when markets were rising steadily and the U.S. economy seemed to be humming along nicely.

In recent weeks, global turmoil has rocked U.S. markets, leading to volatility that pushed all three U.S. stock markets into correction territory last week. A strong bounce-back this week has raised optimism that the downturn was temporary but also led to concerns that markets could be in for a volatile run.

Any mention now by the Fed of returning interest rates to a more normal level of say 2% “cannot be approached without spooking markets further and creating self-inflicted ‘financial instability,’” Gross wrote.

from Fox Business – I know it’s Fox but it’s true: http://www.foxbusiness.com/economy-policy/2015/09/03/bill-gross-fed-likely-eyeing-one-and-done-hike-strategy/

Calgary Housing Market Still Strong

Below is an article that notes Calgary’s home prices are still supported.

Mark Herman, top Calgary mortgage broker for purchases and mortgage renewals

Calgary’s housing market is not under threat of a correction despite a downturn in the local economy, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said in an analysis Thursday.

Its assessment of 15 metro markets lists Calgary as “low risk” while Toronto, Regina and Winnipeg were rated “high risk.” The review considered four factors — overheating; acceleration in house prices; overvaluation; and overbuilding — as of the end of March.

“The low price of oil has affected many different sectors of the economy, affecting employment and income growth, and increasing the unemployment rate. Weaker labour market conditions have also slowed migration to the region,” CMHC said of the Calgary-area market.

Meanwhile, Vancouver — one of the country’s priciest real estate markets — was deemed low risk, even as home prices there continue to soar. The benchmark price of a detached home in metropolitan Vancouver hit $1.1 million in July, up 16.2 per cent from a year ago, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said last week.

… Statistics Canada said Thursday that new home prices in the Calgary area rose 0.1 per cent in June.

“Higher land prices were largely offset by builders reducing prices because of market conditions,” the federal agency said. Prices were up 0.7 per cent year-over-year.

In its latest report, the Calgary Real Estate Board said the average MLS sale price for July was $476,446, down about 1 per cent from a year ago while the median price of $435.000 grew by 2.35 per cent. The benchmark price, which CREB identifies as a typical property sold in the market, was largely unchanged at $455,400.

With files from The Canadian Press

mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

Twitter.com/MTone123

Alberta sky is not falling

The graph below shows the expected Alberta GDP growth rate for the end of 2015 and 2016. The numbers are still positive – just not as high as they were before.

If the Calgary to Edmonton corridor was a country it would have the 2nd highest growth rate in the world after China.

Now these numbers are back to earth, things will continue as normal as oil slowly works it’s way back to about $70 a barrel.

Mark Herman, Top Calgary, Alberta mortgage broker

Click on the chart to see it larger.

image

Calgary housing market a low overall risk of price delines

All the hot air about Calgary housing being over-valued looks to be hot air as CMHC’s report notes below.

Mark Herman, top Calgary Alberta Mortgage broker for renewals and new home purchases

Calgary housing market a low overall risk: CMHC