Rates Increasing: How Much? & How Fast?

With interest rates now on the rise, 2 Questions: How much? & How fast?

Summary:

  • Rates are up by 1.45% on the Variable already (Prime was 1.75% and is now 3.2%)
    • There HAS BEEN a 1 x .25% increase and 1 x .5% increase so far = .75% so far
  • Expected increases are 1 x .5% or .75%, and 1 x .25% still to come.
    • so expect Prime to get to 3.95% from 3.20% today, April 25th.

 

  • Insured variable rates are at Prime – 0.95% = 3.2 – .95% = 2.25% today
  • and they are expected to increase to 3.95% – .95% = 3.00% and then hold and decrease in the Fall of 2022.
  • these rates are lower than the current 5-year fixed rates of about 4% and are expected to come down in the Fall, 2022.

DETAILS:

Traditionally the Bank of Canada has used 0.25% as the standard increment for any interest rate move up, or down.  Occasionally the Bank will move its trendsetting Policy Rate by .50%, as it did at its last setting on April 13.

The last time the central bank boosted the, so-called, overnight rate by ½% was 20 years ago.  Now the Bank seems to be laying the ground work for an even bigger increase of .75% at its next setting in June.  There has not been a three-quarter point increase since the late 1990s.

Inflation remains the key concern for the BoC.  In March the inflation rate hit 6.7%, a 30-year high.  The central bank wants to see inflation at around 2.0%.  But it does not expect that to happen until sometime late next year.

Bank of Canada Governor will “not rule anything out” when it comes to interest rates and taming inflation. “We’re prepared to be as forceful as needed and I’m really going to let those words speak for themselves.”

While higher inflation was not unexpected as the economy recovered from the pandemic, it is lingering longer than anticipated.  The Bank says this is largely due to:

  • on-going waves of COVID-19, particularly in China, that have disrupted manufacturing and the supply chain;
  • the Russian invasion of Ukraine; and
  • spending fuelled by those rock-bottom interest rates that were designed to keep the economy moving during the pandemic.

The Bank is thought to be aiming for a Policy Rate of between 2% and 3%.  That is considered a “neutral” rate that neither stimulates nor restrains the economy. 

At the current pace, that could be reached by the fall of 2022.

Investment Mortgages WILL Be Harder to Get in 2023!

Its true! This thing called Basel 3 will make it harder to get an investment mortgage in 2023!

Lots of junk below, the short version is:

Canadian banks will need to apply more risk to investor mortgages and to lower that risk they may:

  • Increase the down payment needed from 20% to a higher amount … maybe 25% or 30%
  • Lend to fewer investors – which already make up 25% to 30% of the Canadian market.
  • New Zealand already started 40% down payment for investment properties!

“Avoid the new rules by buying your investment property in 2022!

Mortgage Mark Herman, top Calgary, Alberta mortgage broker.”

DETAILS: Canadian Bank Regulator Confirms Investor Mortgage Reduction Coming Next Year

Canadian real estate investors are about to face higher hurdles to enter the market. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), Canada’s bank regulator, confirmed new rules being rolled out in Q2 2023. The rules are a part of international Basel III guidelines, designed to reduce risk in the system. One critical change for real estate will be raising the risk weight for investor mortgages. This will reduce their leverage, which OSFI cites as a key response to housing risk. It’s still early, but here’s what we could dig up.

The Basel Trilogy and Global Financial Risk Reduction

The Basel reforms are a global set of measures for prudential bank regulation. They were developed by the Basel Committee On Banking Supervision (BCBS). The BCBS is a 45-country group hosted by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS). The BIS is often called, “the central bank for central banks.” It’s also jokingly called the “final boss” by Bitcoin investors.

We know, it’s a lot of banking jargon and acronyms, but what they do is straightforward. Their job is creating non-partisan risk reduction standards for the global financial system. Since the world’s financial system is now interdependent, problems spill across borders. They stepped up their game after a housing bubble in the US caused a global financial crisis (GFC).

The Basel Accords are a trilogy of policy where the common goals were set. The original happened before many of you were born (1988), but Basel II and III occur after the 2007-2008 GFC. No, circle back. GFC doesn’t stand for Gesus F*cking Christ, we just explained it’s the Global Financial Crisis. We’re also worried about your spelling skills.

The Second Accord primarily addressed minimum capital adequacy requirements. In other words, how much financial institutions had on hand compared to what they lend. Basel III was held in 2010, and mostly just improves the recognition of risk.

A good chunk of BASEL III reforms have already been implemented. Increasing Common Equity Tier 1 (CET) to 4.5% of risk-weighted assets (RWAs) from 2% in BASEL II, is one example. It happened in 2015 and almost no one heard a sound. The measures have been gradually introduced to create as little noise as possible. Though real estate investors might make some noise with the next update.

Basel III Will Land In Q2 2023, and It Will Lower Investor Mortgage Leverage

Basel III will increase the capital requirements for investor mortgages. “as part of the domestic implementation of Basel 3 reform package” in banks’ fiscal Q2-2023, we are increasing the risk weights, and thus capital required, for investor mortgages compared to the risk weights for owner-occupied properties,” said OSFI this morning.

That only tells us a reduction in leverage by Q2 2023 is coming, but not how much. OSFI said they’ll get back to us with what that means for down payments soon. We’ll update as soon as they do, but in the meantime we can get an idea of what we’re in for, from Basel III guidelines.

New standardized credit risk assigns a 30% risk weight to residential real estate. Next year income producing properties with a loan-to-value between 60% and 80% will have a risk weight of 45%. A bank will assume 50% more risk weight for an investor mortgage than an owner occupied home. i.e. owner-occupied mortgages with 20% down have similar risk to investor mortgages with 30% down.

There’s no direct translation of how that’s mitigated. They could want 10 points more for a mortgage, or they can offset risk in various other ways. Raising the risk premium on interest or lending less would be two methods to deal with it. None of those are particularly great for investors, now between 25% and 30% of home sales in Canada. It will slow demand though, which is probably needed. 

Raising the down payment is already occurring in other countries like New Zealand. Last year the country increased the minimum downpayment for investors to 40% of the value. Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) recently suggested a similar arrangement for Canada. Yup! The organization that represents mortgage brokers suggested it as just a cooling measure. Not even a Basel III mitigation.

The Federal Government has yet to address the issue, probably since most don’t know it’s coming. That means we don’t know if they’ll help reduce the leverage for political points or it’ll come from the banks. One thing’s for sure though — it’s coming next year.

Bank of Canada holds benchmark interest rate steady & updates 2022 economic outlook

Summary:

  • Prime did not change today, Jan 26, and the Bank of Canada (BoC) clearly said they are planning on starting the needed rate increases at the next meeting in 6 weeks, on Wednesday March 2nd.
  • The Market has “priced in” between 4 and 6 increases in 2022, each by .25%, and between 2 and 4 increases in 2023, each by .25%
    • There may be fewer increases if inflation returns to the target of 2% from today’s 40 year high of about 5%.
    • The USA is seeing record 7% inflation and Canada usually gets dragged along with the US numbers so that balances the possibility of fewer increases.
  • Mortgage Strategy – secure a fully underwritten, pre-approval, with a 120- day rate hold, from a person, not an online “60-second-mortgage-app” as soon as you think you may be buying in the next 2 years.
  • To start a mortgage application with us, click here, and we will call you with in 24-hours to get things going.

DETAILS:

This morning in its first scheduled policy decision of 2022, the Bank of Canada left its target overnight benchmark rate unchanged at what it describes as its “lower bound” of 0.25%. As a result, the Bank Rate stays at 0.5% and the knock-on effect is that borrowing costs for Canadians will remain low for the time being.

The Bank also updated its observations on the state of the economy, both in Canada and globally, leaving a strong impression that rates will rise this year.

More specifically, the Bank said that its Governing Council has decided to end its extraordinary commitment to hold its policy rate at the effective lower bound and that looking ahead, it expects “… interest rates will need to increase, with the timing and pace of those increases guided by the Bank’s commitment to achieving” its 2% inflation target.

These are the other highlights of today’s BoC announcement.

Canadian economy

  • The economy entered 2022 with considerable momentum, and a broad set of measures are now indicating that economic slack is absorbed
  • With strong employment growth, the labour market has tightened significantly with elevated job vacancies, strong hiring intentions, and a pick up in wage gains
  • Elevated housing market activity continues to put upward pressure on house prices
  • Omicron is “weighing on activity in the first quarter” and while its economic impact will depend on how quickly this wave passes, the impact is expected to be less severe than previous waves
  • Economic growth is then expected to bounce back and remain robust over the Bank’s “projection horizon,” led by consumer spending on services, and supported by strength in exports and business investment
  • After GDP growth of 4.5% in 2021, the Bank expects Canada’s economy to grow by 4% in 2022 and about 3.5% in 2023

Canadian inflation

  • CPI inflation remains “well above” the Bank’s target range and core measures of inflation have edged up since October
  • Persistent supply constraints are feeding through to a broader range of goods prices and, combined with higher food and energy prices, are expected to keep CPI inflation close to 5% in the first half of 2022
  • As supply shortages diminish, inflation is expected to decline “reasonably quickly” to about 3% by the end of 2022 and then “gradually ease” towards the Bank’s target over the projection period
  • Near-term inflation expectations have moved up, but longer-run expectations remain anchored on the 2% target
  • The Bank will use its monetary policy tools to ensure that higher near-term inflation expectations do not become embedded in ongoing inflation

Global economy

  • The recovery is strong but uneven with the US economy “growing robustly” while growth in some other regions appears more moderate, especially in China due to current weakness in its property sector
  • Strong global demand for goods combined with supply bottlenecks that hinder production and transportation are pushing up inflation in most regions
  • Oil prices have rebounded to well above pre-pandemic levels following a decline at the onset of the Omicron variant of COVID-19
  • Financial conditions remain broadly accommodative but have tightened with growing expectations that monetary policy will normalize sooner than was anticipated, and with rising geopolitical tensions
  • Overall, the Bank projects global GDP growth to moderate from 6.75% in 2021 to about 3.5% in 2022 and 2023

January Monetary Policy Report

The key messages found in the BoC’s Monetary Policy Report published today were consistent with the highlights noted above:

  • A wide range of measures and indicators suggest that economic slack is now absorbed and estimates of the output gap are consistent with this evidence
  • Public health measures and widespread worker absences related to the Omicron variant are slowing economic activity in the first quarter of 2022, but the economic impact is expected to be less severe than previous waves
  • The impacts from global and domestic supply disruptions are currently exerting upward pressure on prices
  • Inflationary pressures from strong demand, supply shortages and high energy prices should subside during the year
  • Over the medium term, increased productivity is expected to boost supply growth, and demand growth is projected to moderate with inflation expected to decline gradually through 2023 and 2024 to close to 2%
  • The Bank views the risks around this inflation outlook as roughly balanced, however, with inflation above the top of the Bank’s inflation-control range and expected to stay there for some time, the upside risks are of greater concern

Looking ahead

The Bank intends to keep its holdings of Government of Canada bonds on its balance sheet roughly constant “at least until” it begins to raise its policy interest rate.  At that time, the BoC’s Governing Council will consider exiting what it calls its “reinvestment phase” and reducing the size of its balance sheet. It will do so by allowing the roll-off of maturing Government of Canada bonds.

While the Bank acknowledges that COVID-19 continues to affect economic activity unevenly across sectors, the Governing Council believes that overall slack in the economy is now absorbed, “thus satisfying the condition outlined in the Bank’s forward guidance on its policy interest rate” and setting the stage for increases in 2022.

Mortgage Rate Holds are the theme for buyers in 2022

Mortgage Mark Herman, your friendly Calgary Alberta mortgage broker & New Buyer Specialist.

EXPLAINER: Why & Where Inflation and Canadian Mortgage Interest Rates

Top Calgary Mortgage Broker
Q: What is going on with INFLATION and where are the mortgage INTEREST RATES going to go?
Best answer I have seen yet is below … it still makes the 5-year fixed the better option right now (for most people)
Mortgage Mark Herman, Top Calgary Mortgage Broker
The Bank of Canada is not making its next rate announcement until September. That has market watchers looking to other indicators as they attempt to foresee what is coming for the economy and interest rates.

The latest significant news was good, but modest. Canada’s unemployment rate dipped to 7.5% with the creation of 94,000 jobs in July. Most of those are full-time and in the private sector.

Employment levels are linked to inflation, which is a key factor watched by the Bank of Canada in setting interest rate policy which, in turn, can affect mortgage rates.

As the labour market tightens up, employers tend to offer higher wages to attract workers. That increases the cost of producing goods and services, driving inflation. As well, as more people get work and earn more money demand for goods and services increases. If that demand outpaces supply, inflation can also result.

Canada finds itself in this position now. Inflation is running high chiefly because of supply constraints caused by the pandemic. At the same time, more and more people are heading back to work.

That has some analysts forecasting the Bank of Canada will be raising rates to calm inflation. The Bank, however, has been saying otherwise.

It is also useful to watch what is happening in the United States. The two economies are tightly linked and actions in the U.S. can offer useful clues about what will happen here.

In its latest assessment of the American economy the U.S. Federal Reserve continued to down play inflation – which is running high there as well – as “transitory”. The Fed continues to look to the second half of 2023 as the most likely time for any possible rate hikes. While the Bank of Canada has said it expects rates could start rising as much as a year sooner than that, it would be unusual for the BoC to move before the Fed.

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