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.

Post-Covid Home Demand to Continue – Data

What is everyone doing with the money they saved during Covid?

  • Eating out, travel, debt reduction and BUYING HOMES!
  • Mortgage rates are low and home prices are close to 2005 levels!

Mortgage Mark Herman, Top Calgary Alberta Mortgage Broker

Latest Bank of Canada Survey:

As COVID-19 continues to be pushed down in Canada, consumer spending is expected to go up.  The latest survey by the Bank of Canada suggests that will lead to an even greater demand for homes.

The Bank of Canada’s Survey of Consumer Expectations… indicates:

  • 40% of respondents managed to save more money than usual during the pandemic.
  • They expect to spend about 35% of those savings over the next 2 years on activities that have been restricted during the pandemic, such as dining out.
  • Respondents plan to put 10% of their savings toward debt repayment and
  • 10% toward a down payment on a home.

14% plan to buy a home soon, much of that was driven by renters, with 20% saying they want to get into the market.

80% of the respondents who have “worked from home” expect to continue with that and there is a consistent with the shift in demand for larger properties, away from city centres.

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.

Moving to YYC: How to buy ASAP

Moving to Calgary and Buying a Homes As Soon As Possible

This is a common question, and as usual, the way the banks / lenders want things done is exactly the opposite of what works in real life, for real people, like you.

You Want: To buy a home in Calgary, move the family in, get settled and then start the new job – RIGHT! That makes the most sense.

The Lenders want:

  • You to have 1 full-cycle payslip BEFORE then will fund your mortgage and
  • You to be completed the 90 day probation if you have a probationary clause in your new employment

Why?

PAYSLIP: The first full-cycle pay-slip – meaning 2 full weeks of pay – critically needs to match your employment letter / job offer at 40.00 hours; or whatever it is that you are guaranteed for pay. If it does not match, then your income is not guaranteed, and the lenders want to see guaranteed pay.

39.97 hours is not 40.00 hours; it means the 40 hours is not guaranteed and the lenders often decline to fund your mortgage.

PROBATION: In Alberta, you can be let go for no reason in the first 90 days of employment – even if you are NOT on probation. It does not matter if there is/not a reason, it is the law.

Obviously, if you just moved here, bought a home and are let go, the odds of you moving back are high. And the bank is left in the risky position of losing money on the home or making an early CMHC claim. Which is why they want to see either: NO probation, or a shortened & completed probation period, or a completed probation period.

Work-Arounds:

  • Workaround 1: We recommend and often see new employees specifically asking for no or short probation periods. You are taking the risk moving here, the employer is often willing to waive the probation – which can be the key to speeding a home purchase.
  • Workaround 2: Depending on how your math works out, you may be able to carry 2 mortgages at 1 time. There are 2nd Home Programs that can work for situations like this, but again, the math is different for everyone.

How to make the move as smooth as possible

The smoothest way to buy a home when relocating is to start the job first. Ask for the employer to waive or shorten the probation period. Then rent, stay with friends, or anything that works for the first 2 or 3 weeks. Then when you have a full-cycle pay slip you can buy a home that works for you and take possession as soon as possible is a much smoother transaction. Otherwise you are “trying to push a rope up a hill” and the bank’s don’t like that at all.

We see issues with people buying too soon all the time. Forcing the system often backfires on new home owners. The resulting brain damage is not worth trying to do the transaction backwards in the eyes of the banks.

Mark Herman; top Calgary Alberta Mortgage Broker, with best rates

Why today’s bank rate cut is not a big deal for mortgages

Below is a great summary of why this rate cut is not a big deal mortgage wise.

All the banks kept their rates the same but for TD that lowered their Prime rate by 0.10% only. No other banks have followed yet and are not expected to. As you can see the banks will keep that rate cut to boost their profits … because they love money; specifically, your money, not you.

Variables went down only by 0.1% … and fixed rates all stayed the same … at their 115 year all-time lows. Looks like mortgage interest rates are as low as they can go.

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

Why the Bank of Canada’s interest rate cut won’t help us.

The Bank of Canada decision Wednesday to cut its key lending rate for the second time this year to 0.50 per cent …

The impetus behind the cut wasn’t really about getting you to borrow more or ease your borrowing burden. It was about widening the gap between our interest rates and those in the U.S. to push our dollar down.

“Canada’s economy is undergoing a significant and complex adjustment,” the bank said in its rate decision, noting there was a modest recession in the first half of the year as the economy contracted.

Our dollar started the day down a third of a cent to 78 cents, a level not seen in 10 years. That’s going to make snowbirds unhappy, but the central bank is more interested in fuelling exports to our larger trading partner.

Can the Bank of Canada really save the day? Rates are already so low, we’re at the point of diminishing returns. Each new cut is greater in percentage terms than the last, but the real impact is smaller and smaller.

Here are four reasons this cut isn’t likely to make much difference:

1. Not much relief

If interest rates are at 15 per cent – not far off what I was paying for my first mortgage – and fall to 10 per cent, that’s a 33 per cent decline and puts a huge amount of money in your pocket.

If the rate is 0.75 per cent and falls to 0.50, it’s the same 33 per cent drop, but the saving is negligible. By the time it filters down through the banking system to your line of credit, the difference may add up to a Big Mac meal.

Wednesday’s move by the central bank means the banks will likely lower consumer borrowing costs a little. The betting is that they’ll give us 10 basis points and they’ll keep the other 15. TD Bank was first off the mark, doing just that.

So, suppose you’re a good bank customer. Your $100,000 secured line of credit is at prime, plus half a point, or 3.35 per cent (2.85 plus .50). You’re making an interest-only payment each month which comes to $279 a month.

The bank passes on 10 basis points. Your new combined rate is 3.25 per cent, or $271 a month. Spend that $8 wisely.

2. Indifferent businesses

Businesses who need money to invest are already borrowing. This rate cut won’t make a difference to their plans…

3. Indifferent consumers

…  many consumers see the low rates as normal. He’s right, in that anybody 45 or younger has only lived in an environment of falling interest rates. So 10 basis points off is just more of the same and unlikely to generate much interest….

4. Drooping dollar

Economist have noted that the January rate cut did send the dollar lower, but did little to accelerate growth, even as the loonie fell from 87 cents to about 82 cents and now 78 cents..

http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2015/07/15/4-reasons-the-bank-of-canadas-interest-rate-cut-wont-help-us-mayers.html

Graph shows why mortgage rates may go up soon

We watch all kinds of indicators for when mortgage rates may change.

This is the main one, the CMB – Canadian Mortgage Bond. As you can see it is on the way up and mortgage rates and the graph are directly related.

Rate Watch Program
When rates go up the banks call us and give us at least 2 hours – and sometimes 2 days – notice. This lets us send in all the files that we are working on for 120 day – or 4 month – rate holds. All the files that have enough data in them – at least an application and the disclosures and a payslip – get rate holds at today’s rates.

The banks do not do this for you! Another reason to use a broker that works the system to your advantage at no cost to you!

04MAY15_30dayCMBonly

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

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

Slight mortgage rate increase on the way?

We watch lots of technial things to see where rates are going. One of those is the CMB – Canadain Mortgage Bond.

Today, the benchmark government of Canada five year bond yield ended the week at 0.79%, up from 0.73% the previous week.

that means that fixed rates may move up from their 2.74 – 2.79% soon.

Get your rate hold / applicastion in!

Mark Herman, AMP, B. Comm., CAM, MBA-Finance

WINNER: #1 Franchise for Funded $ Mortgage Volume at Mortgage Alliance Canada, 2013 and 2014!

Direct: 403-681-4376

Accredited Mortgage Professional | Mortgage Alliance | Mortgages are Marvelous

Toll Free Secure E-Fax: 1-866-823-1279 | E-mail: mark.herman@shaw.ca |Web: https://www.markherman.ca/

More bad news about collateral loans

More collateral info in the press. As we have been saying for more than a year now; collateral loans can trap you later. Leverage the expertise of a person who has dealt with mortgages all day for more than 10 years when deciding what is best for you.

Short version of the article below: it is going to cost you about $2,500 to get out of a mortgage with a collateral charge when the term is done. That is not a “payout penalty” but the cost to re-register your mortgage later at a different bank when they try to renew you at a higher rate at the end of your term.

Mark Herman, top Calgary Alberta Mortgage Broker for Renewals

Search "collateral" in this blog search bar to see the other articles on this topic.

A collateral mortgage can trap you: Roseman

You may want to change lenders at the end of a mortgage term. But with a collateral mortgage, your freedom to move will be constrained.

Your residential mortgage is coming up for renewal. Your lender won’t match the competition, so you decide to get a better rate elsewhere.

Moving a mortgage at the end of a three-year or five-year term is no big deal. The new provider usually covers any transfer fees.

But switching is more costly if you have a collateral mortgage. You must hire a lawyer and pay about $1,000 to discharge the mortgage before you can move to a new lender.

Since 2010, TD Canada Trust has sold only collateral mortgages. Tangerine Bank (formerly ING Direct) changed to collateral mortgages in 2011. National Bank also offers them.

Having a collateral mortgage affects your ability to transfer your mortgage to a new lender and your ability to borrow additional funds. It can also affect your ability to discharge the mortgage after repaying the loan in full.Many people don’t know the difference between a conventional and a collateral mortgage, since the information is buried in the fine print of a detailed agreement.

Last August federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver announced an agreement with eight major banks, under which they would voluntarily disclose general information about collateral mortgages at their websites by Sept. 1, 2014, and in their branches by Nov. 30, 2014.

Finally, the banks would provide specific information to consumers who were entering into a new mortgage agreement by Jan. 31, 2015.

Has voluntary disclosure worked? I found almost nothing when checking the banks’ websites. But the Canadian Bankers Association’s website has an article, “Mortgage Security,” to which individual members can provide links.

With a conventional charge, only the amount of the actual mortgage loan is registered against your home. If you borrow $250,000, the lender will register a $250,000 amount as a liability on your property.

With a collateral charge, an amount higher than the actual mortgage loan may be registered against your home. If you borrow $250,000, the lender can choose to register a $300,000 or $400,000 amount.

This allows you to get an extra $50,000 to $100,000 at a later date, secured by the mortgage, without having to discharge the loan and go through a costly refinancing. However, you must meet certain conditions in order to borrow more money.

“You will need to apply and be approved by the lender for the increased amount, based on the current criteria of the lender, your ability to repay the mortgage loan and verification that your home’s value supports the mortgage loan request,” says the CBA.

Dan Faubert, an Ottawa mortgage broker, wrote a blog post last August about thepitfalls of a collateral mortgage. He used the example of John Smith (not his real name), who was denied a loan to fix up his home.

The man owned a home worth $375,000. He had $25,000 left on his mortgage and a $250,000 balance on his home equity line of credit — a total debt of $275,000.

Unfortunately, he didn’t know the bank had registered a $375,000 mortgage against his home. Most collateral mortgages are registered at 100 per cent of the property’s value and some go up to 125 per cent, depending on the lender.

Smith wanted $25,000 to renovate. He was planning to sell his house. But since he was retired and had a lower income than when he borrowed the money, he didn’t qualify for a bank loan.

Faubert couldn’t get him any more money, nor could any other mortgage broker, since the collateral mortgage was registered for 100 per cent of the property’s value.

Smith had borrowed $275,000 and his home was worth $375,000, but there was no equity against which to register a mortgage. It is a dilemma that could face other Canadians who carry a mortgage with them into retirement.

“Any mortgage with any bank that has multiple products in one mortgage is also registered as a collateral mortgage,” says Faubert, who recommends asking lenders for an explanation before agreeing to new financing.

I predict the trend to collateral mortgages will spread. Banks benefit by making it more difficult — or impossible, in some cases — to switch lenders before a mortgage is discharged.

Oliver should check the banks’ voluntary disclosure under the agreement announced last year. Customers need to know in clear terms, explained by a real person and not just in fine print, about a key change to the standard mortgage contract.

http://www.thestar.com/business/2015/02/17/a-collateral-mortgage-can-trap-you-roseman.html