Over the past 2 years we have seen many changes to the mortgage market in terms of regulations, product offerings and the way mortgage rates are priced. Last fall, we were certainly heading towards mortgage rates in the 4-5% range; this fall, we are in a fairly stable interest rate market. At the moment mortgage rates are inching up slightly, while the interest rate set by the Bank of Canada is unchanged, citing mixed data, and forecasting concerns about a possible recession in 2020/2021 due to trade wars. In the summer, the bond market pointed to a possible recession with significantly falling bond yields. Our mortgage rates fell as a result and we experienced an inverted market where the variable rate mortgages were more expensive than the 5 yr fixed rate. Now, we are in a flat rate market where the variable rate and the 5 yr fixed rates are largely equal. We are not expecting a lot of change on the horizon, just small fluctuations to the fully discounted 5 yr rate.
Qualification still poses a problem under the stress test for some borrowers, but, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel where high net worth programs are assisting some applicants in this area. First time buyers are somewhat impacted by the stress test, but most times their qualification is inline with their monthly budget in terms of affordability. The new minority Federal Government is unlikely to loosen the mortgage rules at this time.
The rates here are the lowest rates based on an owner occupied purchase with high ratio insurance and transfers under a 65% Loan Amount, Refinances and Mortgages over 65% are priced at higher rates.