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Industry News

 

The Bank of Canada held its key interest rate at 1% today and, in a dramatic policy shift, said there was less need to hike rates because of the worsening global economic picture.
 
“In light of slowing global economic momentum and heightened financial uncertainty, the need to withdraw monetary policy stimulus has diminished,” the central bank said in a statement.
 
In its July rate statement, the bank said some of the policy stimulus “will be withdrawn” to the extent the expansion continued, leading markets to expect a rate hike later this year.
 
Since then, analysts have pushed back their forecasts of a rate hike until the second quarter of next year. Some have even raised the possibility of a rate cut, but the bank gave no explicit sign it had abandoned its tightening bias.
 
Click here for more from the Financial Post.
 
What to do now that you know rates will stay on hold.
 
Wrong, wrong and wrong. Can I be any clearer about all the forecasts you read not too many months ago about rising interest rates?
 
Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney indicated today that rates will stay right where they are for quite a while as a result of global economic uncertainty. That means it’s time to strategize about your borrowing and investing.
 
Click here for six things to think about from the Globe and Mail.
 
Fixed, variable or both?
 
Who can be blamed for thinking mortgage rates will stay in the basement for the foreseeable future? We’re witnessing:
  • Surprisingly low US job growth
  • A contracting Canadian economy
  • A US Fed that’s pledging to remain on hold till 2013, thereby limiting the Bank of Canada’s options
That has many wondering why on earth anyone would take a fixed mortgage rate.
 
Indeed, noted CIBC Economist Benjamin Tal, “We know the five-year (fixed) rate is attractive, but we also know short-term rates are not raising.”
 
Despite the economic negatives, however, the rate choice is not clear cut. Prime rate could theoretically remain as-is for a year and a half (ie, until near the expiry of the Fed’s conditional pledge) and then jump 150+ basis points. In that scenario, a four-year fixed near 3% could cost less than a variable over four years, other things being equal.
 
Click here for the full article from CanadianMortgageTrends.com.
 
Misconceptions occur in every business and the mortgage business is no different.
 
A recent example is this post by Boomer & Echo (B&E). In it, B&E opines on why not to use a mortgage broker.
 
In the piece, the author gets some stuff wrong. As often happens, we came across it in our weekly blog scan and feel obliged to offer some counterpoints.
 
Click here to read B&E’s claims, and counterpoints from CanadianMortgageTrends.com.
 
An interest-saving meal plan.
 
Some 47% of Canadians say eating out less would help them save more. Sounds logical, since frequent diners can drop $100+ a pop at a decent restaurant.
 
But what if that same $100 was redeployed, once a month, as a mortgage prepayment?
 
The result is appetizing in its own right. A standard $200,000 mortgage is paid down 13% quicker – in just 21.75 years instead of 25 years.
 
Click here to read more from CanadianMortgageTrends.com.
 
Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the things we’re “supposed” to do with our money.
 
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can help to start by focusing on a smaller list of things that you shouldn’t do.
 
Click here for a list of money mistakes to avoid from MoneySmartLife.com.
 
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