VIDEO: Mortgage Update and Social Distancing

We are now over a month into Social Distancing across most of the world. It will likely last a few more months. It has wreaked havoc on our mental health. It has caused a large number of layoffs, or reduced hours of work for others. The uncertainty is crushing!...

VIDEO: COVID-19 and Mortgage Rates

Two weeks ago the Bank of Canada lowered it’s overnight rate by a half percent. This was the largest single day drop since 2008. Just over a week later on Friday the 13th, they did it again in an unscheduled rate announcement.

The major banks didn’t immediately follow suit, but as of today we have seen the banks pass along the full half percent rate drop again.

Fixed Rates on the Rise Despite Covid-19 Scare

Fixed Rates on the Rise Despite Covid-19 Scare

The Bank of Canada announced an unplanned change to their overnight rate to take effect Monday March 16, a cut of an additional 50 basis points just 9 days after the Bank had already cut the overnight rate by 50 basis points. In under two weeks the overnight rate will...

Big Banks Mirror Bank of Canada Rate Cuts

Big Banks Mirror Bank of Canada Rate Cuts

Within hours of the Bank of Canada's announcement that they had cut the overnight rate down by 50 basis points to 1.25% several big banks followed suit. It was uncertain whether the banks would move in lockstep with this announcement, but they have. The Bank of...

Bank Of Canada Cuts Rates for First Time Since 2015

The Federal Reserve made an unscheduled rate announcement yesterday and cut their overnight rate by 50 basis points. The Bank of Canada wasn't largely expected to cut its rate today at its scheduled announcement, but it followed suit and also cut its overnight rate by...

VIDEO: Bank of Canada Drops Rates by 50 points

VIDEO: Bank of Canada Drops Rates by 50 points

The Bank of Canada cut its overnight rate for the first time in four years. This follows the US Central Bank doing the same thing just yesterday. In the BoC announcement it seems that the overall Canadian economy has been doing sufficiently well that under normal...

No Stress Test on Mortgage Renewals

More good news for people who have been struggling with the mortgage stress test! It was recommended by FINA (House of Commons Standing Committee of Finance) to the federal government that they "exempt mortgages from the stress-test where the mortgagor has already met...

New and Improved Stress Test!

New and Improved Stress Test!

The Department of Finance announced Tuesday changes to the mortgage stress test. "The new benchmark rate will be the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus 2%." This change is specific to insured mortgages (i.e....

PM Orders Review of Stress Test

If you've been having a hard time getting approved for a mortgage since the stress test was introduced in 2018, you aren't alone. In fact, about 10% of buyers who would have been approved for a mortgage before the stress test find that they can no longer get into the...

Big Banks Dish Out Big Penalties

Big Banks Dish Out Big Penalties

If you're a first-time home buyer, you might have it in mind to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible. The prospect of making extra payments from time to time probably seems great! But the reality is: there are penalties for paying off your mortgage sooner than...

Bank of Canada Observes Country’s Economic Resilience

Bank of Canada Observes Country’s Economic Resilience

The Bank of Canada announced this morning that the overnight rate has remained unchanged. The rate has been sitting at 1.75% for the last 12 consecutive months. When the Bank released it's monetary report in July the financial outlook for the country was weak. In this...

Signs Alberta Economy Headed to Recovery

If you're like most Albertans you've probably been feeling pretty pessimistic about our economy for the last few years. Thousands of people in the oil field have lost their jobs, the cost of gas has been attached to a yo-yo, and small business owners have struggled....

5 Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Sooner

5 Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Sooner

When many new homeowners think about their mortgage payment they often cringe to think they'll be making them for the next 25 years. Most of us like to get out of debt sooner rather than later and save on as much interest as possible. So knowing a few tricks to get...

The 5 C’s of Credit for First Time Home Buyers

The 5 C’s of Credit for First Time Home Buyers

Character, Capacity, Capital, Collateral and Conditions. Knowing how these five characteristics apply to your quest to buy a home will make you a better, smarter, and more prepared first-time home buyer! Character If you ask a lender for a mortgage they're going to...

Global Uncertainty On the Horizon

Global Uncertainty On the Horizon

In May it was pretty certain that the Bank of Canada would not be making any changes to the overnight rate any time soon and the same remains true this month after their recent announcement. In fact, economists are projecting that it may be 2021 before we see rates...

Play House Before You Buy One For Real

Play House Before You Buy One For Real

You might know what it takes to run your own home; paying the bills, doing the shopping, cooking the meals and cleaning up. If you pay rent you may also be pretty good at making a budget and living within your means. However, do you really know what it costs to own...

Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Credit cards. Love em. Hate em. Probably both. In any case, most Canadians hoping to start building their credit need to use one. Lenders have made credit card usage more and more attractive with the invention of spending perks like travel rewards and cash back. If...

Beat the Mortgage Stress Test

Beat the Mortgage Stress Test

People looking to buy a new home, whether or not it is their first, have been struggling to cope with the mortgage stress test that was introduced by OSFI on January 1st 2018. This is in large part because the stress test measures your ability to deal with either the...

Spring/Summer Best Time For a Mortgage

Spring/Summer Best Time For a Mortgage

After a long winter many Canadians feel like they're coming out of a deep freeze. As soon as the weather warms up you'll see Albertans out of doors as much as possible. Whether they're soaking up the sun, getting started on their spring cleaning, or just taking the...

No Change to Overnight Rate

No Change to Overnight Rate

The Bank of Canada released their statement today and it's not surprise that they have not changed the overnight rate. The rate which currently rests at 1.75% has remained unchanged since October. The Bank had been gradually increasing interest rates but stopped when...

Don’t Make These Mistakes Millennial Homebuyers Regret

Don’t Make These Mistakes Millennial Homebuyers Regret

Chances are that if you’re looking to buy your first home you’re a millennial (someone between the ages of 22 and 37, or born between 1981 and 1996). One of the biggest rights of passage into adulthood has always been buying a house. And according to an RBC Economic...

Refinancing While Rates Are Low

Refinancing While Rates Are Low

The Bank of Canada announced on Wednesday that they will not be changing their overnight rate which is currently 1.75%. The rate has remained unchanged for the last six months (October 2018) and is expected to hold steady for at least most of this year, if not part of...

What Is a Mortgage Pre-Approval?

What Is a Mortgage Pre-Approval?

When you're looking to buy a home for the first time, it is common to find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of information available to you from friends, family, and the internet. Information overload can leave you feeling unsure where to start. We're here to tell...

Demystifying Credit Card Debt

Demystifying Credit Card Debt

If you're like most credit card owners, you get your bill each month and stare a little mystified at your interest charges. What does it mean if you have a 19.99% interest rate? How do they calculate how much interest you owe? Is it calculated daily, monthly,...

Is It Really Best To Put 20% Down On A Home?

Is It Really Best To Put 20% Down On A Home?

How much money do you really need for a down payment? Most of us have always been told to aim for 20% down, but in the current economic climate, banks, realtors and other housing professionals have been encouraging a down payment of 5%. Most personal finance experts...

No Change to Bank of Canada’s Overnight Rate

No Change to Bank of Canada’s Overnight Rate

More and more it seems that The Financial Powers That Be have had bigger more aggressive plans than consumers were ready for. Back in 2017 and through most of 2018 the Bank of Canada was confident that several interest rate hikes in steady progression would be...

Getting Into the Home Owner Pool

Getting Into the Home Owner Pool

If you've been in the market to buy a residential property in the last year or so, you're well aware of how difficult it has been to get approved, especially for first-time home buyers. Late in 2017 the Office of the Superintendant of Financial Institutions (or OSFI...

Uncertainty Halts Rate Increases for Foreseeable Future

Matching expectation the Bank of Canada this week announced that it was keeping interest rates steady which keeps prime at 3.95% for the foreseeable future. Global trade uncertainly along with adjusted growth numbers for the last two years have put interest rate increases on hold.

Mortgage Options Shrinking For Those With HELOCs

If you have a mortgage you may also have a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). As time goes buy, home owners with a HELOC can gain greater access to this equity by refinancing. This can eventually leave you with a generous credit limit, which is great news to many...

Standard vs Collateral Mortgages

Standard vs Collateral Mortgages

When you apply for a mortgage to buy a property you also agree to provide the lender with security, usually the home you are buying. This means that if you default on the terms of your mortgage loan, such as failing to make a payment, the lender can foreclose on the...

The Bank of Canada is keeping interest rates the same—for now

The Bank of Canada’s rate, known as the target or overnight rate, affects the interest rate borrowers and savers are offered from retail banks on savings accounts, mortgages, and other financial services. The Bank raises its rate when it wants...

Calgary Economy Improves in Buyers’ Market

Calgary Economy Improves in Buyers’ Market

With the recent decrease in housing overabundance, it appears the city of Calgary is on the way to economic recovery. According to the 2018 civic census, in June there were 19,408 empty housing units in the city (3.86% vacancy rate), compared to 23,553 units in June...

Nine Reasons Why Your Home Hasn’t Sold

If your home isn't getting enough attention from buyers, there could be multiple reasons why it's not selling. Today I'll be speaking about nine different reasons why this might be happening to you.  Your photos are terrible.Buyers go online to look at homes these...

Top Things to Look for in a Calgary Mortgage Broker

Securing a mortgage is perhaps the most difficult part of the process of buying a home. That process is made easier if you have an expert by your side. However, given how rarely we buy homes or refinance our loans, far fewer people know what to look for in a mortgage...

An Appraiser’s Take on the Calgary Market

Winter has finally FINALLY come to a close (knock on wood) and summer is well on its way (knock again). As Calgary changes with the seasons the housing market throughout the city typically changes too. As (Jared) Nolan Moore, a Canadian Residential Appraiser, tells us...

Bank of Canada Announcement Makes Future Clear

The Bank of Canada made a statement May 30th holding steady on their benchmark rate of 1.25%. Despite three interest rate increases since last July, the Bank of Canada has chosen not to increase again at this time, citing trade uncertainty, the slow...

Nearly half of Alberta Mortgages to Renew in 2018

2018 is the year of mortgage renewals in Alberta! This has been Mortgages for Less’ busiest year with mortgage renewals. A CIBC Capital Markets report says that an estimated 47 per cent of all existing mortgages will need to be renewed this year. A normal year sees 25...

Bank of Canada Raises Qualifying Mortgage Rates

On May 9th, the Bank of Canada raised its Benchmark Qualifying rate. The Benchmark rate is the median average of the 5-year posted rates from the major six banks. Given recent rate increases over the past few weeks, that median rate increased this week by...

The Calgary Housing Market Expected to Stay Stable for 2018 

Canada’s housing market has long been considered quite overheated. This trend is mostly driven by the extreme markets of Vancouver and Toronto housing markets; these are the markets that government regulations that limit loan to value ratios among others were targeted...

Bank of Canada Holds Steady – for Now  

Governor Stephen Poloz and his Governing Council ended their deliberations on April 18th, and the end decision was not to raise interest rates. This has left the benchmark interest rate at 1.25% for now. However, they are unlikely to keep interest rates this low for...

How Millennials Can Leave the Nest

Housing price increases have outpaced inflation for years, pricing many Millennials out of the housing market. For many Millennials, the solution has been to remain at home for years longer than their parents planned. In fact, roughly a third of those between the ages...

The Big Six Are Not Your Friends

On March 20, 2018, the FCAC issued a report dispelling any myth that the Big 6 banks are friendly, supportive institutions - or even neutral. The FCAC report said that the banks had too much of a focus on selling products and services. It warned that they lacked...

Interest Rates Steady after Bank of Canada Meeting

Thank you, Donald Trump. Those unlikely words from Canadian mortgage leaders are the result of the economic uncertainty created by Trump’s politicization of the renegotiation of NAFTA. This fact, combined with the slowdown in domestic spending at the end of 2017 that...

Mistakes Many First Time Calgary Home Buyers Make

The first time you do something, you’re likely to make mistakes. Unfortunately, mistakes when you buy a home are truly costly. Here are the common mistakes many first-time Calgary home buyers make and how to avoid making them yourself.   Assuming You Don’t Have...

The Calgary Housing Market Expected to Stay Stable for 2018

Canada’s housing market has long been considered quite overheated. This trend is mostly driven by the extreme markets of Vancouver and Toronto housing markets; these are the markets that government regulations limit loan to value ratios among others that were targeted...

Bank of Canada Hikes Rates – Hesitantly

The Bank of Canada raised interest rates by a quarter-percentage-point at its January 17, 2018 meeting. This brought the benchmark rate to 1.25%, the first time it was over 1% since 2009. That was the third interest rate hike since the summer of 2017. The Bank of...

Bank of Canada Hikes Rates but Warns of Potential Problems

In January, 2018, the Bank of Canada raised its lending rate to 1.25 percent from 1 percent, the highest level since 2009. The decision was based on an economy at near full capacity and recovery in inflation rates. This caused the Canadian dollar to sink, though it...

An Introduction to Mortgage Penalties

An Introduction to Mortgage Penalties Mortgage penalties rarely hit the news, though an Edmonton couple told their mortgage penalty would be $17,000 recently did. Nor are they the only case where mortgage penalties hit five figures. What many don’t understand is how...

Choosing between a Fixed and Variable Mortgage Rate

Today, most rates on Canada's most popular mortgage – the five-year fixed – are at or north of 3 per cent. In just the past three months alone, the five-year government yield – which leads fixed mortgage rates – has rocketed 75 per cent higher. Despite mounting...

Where will Mortgage Rates go from here?

After the Bank of Canada announced last month that it would be standing pat on interest rates (for now), mortgage holders are wondering what’s next. Is it time to lock in? If renewal is in your future, should you choose variable or fixed? How high are rates going to...

New Mortgage Stress Test – January 1, 2018

Canada’s banking regulator today unveiled in October final changes to its mortgage underwriting standards—Guideline B-20—that will further tighten lending standards and affect borrowers and lenders alike. The most wide-reaching change announced by the Office of the...

The Not-So Hidden Gem of Edmonton’s Real Estate Market

Alberta is known for its oil sands, and it should be: Alberta's oil sands are the third-largest proven crude oil reserve in the world. But Alberta’s provincial capital, Edmonton, has much to offer, including research, education, and, for first-time home buyers, the...

Bank of Canada Rate Update – No Change

The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining it's target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/4 per cent. The global economy is progressing largely as the Bank anticipated in its...

New CMHC Down Payment Rules Now in Effect

New federal mortgage rules are now officially in effect, but most market watchers don't expect to see much change. Just to recap: Ottawa has boosted the minimum down payment on insured mortgages valued at $500,000 to $999,000. In order to get mortgage insurance the...

Foreign Real Estate Investment in Canada

Questions about foreign ownership in Canada's real estate market have been loud, lingering and largely unanswered. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is promising to address that with the release of its latest Housing Market Insight (HMI) report on Thursday. The...

November Housing Market Commentary

Strong employment numbers in both Canada and the United States have market watchers focusing on interest rates again, especially in the U.S. The Canadian figures, while impressive, are not as significant as the American numbers. Canada generated 44,000 new jobs in...

Slower Housing Starts

Welcome to Mortgages For Less.ca, forward thinking Calgary mortgage brokers. With home prices continuing to rise and the on-going rebound in sales the home selling industry is looking forward to a good year in 2014. But the home building industry is showing definite...

RRSP or Mortgage Pay-Down?

If you're looking for a skilled Calgary mortgage broker please give us a call today: 403-241-3255 At this time every year, the perennial question arises, pay down the mortgage or top up the RRSP? Traditionally the answer has been, top up the retirement savings and use...

Are Canadians Saving?

Mortgages For Less provides great advice with years of experience getting new home buyers qualified and with the best rates.B If you're searching for the right mortgage broker in Calgary give us a call: 403-542-4882 As the holiday bills arrive, the RSP vendors gear up...

Thinking About Buying Your First Home? Consider These Questions

If you are considering buying your first home, an exciting step no matter where you are in life. From a university graduate, to a newly married couple, to someone who is later on in life and ready to root down somewhere, buying your first home is exciting, but at the...

Mortgage Rate Projections

Mortgage rates continue to be a major question for those looking to buy a home. Concerns about rising rates linger and there appear to be mixed signals coming from the Bank of Canada.

New Immigrant Mortgages

The New To Canada(TM) Mortgage Insurance Program makes it possible for individuals relocating to Canada to purchase a home with as little as 5% down. This program helps new Canadians purchase their first home, build equity, and become economically established in Canada.

Using your RRSP for a Down Payment

If you're a first-time buyer with a home purchase in your near future, you might want to consider taking advantage of the Federal government's Home Buyers' Plan (HBP). In a nutshell, the HBP allows each buyer (provided they're both first-timers) to use up to $25,000...

The Credit Question: What you Need to Know about Credit

Your credit score is probably the most important component of your mortgage application because it’s the primary factor that banks and lenders use to determine your creditworthiness. It tells lenders how likely you are to pay your bills on time, because it reflects every credit card, loan payment and late payment you’ve ever made b and every bankruptcy or credit problem you’ve undergone. With so much weighing on this tiny little number, it’s important to understand what it is, how it’s calculated and what you can do to manage it.

Calgary sees best home price growth in Canada

Calgary is currently home to the best sales price growth in the country. Average sale price here is up 7.7% compared to a year ago. That compares to a national average of only 2.5%. With a low supply of homes and a steady stream of buyers it is understandable that...

Definate cooling in the Canadian housing market

A recent economic analysis suggests Canada's housing correction is headed for something a little rougher that the projected soft landing, but not a U.S. style crash. The analysis is based on the premise that housing prices are declining. Relative to inflation that may...

Market Commentary

Markets appear generally optimistic to the start of the week. There has been news of some progress in negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff in the United State, Bond yields are up about 3 bps. Sales of existing homes fell 1.7% in Canada last month, compared to...

Be Financially Savvy

Canadians feel the 2008 economic crisis has made them more financially literate, according to a poll by BMO. The majority of respondents say they now have a better understanding of their investments, and 74% rate themselves as either a B or C when it comes to...

Market Commentary

Markets appear buoyed by expectations of more stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The FOMC meets on Wednesday and is expected to announce another round of asset purchases to replace Operation Twist. Bond yields are up 1.2 bps. Canada's international merchandise...

Fixed or Variable: Which is Better?

With interest rates at record lows, choosing between a fixed or variable rate mortgage has never been harder. So, which one should you go with? The answer is one you probably won't like: It purely depends on your specific financial position and comfort level. Plain...

Using Home Equity for Retirement Savings

More Canadian are planning to carry their mortgage into retirement while relying on home equity for a portion of their retirement savings. It is unknown if this will work out well for them.

Market Slower After Mortgage Changes

An overview of this lower market conditions since the mortgage rule changes in July 2012. Has the bubble burst, or are we experiencing a soft landing in real estate values?

The Case for Rising Interest Rates

Canada could move on rates well before the end of next year. Moodybs Analytics, the sister company to global ratings agency points to Canadabs GDP growth being broadly in line with projections.

Calgary Real Estate Stats: August 2012

Following several months of higher than expected sales growth, Calgary residential sales in August totaled 1,725 units, a 10-per-cent increase over last year. Read for more details.

Bank of Canada Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

The Bank of Canada left its interest unchanged today at 1%. This means that Bank Prime rate will remain unchanged at 3%. This is the interest rate that variable rate mortgages and lines of credit are measured against. This interest rate has remained unchanged since September 2010. This is the longest period of unchanged interest rates since the mid-1950bs.

Interest Rate Projections

Canadians appear to be getting their household debt in order. And that's showing up on the bottom line at the big banks. After some 15 years of fuelling bank profits, consumer loans are on the decline. Q2 earnings reports from Canada's major banks start today...

Is CMHC going to change? Probably.

The debate surrounding CMHC – and what the government should do with the Crown Corporation’s mortgage insurance arm – is nothing new. For more than a decade – maybe even two – the mortgage industry, and others, have discussed the special treatment CMHC receives – particularly with its 100% government guarantee.

Not all Variable Rates are the Same!

Choosing the mortgage that's right for you involves a little bit more than merely deciding whether you're a fixed or variable type of person – particularly if you opt for a variable rate mortgage.<br><br>
It's not enough to choose a variable rate mortgage based solely on rate – you also have to consider what type of variable rate you'd prefer. Below is a breakdown of the most common types: