Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. 2020 has been a difficult year for most of us, but I hope we can take this weekend to think of the things we have to be thankful for. Family, friends and our health.
Life in a COVID-19 world is ever-changing. We all experienced a quarantine period – many experienced temporary layoffs, and some more permanent.
K-12 schools are open again in Alberta. So much is uncertain. My own family has experienced a quarantine for one of our children due to a school close contact.
I will talk about interest rates, mortgages, and real estate.
Mortgage Interest rates have been going on a wild ride the past six months. Prior to the COVID shutdowns, we were seeing interest rates approaching the usual annual lows. About 2.5% and a lot of you took advantage of that to switch higher rate mortgages into lower rates.
When the shutdowns first hit, there was a lot of uncertainty and in spite of the Bank of Canada lowering the Prime Rate three times in March, we saw the cost of mortgage coupons – which impact mortgage pricing – deviate from their usual correlation with the Canada Bond Rates. Mortgage rates increased a half percent in the last half of March.
Since then we have seen steady dropping of rates, and now fixed mortgage rates for most terms and situations are under 2% for the first time in history. Only time will tell how long this will last.
September 9 the Bank of Canada made its 8th interest rate announcement of the year, and while they are keeping their rate at its all-time low, there is some silver lining in their announcement.
This might not feel as good in Alberta, but according to the Bank of Canada, nationally economic activity is bouncing back faster than it anticipated two months ago. Household spending rebounded sharply over the summer months and even in Alberta, we have seen stronger than expected housing activity.
Right now we have interest rates under 1.8% for a 5-year fixed term, which is unheard of, and some variable rates are even lower. With rates this low, compared to what has been a more normal rate over the last 7 years of 2.99%, on a typical $350,000 mortgage you are looking at over a $200 per month lower payment AND nearly $20,000 LESS INTEREST over the 5 years all while paying down nearly $60,000 of equity. That is paying yourself over $900 every single month!
Maybe you have a mortgage, maybe you want one, or maybe you don’t!
I do honestly feel like if there has ever been a best time to buy a home and get into a mortgage, THIS IS IT.
Home Values have been stable and even increased this year. I expect values to stay fairly stable over the next 6 months of winter in spite of some forecasts that are grimmer. Interest rates are at an all-time low. There really isn’t a better time to have a discussion of what homeownership can mean to you.
I want to offer each and every one of you an opportunity to do a checkup to see where you are at. This would be a quick 20-minute zoom call.
It doesn’t matter if you already have a home, or if you are thinking you might want to buy one in the next two years. I would love to have a discussion with you to make sure that you are equipped with the best, personalized information to form your decisions. Go ahead and pick a time on my calendar and we can meet virtually face to face.
I really do hope that you have a happy, warm, and safe thanksgiving. I look forward to hearing from you!