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Jamie David, Director of Marketing & Mortgages
Getting a mortgage is always a big commitment, no matter where you are in Canada. For Albertans, whether you live in a big city like Calgary or Edmonton or a smaller centre like Red Deer, Canmore or Medicine Hat, your mortgage will still probably be the biggest financial commitment you ever make.
With that in mind, you'll want to make sure you're getting the right mortgage for you, with an appropriate term and rate type. 5-year fixed-rate mortgages are the most common mortgage type in Alberta, as well as across the rest of Canada, so they're the obvious place to start when comparing mortgages. That's not to say they're always the right mortgage to go with, though!
Read on to learn more about 5-year fixed mortgage rates in Alberta and to decide whether they might be a good fit for you. Once you're ready to take the next step, use the tools at the top of this page to receive quotes from multiple mortgage providers for free.
Best mortgage rates in Alberta +
Alberta 5-year fixed mortgage rates: Quick facts
- ~80% of mortgages in Calgary and Edmonton have fixed mortgage rates
- 88% of Alberta mortgages outside Calgary and Edmonton have fixed mortgage rates
- 60% of all mortgages closed with Ratehub.ca in 2020 were 5-year fixed mortgages
- 72% of Canadians had fixed mortgage rates in 2020 (Source: Mortgage Professionals Canada)
- 5-year mortgage rates are driven by 5-year government bond yields
Historical 5-year fixed mortgage rates in Alberta
One of the most important factors in choosing whether to go for a long or short mortgage term or with fixed or variable mortgage rates is the current rate environment. If rates are rising, it makes more sense to look for a fixed-rate mortgage with a longer term, which lets you lock in today's lower rate for longer. Conversely, if rates are going down, a variable rate will let you benefit from a lower prime rate in the future.
While there are many reasons why rates may go up or down, a quick way to tell if rates are likely to rise or fall is to see where today's rates compare to historical rates. Here are the lowest 5-year fixed rates in Canada for the last several years, compared to several other types of mortgage rates.
Source: Ratehub Historical Rate Chart
The popularity of 5-year fixed mortgage rates in Alberta
5-year mortgage rates are the most popular in both Alberta and across Canada for a reason. They sit in the middle of the most widely available mortgage term lengths (1 to 10 years) so they offer a balance of long term stability (with a fixed rate) and flexibility to change to a different mortgage type or provider in the short term. 60% of all mortgages closed with Ratehub.ca in 2020 were 5-year fixed mortgage terms, which speaks to their place as a kind of "Swiss Army Knife" of mortgages.
Fixed rates are also more popular than the alternative option, variable rates. This is because, while variable rates can often be cheaper over time, fixed rates offer a level of certainty that variable rates cannot. With a fixed rate, you'll know exactly how much your mortgage payments will be each month, which is easier to budget for.
Something fascinating about Calgary and Edmonton, in particular, is that fixed rates are a lot more popular than they are in other Canadian capitals. While ~80% of urban Albertans have fixed-rate mortgages, only 65% of people in Vancouver and 68% of people in Toronto and Ottawa have fixed-rate mortgages.
This could be for many reasons. Albertan economies may rely more heavily on particular industries, or people in Edmonton and Calgary may move homes less often. Whatever the reason, the popularity of fixed rates in Alberta could be seen as a vote of confidence in the product.
During a long period of low mortgage rates, you'll often see the proportion of fixed-rate mortgages increase, as more borrowers lock in low rates for the long term.
What drives changes in 5-year fixed mortgage rates?
By and large, 5-year fixed mortgage rates follow the pattern of 5-year Canada Bond Yields, plus a spread. Bond yields are driven by economic factors such as unemployment, export and inflation.
When Canada Bond Yields rise, sourcing capital to fund mortgages becomes more costly for mortgage lenders and their profit is reduced unless they raise mortgage rates. The reverse is true when market conditions are good.
In terms of the spread between the mortgage rates and the bond yields, mortgage lenders set this based on their desired market share, competition, marketing strategy, and general credit market conditions.
5-Year Fixed Rates vs. 5-Year Bond Yields
From 2000 - Today
Should you get a 5-year fixed-rate mortgage in Alberta?
The truth is, you need to decide for yourself whether you want to take out a 5-year fixed-rate mortgage. The best way to get a great deal is to learn as much as you can about Canadian mortgages (which you're doing right now!) as well as comparing mortgage rates between multiple lenders, which you can do for free with the tools at the top of this page. If you're still not sure about what mortgage product best suits your needs, it's a good idea to speak to a mortgage broker. Consultations are free, and you'll leave with expert advice, personalized to you.
Jamie David, Director of Marketing and Head of Mortgages
Jamie has 15+ years of business and marketing experience. She contributes her mortgage expertise to The Globe and Mail and authors Ratehub’s mortgage and homebuying guides. read more
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