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Find the best 3-year variable mortgage rate in BC

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British Columbia 3-year variable mortgage rates

Rates updated:

Toronto, ON
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These are the best

5-year
fixed

mortgage rates for

buying a home
RateTermTypeProvider
Featured1.64%
5 yearFixed

CanWise Financial

4,228 reviews

CanWise Financial

Featured1.79%
5 yearFixed

Alterna Savings

Featured1.84%
5 yearFixed

Duca

Featured1.89%
5 yearFixed

Equitable Bank

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3-year Variable Mortgage Rates

3-year variable mortgage rate defined

Variable mortgage rates, sometimes referred to as adjustable mortgage rates, follow the prime lending rate, which is the rate at which banks lend to their most creditworthy customers. Variable mortgage rates are typically stated as a discount or premium (+/-) to prime. For instance, if the prime lending rate is 3% and a variable mortgage rate is stated as a .5% premium to prime, the effective rate will be 3.5%.

A 3-year variable mortgage rate will absorb changes in interest rates over a term of three years. The term is the length of time you are committed to this link with the prime rate and other contractual provisions with your lender. Generally, variable rates are lower than fixed mortgage rates of the same term because fixed rates buy you protection against interest rate instability.

Comparing 3-year variable mortgage rates

Variable mortgage rates expose you to changes in interest rates and, thus, in your mortgage payments. If market rates fluctuate, you will be charged the difference in interest applied to your mortgage principal. Further, if your mortgage payments are structured so you pay a fixed amount every month – with rate changes altering the interest and principal portions – then your mortgage payment schedule may also be affected.

On the other hand, variable mortgage rates have proven to be less expensive compared to fixed rates when examined historically, and they particularly make sense in falling interest rate environments.

The 3-year term is sensible if you foresee breaking your mortgage within a few years – like, if you were to upgrade your home, for instance. Opting for a 3-year term over, say, a 5-year term could save you a considerable amount in penalty costs.

Another point to consider is a variable rate’s relationship to prime: if you believe discounts to prime will become more favourable in the short-term, committing to a 3-year over a 5-year mortgage rate is also a sound strategy.

Popularity of the 3-year variable mortgage rates

Around 20% of Canadians have mortgage terms between two and four years, with younger age groups supporting a slightly higher figure. Compared to older demographics which tend to be more risk averse, the younger demographic has a reduced urgency to lock in rates for longer periods.

Variable rates, at 29% of all mortgages, are not as popular as fixed mortgage rates in Canada predictably due to the uncertainty associated with fluctuating interest rates.

20% of Canadians have a term between 2-4 years3
TERM Length Age Group
18-34 35-54 55+ All Ages
1 YR 5% 7% 6% 6%
2-4 YR 27% 18% 12% 20%
5 YR 66% 65% 69% 66%
6-10 YR 3% 9% 10% 7%
>10 YR 0% 0% 2% 1%

What drives changes in 3-year variable mortgage rates?

The Bank of Canada plays a key role in determining variable mortgage rates. The Bank of Canada sets the overnight rate, which is the base for lenders’ prime rate.

Variable mortgage rates, as you know, are quoted by lenders in terms of their relationship to the prime rate.

The premium or discount a lender applies to prime in calculating a variable mortgage rate is based on independent marketing strategy and general credit market conditions.

References and Notes

  1. Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada, CAAMP, 2010
  2. Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada, CAAMP, 2010
  3. Annual state of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada, CAAMP, 2010

Author bio

Jamie David

Jamie David is the Business Director of Mortgages at Ratehub.ca. A graduate of the Systems Design Engineering program at the University of Waterloo, she has over 15 years of business, marketing, and engineering experience in the financial technology, banking, education, energy and retail industries. She has worked in top organizations like TD Bank, Trading Pursuits, Petro-Canada, and the TTC. Her passion for personal finance, investing, education, and business strategy brought her to Ratehub.ca where she heads a very talented, cross-functional team that is dedicated to providing Canadians with the best mortgage experience all the way through from online search to (keys-in-your-hand) funded mortgage.

About Ratehub

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Financial institutions pay us for connecting them with customers. This could be through advertisements, or when someone applies or is approved for a product. However, not all products we list are tied to compensation for us. Our industry leading education centres and calculators are available 24/7, free of charge, and with no obligation to purchase. To learn more, visit our About us page.

How are CanWise Financial and Ratehub.ca connected?

Both Ratehub.ca and CanWise Financial are owned and operated by Ratehub Inc. When comparing mortgage rates on Ratehub.ca, you’ll see rates from a number of lenders and mortgage brokers, including CanWise Financial. All products are sorted according to the rates available to you and the selection criteria you’ve shared with us.

We’re happy to send users to CanWise because of their great rates, trusted advice, and experienced mortgage team. Read any of their 3,300 five-star Google and Facebook reviews and you’ll see what we mean.