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Monday Mortgage Update: January 30, 2012

Last week, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that they will keep the target for the U.S. policy rate between 0.0% and 0.25% until late 2014, extending their initial expectations. This impacts Canadian interest rates since the Bank of Canada is likely to keep borrowing costs moving in a similar direction with our biggest trading partner. According to David LaRock, the Bank of Canada interest rate can be sustained at levels 2.0% greater than U.S. rates [we are currently 1.0% above them], although such a large spread would increase the value of our dollar versus the American and negatively impact our export-led businesses. Therefore, in an effort to keep the Canadian economy moving, the Bank of Canada is likely to keep interest rates low to keep our U.S trade market in balance, with no Bank of Canada interest rate hike anywhere in sight.

Canadian Mortgage Rates

Government of Canada benchmark bond yields all dropped across the board last week. Most notably the 5-year and 10-year bond yields which fell eleven and nine basis points respectively. Lenders should keep their large discounts on 5-year and 10-year fixed mortgage rates going in the short term, but this is not set in stone.

Online Mortgages

Now, pretty much any consumer is going to check online for rates” – Doug Lebda, LendingTree

News from Reuters emerged last week that online mortgage shopping is booming. This is due to the combination of low mortgage rates and consumers using social media at an all-time high. Author Mitch Lipka then goes on to say, “The ability to comparison shop and see what others think has been a boon to the concept of online mortgages. Adding in social-media commentary from others, mortgage shopping today isn’t a whole lot different than buying a computer or a pair of shoes online – even though the stakes are a lot higher.” Technology has and will continue to reshape how we do things. With the internet reaching new levels of availability (i.e. smart phones and tablets), today’s generation of shoppers are expecting results ‘now’. That is one advantage a mortgage website like can offer, is that round the clock service for individuals to compare and access mortgage rates.

Where are Current Mortgage Rates this week?

Discounted 5-year fixed mortgage rates and 5-year variable mortgage rates in January 2012

A history of discounted weekly 5-year fixed mortgage rates and 5-year variable mortgage rates

What mortgage products are Canadians buying?

BMO’s 2.99% Low Rate offer ended last week, while the rest of the Big Five’s promotional offers could expire in the coming days and return to normal discounted rate levels from the rate-record breaking environment they are in now. The long-term 10-year fixed rate continues to generate consumer interest on, where the lowest rate is at 3.79% for the second week in a row.

Note:  This is simply a small sample size and does not represent the entire market. It does, however, offer some useful insight.

Also read:

Overnight Lending Rate in Canada