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Jamie David, Business Director Mortgages
Getting the best mortgage rates in British Columbia
Thanks to some beautiful countryside, some of the most livable cities in the world, as well as a busy local and tourist economy, British Columbia is home to a vibrant mortgage and real estate industry. If you're looking for a mortgage in BC you have plenty of products and providers to choose from, but we can help make that choice easier.
At Ratehub.ca, we help you find and compare the best rates from the Big 5 Banks, small banks, credit unions, and BC’s best mortgage brokers, at no cost to you. Using our rate tables, you can compare the most current mortgage rates instantly, all in one place. By comparing the best mortgage rates in BC, you could save yourself thousands of dollars.
Best mortgage rates in BC +
What is the best mortgage rate in BC?
The mortgage with the lowest rate is not always the best mortgage for you. The best mortgage rate in British Columbia is the one that best suits your needs and financial situation. The main things you’ll need to consider are: the size of your down payment; your current income and employment; your credit score; your debts; and whether your financial situation is likely to change in the next few years.
What factors affect the mortgage rate I get?
The mortgage rates available in BC are only one part of the equation. Your financial situation will greatly determine what rates you’re actually able to qualify for. Here are the most important factors that will affect your personal mortgage rate:
- Your down payment: All property purchases in Canada require a down payment. The minimum down payment ranges from 5% to 20%, depending on how expensive the property is. If your down payment is under 20%, you’ll be required to take out mortgage default insurance (often called CMHC insurance). While having an ‘insured’ mortgage will cost you more overall, it allows you to access lower mortgage rates, as there’s less risk to your lender. That said, it’s almost always better to put in a larger down payment if you can afford to do so, even if your mortgage rate ends up being slightly higher, as you will still save more overall through the life of your mortgage by not having to pay for mortgage insurance.
- Your amortization period: Mortgages with amortization periods above 25 years can’t be insured and therefore come with higher mortgage rates. However, a longer amortization period will give you more time to pay off your mortgage thereby lowering your monthly payments.
- What the property will be used for: Mortgage rates are lower for properties that are owner-occupied, rather than those that are occupied by renters.
- Mortgage type: Mortgages for renewals and purchases typically have lower rates than mortgages for refinancing.
- Your credit score: Having a low credit score can restrict the lenders you can qualify with. If you’re forced to use a ‘B-lender’ or a private lender due to bad credit, you’ll probably have to settle for a higher mortgage rate.
BC mortgage rates historical trends
BC mortgage rates rise and fall, as do rates across Canada. Here’s a snapshot of the lowest mortgage rates in Canada over the past few years, to give you an idea of how today's rates compare historically.
Source: Ratehub Historical Rate Chart
British Columbia land transfer tax
If you purchase property in British Columbia, you’ll be required to pay the provincial land transfer tax. This is sometimes forgotten by homebuyers, despite being one of the largest closing costs associated with buying a home.
In BC, land transfer tax is based on the cost of the property, with a marginal tax rate that increases with the purchase price.
|Purchase Price||BC land transfer tax rate|
|0 - $200,000||1.0%|
|$200,000 - $2,000,000||2.0%|
|$2,000,000 - $3,000,000||3.00%|
|$3 million +|| 3.00% for non-residential property|
5.00% for residential property
Source: Province of British Columbia
BC first-time home buyer rebate
First-home buyers in British Columbia may be eligible for a full or partial rebate of the BC land transfer tax for property purchases of less than $525,000. The full tax may be eligible for a rebate if the price is less than $500,000, while a partial rebate may apply for home worth between $500,000 and $525,000.
The British Columbia housing market
The BC housing market is complex, owing greatly to Vancouver, Canada’s most expensive housing market. The average value of Vancouver housing has always been above the national average, but in recent years it’s been close to double.
Source: Canadian Real Estate Association
Homeownership rates in British Columbia are close to the national average of 63%. Outside Vancouver, 69% of BC families own their primary residence, while just 55% of Vancouver families own their home (Source: Statistics Canada). That’s the lowest rate of any of Canada’s big cities besides Montreal, where around 50% of families own their home.
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.read linkedin bio