March 1st, 2016 Best Mortgage Rates Update

The market is nuts. Inventory is super low, and buyer’s demand is pent up with nowhere to go. Now, more than ever is the time for buyers to see if their mortgage broker is worth their pound of salt! A good broker will work with you during the purchasing process to ensure you are in the most competitive position possible. Thanks to for the amazing graphs.

Local Real Estate Market:

The market is still feverish.

Numbers as of Monday morning was 718 sales. The record for February was 780 sales, back in 1992.

Open houses are teeming with crowds of 100+ people, and selling for over-asking and usually unconditionally.

Now is the Time to Really Lean on Your Mortgage Broker

Now more than ever, buyers need to lean on their mortgage broker for advice long before writing an offer. Your mortgage broker should give you a tight set of defined purchase price boundaries – something you can use while searching for houses.

Not only this, but your broker should give you feedback on specific properties that you may be interested in. Your broker can also advise you on how safe it is to proceed with an unconditional offer, and what closing dates may get you the best interest rate. (Yes, interest rates are highly determined by closing date.)

If all of this sounds like a big fuss to go through – trust me, it’s not. I offer this service with a 45-minute initial client appointment. Within a day, I’ll send you a comprehensive set of price guidelines – usually with 3 different scenarios. Once you start looking, all it takes is a phone call/email/text and I can offer property-specific mortgage advice/feedback – almost immediately.

Not only does this give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace and the potential to get a cheaper mortgage, but it also ensures you don’t get carried away with all the excitement and make an unconditional offer you would have trouble qualifying for.

Call me today for an appointment. 250-858-8564

Important Dates:

Upcoming Bank of Canada Rate Decision: March 9

New downpayment rules are now in effect after February 15, 2016.

Use my new Closing Cost Calculator for First Time Homebuyers to figure out what your minimum downpayment would be under the new rules. (You don't have to be a first time homebuyer to use the calculator)


Fixed rates were steady this week, with several mono-line lenders all in the running. Regular quick close 5 yr fixed rates are now reaching 2.49%, with several other lenders hovering around 2.54%. Some amazing low basic rate products still out there as well - as low as 2.44%.

Variable rates are beginning to move as well, but much slower than fixed rates. Some full featured quick close variable rates are closing in on P-0.4% (2.3%) and some low basic rate products are digging into P-.55 (2.15%) territory again.

Big Banks continue to lag behind the mono-line lenders. The slowdown in the oil-patch is resulting in serious losses to the big bank's balance sheets. Perhaps they are holding their residential rates higher to cover these losses. If you have a renewal notice from your big bank, you will definitely save some cash by shopping your mortgage around and switching lenders.

Best credit union option for a 5-year fixed is currently is Coast Capital at 2.79%.

5 Year Fixed Rates5 Year Variable RatesHELOC
Quick Close Specials2.49% - Must Close within 45 Days - High Ratio OnlyP-0.4% (2.3%) 45 Day CloseP +0.5%
Best Standard Rates2.59% - High Ratio - 45 Day Close 2.64% -Conventional - 90 Day CloseP-0.35% (2.35%)P +0.5%
Low Rate Basic Products2.44% -Must Close in 90 Days - High Ratio Only 2.54% - Must Close in 90 Days - ConventionalP-0.5% (2.2%) - Must Close in 90 Days - High Ratio Only P-0.4% (2.3%) - Must Close in 90 Days - Conventionaln/a
Credit Unions2.79%P-0.25% (2.45%)P +0.5%

* Low Rate Basic Products have great rates, but have restrictions that include high discharge penalties, inability to blend mortgage rates if you sell & buy, inability to leave lender during term, etc.

Other Rates:

Lender Prime2.7%
Bank of Canada Key Overnight Lending Rate0.5%
Next Bank of Canada Rate Update March 9, 2016
Benchmark Rate4.64%
5 Year Government of Canada Bond Yield (Feb 22, 2016)0.66%

Mike Grace is an independent full-time mortgage planner and industry insider located in Victoria, BC. If you are purchasing, refinancing or renewing your mortgage, contact Mike to obtain the best available rates and terms.