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Mortgage Bytes

  • Falling-Interest-Rates Most lenders have now moved under 6% on their best 5-year fixed rates.  There’s still a way to go, however, before fixed rates return to their normal 1.10% spread over 5-year bond yields.  5-year yields are currently at 3.47%.
  • Bankers Acceptance rates (which impact variable mortgage rates) have fallen from 4.70+% in December to just above 4% today.  That’s the lowest they’ve been since April 2006.
  • 60 Minutes shows how Americans are increasingly leaving their keys on their lender’s doorsteps.  Howe St. Article
  • Banks may start heavily scrutinizing powers of attorneys thanks to a recent court decision.
  • Core inflation is at a 2-year low.  That enhances the odds of a March rate reduction by the Bank of Canada.
  • Stewart Hall, market strategist at HSBC Canada agrees.  He says, “I don’t think anyone in Canada is particularly worried about inflation getting in the way of a March rate cut.”
  • Canadian home resales will remain near record levels in 2008 says CREA.
  • The Bank of Canada might lower rates 1/4% to 1/2% on March 4 says TD Securities’ economist Eric Lascelles.
  • Moshe Milvesky, author of Canada’s best known interest rate study, says banks would probably lower variable-rate discounts instead of holding up their prime rates.
  • AIG has relaxed the approval requirements of their new immigrant programAIG Announcement
  • AIG has also increased the maximum loan-to-value on their rental property program to 95%.  95% can’t touch CMHC’s 100% financing program, however.  Now we’re waiting to see if Genworth also ups their income property LTV.  Currently Genworth is at 90% but insurers have been following the pack pretty closely in terms of pricing and features.  AIG Announcement