Mortgage rates generally rise at a “one-to-one ratio” with bond yields, according to CIBC economist, Benjamin Tal.
Bond yields change daily, but not mortgage rates. “Banks will move when they feel the increase is not a one-off thing,” says Tal. Otherwise, it would be too difficult for lenders to quote rates and manage marketing, internal budgeting, forecasting, etc.
5-year fixed mortgages (Canada’s most popular term) have historically been priced roughly 120 basis points above the 5-year bond yield. Lately, however, rabid competition has driven spreads below 75 basis points, as in the case of CIBC’s recent cash-back special.
FP says there is a 97% correlation between fixed rates and bond yields since 1980, which happens to match our findings from a few weeks ago.
“Rates adjust slightly more quickly upwards than downwards,” according to this Bank of Canadastudy. That’s partly because lenders don’t want to underprice long-term rate holds when rates are rising.
The good old days (i.e. March 2010) may be gone for quite a spell…
“The rates we saw last week, I’d be surprised if we see those again maybe in our lifetime.” – Mortgage planner, Peter Kinch.