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Yields Close At A 17-Month Low

The 5-year government yield (which influences 5-year fixed mortgage rates) closed at 1.998% on Monday, its lowest level in 17 months.


(Click chart to enlarge)

Friday's all-important job reports will determine if bonds hold the 2.00% level for the short-term. Employment expectations are pretty low, so it wouldn’t take much for a positive surprise.

If yields do stay below 2%, we may see discounted 5-year rates inch a bit lower.  Lenders currently have plenty of spread (profit) in today’s typical 3.59% five-year fixed.

As usual, economic performance (both here and in the US) will influence bonds over the medium-term. BMO expects “Canadian bond yields to decline a bit further in the coming six months and then [turn higher] once the Bank of Canada resumes tightening.” (Bloomberg

CIBC predicts “a pause in rates until May.”



  • Bloomberg recently surveyed 14 major economists and their consensus is for the next BoC rate hike to come in 2nd quarter 2011. (Businessweek)
  • Reuters says the markets are pricing in an 89% probability of no change at the BoC’s next meeting on October 19.
  • TD’s latest forecast calls for a 5.50% prime rate and a 4.35% five-year yield by year-end 2014. That’s a 250 and 235 basis point increase respectively.  Based on historical spreads, that suggests the following rates in four years:
    • 5-year variable rates:  4.75%
    • 5-year fixed rates:  5.60%.

Of course, we don’t have to remind most readers how big the margin of error is in long-range forecasts.