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Mortgage Rate Outlook Panel

Our panel of mortgage experts share their views on Canadian mortgage rate trends each month by answering this question: What is your outlook for Canadian mortgage rates over the next 30-45 days?

October 2012 Overall Summary

Economic factors affecting mortgage rates have seen little change over the past month, prompting our expert panel to believe stability is in store for both fixed and variable rates. Fixed mortgage rates are to remain constant as Government of Canada bond yields remain low due to steady investor interest. Slowing economies in the Eurozone, Asia and in Canada indicate the Bank of Canada will not raise its overnight lending rate, and variable mortgage rates will not change in the foreseeable future.

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As Government of Canada bond yields remain steady, and the economy shows signs of a slowdown, no major movement is anticipated for fixed mortgage rates. However, lenders may offer aggressive pricing for mortgages closing prior to the end of the month as October 31 marks year-end for most lenders.

With no positive change seen on the international economic scale, and with Canada's own economy showing signs of slowing, the Bank of Canada is not expected to raise its overnight lending rate. As a result, variable mortgage rates are not anticipated to change.

This Month's Panelists

Elisseos Iriotakis - President, Safebridge Financial

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We won't see any major moves one way or another, however with October 31 being bank year-end for most lenders, we may see some aggressive pricing for mortgages that close before month end.

The world's economy is still a shambles – with the nation's GDP levelling out, if not decreasing, there's no need to anticipate any movement on behalf of the government to raise the overnight lending rate.

Dan Eisner - President, True North Mortgage

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Bond yields have been steady but banks are getting hungry for mortgage business as the real estate market begins to slow for the winter season.  As a result we will see some lenders sharpen their pencils in order to get more business.

Banks and Canadians in general do not seem interested in variable rate options with 5-year fixed rates so low.  As a result, we don't foresee any changes to the variable rates in the next while.

Dr. Ian Lee - Program Director, Carleton University

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The economy is slowing in Canada and stalled in the U.S. with everyone holding their breath for November 6 and the outcome of the election.  More importantly, home sales are declining, suggesting a decline in demand for mortgage monies.

The latest forecasts show China slowing further with Eurozone slowing even more – especially in France, Italy, Spain - evidenced by Purchasing Manager Indexes from both places.  With the Fed Reserve embarking on QE 3 and the US fiscal cliff about 80 days away, it seems most unlikely that the BoC will do anything anytime soon.

Mark Kocaurek - Senior Vice President, ING DIRECT

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Longer term yields have ground lower over the last few weeks and have as a result improved fixed term mortgage margins suggesting the potential for mortgage rates to follow lower. Additionally, real estate sales activity and the related mortgage activity have slowed somewhat in recent weeks as a result of tighter mortgage rules imposed by the Ministry of Finance earlier this year. I believe that fixed term mortgage rates will move slightly lower as lenders compete over lower market volumes.

The outlook for the global economy continues to point to, at best, slow and tepid growth for the foreseeable future. Recent forecasts from several economists on their view of Canadian growth suggest that Canada is in store for sub two per cent growth for 2012 and 2013. This level of growth will keep inflation well in check and hence the Bank of Canada will not be inclined to raise its overnight rate anytime soon. As a result variable rate mortgage rates will remain unchanged.

Mary Zenar - Managing Director of Zenar Financial

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The 2.99 5-year fixed rates are readily available and may continue to be for some time.  Over the last 3 months, the 5-year Government of Canada benchmark bond yield has averaged 1.33 and although it hit a 3-month high mid-August, yields have reverted back to this average level. I think the 2.99 region marks the floor for the 5 year fixed rate; therefore fixed rates will remain unchanged.

The Bank of Canada is forecasted to maintain their overnight lending rate into the foreseeable future.  The beginning of 2012 started with 5-year variable rates around prime – 0.50 (effectively 2.50 per cent) and rates continued to stay within this neighbourhood.  Since there are no major moves being made in the economy, I predict variable rates to remain unchanged while we make our way through the month of October.