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Market news, economic insights, mortgage strategies & tips. For all things mortgage, come enjoy our blog!
Market news, economic insights, mortgage strategies & tips. For all things mortgage, come enjoy our blog!
Good morning, the Bank of Canada kept rates unchanged this morning with their scheduled rate announcement. From the Bank’s release, the severe impact of Covid appears to have peaked & the gargantuan policy response has helped replace lost income & cushion the effect of the shutdowns. Right now the Bank’s forecast is for a sharp, partial rebound followed by a slower grind back to pre-crisis levels. The grind part of that being the key element.
Let’s remember that policy response was more life support than it was stimulus. Debt, which was already at high levels pre-covid, is giving up future consumption for greater consumption today. Unless that debt is used to create a new income stream that will help pay for that new debt, then it creates a drag on future cash flows. If I take out a mortgage to buy a vacation property, then those payments are going to take away from what I can spend my money on & invest with otherwise. If I use that financing to buy a rental property, I can acquire that asset without my monthly consumption being as impacted. The economic gravity of what has happened in Canada & around the world the past few months is something that will weigh on us for a long time.
What can you do? If you’re able, use this as an opportunity. Take advantage of low rates by creating another income stream, or by reducing your current debt load. If neither of those are options & you are one of the millions turned upside down from has been the worst financial event in anyone’s memory, think about what you can do moving forward to help keep you brace for the unexpected.
I was thinking last night how, through most of my life, it has felt like we have been on a linear path of progress & of course, life is not linear. Life is cycles of booms & busts, bright times followed by dark times. Winston Churchill said never let a good crisis go to waste. Find a way to emerge from this stronger than you were before. If that means taking government help, education, a career change, using technology to improve productivity, re evaluating your monthly budgeting, investing, spending more time with loved ones, find a way to use this situation as a learning experience. It is clear we have entered a darker time as humans. Crisis’s happen & are happening more often than ever in our lifetime. Find a way to better brace for the unexpected.
I’m Ryan, glad to be clean shaven again & to have a reason to iron my dress shirts. I hope you have a great day.
Here is a link to the Bank of Canada release.
Good morning, the Bank of Canada had their scheduled rate announcement this morning & after dropping rates 3 times for a total of 1.5% in rate cuts in the span of 3 weeks, held rates as is. Not that there is much room to move here as the key lending rate is a hair above 0%.
What we saw in the last month was rates hitting all time lows, then bouncing sharply as lenders started seeing rising risk premiums & a higher cost of funds. That’s really an indication of trouble behind the scenes. The feds acted quickly in setting up a number of measures to help liquidity & get rates back in line with where they should be & we are starting to see that take effect now as rates have started to trickle downwards once again.
Couple items of note, Canada started up our own form of Quantitative Easing in buying $5B worth of government securities per week, as well as allocating $10B to purchase corporate debt. That last move is significant. One of the criticisms of how the US handled the great financial crisis was their bailing out of what were essentially bad investments. The question of moral hazard is one to be asked at all levels. In a world of bailouts, what happens to risk? Does it go away, or does it become a slippery slope where bailouts get bigger & bigger as they have in the US? What is the endgame?
Some pretty staggering stats in the last month:
The challenge now facing everyone, is how to open up the economy without putting strain on our healthcare system. There is no great solution to this, at least not yet, but when that happens the question will be if pent up demand is able to bring our economy roaring back.
I’m going to link to the most current info on how to apply for mortgage deferral below, but wishing you all good health & luck in getting through this dark time in our history.
This has been a bit of a moving target & we will do our best to keep this as up to date as possible, but below is a list of the best ways to contact your lender regarding payment relief. PLEASE get in touch if you are having any issues getting through or questions related to the relief available.
Also, make sure to clarify with your lender the financial & credit repercussions of payment deferral.
Blueshore Financial https://www.blueshorefinancial.com/AboutUs/MediaCentre/WhatsNew/03132020/
BANK OF MONTREAL www.bmo.com/covid19
DOMINION MORTGAGE Email. [email protected]
CMLS FINANCIAL www.cmls.ca/covid-19
FIRST NATIONAL www.firstnational.ca/residential/covid-19
NATIONAL BANK 1-888-835-6281
SIMPLII (PC FINANCIAL) 1-888-723-8881
ROYAL BANK www.rbc.com/covid-19
STREET CAPITAL See RFA
TD 1-888-720-0075. www.td.com/covid19
Westminster Savings https://www.wscu.com/Personal/AboutUs/MediaCenter/MemberNotices/healthupdate/
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how the coronavirus will impact mortgage rates so wanted to get this out there to cover what those looking to buy a home, or have mortgages coming up for renewal, or are thinking of maybe refinancing, should expect. A lot of people you know have mortgages & are going to benefit from watching this so please forward on to friends or family or whoever you think is going to want to know what’s going on.
I’ll try to keep this simple: LOWER RATES. Until the world has gotten this virus under control there will be no pressure on rates to go up. The Bank of Canada dropped rates by twice their usual 0.25% cuts last week, something they haven’t done since the great financial crisis, and that was just as this virus was entering Canada. Is that the last of them? No. Bond yields, which are what fixed rates are priced on, have been finding new bottoms, I expect us to see rates follow suit & continue to hit new all time lows.
Regardless of your personal thoughts on Covid19, what is very clear is how contagious this is. Forget death rate & how many ppl die compared to the seasonal flu. What this boils down to is the potential of exponential growth.
Consider this example: if the number of people in a stadium doubles every day, and it takes 50 days for the entire stadium to be filled, how many days does it take before half the stadium is filled? The answer is 49. On day 48 = 25% full. On day 47 = 12.5% full. On day 46 it’s 6.25% full. So in the span of 4 days we go from 6.25% full to 100% full. That gives you an idea of how quickly things can get out of hand & why authorities want to act early.
The path I think we can expect are schools shutting down, employers allowing people to work from home, conferences & sporting events being cancelled. The countries that have gotten a handle on this thing have done so by implementing draconian measures of more or less locking people inside their homes to prevent the spread & that is where I think things are likely to head. To frame all this from the perspective of the economy, it’s not good. Canada’s growth had already been slowing BEFORE corona had shown up. Look at commodity prices. Look at the price of oil right now. That decline started before the Saudi / Russia feud.
Think about the knock on effects of what happens when people aren’t going out for dinner, going to the mall, taking trips, booking flights. When companies aren’t making sales, they cut costs through layoffs. When people don’t have jobs, they don’t spend money. You can see how a deflationary shock like this can be self reflexive. All of this points to rates continuing to drop.
What does this mean to you? Looking purely from the mortgage perspective, this is obviously good. If you have a mortgage that is over 3%, get in touch because in the last week we have found a ton of opportunities for clients to save money refinancing their mortgage. I still think it’s a bit early, but we’re at least knowing these opportunities exist & waiting for the timing to be optimal before finalizing anything.
If your mortgage is coming up for renewal in the next 6 months, DO NOT take your lender’s early renewal offer. At least, not without checking in with me. I have yet to see one in the last few months that is attractive enough to make moving early worth it but I can at least promise to shoot you straight & can tell you quite quickly what you should do.
If you’re looking to buy a place, as always, be patient. There is going to be opportunity out there & on the mortgage front, you’re going to be looking at rates we have never seen in Canada’s history.
The final piece I want to add here is that there is already a ton of government debt in the system & we’re going to see a lot more. The way governments are going to eventually get out of this debt burden is by trying to create meaningful inflation. Any of us who have spoken to our parents about mortgage rates in the early 80s & 90s, have heard of rates in the high teens & even above 20%. We got there because the government was trying to reel in inflation. I’m not saying we’re going to go to 15%, but even rates going from the mid 2% to the mid 5% is going to create a shock to a lot of borrowers. There is a lot you can do in advance of that to prepare.
Once this worm has turned, it is going to be essential for you to have your mortgage not with a bank specialist, not with your account manager at the branch, neither of those avenues get compensated to service their existing book of business. It is very rare for your banker to approach you with a refinance opportunity.
That is really where us brokers are worth our weight in gold. That’s how we make money is by finding these opportunities & saving you money. You want to work with someone who has your best interests at heart, who knows what’s going on & knows when to do things so you can time it appropriately.
The last thing I’ll add, if you are concerned with the risk of inflation, not in the near term, but down the road, get in touch. I have some awesome strategies for that, one in particular the “inflation hedge,” which I would love to share with any who are interested.
Thanks for watching & have a great day!
What a week we’ve had… Yesterday the US Fed did something they hadn’t done since oct 2008. Oct 2008, for some reason that time period stands out but I can’t quite put my finger on why, OH YA, Lehman Brothers went belly up & the global financial system was in shambles!
So what did the Fed do? The Fed had a scheduled meeting for 2 weeks from now but decided to do an emergency rate cut of not 0.25% but 0.5%.
Fast forward to this morning & the Bank of Canada matched them with the same 0.5% drop. This was the first time Canada has done such a move since spring 2009. Not very encouraging precedents…
The reason for the big move was due to the corona virus. Regardless of whether you think this is overblown hype or a legitimate concern, the reality is covid19 brought China’s economy to its knees. China consumes about half of the world’s resources so that alone poses a problem for a commodity based nation like ours.
But what can Central Banks really do to interest rates that are going to counter that? They’re not buying oil. They’re not buying plane tickets. Earlier in the week we saw the Bank of Japan step in with 500 BILLION yen in liquidity injections, followed by the Bank of Australia cutting rates, but both their respective markets, just like the US, rose briefly then fell. What we are seeing is Central Banks losing their ability to actually impact markets & growth.
So what happens from here? Is this big move the only we’ll see? If you’ve been following these summaries of mine then you’ll know that I’ve been expecting lower rates since the summer. The US has a dollar shortage & strength problem they’re trying to fix. You’ve got the eurozone on the brink. I think this is going to be a race to the bottom. And all that was before coronavirus.
I’ve been following this virus since mid January & it was pretty clear even back then that this is an incredibly contagious virus. Anyone who looks at how exponential growth works can see how quickly this can overwhelm a country’s resources, particularly healthcare, & that, to me, is the big risk here at home. Call me a fear monger or buying into the hype, or whatever… a country like China doesn’t completely shut down if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.
So in summary, big rate drop today. Bond yields are either at or near all time lows. The loonie is weak. Business investment is down. It’s not a pretty sight & it appears this could just be the beginning.
How’s that for a happy morning update? I’m Ryan, thanks for watching & have a great day.