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Bank of Canada holds steady on key interest rate

With the Bank of Canada announcing today it is maintaining its key interest rate, variable rate mortgage holders can cheer about their payments remaining unchanged.  Meanwhile, the price of some fixed-rate mortgages has been inching down in recent weeks, just as new product innovations are coming to market.  According to mortgage brokerage Invis, the current climate of cooling rates and continued innovation is enabling mortgage consumers to boost their buying power.

Currently, the carrying costs of variable-rate and five-year fixed-rate mortgages are about the same.  A competitive variable rate mortgage can be obtained for a rate as low as 5.10 per cent. On a $200,000 mortgage with a standard 25-year amortization, this means a monthly payment of $1,175.  On the same size mortgage, a competitive rate for the popular five-year fixed mortgage is 5.30 per cent, which comes with a payment of $1,198 per month.  By comparison, in mid-August, a competitive five-year fixed mortgage had a rate of 5.55 per cent and a monthly payment of $1,227.

Current conditions in the mortgage market are favourable for consumers.  At the same time some rates have been cooling, a host of new mortgage innovations have been introduced in Canada , including 100% financing options and mortgages with a 40-year amortization and interest-only periods. 

“Housing affordability is a hot topic these days.  Recent innovations are making homeownership a reality much sooner for many consumers,” said Andrew Moor, president and CEO of Invis.  “We’re finding these options really appeal to younger, first-time homeowners looking to buy in pricier urban areas.”

While these new mortgages can improve monthly cash flow, they can result in more interest being paid over the life of the loan.  These options are best for individuals who expect their income to grow.  As it does, they can increase their mortgage payment and effectively reduce the life of their mortgage.

“Each new product that comes to market underscores the importance of getting the right advice,” said Moor.

Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 at 08:58PM by Registered CommenterElaine in | CommentsPost a Comment

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