As you know, your variable rate mortgage, line of credit and/or student loans are all based on the Prime Rate and here is your personal update from me on the recent Bank of Canada announcement on changes to their Overnight Rate which in most cases impacts your Prime Rate.
At 10:00 am EST, Wednesday March 1, 2017, the Bank of Canada again maintained their overnight rate which means no change to your interest rate. This is great news to start the year off as you continue to benefit from low rates which for sure puts a smile on your face as the temperature outside is a little frosty.
Let’s not forget that this is a great time to take advantage of such historical low rates and chat to a financial advisor about a Tax Free Savings Account or some RRSP contributions to trigger a potential income tax refund; you might have missed the RSP deadline for this year but it is never too late to start saving and planning for the future. If you don’t have a financial advisor, let me know and I’d be happy to recommend one to you.
On another note, are you carrying a balance on any lines of credit or credit cards right now where the interest rate is over 3%? If so, this is the perfect time to chat about a potential debt consolidation or refinance especially – let’s start saving you some unnecessary interest and getting to your mortgage burning party sooner! Maybe you are planning a renovation project soon or purchasing a second home or rental property – chat to me about your options … I’d be happy to make those plans into realty.
To continue with the Bank of Canada news, here is an excerpt of the announcement and what they had to say about their decision:
“Overall, recent data on the global and Canadian economies have been consistent with the Bank’s projection of improving growth. In Canada, recent consumption and housing indicators suggest growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 may have been slightly stronger than expected. However, exports continue to face the ongoing competitiveness challenges described in the January Monetary Policy Report. The Canadian dollar and bond yields remain near levels observed at that time. While there have been recent gains in employment, subdued growth in wages and hours worked continue to reflect persistent economic slack in Canada, in contrast to the United States.”
Given the mixed messages of both positive growth versus a slow down in some sectors, it is still anticipated that prime rates won’t start increasing until well into 2017 but we are being given the heads up that they will start increasing eventually. Remember, that any increase to the prime rate since 1992 has only been by 0.25% at any ONE time, so you won’t see a large significant increase all at once.
Fixed rates haven’t changed at all since the last announcement, and are around 2.59% to 2.89% for a five-year fixed term. Also, remember that the prime rates and fixed term rates are impacted by two different sets of economic drivers and so increases in fixed rates doesn’t always mean the same increase in prime rates and vice versa.
Based on this recent announcement, and the anticipation that the prime rate will still remain low for a while now, unless you feel otherwise, I’d recommend that you remain with your current variable rate product as the interest is still lower than a fixed term rate right now. However, if having a fixed payment is important to you, call me so I can calculate what your new payment would look like and also if it is suitable for you. I’ll be in touch again for the next announcement on April 12, 2017.
I wonder if I can ask a favour, if you hear a friend or family member talk about going thru a financially tough time – maybe I can help with some budgeting, credit counselling and debt consolidation options for them. It is also that time of year that many think about what they want to accomplish this year – if buying their first home is on the “wish list”, would you mind passing my contact information on to them – this is very much appreciated.
Eva Neufeld AMP
Phone: (780) 244-0505