Yields Spike. Fixed Rates May Follow
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From Canadian Mortgage Trends May 29, 2013.
If you’re house hunting or thinking of refinancing, and you don’t have a mortgage rate hold, consider getting one.
Canada’s 5-year bond yield just pierced a 3-month high. That means—barring a big reversal—there’s a good likelihood that fixed rates will ratchet higher. (Bond yields steer fixed mortgage pricing, most of the time.)
A few lenders have already announced higher rates earlier today—with increases of 5-10 basis points on longer fixed terms.
In less than a month the mortgage industry’s pricing benchmark (the 5-year GoC) has surged 33 basis points from its recent lows. That’s thanks in part to:
- a brightening picture south of the border, including:
- A 10.9% y/y jump in home prices—the most in 7 years
- Consumer confidence at a 5-year high
- U.S. stocks at record highs
- lower perceived global risk (which reduces demand for “safe” government bonds)
- technical-related bond selling.
Everyone’s got their own theory on how many legs this yield rally may have. Some are proclaiming the end of the great bond bull market. But that has been said countless times before. And bull markets don’t have to all-of-a-sudden reverse direction. Yields can just as easily move sideways…for years. (Note: Bond yields move inversely to bond prices.)
Either way, inflation ultimately drives yields and mortgage rates. Notwithstanding the bond-unfriendly U.S. news, Canada has core inflation of just 1.1% (2.0% is the BoC’s target), tepid GDP growth and questionable employment gains. There is little domestic news (yet) which suggests that Canadian yields will keep soaring. But at some point, that may no longer be true.
Sidebar: For the little that it’s worth, major economists have again moved back their forecasts for the next Bank of Canada rate change. Now they’re calling for a hike in late 2014 (Source: Reuters). But that says nothing about fixed rates today. And it’s always worth repeating: Fixed rates routinely increase well before the Bank of Canada tightens monetary policy.