High mortgage rates – are they impacting buyers?

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“Recently, we’ve been extending a lot of preapprovals and rate holds. I still have a lot of clients that are sitting on the sidelines waiting for opportunities,” he said. “A lot have been looking for a long time – we’re talking about the whole year.

“But of course, supply was really tight, and there wasn’t much to choose from, so their rate holds keep expiring. The [maximum] rate hold you can get is four months, so we just keep extending the rate holds over and over again.”

Higher rates still having an impact despite first-time buyer enthusiasm

Unsurprisingly, renewals and refinance transactions aren’t as common at present, Tran said, with interest rates and borrowing costs having surged during the past year. Still, while rates are also much higher for new buyers compared with during the COVID-19 pandemic, many are availing of rate holds to be able to act quickly if the right property becomes available.

“We haven’t seen fixed rates this high for 16 years. But [buyers] are still requesting just to hold the rate in case they rise. If they do find something to purchase, they can just jump on that right away, because the inventory is slowly increasing,” he said.

After plunging in the wake of spring banking turmoil in the US, five-year Government of Canada bond yields – which heavily influenced fixed rates – have continued to climb, hovering around the 3.86% mark at time of writing.

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