Mortgage rates trending downward even after Bank of Canada snoozefest

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The lowest nationally advertised fixed rates fell again this week, right in time for the bustling spring housing market.

For the first time since last June’s Bank of Canada rate hike, you can now fetch a five-year fixed for less than five per cent if uninsured and just 4.64 per cent if insured.

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For the savvy crowd, though, the three-year fixed is where it’s at. You’ll cough up a hair more interest but get the luxury to refinance sooner — handy, with whispers of interest rate cuts in the wind.

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On the variable side, I’m hearing many cases where big banks are quoting much lower discretionary variable rates for well-qualified uninsured borrowers, especially borrowers with other business at the bank. We’re talking about prime minus 0.75 per cent (6.45 per cent) or better, whereas the lowest nationally advertised uninsured variable rate is 6.64 per cent with Scotiabank eHOME.

To get these discretionary rates, you simply have to ask a bank or a broker nicely (it might take a little shopping around), show off your impeccable financial physique and be willing to start a new banking relationship.

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Following the Bank of Canada’s snoozefest rate meeting Wednesday, bond market probabilities suggest a one in four chance of a policy rate reduction on April 10. The first rate cut isn’t fully priced in until July, however.

Weary borrowers will believe it when they see it.

Robert McLister is a mortgage strategist, interest rate analyst and editor of You can follow him on X at @RobMcLister.

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