First Foundation’s Best Rates To Open the Week:
1 Year 2.89%
2 Year 2.89%
3 Year 2.79%
4 Year 2.99%
5 Year 3.19%
7 Year 3.99%
10 Year 3.89%
ARM / Variable 2.85%
Line of Credit 3.50%
Prime Rate 3.00%
Qualifying Rate 5.24%
The Toronto stock market and the Canadian dollar headed higher Monday, reassured by remarks from the U.S. Federal Reserve and positive news from Europe.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed with a gain of 109.13 points, or 0.88 per cent, at 12,574.79 and the Canadian dollar was up 0.76 of a cent to 100.89 cents US.
Traders were encouraged by remarks from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said the U.S. job market remains weak despite three months of strong hiring and that Fed’s existing policies will help increase growth.
Investors took that to mean the Fed is ready to keep short-term interest rates near zero.
RBC has announced that they will be hiking their rates this week after creating a bit of a stir last week with their super low rates. Their posted rate will rise 20 bps to 5.44% and their 4 year special will move to 3.49% as of March 29th.
For the moment, First Foundation’s best 4 year fixed rate remains at 2.99% and our 5 year fixed rate is currently sitting at 3.19%. TD is also expected to match RBC rate hike by week’s end.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty laid the responsibility for mortgage lending back at the door of the institutions doing the actual lending last week when he remarked on the irony of banks pushing the government to make changes to mortgage rules.
“I find it a bit odd that some of the bank executives are taking the position that the minister of finance or the government somehow should tell them how to run their business,” Flaherty said during a public appearance this week.
“We have bank executives in Canada going and saying ‘really, the rules on insured mortgages should be tightened up.’ They must forget that they are actually the ones that issue the mortgages. It’s their market. It’s not my market. They decide what they want to charge in interest rates.
“They’re the ones that make the profits out of this business, so I do find it a bit much when some of the bank executives turn to the government … and say ‘you ought to change the rules and make it tighter.’ It’s very interesting commentary from them.”
Flaherty noted that the possibility of tightening the insured mortgage market — which has been done three times under the current Conservative government — is still there but he’d prefer to see the mortgage market work out it’s own issues.