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Is the Variable Rate Mortgage Ready for a Return?

Is the Variable Rate Mortgage Ready for a Return?

It was only a couple of years ago that 5 year variable rate mortgages were as popular as the 5 year fixed.  Lenders were offering deep discounts of up to .85 or .90% below the Prime rate, that made for a variable rate of 2.15 or 2.10%.  Lenders started to realize that their profit margins were suffering, so they abruptly slashed their variable discounts.  You started seeing rates of Prime (3.00%) or higher.  This forced mortgage consumers to consider the 5 year fixed again.  It was just not worth the rate risk when only receiving a small discount over the fixed rate.

Now the winds have changed again… fixed rates have been on the rise & variable discounts have slowly been growing, this has created a tipping point.  With a current variable discount of .40 or .45% below Prime, you’re now seeing an interest spread of close to 1% (over current fixed rates).  This provides the mortgage client with substantial monthly savings in the short-term, it’s just a question of how long the Prime rate stay at or around 3.00%.  The most recent economist predictions have the Prime rate holding steady until the end of 2014 & possibly beyond, the economy will need to show consistent growth before we’ll see any movement.

While yes, there are rate risks with a variable mortgage, the mortgage holder does have the ability to lock into a fixed rate at any point during their term.  Additionally, by default, if you needed to break the mortgage during your term there would only be a 3 month interest penalty (rather than the potential of a much higher, Interest Rate Differential penalty that are normally tied to fixed rate mortgages).

So maybe now is the right time to look at a variable rate mortgage again?

If you’re looking for a first time mortgage, or you’re shopping around to renew your mortgage – contact Darren Robinson at 705-737-6161, or go to our contact page.

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