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Here's what a Maritime mortgage broker suggests to get the best rates on your upcoming renewal


More than two million Canadians will renew their mortgages over the next year-and-a-half. CTV News asked more than 50 mortgage brokers across Canada how to get the best mortgage deal. This is what we found.

Making ends meet

Adam Cox, a Dartmouth, N.S., homeowner, waited as long as possible to renew his mortgage, hoping rates would drop before he had to sign a new term.

Cox, who purchased his home in 2019, saw his monthly mortgage payments increase by 22 per cent with the new three-year fixed rate he signed earlier this year.

"I knew rates would go up, but I was concerned about how much and what I could afford," said Cox.

The new rate worked out to an additional $250 per month on his mortgage bill. Cox says he’s only able to afford the extra cost because of a promotion he received at work.

"I’m single and don’t have a second income, so getting a mortgage was tricky in the first place," said Cox.

Average monthly mortgage payments for Nova Scotia. (Source: CMHC)

The 43-year-old says he’s making ends meet but he’s not able to put away any savings.

"All of that pay increase has pretty much put me at the same spot I was before my mortgage renewal," said Cox.

"I've been able to maintain and not have to stress but only because of making more pay."

Adam Cox bought his first home in 2019 and waited as long as he could to renew his mortgage, hoping interest rates would come down.

Average monthly payments

Average monthly payments for new mortgages have surged across Canada, including Halifax. Data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) shows average monthly payments in Halifax were $1,184 in 2019, slightly below the national average of $1,415.

Average scheduled monthly payments for new mortgages in Halifax by quarter, 2012-2023. (Source: CMHC)

Those average monthly payments have steadily climbed and by the final quarter of 2023, Halifax's average had risen to $1,888, while the national average jumped to $2,143.

Clinton Wilkins, a Halifax-based mortgage broker, believes the key interest rate, which has been stuck at five per cent since July 2023, will soften soon and the rates will level off.

“I think we’re going to see some change and if we don’t see some change in June then we’ll see a change in July,” said Wilkins.

“I really think by the end of 2025 we’ll see these rates two per cent lower.”

Average monthly mortgage payments also climbed in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, according to data released by the CMHC.

Average monthly mortgage payments for New Brunswick. (Source: CMHC)

Average monthly mortgage payments for P.E.I. (Source: CMHC)

Mortgage renewals

Over the next two years, more than 2.2 million mortgages in Canada are coming up for renewal and while many are waiting to see what the Bank of Canada will do with its key lending rate, Wilkins expects there will be a drop in the interest rate.

Wilkins says his clients are opting for a shorter-term fixed-rate mortgage, in the hopes the interest rates cool off. A trend he is seeing for the first time.

"I've never done so many three-year fixed mortgages as I have now," said Wilkins, who adds he believes more clients will move towards variable rates in anticipation of lower rates.

Looking ahead, if interest rates drop, Wilkins predicts a surge in real estate prices, as first-home buyers and other investors who have been waiting for lower rates enter the housing market.

Those buyers have been waiting on the sidelines for the right time to get into the housing market. Wilkins says it could drive up real estate prices and spark bidding wars similar to when the international banks raised interest rates to try and tame spending and overall inflation.

"It raises the question," says Wilkins. "Will it be cheaper at a lower rate and higher price?"

Halifax-based Clinton Wilkins is pictured in his office.

Calls for relief

Halifax's housing market remains tight. With supply issues exacerbating the situation, there's not enough housing to meet the demand of a growing population.

Cox considers himself lucky to have purchased his home just before the pandemic on a solo income. Like many homeowners, he's eager to see what the Bank of Canada does with the interest rate on Wednesday.

The key overnight rate has sat steady at five per cent since July 2023 and many are anticipating the interest rate will drop. There are also calls for relief, as policymakers argue the high-interest rate is putting financial pressure on middle and lower-income Canadians who are seeing higher interest rates increase their loan paybacks.

"I'm hopeful, but even as I waited the six months leading up to it (the mortgage renewal) there was so much uncertainty," said Cox.

"We didn't see COVID coming, and there's a lot of big things happening in the world that you just can't forecast, so it's a bit of a gamble."

Mortgage delinquency rates

Mortgage delinquency rates have fallen and narrowed among major Canadian cities and reached a 10-year low around 2022, but have recently shown more signs of increasing.

Regarding interest rates, Wilkins says we're going in the right direction and believes Canadians have tamed their spending but many are carrying significant household debt.

"I think bringing down this cost of borrowing will be good for everyone," said Wilkins.

If the key interest rate comes down overnight, so too will the Bank of Canada’s prime rate which sits at 7.20 percent.

"They move in concert," said Wilkins. "But we need to remember all the rates are high."

What's the best type of mortgage?

When asked what the best type of mortgage is to have right now, most brokers from across Canada suggest a fixed mortgage rate according to a poll by CTV News.

In contrast, brokers like Wilkins say it depends on the personal financial situation of the borrower.

"The best mortgage to have right now is what's best for your situation," said Wilkins.

"I can tell you existing homeowners who are coming up for renewal are certainly taking longer amortizations, partially because of what's happening with interest rates but partially because of inflation."

The Bank of Canada and its governor Tiff Macklem will make an announcement on Wednesday and provide an update on the key interest rate. There's growing speculation among financial experts that the rate could drop for the first time since July 2023. Top Stories

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