The lowest mortgage rate in Canadian history hit the market this week to ravenous response.
CanWise Financial is offering a 0.98% five-year variable rate mortgage that’s being made available to homebuyers who have less than 20% for their down payments. It also includes a 120-day rate hold, a 20% prepayment option, three months of interest as the penalty for breaking the mortgage, and it’s both portable and assumable.
According to James Laird, president of Toronto-based CanWise Financial and co-founder of Ratehub.ca, where the rate can be found, the brokerage’s in-house lending arm decided to offer the rate in response to softening market activity.
“We’re offering prime minus 1.47%, which is 0.98%, because rates have been in the low 1s and with the current environment and activity slowing down a little bit, we thought a summer promotion would be a good idea to keep activity high through the summer months,” Laird told CREW.
The previous record-low mortgage rate of 0.99% was offered by HSBC late last year, but it wasn’t made available through the mortgage broker channel.
CanWise’s rate is only available for high-ratio purchases, says Laird.
“The maximum would be a $999,000 purchase price with 7.5% down, so $925,000 plus insurance,” he said.
The 0.98% rate should be on offer for as long as the current rate environment holds, which could last into 2022, depending on the employment situation.
Laird added that CanWise has already fielded quite a few phone calls about its new rate, and the broker channel is abuzz, too, with prospective borrowers trying to lock it in.
“There’s definitely been some noise in the industry with respect to having shoppers contact me,” said Daniel Johanis, principal broker at Pekoe Mortgages. “It’s come up on the radar. It’s good to see that there’s healthy competition out there and they’re offering something that gives the other banks a run for their money.”