Many prospective homebuyers are wondering what has happened to mortgage rates in 2009, and where they may go from here. RBC Economics Research recently updated its’ outlook, and here is what the group has to report.
Since hitting a low in January of 2009, longer-term interest rates have trended higher with the move accelerating in July. The prospect that the worst is over for the global economy is giving investors the confidence to venture out of low-return fixed income securities and seek higher risk investments. While we expect many bumps on the road to recovery we still see potential for a very modest decrease in long-term rates in the final quarter of this year.
Outlook for the future
Momentum in the global economy appears to be changing. Leading indicators currently point to the end of economic contraction for the industrialized world in the third quarter of 2009. Stimulus from central banks, combined with government fiscal stimulus packages, is expected to support a fledgling recovery that is forecast to build momentum in 2010.
Until this recovery is well underway, no changes to policy rates are likely. The Bank of Canada is expected to maintain the status quo until mid-2010. Once the recovery is well established, central banks will normalize their policy rates, and interest rates are likely to increase.
Fixed vs. variable rate mortgages
One of the biggest decisions homebuyers face is choosing between a fixed or variable rate mortgage. This is not a simple decision, which is why many people are looking for advice to help them decide which mortgage interest type is best for them, based on their personal circumstances. I can help homebuyers and homeowners decide which option best fits their situation and risk tolerance.
Mortgage rates continue to trend at historic lows, despite the fact that fixed rates have edged up recently. In this environment, people who are comfortable without a guaranteed rate are opting for a variable rate mortgage. Such a strategy could result in considerable interest savings.
What homebuyers choose should depend on how they feel about rate fluctuations and their cash flow. For example, a first time homebuyer may want assurance that the rate, payment and repayment schedule will not change, and may be wise to opt for a fixed term. A homebuyer who is not concerned about rate fluctuations may want to take advantage of today’s low variable rates in a bid to save more on mortgage interest over the long term.
Today’s flexible mortgage products let you bridge the gap between these strategies. For example, the RBC Homeline Plan lets homebuyers split their mortgages and enjoy the advantages of both variable and fixed rates within a credit limit of up to 80% of the value of the home. The variable portion offers potential long-term savings, while the fixed rate portion offers rate protection. The dividing line is entirely up to the homeowner.