On the other hand, Canadians who are either signing for a brand-new mortgage or coming up for renewal are mainly considering a fixed rate, Tran said. “For anyone now that’s purchasing a property and they’re debating whether to go variable or fixed, then it might make sense to go for the fixed, just to have that certainty,” he said, “and because the spread is pretty thin between a fixed and variable right now.
“With the next announcement, there’s a very good chance that variable could be higher than fixed. So I think a lot of people are seeing that and they say, ‘You know what – let’s just go for a fixed and we’ll just call it a day.’”
While speculation had risen in the buildup to the most recent Bank of Canada announcement that many variable-rate borrowers would soon be nearing their trigger point – the time at which fixed monthly payments on a variable rate can begin to rise – Tran said he hadn’t seen a significant increase in that trend.
Read next: Economists weigh in on BoC’s future rate hike path
That’s because a number of deals for borrowers in the past two years have been on significant discounts below the prime rate, he said, meaning that those clients still have a while to go before their monthly payments are impacted.