Fixed mortgage rates have been going up, rising to multi-year highs as the yield on the Government of Canada’s 5-year bond continues to rise. Anticipation of further rate hikes by the central bank have not helped either, and most recently, TD moved the needle by upping their benchmark 5-year fixed mortgage rates to a high of 5.59% (previously 5.14%). However, compared to fixed mortgages, variable rates are looking quite good right now.

On the variable rate side of things, the big banks appear to be trying to outdo each other on who can offer the lowest variable rate. For instance, last week, BMO fired the first shot by dropping their 5-year variable mortgage to a special rate of 2.45% (1% lower than their prime rate). This was followed this week by TD Bank matching the rate at 2.45% as well. HSBC beat both offers by cutting their own 5-year variable rate to 2.39%.

While these variable rate cuts are intended to lure customers to give their business to these banks, they are also an indication that home sales are slowing following a number of new mortgage rules and “stress test” that came into force on January 1, 2018. The new rules have generally made it more difficult for new home buyers to qualify for a mortgage.

Are you wondering whether to choose between a variable or fixed rate mortgage? You should take some factors into consideration – I answer this question in my article on Fixed vs. Variable Rate Mortgage and Factors to Consider.

Whichever mortgage-type you eventually choose to go with, it makes sense to compare rates across several banks and lenders to ensure you get the best rate possible for your needs.

Personal Finance Readings This Week

Earlier this week, I discussed 6 things that I will never buy new or at full price. On Wednesday, I also reviewed Simplii Financial.

Members of Generation X (ages 37-52) are struggling to save for retirement and almost half do not have a penny saved as per Jonathan Chevreau (Financial Post).

Think Save Retire lists all the early retirement buzzwords and acronyms you should know. Now you can be up to speed when you hear people talking about F.I.O.R, F.F.L.C, S.H.I.T…

Fin$avvy Panda talked about 5 easy ways you can make money online during your spare time.

Making Momentum discussed the personal finance resources that helped him correct the course of his financial journey and save his financial life.

Pursuing Retirement published how much investment risks you should take after retirement.

Retire Early Helen talks about how we tend to rush through life and says it’s time to slow down.

Mustard Seed Money discussed popular “investments” that aren’t really investments. How does your home or education fare in his analogy?

Getting discouraged by a slow start? Smile and Conquer says it’s okay, your highest earning years are still to come.