The latest national statistics report that approximately 70% of all mortgages across Canada are fixed rate. The 5-year renewal option is the most popular at 60%. But, fixed rates are available in any term ranging from 1 to 10 years. It’s our job to compare your choices and advise which term best suits your unique needs both now and into the future.
When selecting a ‘fixed’ rate, you can expect zero fluctuation in payments – your rate will not change until your mortgage term expires. The ‘term’ refers to the duration of your current rate, whereas your ‘amortization’ is the length of time it will take for you to become mortgage free.
It’s important to understand that all borrowers must meet the standards of approval for the Bank of Canada’s benchmark 5-year fixed qualifying rate even if you choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter term. This benchmark is in place to both reduce the lender’s risk as well as ensure you can comfortably afford to pay back your mortgage.
Benefits of Fixed-Rate Terms
The convenience of knowing exactly what you have to pay towards your mortgage each month is often the greatest selling point for fixed-term options. A fixed rate definitely makes sense to conservative borrowers because selecting a fixed term guarantees your payments will never change until your mortgage term expires. Many people think of a fixed rate as a type of insurance policy that guarantees your rate will not rise over the term you’ve selected (1-10 years).
Fixed-rate mortgages are the option of choice for homebuyers and homeowners who are looking for a reliable payment schedule, manage a tight monthly budget, or are generally more traditional. For instance, young families with large mortgages relative to their income may be better off opting for the peace of mind that a fixed rate provides.
Historical 3-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates
The chart below shows the Bank of Canada’s historical rates for 3-year fixed terms since 1980.
Popularity of the 3-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage
The 5-year fixed-rate option is, by far, the most common selection for Canadians, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for every borrower. Your decision should be based on your risk tolerance as well as your ability to withstand increases in mortgage payments. This is where our expert support is even more invaluable.