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5-year variable* 0.00% (Prime 0.00%)
5-year fixed* 0.00%

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*Insured loans. Other conditions apply. Rate in effect as of today.

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Your Guide to Getting the Best Mortgage Rates in Alberta

When you’re looking to find the very best mortgage rates in Alberta, nesto is your one-stop shop. You can always rely on us to help you understand how to navigate mortgages in any market and provide the best interest rate upfront.

About Alberta

Alberta is Canada’s 4th-largest province by population and the 3rd-biggest industrial contributor to the country’s GDP. Due to its sizeable population and economy, Alberta has a robust housing market. The relatively large housing supply has remained affordable compared to the rest of the country.

Key facts about the Alberta market:

  • Alberta is home to 4.5 million people, while two-thirds live regionally in its two largest cities – Calgary and Edmonton.  Calgary is Alberta’s largest city and financial capital, with over 1.7 million inhabitants. Edmonton, Alberta’s capital,  boasts slightly lower at 1.4 million inhabitants in its metropolitan region. 
  • Alberta’s GDP is almost $380 Billion, with a 69.1% participation rate in the labour market and a 6.9% unemployment rate.
  • Average homes in Alberta run just below $429K. Provincially the average ranges from $298K in Fort McMurray to over $495K in Calgary.
  • Alberta’s average household income is $126K, and the median income is $81K.
  • Alberta’s average mortgage balance is around $334K
  • Alberta’s municipal property tax rates range from 0.5% to 1.29% of the assessed property value.

Alberta Mortgage Strategy

Fixed rates are usually priced at 1 to 1.5% more than the bond yield. Long and short-term bond yields are not showing signs of relenting soon. Big banks have been pricing in risks as shorter-term rates rise due to their recent popularity. We expect the shorter-term rates to stay above expectations and borrowers to shift towards shorter-term fixed rates to curb risk if a purchase or renewal is on the horizon. 

The Bank of Canada (BoC) forecasting suggests that inflationary pressures will be checked back in place by the end of 2024, when we expect rates to start decreasing. In the current market, it would be advisable to go with a fixed rate over a variable one or take on a shorter-term fixed rate to evade the market and then renew back into a variable rate once the inflationary pressures are off.

Land Transfer Tax & Rebates in Alberta

Alberta does not have a land transfer tax. Instead, you’ll pay a Land Titles Transfer Fee on the property value and mortgage amount. The fees are calculated as

  • $50 plus $2 for each $5,000 or portion of property value

And

  • $50 plus $1.50 for each $5,000 or portion of the mortgage principal.

In Alberta, no rebate is offered on the provincial Land Titles Transfer Fees.

First-Time Home Buyer Programs in Alberta

Several first-time home buyer incentives and programs in Alberta were explicitly designed to help lighten the financial burden for first-time home buyers. These programs will offset some home-buying costs and help fund your down payment, which is often one of the biggest hurdles in buying your first home. See: First-Time Home Buyer Programs in Canada

Learn About Rates & Mortgages in Alberta 

Welcome to our Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ) section, where we answer the most popular questions our nesto advisors receive daily across Alberta, designed to help you make informed mortgage decisions whenever you need a new mortgage or to renew/refinance an existing one.

What are today’s mortgage rates in Alberta?

The average 5-year fixed mortgage rate from big banks in Canada is 5.47%*, while nesto’s lowest 5-year fixed mortgage rate in Alberta is .

The average 5-year variable mortgage rate from big banks in Canada is 6.94%*, while nesto’s lowest 5-year variable mortgage rate in Alberta is

The average 3-year fixed mortgage rate from big banks in Canada is 6.02%*, while nesto’s lowest 3-year fixed mortgage rate in Alberta is

The average 3-year variable mortgage rate from big banks in Canada is 7.75%*, while nesto’s lowest 3-year variable mortgage rate in Alberta is .

*Note: The average rate is calculated based on the posted insured rates of the 6 biggest lenders in Canada that together make up over 70% of the retail mortgage market in the country. These 6 biggest lenders are the chartered banks: Toronto-Dominion Canada Trust (TD), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bank of Montréal (BMO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and National Bank of Canada (NBC).

Why compare Alberta mortgage rates at nesto?

By consulting Alberta mortgage rates on nesto, you’re always getting the most up-to-date information, which helps you save money as a homeowner.

When comparing mortgage rates in Alberta, it’s essential to look at similarities and differences between similar types and terms. Comparisons must be made with complementary solutions, meaning a fixed rate with another fixed rate and vice versa. The mortgage term must also be aligned – compare a 5-year term with a 5-year one, and so on. 

Then you have to look beyond the rate – to the features, benefits and restrictions. Many low-rate mortgages have restrictions – such as pre-emptive qualifying criteria and prepayment penalties that are outside the normal if paid off or refinanced before the end of its term. Some restrictions go as far as to inhibit the ability to payout or renew early by adding a bona fide sale clause – meaning you can’t break the mortgage except to sell the property to an unrelated party.

Should I get an open or closed mortgage in Alberta?

Whether you should select an open or closed mortgage in Alberta depends on your specific life and financial circumstances.

When comparing open vs. closed mortgages, it’s important to note that they are priced higher because they offer the flexibility to pay the mortgage off at any time without penalty. If you do not need to pay the mortgage off quickly, selecting a closed mortgage and benefiting from lower rates makes sense.

Should I use a mortgage broker or lender in Alberta?

A mortgage broker is a professional who can negotiate the best mortgage by comparing all the offerings from multiple lenders, including banks, credit unions, trust companies, and alternative and private funding specialists. In other words, the mortgage broker is an intermediary between the borrower and the lender.

A mortgage lender is a financial institution or bank that offers mortgage products directly to borrowers. The lender’s mortgage specialists have access only to these products.

nesto advisors offer the lowest rate upfront every time. Yes, we make less than the average broker or mortgage specialist, but we get the peace of mind of knowing that we helped you save thousands of dollars on your mortgage.

Should I try to find a mortgage with a rate hold in Alberta?

If you plan to buy Alberta property in the future, it’s a wise choice to request that nesto secure a rate hold on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about interest rates rising while you’re home shopping.

Ensuring you have a rate hold in place is like having insurance on your mortgage rate – you no longer have to worry about mortgage rates increasing while you find your new home over the next 90-120 days.

What Affects My Mortgage Rate in Alberta?

Factors such as credit score, income, downpayment, and the purpose of the loan determine how your mortgage rate is priced.

Mortgage rates in Canada vary depending on different factors such as the borrower’s credit, the property which is being used as collateral, the borrower’s income capacity to service the debt, the borrower’s capital in the form of savings/investments and down payment, and most importantly, conditions. Conditions such as the purpose of the loan and the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio – these two conditions will have the most impact on the rate. The mortgage rate is priced based on the risk associated with that mortgage, property and borrower.

The lowest rate is only one of the important aspects of getting a mortgage that will save you the most interest. Sometimes, the lowest rate is the “no frills” or “restricted” or “limited” mortgage that a lender offers, which, beyond not having a high rate, doesn’t have any prepayment privileges or other features such as portability or assumability. 

Down Payment

The down payment size will determine your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and whether you must also purchase mortgage default insurance. LTV is most important to mortgage rate pricing with insured or insurable lending criteria.

Insured and insurable mortgage rate pricing applies on properties valued at less than $1 million; the amortization is up to 25yrs. In such cases, the lender will provide a better rate as there is a lower risk of loss. 

You would need to purchase the insurance on the front end in the case of an insured purchase with less than a 20% down payment. To give you a lower rate, lenders can also purchase the insurance on the back end to lower the default risk on the mortgage if your down payment is more than 20%. 

An insured mortgage is qualified as such when your down payment is less than 20%. Therefore, you will need to purchase default (high ratio) insurance. Although this insurance is added to your mortgage, the taxes (PST) on purchasing this insurance are not.

Amortization Period

Amortization periods are limited to a maximum of 30 years on prime lending, which comes with the lowest rates in Canada. The maximum allowable amortization is 25 years on mortgages with less than a 20% down payment or equity in the property at the time of renewal. You can go up to 30 years on mortgages with down payments of 20% or more. 

The longer the amortization, the lower your mortgage payment. The shorter your amortization period, the more money you save on interest over the term or life of the loan. The difference between two identical mortgages with different amortizations is the interest-carrying cost for the extended time the money is lent out.

Property Usage

If you’re buying a home you intend to live in, this is considered your primary residence and will be known as owner-occupied. If you’re buying an investment property you intend to rent to others, you’ll pay higher interest rates than your primary residence. Or purchase a primary residence with a second separate legally registered suite. Your property will be an owner-occupied rental, with access to the lowest rates as a primary residence. 

The logic behind your higher rate for a mortgage on a property solely for investment purposes is if money is tight, people will pay the mortgage on their primary residence before other obligations. As such, lenders build added risk into the rates for rental properties.

Mortgage Type

The type of mortgage you select will significantly affect your mortgage rate. Mortgage types such as adjustable, variable, fixed, open, closed, standard charge or revolving home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) under a collateral charge are all personal choices based on your unique financial planning needs.

When looking at open versus closed mortgages, for instance, it’s important to note that open mortgages are priced higher because of the flexibility they offer to pay the mortgage off at any time without facing a penalty.

There are 2 types of variable-rate mortgages: those with fixed payments and those with variable or fluctuating payments. Fixed-payment variable-rate mortgages are more specifically called variable-rate mortgages (VRM); variable-rate mortgages with a variable payment, in which the payment adjusts with changes in the lender’s prime rate, are more accurately called adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM). Commonly, they are both known as variable-rate mortgages.

Your Credit Score

nesto has a specific minimum FICO score requirement of 680 or 720 out of 900 to provide you with the best mortgage rate. Our strict underwriting guidelines do not permit missed payments, especially mortgage payments. To explain missed payments, you must show whether it was a mishap due to poor budgeting or cash flow.

Moreover, you must prove that your monthly obligations and carrying costs do not exceed your income. Underwriters will want to know if you have implemented any practices to avoid any negative habits in the future.

What are the Different Types of Mortgages?

Open vs Closed Mortgage

When deciding between an open vs closed mortgage, the most important feature of an open mortgage is that it allows you to pay off the balance in full anytime without a prepayment penalty. The compromise for having an open mortgage is that interest rates are higher to make up for the flexibility of paying it off at any time.

On the other hand, the interest rate on a closed mortgage is more attractive than an open mortgage because you’re limited by how much extra you can pay toward your mortgage each year. The lender can also expect to earn interest from you for a set amount of time versus the uncertainty of having your whole balance paid off at any time.

An open mortgage only makes sense for someone unsure about their short-term goals, such as being relocated for work or knowing that a separation or divorce is imminent after the maturity date. An open mortgage may be suitable for someone expecting a large inheritance earmarked for a prepayment – more than the annual allotment on their mortgage contract. It is best to complete a cost analysis to ensure that the interest saved with an open term exceeds the penalty due to a prepayment over and above your allotment.

Fixed Mortgages

The most common mortgage term in Alberta is 5 years, specifically the 5-year fixed-rate mortgage. While this is only sometimes the most economical option for everyone, it has become the most popular. A fixed-rate benefits budgeting and offers financial stability, given that mortgage payments remain the same. 

Deciding on a fixed rate is a question of personal choice and risk appetite. We recommend speaking with a mortgage professional to assess any material risks that may pose a concern for you over the term of your mortgage. 

For a first-time home buyer (FTHB) who is getting used to all their new bills related to owning a home, it is recommended that they choose a fixed rate to provide some stability during the first term of their mortgage. By making their biggest monthly obligations (mortgage, condo/maintenance/strata fees and property taxes) static amounts, they can take the time to put together a financial plan and start to put aside some money towards their emergency savings.

Variable Mortgages

A variable rate mortgage has proven to save borrowers more money than a fixed rate over time. Every borrower’s circumstances and goals differ; therefore, an advisor should thoroughly discuss all current financial restraints and future considerations before deciding on the most suitable mortgage.

With a variable mortgage, the interest rate will fluctuate depending on benchmark rates, whereas a fixed rate remains the same throughout the mortgage term. Deciding on a variable is a question of personal choice and risk appetite. We recommend speaking with a mortgage professional to assess any material risks that may pose a concern for you over the term of your mortgage.

Fixed vs Variable Rate Comparison

Fixed Rate Variable Rate (ARM and VRM)
Locks rate over 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 years.The rate floats with changes to the lender’s prime rate, which fluctuates with the Bank of Canada’s policy rate.
Typically priced higher than the floating rate.The rate is a discount/premium from the lender’s prime rate.
Provides stability with consistent mortgage payments.The rate is typically discounted more than a fixed rate but can sometimes float higher.
A mortgage penalty is calculated as being greater than either the 3 months of interest or the interest rate differential (IRD).A mortgage penalty is calculated as 3 months of interest.
Unable to switch from fixed to floating rate without paying a penalty.You can convert by locking into a fixed rate from a floating rate. You’ll only pay a penalty if you reduce the remaining term at conversion.

How nesto works

At nesto, all of our commission-free mortgage experts hold concurrent professional designations from one or more provinces. Our clients will receive the best advice and care when they speak with specialists that exceed the industry status quo. 

Unlike the industry norm, our agents are not commissioned but salaried employees. This means you’ll get free, unbiased advice on the most suitable mortgage solution for your unique needs. Our advisors are measured on the satisfaction and quality of advice they provide to their clients. 

nesto is working hard to change how the mortgage industry functions. We start with honest and transparent advice, followed by our best rates upfront. We can offer you these low rates using the fintech industry’s best-in-class and safest technology to provide a 100% digital online experience and process to reduce overhead costs.

By working remotely across Canada, all our mortgage experts and staff spend less time commuting to work and more time with their friends and family. This makes for more dedicated employees and contributes to our success with happy and satisfied clients.

nesto is on a mission to offer a positive, empowering and transparent property financing experience, simplified from start to finish.

Reach out to our licensed and knowledgeable mortgage experts to find your best mortgage rate in Canada.