Mortgage rates have spent the better part of the past year in near-freefall, with numerous terms setting fresh record lows.
But a couple of weeks ago, rates pulled a U-turn and have been starting to climb higher ever since. And here’s why. Since the beginning of February, 5-year Canada bond yields, which typically lead fixed mortgage rates, have surged. They’ve risen nearly 60 basis points over the past month to a 12-month high.
With funding costs being pushed up and margins being squeezed, lenders could no longer hold rates at those record-low levels.
As for why bond yields are rising—which often coincides with market optimism—the answer is multi-fold.
For one, yields have been soaring south of the border, and when U.S. bond yields move, Canadian yields often follow. Given expectations for rising vaccination rates and ultimately an end to lockdown measures and a return to normalcy, many see greater inflationary pressure ahead, which usually leads to rising interest...