(Source: Bloomberg)

Mortgage rates in Canada, which have plunged by almost 50 percent in the last year, aren’t likely to fall further, said Phil Soper, chief executive officer of Brookfield Real Estate Services Fund.

“Certainly with the Bank of Canada’s target rate set at virtually zero, there’s very little room,” Soper said today at a conference in Toronto on Canada’s real estate market. The rate is “the lowest it’s been in anyone in this room’s lifetime.”

Rates for home loans have been dropping during the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, with some lenders offering mortgages approaching 4 percent, Soper said. That compares with an average posted five-year rate of 7.5 percent a year ago, according to the Bank of Canada. He added that home prices in Canada aren’t likely to rise “sharply” over the next two years.

Bank of Montreal, which sponsored the conference, lowered its rate for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage this month to 4.15 percent.

“We are approaching almost zero interest rates,” at the Bank of Canada, said John Turner, the Toronto-based bank’s director of mortgages. “The question becomes, how much upward pressure will there be as we come out of this recession?”
Read Sean B. Pasternaks article “Canada Mortgage Rates Not Likely to Fall, Soper Says” at Blooomberg (April 14 2009).

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