Loan balances growing, U.S. rates taking Canadian mortgages for a ride: This week’s top real estate stories

Home of the Week, 451 St. Germain Ave., TorontoPouria Shamaei/Pouria Shamaei

Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real-estate stories this week, with the lowest mortgage rates available in Canada today, commentary from our mortgage expert and one home worth a look.

20 per cent of CIBC mortgage borrowers are seeing loan balances grow because of interest rates

New data shows that one-fifth of CIBC mortgage holders are in a position where their monthly payments are not high enough to cover even the interest portion of their loans. The bank has allowed these borrowers to extend their amortization period and add unpaid interest onto their original loan or principal. These growing loan balances show the financial duress homeowners are under because of interest rate hikes, Rachelle Younglai reports.

Eviction applications spike in Ontario as rents soar, vacancies dwindle

Ontario is facing a chronic housing shortage and rising rents, and landlords in the province are trying to cash in, tenant’s advocates say. Most people who rent homes in Ontario are covered by rent control, which holds landlords to modest annual increases, giving them the incentive to sign new leases with new tenants at whatever rents the market will bear. In 2022, the Landlord and Tenant Board saw own-use eviction applications increase by 41 per cent from 2019, Matt Lundy writes.

U.S. interest rates are taking Canadian mortgages along for a ride

The Bank of Canada may be in pause mode, but the U.S. Federal Reserve is absolutely not. In fact, markets are now pricing in another percentage point of U.S. rate increases by July.

That’s driving up peak interest rate expectations, boosting U.S. bond yields and taking Canadian rates along for the ride. The result will be imminently higher fixed mortgage rates, Robert McLister writes.

As for this week’s lowest available mortgage rates: Here is what the rates look like as of March 2.

Lowest nationally available mortgage rates

1-year fixed 5.74% Ratehub 5.69% QuestMortgage
2-year fixed 5.64% Ratehub 5.44% QuestMortgage
3-year fixed 5.24% Investors Group 4.99% Radius Financial
4-year fixed 5.19% Investors Group 4.84% Ratehub
5-year fixed 5.14% QuestMortgage 4.59% Nesto
10-year fixed 5.94% HSBC 5.34% Nesto
Variable 6.10% HSBC 5.50% True North
5-year hybrid 5.65% HSBC 6.06% Scotia eHOME
HELOC* 6.70% HSBC n/a n/a

Source: Robert McLister; data as of Mar. 2

Home prices ticked higher in Toronto this February, but sales remained low

Home prices in the Greater Toronto Area ticked higher in February, offering some relief for homeowners who have watched values plummet over the past year, Tim Kiladze reports. Overall, home prices remain down 17.7 per cent year-over-year, according to the home price index, and sales volume is down by nearly 50 per cent from one year ago.

Home of the week: A modern home close to the enticements of Toronto’s Avenue Road

  • Home of the Week, 451 St. Germain Ave., TorontoPouria Shamaei/Pouria Shamaei

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451 St. Germain Ave., Toronto

Home of the Week, 451 St. Germain Ave., TorontoPouria Shamaei/Pouria Shamaei

When Sue Simone first moved into 451 St. Germaine 17 years ago it was a newly built, two-storey home that had replaced a post-war bungalow. But the bungalows on the street have become an endangered species, as they have almost all been replaced with more new-builds.

One wintertime feature sure to draw the eye is the heated sloping driveway to the basement-level double garage – great for traction and convenience.

The backyard is Ms. Simone’s happy place: “It’s so calming; you’re surrounded by silver birches and oak trees and daisies and hydrangeas and the waterfall,” she said. They put in a pool that her husband uses almost every day to get his laps in, and she likes to sit by with a book in the good weather.

What do you think is the asking price for this house?

a. $3,495,000

b. $6,450,000

c. $2,300,000

d. $4,150,000

a. The asking price is $3,495,000.