Our 3.99% 6-Mo Fixed is the lowest mortgage rate available in Canada.

Have to renew before rates drop?

So much for timing. Now what?

Interest rates could start to fall by mid-2024. If your mortgage renewal comes up before then, you may not see that budget relief for a while. What choices do you have to get a better rate, sooner?

How long will you have to wait for a lower rate?

When your renewal is up, you have to pick a rate and term that sets your mortgage payments for a specific amount of time.

With mortgage rates at a 22-year high (we guarantee your best-possible rates, of course) and strong rumours of rate drops coming within the next year — it doesn't make your renewal choices easy.

Shorter-term rates are currently higher than 5-year rates. Yet, locking into 5 years may mean you'll miss the rate-drop boat (though you'll also be protected if rates don't behave and go up).

You do have choices to consider to help you save the most despite having to renew now. Let's take a look.

Higher for how much longer?

CIBC's head economist, Benjamin Tal, recently opined that rates could start dropping by mid-2024 and that our economy can't handle rates this high for too much longer.
(Comments made at the MPC Conference held October 15-16, 2023)

Renewal choices to make now to help you save the most.

Ultimately, your renewal strategy should take into consideration your appetite for risk, how much you could save over time, how much your budget can handle, and just how soon you'd like to see some rate relief.

The lowest rate around: our 1-year Rate Relief™ mortgage.

Did you know? This product (if you're buying a home or looking to switch lenders at renewal) is offered by our in-house lender, THINK Financial. It comes with a much lower rate than any other 1-year mortgage right now, and is also lower than our best 5-year rate.

Choosing this limited-time special mortgage (that comes fully-featured, by the way; some conditions apply) can lower your payments now, plus it gives you time to see what rates might do.

If rates drop before the year is up, you'll be able to renew into those lower market rates. THINK Financial offers industry-best rates and flexible mortgages to choose from.

Learn more here or talk to your expert True North broker to see if this mortgage is right for you.

A short-term fixed rate may allow renewal into lower rates sooner.

A 5-year fixed mortgage rate is usually the popular choice for Canadian home buyers and owners (often chosen 60% of the time) for unchanging payments that allow easier budgeting and longer protection against increases, especially during times of rate volatility.

But you may want to consider renewing with a shorter-term fixed rate, such as 2- or 3-year, which might get you into a lower mortgage rate sooner if interest rates start dropping in the next year or so.

It means you'll need to succumb to having higher payments (with a higher short-term rate) while you wait — but if your budget can handle it, you might see relief faster than going with a 5-year term.

The rewards (and risks) of a variable rate.

How long do we have to loiter in this high-rate town square? If the rumour around town is that we're at or near the end of the Bank of Canada's tightening cycle — choosing a variable rate will allow you to leave the current high rates behind and get into lower payments quicker.

Some mortgagees have held on to their variable rates during the meteoric rate rise, though most have fled into the relative 'safety' of fixed rates over the last year or so. (This past summer, our in-house lender saw clients choose a variable vs. a fixed rate mortgage only 15% of the time when around 30% is typical).

However, if variable rates are at their peak, choosing a 5-year variable rate at renewal means you'll see rate relief at each drop announced by the central bank (i.e. you don't have to wait for the end of your term) — assuming you have payments that adjust.

The risk is that economic and world events conspire to take rates even higher to fight inflation. You'll need to consider your ability to hang on if that happens — and if you'd still save in the end when rates do start to drop.

Note: If you have a fixed-payment variable rate mortgage (called a VRM), be aware that prime rate drops won't lower your payments (just your amortization), and you likely won't be able to request lower payments during your term. Read more here about how to avoid payment shock at renewing with a VRM.

The Mortgage Renewal Dilemma

With about 100K Canadian mortgages up for renewal every month, more and more Canadian homeowners will face the renewal dilemma as they contemplate how to deal with steeper rates and payments.

Sign up here for a friendly renewal reminder for when it's your time to get ahead and save more.

How long can you hold off to renew?

Your renewal period starts around 120 days before your contract expiry date. During that time, you'll need to pick a rate and term offered by your lender or switch to a better rate or product with another lender.

If you wait too long, hoping for rates to change before pulling the trigger, you risk missing your expiry date and being placed into a temporary term at a higher interest rate (often prime rate plus 3% or more).

It's best to connect with your expert mortgage broker as soon as possible. They'll research your best options and hold your rate (if possible) in case they go up while you think about it; you'll still be able to get a lower rate if they fall before you sign.

Extend your amortization while you wait.

You may have the option of extending your amortization, whether you choose a 5-year term or a shorter one, which may lower your payments despite having to renew into a higher mortgage rate.

This strategy could help you bridge the budget stress until you're (finally) able to get into lower rates and payments, assuming rates have dropped in time for your next renewal.

Can you break your 5-year term for a lower rate?

Some of our clients really don't like to veer from the longer 'certainty' of choosing a 5-year fixed rate. If rates go that much lower during your 5-year term, you can determine whether your penalty to break your contract is worth any savings to start a new term at lower market rates.

Solve your renewal dilemma with great advice.

Our highly trained, friendly mortgage brokers are unified, salaried, and non-commissioned. It means you get unbiased advice that puts you first instead of the lender. We've garnered over 15,000 5-star reviews because we can help you save thousands with an easy, stress-free process.

Finding your (mortgage) way through this higher-rate market can be challenging to buy a home and afford your payments. We're obsessed with helping you find your best renewal strategy, especially during these trying times.

Anywhere you are in Canada, get fast, easy mortgage help — online, over the phone, by email, at one of our 12 stores, or chat up our chatbot, Morgan.

Compare Rates and Save

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Save over 5 years:

$5,464

A lower rate gives you more savings than merely a lower monthly payment. The real savings is both the interest saved, plus the additional principal paid down over the term.

breakdown
The difference in monthly payments would be 41, but the value is substantially more.
4.79%
4.59%
Savings
Total monthly payments
Principal paid over term

Various tools and functions of this website perform calculations and provide cost estimates. These tools are designed for illustrative purposes only and make many assumptions that may not reflect all situations. Please use these tools in collaboration with a True North Mortgage agent. True North Mortgage does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or completeness of these tools or calculations.