The Best of 2011


2011 by the Numbers

The Best Mortgage Rates of 2011

The best 5-year fixed mortgage rate in 2011: 3.15%

Today’s best 5-year fixed mortgage rate: 3.18%

2011’s best rate was available October 24th [i]

The best 5-year variable mortgage rate in 2011: 2.05%

Today’s best 5-year variable mortgage rate: 2.70%

2011’s best rate was available between June 3rd – July 4th and August 15th – August 22nd[ii]

Canadian Real Estate

The most expensive home for sale in Canada in 2011: $39,900,000

This preconstruction home was and still is the highest priced listing on MLS. “Camelot” can be found in Vancouver, BC. The zoning allows up to 70,000 square feet spread across 3 buildings.

The most expensive home sold in Canada in 2011: $28,000,000

With the way condos have been moving in Toronto this past year, is it any surprise the most expensive house sold in Canada this year wasn’t a house at all, but rather a condominium? The Four Seasons penthouse sold for an eye-popping $3000/sq foot and actually set a Canadian record for the most expensive home ever sold in Canada.

Million Dollar Baby

According to CREA data, one in five houses sold in Vancouver this year cleared the million dollar mark. Both Toronto and Vancouver doubled their output (by percentage) from where it was two years ago.

Earlier this year, the NHL returned to city of Winnipeg. That meant that Winnipeg could’ve seen 26 brand new home buyers move into the neighbourhood. We determined what kind of home the hockey players could purchase based on their average salary. The land transfer tax alone was $190,000.

Where was the best place to buy a property in Canada in 2011? Why Calgary of course. According to Moneyville, Stampede City has the best purchasing power parity and affordability of any major city in Canada.

Mortgage Trends Recap

Canadians are either hypocritical or poor at executing their financial plans:

What we’re saying: According to a CAAMP survey this year, 90% of mortgage borrowers expect to reduce their amortization periods considerably.

What we’re seeing: One third of Canadians currently have mortgage amortization schedules that will carry the debt into their 70s.

Generation Y Canadians have more optimistic outlooks on when they expect to be mortgage-free. Based on an RBC poll of Canadians under the age of 35, one in four expects to be mortgage-free by the ripe old age of 45!

The Good: 41% of Canadian home owners are mortgage-free representing the highest mark in 5 years.

The Bad: A greater portion of Canadians with mortgages are taking on longer amortization periods

The Ugly: Canadians are doing so at an alarming rate. Close to half (41%) of today’s mortgages have amortization periods over 25 years. This number is 5 times greater than where it was (8%) only 10 years ago.

Overall, it was a good year for mortgage rate comparison shoppers as the low rate environment persisted throughout all of 2011. This year, one third of mortgage home owners engaged in some form of mortgage activity. Either by taking out a new mortgage or renewing or refinancing an existing mortgage. Of those who renewed, one in five changed lenders – making sites, such as, all the more important for homeowners who need to compare Canadian mortgage rates.

[i] Interest Rate Announcement: October 25th

[ii] Monday Mortgage Update: August 22nd

originally published 12/13/11

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