2020 was an extremely difficult year for many Canadians suffering job losses, sickness or the passing of a loved one from the global pandemic. However, life does go on and we now have the chance to turn the page with a brand new year that promises hope for recovery and even prosperity. Homeowners in Ottawa have benefited from a significant increase in home prices in the capital, while mortgage rates have remained at historic lows. This situation presents a unique opportunity for mortgage holders coming up for renewal, or looking to refinance prior to the end of their term to access their increased equity and take advantage of today’s extremely low mortgage rates before rates inevitably increase. Hatch Online Mortgages always seeks to get our clients the lowest mortgage rates possible, but we are also experienced at navigating renewals and refinancing, from a variety of competitive lenders so that you can capitalize on the unique aspects of the current financial reality in the Ottawa real estate market.
Home Prices in Ottawa Surged in 2020
As the Canadian economy kept up a strong pace through the middle of the last decade, home sales in Canada’s largest economic hubs, especially Vancouver and Toronto, reflected this reality with a robust demand for residential real estate and a corresponding increase in prices. There was a lag in the demand for real estate in slower growing markets like Ottawa, until midway through 2019, when many Canadians were being priced out of the larger urban centres:
In Ottawa, the theme was catch-up. When home prices in Vancouver and Toronto surged from 2015 to 2017, they moved up here at a very measured pace. That pattern changed in mid-2019, when benchmark prices in Ottawa started growing fastest among the country’s largest cities. – Ottawa Citizen
The onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic, in the spring of 2020, further increased demand for prime residential real estate in Ottawa as “move-up” buyers sought more spacious accommodations in a city rich with amenities and with home prices that were still reasonable compared to larger Canadian cities. With imposed work-from-home conditions across the country, that don’t seem to be going away quite yet, long commutes to the workplace became less of a factor, further fueling demand for Ottawa real estate and lowering available housing inventories to the benefit of sellers:
The Ottawa housing market currently favours sellers, thanks to low housing inventory and high demand. These conditions are expected to persist in 2021. Low inventory has been a common trend across many Ontario housing markets, putting upward pressure on prices. Indeed, Ottawa homes saw average price rise to $524,956 in 2020 (Jan. 1-Oct. 31) compared to $441,693 in 2019 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31) [an increase of 19 per cent]. Looking ahead to 2021, RE/MAX expects Ottawa homes to see average prices increase 7% to approximately $561,702 across all property types. – Remax
With such strong demand and price increases in the Ottawa real estate market, home owners have benefited from significant gains in home equity. All the while, mortgage rates have been at historic lows throughout this period and are likely to stay that way until our economic recovery can pick up some momentum through 2021. The present situation represent a unique opportunity for Ottawa home owners to further improve their financial health by capitalizing on the current low mortgage rates when it comes time to renew their mortgage, or to consider refinancing before their term expires.
Renewing Your Mortgage for a Better Deal is a lot Easier with Hatch
Many mortgage holders are simply content to renew their mortgage with their current lender when their term expires. Lenders make this easy, with automated renewal notifications, knowing that many homeowners would simply like to avoid the hassles of the entire process, but automated renewal offers are not likely to contain the very best mortgage rates or conditions that you might be able to obtain in the market. This is a great time to review the financial and mortgages needs that are unique to your situation.
Some of the areas you will want to discuss in your household at renewal time include: looking at your family budget to see if you might be able to increase your payments and pay off your mortgage sooner; assessing the frequency of your payments or the likelihood that you will want to make additional payments during your upcoming term; contemplating how satisfied you are with the level of service from your current lender and how competitive their mortgage rates are compared with other lenders in the market; and considering whether you may want to consolidate other debts with higher interest rates into your overall mortgage.
These decisions can have major implications for your financial health and well-being, month-to-month, and over the term of your mortgage in the coming years. It can really pay to shop around to not only get a better rate, but also better conditions and possibly better service to suit your specific financial needs.
You don’t have to navigate this process alone. Our award-winning Principal Broker at Hatch Online Mortgages, Dan Martel, has over 30 years’ experience helping clients shop around for the best rates and conditions possible on the market so that they clearly come out ahead. Hatch can do the legwork to get you the best deal on your mortgage renewal.
Not at the End of Term? Consider Refinancing to Cash In on Current Low Mortgage Rates
If you are not close to the end of your term, you can still access the current incredibly low rates, and/or access some of the equity in your home, by refinancing your mortgage through Hatch. Refinancing before the end of your term will, however, cost you a bit more as you will be required pay a mortgage prepayment penalty fee, but this fee can be absorbed into your mortgage and still result in lower mortgage payments at today’s low rates. Hatch will walk you through the details and what you could save on your mortgage payments, with our best rates, using our amortization tables and accessing a book of quality lenders that we’ve developed long standing relationships with.
If refinance isn’t right for you, Hatch can still help you get ready for renewal a few months out from your renewal date, so that you will be well informed about the options and low rates that you could access in your next mortgage term.
Mortgage Rates Will Inevitably Go Back Up, Let Hatch Help You Get a Great Deal Now!
As vaccines continue to roll out and combat the deadly pandemic, the talented Canadian workforce will once again get back to work, sparking a new wave of economic activity across our nation. For the past year, consumer savings rates have spiked in Canada and Canadians will be hungry to release their pent up purchasing power, further adding to the economic recovery. In the U.S., a new administration will soon occupy the Whitehouse, and will also have a newly acquired majority, slim as it is, in the U.S. senate, which will provide some much needed stability for the American economy to make its own recovery, and which will also invariably put additional wind in the sails of our entwined economy in Canada. As these factors combine and roll out, we will could see an unprecedented economic recovery to combat the gloom we’ve all suffered through for the past year. This very likely means that mortgage rates will rise and home prices could continue to rise as well in Ottawa and across Ontario.
So now is the time to renew or refinance so you can lock in on a great mortgage rate and terms for your home over the next few years. You don’t have to figure out all the details on your own. Simple fill out our convenient online mortgage application and Hatch will get cracking right away on your new, renewed or refinanced mortgage!