Rising rates creating increasing dilemma for homeowners

The interest rate dilemma has arrived again for homeowners.

What once was a no-brainer decision, locking in your mortgage rate for five years or even 10 years, now has a question mark attached to it.

Canadians end up paying off their mortgages in about two-thirds of the time originally intended, according to a new survey which questions whether Ottawa’s crackdown on the real estate market is needed.

Blame the U.S. federal reserve for easing up on its bond buying program. Bond rates have climbed fast and mortgage rates are just following.

Variable rate mortgages, which track prime and are vulnerable to Bank of Canada decisions, are still being offered at about 2.6% for five years. But instead of competing with a 3% fixed rate five-year close mortgage, the competition is a 3.5% product.

It may be just 90 basis points but on a $500,000 mortgage, that’s not small change. Based on a 25-year amortization and $500,000 mortgage, the 2.6% variable would mean monthly payments of $2268.35 and about $60,000 in interest on a five-year term.

The 3.5% product means a monthly payment of $2496.36 and about $81,000 in interest over the term.

Once again it’s the first-time buyer, who is on the edge of being able to crack this market, squeezed out.

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