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Need a mortgage? Do yourself a favour and shop around, say Metro Vancouver brokers

Cherry blossom trees line a residential street in Vancouver, on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck Cherry blossom trees line a residential street in Vancouver, on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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More than two million Canadians will renew their mortgages over the next year-and-a-half. CTV News asked more than 50 mortgage brokers across Canada how to get the best mortgage deal. This is what we found.

Her last mortgage rate was 2.24 per cent.

But when Surrey resident Nadiya Razina closes the deal on a new condo, her pre-approval rate is currently set to be more than double that at 5.59 per cent.

Which is why she’s closely watching to see if the Bank of Canada announces an interest rate cut on Wednesday.

“My closing date isn’t until August so if the rates do go down, I am able to take advantage of those,” she said.

In addition to new mortgages, more than two million Canadians will have their mortgages come up for renewal in the next year-and-a-half.

But borrowers may be wondering what’s right for them in an unstable market.

CTV News surveyed more than 50 mortgage brokers from across the country, including here in B.C.

The majority of them, 59 per cent, said the best type of mortgage to have right now is a fixed rate.

“If you need to qualify for the most amount of money, that’s probably going to come in a fixed rate, and I wouldn’t advocate anything longer than a three-year fixed rate,” said mortgage broker Andy Hill.

Mortgage planner Sharon Davis said the best mortgage pick depends on the client.

“The best mortgage rate and the best mortgage product is the best one that’s for you. There’s lot of different products out there,” she said.

Homeowners have faced increasing financial stresses the past number of years and Vancouver is starting to see mortgage delinquency rates climb.

In Vancouver, the average monthly mortgage payments rose from about $2,000 in 2019 to almost $3,400 by the end of 2023.

“Over the past couple years, a lot of us as mortgage brokers have felt a bit more like therapists,” said Hill. “A lot of people have been in a tough spot.”

The survey also asked mortgage brokers whether you can trust a bank for mortgage renewal advice. Fifty-one per cent said “no.”

Hill wasn’t one of them, but cautioned, “Particularly at a bigger bank, the first rate you’re going to be given is generally never going to be the best rate.”

He called the renewal offer that banks send in the mail a “trap.”

He said the majority of people sign the renewal offer back to the bank because it’s the easiest course of action.

“But it will take just a little bit of discourse, even with your specific lender, to try and negotiate that rate just a little bit lower to what the market is seeing today,” he said.

The most important thing you can do, some mortgage brokers say, is shop around before signing.

“If people aren’t getting a second opinion or they aren’t talking to their broker, and they’re only going to the bank, they’re doing themselves a disservice,” said Davis.

Razina spent about a year trying to find a condo that both suited her needs and what she could afford.

“The rates really kicked me into a much lower price range, really, really reduced my buying power which made the search more difficult,” she said.

She’s hopeful a rate cut is coming soon and will bring some financial relief.

“I really do hope the rates move in a direction to give all of us a little breathing room,” she said.

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