Here are some of the answers to the most common questions received in the last week:
You Asked: Why Are Mortgage Rates going Up?
The disruptive forces of Covid-19 have markedly reduced the earnings of banks and other lenders and dramatically increased their risk. That is why the stock prices of banks and other publically-traded lenders have fallen very sharply, causing their dividend yields to rise to levels well above government bond yields. As an example, Royal Bank's stock price has fallen 22% year-to-date (ytd), increasing its annual dividend yield to 5.31%. For CIBC, it has been even worse. Its stock price has fallen 30%, driving its dividend yield to 7.66%. To put this into perspective, the 10-year Government of Canada bond yield is only 0.64%. The gap is a reflection of the investor perception of the risk confronting Canadian banks.
Thus, the cost of funds for banks and other lenders has risen sharply despite the cut in the Bank of Canada's overnight rate. The cheapest source of funding is short-term deposits--especially savings and chequing accounts. Still, unemployed consumers and shut-down businesses are withdrawing these deposits to pay the rent and put food on the table.