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The case for a fixed-rate mortgage

It’s a staple of dinner party discussion and a decision Canadians agonize over since it could cost thousands of dollars: whether to buy a house with a fixed-rate mortgage or a variable.

History suggests variable is the way to go.

A report from BMO Capital Markets tracked interest rates going back to 1975 and found variable rates were lower than fixed rates 84 percent of the time. But Benjamin Reitzes, Senior Economist at BMO Capital Markets, says it’s time for homebuyers to lock in with a fixed rate.

“Fixed rates are extremely low at 2.99 percent,” Reitzes tells BNN. “If you compare that to variable rates, which have historically have been superior, they're pretty much even right now – and the Bank of Canada's rates probably aren’t going any lower. They’re probably going higher in the next few years.”  

“And that probably means that the fixed rate looks to be the superior choice.”

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