Find the Best Mortgage Rates in British Columbia

Your Guide to Getting the Best Mortgage Rates in British Columbia

In your quest to get the best mortgage rates in British Columbia, your one-stop shop remains comparemortgages.ca. We scan the market and provide you the best rate, upfront, in minutes.

About British Columbia

Going by population, British Columbia (BC) comes in third on the ranking of Canada’s largest provinces and fourth on the list of the most significant industrial contributors to Canada’s GDP. As a result of the warmer climate, rich landscape, and coast shoreline, BC’s mortgage market is one of the most competitive. 

Key facts about the BC market:

  • BC serves as home to over 5 million people, with nearly half this population living regionally in the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA). The largest cities in the province are Vancouver, Kelowna, and Victoria and the larger portion of the province is undeveloped and unpopulated. 
  • BC has a 4.3% unemployment rate, 64% labor market participation, and a GDP of nearly half a trillion.
  • The average home price in BC only slightly tops $730K, with the actual home prices ranging from $300K in some communities in Northern BC to an excess of $1.2 Million in the Vancouver region.
  • Gross household income in BC starts from $67K in Port Alberni and goes up to $112K in Fort St.John.
  • The average mortgage balance in BC comes in at about $455K.

Compare British Columbia Mortgage Rates

Below is a table displaying the best rates from the five largest banks in the country. You can easily compare the rates offered by major Canadian lenders and  banks including TD Bank, RBC, CIBC, HSBC, and Scotiabank. We take care of the research to guarantee you the lowest possible rates upfront every time.

Compare Big Bank Rates in British Columbia

It can be time-consuming and frustrating to compare rates by yourself. With us, you can find everything you need in one convenient location. Also, ensure that you consider the mortgage product term length and type when comparing rates. For instance, if you are in the market for a fixed-rate mortgage, it is essential to examine the a range of terms given by various banks, such as three-year and five-year offerings, and not just the interest rate.

About the BC Housing Market:

BC has seen some of the most significant year-over-year home price increments since 2009. The growth of mortgages in this province has only been temporarily limited by the Bank of Canada (BoC) increase in its Key Policy Overnight rates that happened in 2022. Prices of property are starting to see decline. However, the property market in BC is indicating very high levels of resilience and outside of a few metro areas, the price decline has stayed within 20% so far. 

The rate increase initiated by the BoC might have placed a damper on the BC mortgage market. However, we anticipate that this will be short-lived. Over 2 million immigrants are still expected through 2022 and 2023, and a good number of them are looking to make a home in BC. As the federal government works towards taming inflation, housing affordability would intensify over the shorter term thanks to a combination of features like an increase in demand stemming from population growth, wage increments, and labor shortages.

In the long term, these issues would only escalate as more students, professionals, and expatriates move to Canada and make a home in BC. This would eventually cause home prices to go up while inflation gets tamed and remains at a lower level than what it was in the emigration location of these future Canadians.

British Columbia Mortgage Strategy

Fixed rates typically get pricing of 1 to 1.5% over the bond yield. Reviewing long and short-term bond yields, there are no signs that they will relent soon. Due to the recent spike in the popularity of shorter-term rates, there has been a rate increase and big banks have been pricing in risks. We anticipate that shorter-term rates would remain above expectations and borrowers would gravitate toward shorter-term fixed rates to mitigate risk if a renewal or purchase is nigh. 

Forecasts by the Bank of Canada (BoC) indicate that when rates start to decrease by the end of 2024, we could see inflationary pressures put in check. In this present market, opting for a fixed rate like the 5-year fixed mortgage rates bc relative to a variable one is a better call. So is choosing a shorter-term fixed rate to beat the market, and then once inflationary pressures are gone, renew into a variable rate. 

First-Time Home Buyer Programs in British Columbia

A good number of first-time home buyer programs and incentives are present in BC and they were structured uniquely to reduce the financial obligation that first-time home buyers face. Some of these programs can help fund your down payment for your mortgage bc, a major requirement for buying your first home, and offset some of the costs involved in the home purchase. See: First-Time Home Buyer Programs in Canada

What are the Different Types of Mortgages?

Open vs Closed Mortgage

With an open mortgage, you are not penalized for prepaying any amount of your loan at any time. In exchange for the flexibility of being able to pay off an open mortgage anytime you choose, a higher interest rate is charged.

A closed mortgage, however, provides one of the most alluring British Columbia mortgage rates than an open mortgage since you are limited in how much more you may add to your mortgage each year. As a result, you will have a prepayment limit on your contract. This indicates that you are only permitted to pay a predetermined percentage of your initial or ongoing loan each year. This percentage is normally 15% on average but varies depending on the lender. If at all possible, always use the original balance prepayment option because you may pay off more in a year. In addition, if you choose to pay more than your yearly limit, you will be assessed a prepayment penalty. It’s essential to understand and respect your personal boundaries as a result.

Fixed Mortgages

With a fixed rate mortgage like the 5-year fixed mortgage rate Calgary, your interest rate stays unchanged through the entire term of your mortgage (1 to 10 years).  Fixed-rate mortgages can be a good idea for conservative homebuyers working with a tight monthly budget or having their eyes set on a stable payment schedule. 

Variable interest rate mortgages

A variable interest rate sees fluctuations through the term, increases or decreases. If you opt for variable mortgage rates, you could end up with a lower rate than if you had opted for a fixed rate. 

There are two versions of variable interest rate mortgages:

  1. Variable rates with adjustable payments 
  2. Variable rates with fixed payments

Fixed payments with a variable interest rate

Under this option, the payment remains fixed over time despite variations in the interest rate. If the interest rate increases, more of your payment goes toward the interest and less toward the principal. If the interest rate decreases, more of your payment goes toward the principal. This means you pay off your mortgage faster.

Adjustable payments with a variable interest rate

Adjustable payments, true to their name, have payment amounts changing as interest rates in northwest territories change. A fixed portion of the payment goes to the principal. As interest rates change, the monthly payment goes up. 

BC Property Transfer Tax

A good deal of taxes and fees are billed at the provincial level. For instance, buyers in British Columbia also pay the property transfer tax (PTT) in addition to the property purchase price. (See: Land Transfer Tax Calculator)

General property transfer tax

The general property transfer tax comes into play for all taxable transactions. Here is the general property transfer tax rate:

  • 1% of the fair market value up to and including $200,000
  • 2% of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000
  • 3% of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000

Further 2% on residential property over $3,000,000

If the price of the residential property exceeds $3,000,000, another 2% tax would be levied on said property.

If it is a mixed-class property (for instance, both residential and commercial), only the residential portion sees the 2% levied on it. 

If the property has land that comes under the farm category simply because it is used as a farmer’s or owner’s dwelling, up to 0.5 hectares would be considered residential property. 

Additional property transfer tax

If you fall under the category of foreign national, taxable trustee, or foreign corporation, you are also mandated to pay the extra property transfer tax. This is only if the property is located in specific areas of B.C. The tax would have to be determined at fair market value of the property’s residential portion. 

For property transfers occuring within the following areas, the tax rate comes in at 20% on the fair market value:

  • Capital Regional District
  • Fraser Valley Regional District
  • Metro Vancouver Regional District
  • Regional District of Central Okanagan
  • Regional District of Nanaimo

There is an exception in that the property transfer tax does not extend to properties located on Tsawwassen First Nation treaty lands.

What Affects My Mortgage Rate in BC?

Various factors all play a role in determining your mortgage pricing. They include income, credit score, the purpose of the loan, as well as down payment.

Down Payment

Your down payment determines whether you will have to pay mortgage default insurance alongside your recurring mortgage payments. If you make a down payment of less than 20% of the property’s value, you must pay mortgage default insurance.

Amortization Period

If you select a longer amortization period, your individual mortgage payment will be lower because it’s spread out over a longer period of time. Longer amortizations typically come equipped with higher interest rates. You’ll also pay more interest the longer you take to pay off your mortgage.

Property Usage

A primary residence, or an owner-occupied home, is one that you plan on living in and qualifies for the most desirable mortgage rates due to the lender’s assumption that you will prioritize payments on this property over any other investments. On the other hand, if you are looking to buy as an investment and turn it into a rental property, interest rates may be higher because of a greater perceived risk by lenders.

Mortgage Type

Your mortgage rate would also be impacted by your mortgage choice – such as open vs. closed or variable vs. fixed. The choice of either option is personal and usually dependent on several factors. For instance, open mortgages would feature a higher rate than closed mortgages due to the flexibility that borrowers enjoy since they can choose to pay off their mortgage anytime without a penalty. Similarly, fixed-rate mortgages have steady payments but higher penalties for breaking your mortgage than variable-rate mortgages.

Your Credit Score

Borrowers with a credit score of 680 and above are regarded as the ideal candidate for a traditional mortgage lender. The higher above 700 the score is – with a maximum score of 900, the better the chances of getting the best rates.

Learn About Rates & Mortgages in BC

Welcome to our Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ) section, where we would provide answers to the most popular questions which can help you make better mortgage decisions whenever you are looking to get a new bc mortgage or mortgage bc or refinance/renew an existing one.

What are today’s mortgage rates in British Columbia?

Consider other factors beyond the interest rate, such as the benefits, features, and restrictions accompanying each option. For instance, a good number of low-rate mortgages come with restrictions – such as prepayment penalties that come into play if the mortgage is paid off or refinanced before the term ends or even certain pre-emptive qualifying criteria.

Should I get an open or closed mortgage in British Columbia?

Your financial situation and specific life determine whether or not you should opt for a closed or open mortgage. When evaluating both – open vs. closed mortgages, you should note that open mortgages come with a characteristic higher pricing due to the flexible option of paying off your mortgage at any point in time without facing a penalty. So, a closed mortgage would be an ideal option if you do not intend to pay off the mortgage quickly, and this way, you get to enjoy the lower rates that characterize this mortgage type.

Should I use a mortgage broker or lender in British Columbia?

A mortgage broker – or sub-mortgage broker, based on the specific licensing – is a professional who first compares all the various options offered by multiple lenders, comprising banks, trust companies, and credit unions, alongside private and alternative funding specialists. Afterward, based on this comparison, they provide you with the best mortgage rates. In essence, the mortgage broker performs the role of the go-between or intermediary between the lender and borrower.

A mortgage lender refers to a bank or financial institution that provides borrowers with direct access to only one line of mortgage products. Mortgage specialists working with the lender are only privy to their mortgage products.

Should I find a mortgage with a rate hold in British Columbia?

If you have plans to buy a property in British Columbia sometime in the future, requesting that a lender provide you with a rate hold is a good call. This way, you can focus on home shopping and not have to worry about mortgage rates increasing.

How comparemortgages.ca Works

Here at comparemortgages.ca we have one mission: make comparing and finding your low mortgage rate easy as can be. We do this by providing access to 20+ top banks, lenders, and brokers in Canada and pulling in the best rates in one shot for you. 

We also know that finding a low rate is just the start of your journey, so once we find that for you, we make the mortgage process seamless by putting you in contact with the best broker or lender to lower your monthly mortgage payment. . 

All that plus we give you the tools needed to negotiate the best rates you deserve to save big on your biggest financial purchase in life – your mortgage.