The best mortgage rates in Vancouver, British Columbia from major banks, credit unions and brokers.
Vancouver, B.C. takes the title of the highest-priced large housing market in Canada. And no wonder, given its picture-perfect mountainous oceanside setting combined with a scarcity of buildable land.
The city is British Columbia’s largest and ranks as the eighth biggest in Canada.
Lenders and mortgage brokers alike compete fiercely for mortgages in Vancouver and the surrounding area. The city’s high home prices and higher net worths result in bigger loan amounts. High-dollar loans are more profitable for lenders and mortgage salespeople, who are often paid commissions or bonuses for closing deals.
While Vancouver has some of the biggest mortgages in the country, it also has the biggest down payments. High-priced homes over $1 million cannot be high-ratio insured due to federal rules. So, the percentage of people with 20% down on single-family homes is well above the national average. Moreover, the city’s large foreign homebuyer segment often buys all-cash.
Here’s a quick look at Vancouver’s key mortgage and housing metrics. *
* Data as of June 2020. Assumes 2.09% (the lowest nationally available uninsured mortgage rate), down payments as stated, a 25-year insured amortization and 30-year uninsured amortization.
* As of June 2020
The best rates in Vancouver are often lower than other parts of the country, with the exception perhaps of the Greater Toronto Area. That’s thanks to the high concentration of lenders and brokers who service the city and surrounding area, all of whom compete amongst one another.
Another factor contributing to lower rates in Vancouver is the liquidity of its real estate market. Since most properties can be sold very easily, risk is somewhat reduced for lenders here compared to other, less active real estate markets.
Like most places, mortgage rates declined considerably in Vancouver as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite a spike in unemployment, there were still plenty of buyers looking to purchase real estate in the Greater Vancouver Area. They were able to take advantage of record-low interest rates.
Experts are forecasting low rates to persist well into 2022 and perhaps even 2023, particularly after Bank of Canada Governor stated plainly in July 2020: “Interest rates are very low, and they are going to be there for a long time.”
Comparison shopping is as popular as ever for mortgage shoppers in the city. Thanks to the internet, more brokerages and lenders can easily market themselves online. That increases the level of competition, which drives down rates.
Vancouver is among the top three Canadian housing markets with the largest selection of mortgage broker options. The biggest brokerages headquartered in the Vancouver area include Dominion Lending Centres, TMG The Mortgage Group and VERICO.
Some of the top deep-discount brokers servicing Vancouver include:
Vancouver’s largest mortgage lenders include:
While all are reasonably competitive, some aren’t as transparent on rates as others. We have to estimate discretionary rates for the Big 6 banks, for example, because they don’t advertise their true best offers. You can view both official advertised rates and estimated discretionary rates on this site to see who is leading the pack.
While you’re shopping, don’t forget to check out Vancouver’s slate of credit unions. Every now and then they have specials that eclipse other mortgage providers.
Credit unions are especially useful if you need a lender with more flexibility. They are local lending experts and known for financing people with higher debt ratios, more unique properties and harder-to-prove income. There are even Vancouver credit unions that still offer 35-year amortizations (banks top out at 30 years) and lend up to 80% loan-to-value on revolving HELOCs (banks have a 65% limit).
Vancouver home prices are influenced by some of the same international and geopolitical factors that affect other desirable housing markets. These include capital restrictions in countries like China and Iran, global GDP and, of course, the pandemic.
Vancouver showed just how resilient it was after COVID-19 hit. While sales plunged, its prices remained relatively flat before picking up again on an annualized basis by June.
One of the reasons for this, according to some, is that COVID-19 employment interruptions mainly affected those who typically can’t afford Vancouver real estate to begin with.
“Whether it's the accommodation sector or restaurant services ... the economic impact has predominantly hit the lower end of the income spectrum," Central 1 deputy chief economist Bryan Yu told CBC News. "For higher-income individuals still in the market, it's likely they were still in the market. They were able to work or stay at home, in some cases able to save money."
Moreover, mortgage default rates in B.C. were just 0.14% in February 2020, well below the national average of 0.24%, and Saskatchewan’s 0.90%.
This goes to show the majority of Vancouver’s real estate market is not affected to the same extent by factors that can greatly influence home prices in other real estate markets.
For Vancouverites looking to a big bank for their mortgage, they may want to reconsider.
While there’s convenience in having all your accounts held by the same financial institution, there’s a price to pay for that convenience.
About 90% of consumer banking is now done online, and consumers are benefiting from exponentially greater choice because of it.
One of the biggest game-changers has been the advent of mortgage-rate comparison websites, such as this one. Homebuyers today are now empowered with up-to-date rate information that allows them to more effectively make decisions on which mortgage is right for them.
In many cases, consumers are finding that their bank doesn’t offer the best mortgage rates. The difference between a big-bank mortgage rate and one from another financial institution can be a quarter of a percentage point or more, which translates into thousands of dollars of interest over the term of the mortgage.
As a result, Vancouverites, like many other Canadians, are discovering the importance of comparing online to find the best mortgage rates.
One area where the big banks, such as RBC and TD, have an advantage, is with their Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) and uninsured mortgage rates.
When in doubt, however, the service of a mortgage broker—which is free in practically all cases—can assist greatly. You can find a number of brokers on this site who can explain rate details and handle the tedious paperwork process. All the brokers on this site are routinely competitive on rates, so you don’t have to worry about paying too much.
If you want to save even more on your mortgage, don’t forget to ask your broker if they can “buy down” your rate further, which means they would forfeit a portion of their commission to get you an even lower rate. On a Vancouver-size mortgage, an extra 1/10th of a percentage-point rate buydown can save you a few thousand dollars. Albeit, the lowest-priced brokers already quote their rock-bottom rates in many cases.
The best mortgage rates in Vancouver are typically available during the busy spring homebuying season. That’s when many lenders, including the Big 6 banks, roll out their mortgage rate promotions. Of course, this is mainly relevant if you have the luxury of choosing when to purchase your house.