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The lowest default insured three-year fixed plunged 30 basis points to 5.74 per cent.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Canadian mortgage rates are about to get interesting

It was another sleepy week on the low-rate leaderboard but that’s about to change.

First let’s talk about the past seven days. Canada’s most competitive national lenders maintained the status quo on rates, with one exception.

The lowest default insured three-year fixed plunged 30 basis points to 5.74 per cent. That’s the lowest nationally advertised rate for this term, and three-year mortgages are selling like hotcakes right now. You can find this rate at two of the providers we track, Nesto and Pine.

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The more interesting conversation is what lies ahead. As you may have heard, the U.S. Federal Reserve held its key lending rate steady on Wednesday. Its messaging suggested a lower probability of further rate hikes, leading the market to believe rates have hit a ceiling. I’ll reserve judgment on that, but the market sees just a 29-per-cent chance of any further Fed hikes.

If we entertain the idea that rates have peaked out, two truths emerge.

Firstly, we should expect lower fixed rates fairly soon.

Secondly, variable rates are starting to look less like a tightrope walk for well-qualified borrowers. That’s key given that floating rates are near or below most fixed rates right now. Expect variables to give fixed mortgages a run for their money in the weeks ahead. The former might just become the new trend.

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Rates were sourced from the Canadian Mortgage Rate Survey on Nov. 2, 2023. We include only providers who advertise rates online and lend in at least nine provinces. Insured rates apply to those buying with less than a 20 per cent down payment or switching a pre-existing insured mortgage to a new lender. Uninsured rates apply to refinances and purchases over $1-million and may include applicable lender rate premiums. For providers whose rates vary by province, their highest rate is shown.

Robert McLister is an interest rate analyst, mortgage strategist and editor of You can follow him on Twitter at @RobMcLister.

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