Best BC mortgage rates - Fixed mortgage rates
Best BC mortgage rates - Variable mortgage rates
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WATCH: June 7, 2023 Bank of Canada Announcement
Compare current mortgage rates across the Big 5 Banks and top Canadian lenders. Take 2 minutes to answer a few questions and discover the lowest rates available to you.
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Jamie David, Sr. Director of Marketing and Mortgages
We help you find and compare the best rates from the Big 5 Banks, small banks, credit unions and BC’s best mortgage brokers, at no cost to you. Using our rate tables, you can compare the most current mortgage rates instantly, all in one place. By comparing the best mortgage rates and products in BC, you'll save yourself thousands of dollars and find the right mortgage for you.
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British Columbia at a glance
- Population: 5 million - 3rd largest in Canada after Ontario and Quebec
- Average Household Income: $69,995
- Percentage of Homeowners: 68%
June 7, 2023: Bank of Canada announcement highlights
On June 7, 2023, the Bank of Canada announced that it would be hiking its target for the overnight rate by 0.25%, bringing it up to 4.75%. This marks an end to the Bank’s short-lived conditional rate hold stance announced earlier this year.
- Canadians with variable-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) will see their rates rise almost immediately.
- Canadians with fixed-rate mortgages won’t be affected right away, since fixed mortgage rates are tied to the bond market rather than the target for the overnight rate. In recent days, bond yields were climbing higher in anticipation of a potential rate hike, and will now rise even further in the wake of this announcement. Canadians with fixed-rate mortgages can certainly expect higher rates when it comes time to renew at the end of their current term.
- Anyone currently looking to obtain a fixed-rate mortgage should get pre-approved as soon as possible to protect themselves from further rate increases.
- With variable rates rising, so too do the mortgage stress test criteria. Use our mortgage affordability calculator to see how much you can qualify for.
In its June 7 announcement, the Bank pointed to factors including April’s stronger-than-expected inflation numbers and surprisingly strong GDP growth in the first quarter of 2023 as justification for the rate hike. The Bank reaffirmed its firm commitment to bringing inflation in line with its target of 2%, and indicated that a further rate hike at its upcoming July 12 announcement was a distinct possibility if inflation and other key metrics do not trend in the right direction.
British Columbia housing market: June 2023 update
The month of May has proven to be one of recovery for the British Columbia real estate market; according to the latest data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association on June 15 for the month of May, home sales totalled 9,207 – an increase of 10.1% year over year, and 5.7% month over month. Sellers also appeared to return to the market for the spring rush, with the number of newly-listed homes rising 10% from April, with 16,191 properties brought to market. From an annual perspective, however, inventory is tighter, down -10.9%.
The average BC home price is also on the rise, coming to $1,017,979 – up 2.9% annually and 5.1% on a monthly basis.
Overall, the BC real estate market can be considered balanced with a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 50.9%. CREA considers a ratio between 40 - 60% to represent a balanced housing market, with above and below that threshold reflecting sellers’ and buyers’ markets, respectively.
British Columbia home sales and price forecast
British Columbia, long known as Canada’s most expensive provincial real estate market, may be set for one of Canada’s fastest post-pandemic recoveries. According to a national forecast updated by CREA in April, home sales are expected to increase year-over-year by +5.4% in BC by the end of the year, representing 85,210 transactions. Sales are then expected to boom in 2024 by +17.2%, with 99,885 transactions.
The BC average home price, however, will continue to underperform 2022 levels through the end of this year, to come in -6.1% below at $936,098. Price growth is expected to be in positive territory by 2024, though, increasing +5.5% to $987,133.
How do I get the best mortgage in BC?
Thanks to some beautiful countryside, some of the most livable cities in the world, as well as a busy local and tourist economy, British Columbia is home to a vibrant mortgage and real estate industry. You'll find all the Big 5 Banks and numerous national banks and credit unions here, as well as local banks and credit unions like VanCity Savings Credit Union and Coastal Capital Savings Credit Union. To find the best mortgage rates available in BC right now, consult the rate tables above.
However, the mortgage with the lowest rate is not always the best mortgage for you. The ideal mortgage is the one that best suits your needs and financial situation. It's critical to shop around and consult a mortgage broker who can provide you with expert, personalized advice and guidance, all for free.
What factors affect the mortgage rate I get?
The mortgage rates available in BC are only one part of the equation. Your financial situation will greatly determine what rates you’re actually able to qualify for. Here are the most important factors that will affect your personal mortgage rate:
- Down payment: All property purchases in Canada require a down payment. The minimum down payment ranges from 5% to 20%, depending on how expensive the property is. If your down payment is under 20%, you’ll be required to take out mortgage default insurance (often called CMHC insurance). While having an insured mortgage will cost you more overall, it allows you to access lower mortgage rates, as there’s less risk to your lender. That said, it’s almost always better to put in a larger down payment if you can afford to do so, even if your mortgage rate ends up being slightly higher, as you will still save more overall through the life of your mortgage by not having to pay for mortgage insurance. Remember that BC - and Vancouver in particular - is more expensive than the rest of Canada. In the Greater Vancouver area, where the average home price is over $1 million, a 20% minimum down payment is often required, as homes priced over $1 million are not eligible for mortgage default insurance.
- Amortization period: Mortgages with amortization periods above 25 years can’t be insured and therefore come with higher mortgage rates. However, a longer amortization period will give you more time to pay off your mortgage thereby lowering your monthly payments. You can use our amortization calculator to see how your monthly payments would vary under different amortization length scenarios.
- What the property will be used for: Mortgage rates are lower for properties that are owner-occupied, rather than those that are occupied by renters.
- Mortgage type: Mortgages for renewals and purchases typically have lower rates than mortgages for refinancing.
- Income and credit score: With prices in BC being as high as they are, lenders will be especially vigilant about making sure that you’ve got a steady source of income and a good credit history. You can learn more about how to understand your credit score elsewhere on our site.
Historical trends in BC mortgage rates
BC mortgage rates rise and fall, as do rates throughout Canada. Have a look at this interactive graph showing the lowest mortgage rates in the country over the last several years to give you an idea of how today's rates compare historically.
Source: Ratehub Historical Rate Chart
British Columbia land transfer tax
If you purchase property in British Columbia, you’ll be required to pay the provincial land transfer tax. This is sometimes forgotten by home buyers, despite being one of the largest closing costs associated with buying a home.
In BC, land transfer tax is based on the cost of the property, with a marginal tax rate that increases with the purchase price.
|Purchase Price||BC land transfer tax rate|
|0 - $200,000||1.0%|
|$200,000 - $2,000,000||2.0%|
|$2,000,000 - $3,000,000||3.00%|
|$3 million +||3.00% for non-residential property
5.00% for residential property
BC first-time home buyer rebate
First-time home buyers in British Columbia may be eligible for a full or partial rebate of the BC land transfer tax for property purchases of less than $525,000. The full tax may be eligible for a rebate if the price is less than $500,000, while a partial rebate may apply for home worth between $500,000 and $525,000.
It’s best to speak to a BC mortgage broker to determine your eligibility. For information on other opportunities for first-time homebuyers, read our guide to first-time home buyer incentives in Canada.
Changes on the horizon
On July 21, 2022, the government of British Columbia introduced a home buyer protection period that allows home buyers to back out of a residential purchase up to three business days after they have signed a contract. The goal of this legislation is to ensure that home buyers have the opportunity to arrange for home inspections, secure financing or otherwise conduct due diligence. If, after conducting due diligence, you wish to back out of the deal, there is a relatively low cancellation fee of 0.25% of the purchase price, or $250 for every $100,000. As an example, the cancellation fee for backing out of a deal to buy a $1-million home would be $2,500. The home buyer protection period came into effect on January 1, 2023.
For more information, check out these helpful pages and articles!
- Mortgage Affordability Calculator
- Mortgage Payment Calculator
- Amortization Calculator
- Variable or Fixed Mortgage Rates
- British Columbia First-Time Home Buyers
- BC Land Transfer Tax Calculator
Jamie David, Director of Marketing and Head of Mortgages
Jamie has 15+ years of business and marketing experience. She contributes her mortgage expertise to The Globe and Mail and authors Ratehub’s mortgage and homebuying guides. read full bio