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Want to live on a beautiful island, surrounded by nature, that’s also home to a bustling urban centre? Look no further than Nanaimo, British Columbia. Situated on the east coast of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is a short ferry ride away from Vancouver. Originally known as The Hub City, it also acts as a gateway to popular tourist towns such as Tofino and Comox.
With a population that cracked 100,000 people in 2021, Nanaimo maintains its small town charm while offering a bustling economy that’s driven by provincial politics, service, retail, and a burgeoning tech scene.
If you love nature and want to be on the ocean, Nanaimo might be for you. LowestRates.ca allows you to compare mortgage rates from 75+ banks and brokers across Canada. Just scroll to the top of this page and tell us whether you’re buying a home, renewing or refinancing. Answer a few questions and in just three minutes, we'll show you mortgage rates in Nanaimo. Read on to learn more about how to get a mortgage in The Harbour City.
If you’re interested in buying a home, you’re probably curious about how to find the lowest mortgage interest rate in Nanaimo. You might have heard terms like “conventional” and “high-ratio” mortgages and wonder which one is cheaper. The good news is that average mortgage rates in Nanaimo are at historical lows for both conventional and high-ratio mortgages, and mortgage companies in Nanaimo (and across Canada) will lend for either type of mortgage.
A conventional mortgage is one where the buyer puts down at least 20% of the home’s purchase price as a down payment. Conventional mortgages require more money upfront than high-ratio mortgages, but they will also have lower weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly payments due to the fact that a buyer will have a smaller mortgage balance.
A high-ratio mortgage, on the other hand, is where buyers put down less than 20% of the purchase price as a down payment. In this scenario, you’re required to purchase mortgage insurance from the CMHC. This type of insurance is to protect lenders if you stop making your mortgage payments and default on your loan.
A high-ratio mortgage, on the other hand, is one where the buyer puts down less than 20% of the home’s price. This allows buyers to purchase a home with less money upfront, but results in higher mortgage payments. A high-ratio mortgage loan in Nanaimo will also require mortgage default insurance, which adds to your total costs.
|Date||Average Conventional Rate||Average High Ratio Rate|
Last Updated: September 1, 2021
When searching for house mortgage rates in Nanaimo, choosing between a fixed or a variable rate is a big consideration. On LowestRates.ca, you can compare both fixed mortgage rates in Nanaimo and variable mortgage rates in Nanaimo.
Fixed rates are the more popular option due to the fact that they offer stability over the term of the mortgage. Those with fixed rates have a locked-in rate, so they know exactly how much of their mortgage payment will go towards the principal mortgage amount. Buyers who believe rates might increase over the term of their mortgage might be more comfortable with a fixed rate.
Variable rates, on the other hand, are based on the lender’s prime rate and fluctuate based on economic conditions. As lenders lower or increase their prime rate, variable rates will follow suit. Meaning buyers may end up paying more or less toward their principal mortgage amount over the mortgage’s term. Buyers who believe rates will decrease over their mortgage term might be more comfortable with a variable rate.
Last Updated: September 1, 2021
When searching for a home, there are a number of factors that will determine whether or not you will qualify for the cheapest mortgage rates in Nanaimo. Lenders have a number of different ways to help them determine the size of the mortgage they offer a borrower, as well as the rate they will qualify for. Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors.
Down payment: The down payment is the amount of money a home buyer will put toward the home upfront. The minimum down payment in Canada is 5% of the home’s purchase price. So, if a home costs $500,000, the minimum down payment for that home would be $25,000.
A down payment can be as large as you’d like. However, the government has established minimum down payments based on property price.
Buyers who provide a down payment of less than 20% are required to have mortgage default insurance. Three companies offer mortgage default insurance in Canada: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Canada Guaranty and Sagen.
Debt service ratios: Debt service ratios are maximum debt thresholds lenders set for borrowers. These percentages help lenders determine whether or not a borrower can afford the mortgage on a home. Home buyers are required to fall below set debt service ratios, which comprise two different ratios: gross debt service ratio and total debt service ratio.
Gross debt service ratio (GDS): GDS is calculated by adding a borrower’s mortgage costs, property taxes, utilities, and 50% of condo fees (if applicable) and dividing it by the borrower’s gross (before tax) household income. A household’s maximum GDS must not exceed 39%.
Total debt service ratio (TDS): TDS is calculated by adding a borrower’s total monthly expenses (mortgage costs, utilities, all loans, credit debt, etc.) and dividing it by their gross household income. A household’s maximum TDS must not exceed 44%.
Credit score: A borrower’s credit score is a major factor lenders use when determining what mortgage rate they qualify for. A good credit score will help you qualify for the lowest mortgage interest rates in Nanaimo. Credit scores in Canada range from 300-900. A credit score between 660 and 724 is considered good by Equifax Canada. A score between 725 and 759 is considered very good. And a score between 760 and 900 is considered excellent. The higher your score, the better your chances of qualifying for the best home mortgage in Nanaimo.
Employment and income: A borrower’s income is another major determining factor when it comes to qualifying for home mortgage rates in Nanaimo.
Lenders need to verify that a borrower has a history of making enough income to afford the mortgage on their home. They’ll also want to determine whether a buyer is a salaried employee, self-employed, and whether they have additional investment income or income from a rental property.
Borrowers typically provide two years’ worth of proof of income. This can be provided in the form of T4s and other tax documents. Your broker or lender will work with you to ensure all the necessary documents are provided to help you qualify for a mortgage, whether you’re applying for broker mortgage rates in Nanaimo or are working with your existing financial provider and are looking at bank mortgage rates in Nanaimo.
If you’ve been looking at homes and have set a budget for the price you’d like to pay, it might be time to look at what your mortgage might cost.
The size of your mortgage will depend on the cost of your house, the size of your down payment, and the mortgage interest rate you sign. Let’s look at some numbers to see what you might expect to pay. LowestRates.ca’s mortgage payment calculator can help with that.
Let’s say you’re purchasing a house that costs $665,900, which was the benchmark price for a home on Vancouver Island in June 2021, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Our mortgage payment calculator specifies that the minimum down payment on that home would be 6.25% (5% for the first $500,000 and 10% on the amount that exceeds that). We’ll set the amortization period at 25% and assume a fixed mortgage rate of 1.75%. Mortgage default insurance would be required, because the down payment is less than 25%. That cost would be $20,543, which will be rolled into the mortgage amount. The total monthly mortgage cost for this scenario would be $2,654.
Now, let’s assume the same home price, same mortgage rate, but with 20.2% down. In this case, mortgage default insurance is no longer needed. The total monthly mortgage cost would drop to $2,187.
Nanaimo’s housing market has been heating up over the past year. As mentioned, the benchmark home price on Vancouver Island was $665,900 in June, which is an increase of 25.9% year-over-year from the previous benchmark of $539,182. Nanaimo’s home prices have been on a steady upward trajectory since June 2015, when the benchmark price was $310,000.
However, Vancouver Island townhouses offer a slightly more affordable option. Their benchmark price was $549,300 in June, according to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board.
Nanaimo’s benchmark price has also increased over the past year. It was up to $728,200, which was an increase of 31%.
Closing costs are another expenditure to factor into your housing search. While trying to calculate your mortgage in Nanaimo, you might also want to calculate what your closing costs might be.
Closing costs are in addition to your down payment and typically cost 1.5% to 5% of the home’s purchase price, but they vary. Some common closing costs include:
Taxes are another closing cost to consider; these include transfer taxes. Land transfer tax in B.C. is based on the fair market value of the land. In addition to land transfer taxes, buyers are responsible for paying general property taxes. General property taxes are based on a sliding scale:
B.C. has a foreign buyer’s tax, which applies to foreign nationals, foreign corporations and taxable trustees. This is a 20% tax on the price of the property for homes in certain B.C. regions, including Nanaimo.
Mortgage term and amortization period are two important time periods for all mortgages. While many may confuse the two, they are both different but are equally important to understand.
A mortgage term is the contracted amount of time a home buyer agrees to pay a specific mortgage rate. Mortgage terms in Canada range from six months to as long as 10 years. The most common term, however, is five years. Every home buyer will pay off the entirety of their mortgage over the course of a number of different mortgage terms.
The amortization period, meanwhile, is the entire life of the mortgage, as agreed upon by the home buyer and the lender. Mortgages are paid off over the course of the amortization period, which commonly range from 25-30 years. Mortgages that require mortgage default insurance can have a maximum amortization period of 25 years.
The best mortgage lenders serving the Nanaimo area offer both open and closed mortgages. There are a few differences you should understand before choosing one over the other.
An open mortgage is one where the lender allows the borrower to make additional mortgage payments, known as prepayments, to the payments already agreed upon. So, say your monthly mortgage payment is $1,500. Open mortgages allow you to make more payments toward your mortgage than the set payment amount. This allows borrowers to pay off their mortgages quicker.
Closed mortgages lack the same flexibility. These mortgages have rules about the amount of additional payments that can be made. The tradeoff, though, is that closed mortgages typically come with a lower mortgage rate.
So, when doing a mortgage rates comparison in Nanaimo, consider which one might be a better fit.
Whether you’re buying a home or renting a home, your housing costs will only make up one part of your cost of living. So, while it’s prudent to shop for the lowest mortgage rates in Nanaimo, it’s also a good idea to consider the additional expenses you can expect to incur.
Nanaimo does have a public transit system and ferry system so, depending on where you choose to live on the island, you might be able to rely on those for getting around. However, you’d likely want the flexibility of owning a car — particularly if you’re interested in exploring the beautiful nature around B.C. That means you might have to factor car payments into your budget.
Car insurance is another expense you should expect to have. Unfortunately, British Columbia has the highest car insurance rates in Canada, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The average driver can expect to pay $1,832 per year. For context, Ontario drivers — which pay the second highest rates in the country — pay an average of $1,505 per year.
A low rate is only one, albeit important, factor a borrower should consider when searching for the best mortgage rates in Nanaimo, Canada. A low rate ensures your payments will be more affordable, but there are some other factors in a mortgage that should also be taken into account.
We mentioned open and closed mortgages as well as prepayment privileges. If you’re someone who wants payment flexibility — particularly if you want to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible — you might want to consider a mortgage that offers flexible prepayment privileges.
Penalties are another factor. Some lenders will charge penalties for breaking the mortgage early or for making additional payments. Have a look at the fine print in the contract to better understand penalties and how they might impact you.
Finally, portability is another factor you might want to consider. A portable mortgage is one that can be transferred from one home to another. Say you’re unsure how long you’d like to live in a certain property or area. A portable mortgage would allow you to take that mortgage with you to your next home, should you decide to make a move.
If you keep these additional factors in mind when you compare mortgage rates in Nanaimo, you’ll be prepared to choose the best possible mortgage for your situation.
LowestRates.ca works with 75+ banks and brokers to bring you competitive mortgage rates from lenders in Canada. We work with our partners to obtain their best deals and offers, and then we let them compete for your business. All you have to do is answer a few questions, and in minutes you’ll be provided with today’s mortgage rates for Nanaimo. There’s no obligation, but you can choose to speak with our broker partner to secure your best rate and see if you're eligible for more savings.
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We have a strong selection of lenders on LowestRates.ca including the big banks and many independent providers and we’re adding more lenders all the time. This ensures we’re always delivering you a competitive rate. Even if you’re not ready to commit to anything, you can use our site as a starting point for research (it’s totally free, and you’re under no obligation).
The better informed you are, the more likely you'll negotiate a better deal for yourself. And, really, that’s what we care about the most.
This article has been updated from a previous version.*
When it comes to shopping for mortgages, most homebuyers in Canada tend to take a conservative approach.