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May 31
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When you find the best quote, secure your Nova Scotia mortgage rate by talking to a licensed broker or agent.

Compare mortgage rates in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Shopping for a mortgage in Nova Scotia? You’ve come to the right spot. helps you find and compare the best mortgage rates from 50+ Canadian banks and brokers across the country.

Our service is free to use and there’s no obligation on your part. 

Select the type of mortgage you’re interested in and our comparison engine will pull together the current mortgage rates in Nova Scotia — just like that.

Keep scrolling to learn more about Nova Scotia mortgage rates in 2021.

Conventional vs. high-ratio mortgages: Which is cheaper?

Mortgages come in two varieties: conventional and high-ratio.

If you have a substantial down payment — 20% of the purchase price of your new home or more —you qualify for a conventional mortgage. That means your lender is backing the mortgage without any additional guarantees.

If you have less than 20% for a down payment, you’ll be taking on a high-ratio mortgage. You’ll need to buy mortgage insurance, which guarantees your lender will be repaid. However, the premiums are rolled into your monthly mortgage payment, which will increase the cost.

Take a look at our comparison of high-ratio mortgages vs. conventional mortgage rates in Nova Scotia. No matter which one you go for, you’re getting a great deal.

Conventional 5-year fixed mortgage rates vs. high ratio 5-year fixed mortgage rates in Nova Scotia

DateAverage Conventional RateAverage High Ratio Rate
05/22 4.05%3.73%
06/22 4.38%4.02%
07/22 4.88%4.50%
08/22 4.78%4.34%
09/22 4.76%4.36%
10/22 5.03%4.64%
11/22 5.43%5.13%
12/22 5.22%4.81%
01/23 5.19%4.75%
02/23 5.10%4.68%
03/23 5.05%4.77%
04/23 4.79%4.45%

Last Updated: May 1, 2023

Fixed rate vs. variable rate mortgages: Which is cheaper?

After conventional and high ratio mortgages, there are two other categories of mortgages available in Nova Scotia: variable mortgages and fixed rate mortgages.

With a Nova Scotia fixed rate mortgage, you’ll pay interest at a set rate for the entire term of your mortgage loan — that’s the main reason why the most popular mortgage type in Nova Scotia are 5-year fixed rates.

With a variable Nova Scotia mortgage rate, your interest payments will fluctuate as rates move up or down. Variable rate mortgages usually cost less than fixed-rate loans — and they can save you even more money if rates fall over the term of your mortgage. But you could end up paying more if rates increase. Is the risk worth it? A mortgage broker can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

We’ve pulled data from’s user database to see how variable rates stack up against fixed rates for 5-year mortgages in Nova Scotia. Check out our graph to see the average Nova Scotia mortgage rates for both fixed and variable rates.

5-year fixed vs. 5-year variable mortgage rates in Nova Scotia

05/22 3.91%2.26%
06/22 4.26%2.70%
07/22 4.73%3.21%
08/22 4.34%3.55%
09/22 4.59%4.23%
10/22 4.79%4.47%
11/22 5.24%5.06%
12/22 4.97%5.34%
01/23 4.87%5.67%
02/23 4.83%5.89%
03/23 4.88%5.87%
04/23 4.63%5.85%

Last Updated: May 1, 2023

Factors that affect your mortgage rate.

In the big picture, the state of the economy drives mortgage interest rates. Interest rates on mortgage loans are generally higher when economic growth is strong and they fall when the economy slows.

Read More

Typical mortgage amount in Nova Scotia.

A single-family home purchased with a 5% down payment will cost $1,335.85 per month and carry a mortgage loan of $303,330.25. 

(Assumptions: a 2% interest rate on a 25-year term and the purchase price falls within the average [$319,2954].)

A single-family home purchased with a 20% down payment will cost $1,081.65 per month and carry a mortgage loan of $255,436. 

(Assumptions: a 2% interest rate on a 25-year term and the purchase price falls within the average [$319,2954].)

Nova Scotia housing market and home prices.

The average house in Nova Scotia cost $319,295 in early 2021. Here's the average price broken down by region.



Closing costs in Nova Scotia.


Information for first-time homebuyers in Nova Scotia.

Federal rules state you must have a minimum down payment of 5% to qualify for a mortgage. The more money you put down, the smaller your monthly payment and the less you’ll spend on interest payments throughout the life of your mortgage. To find out how much you will pay each month, we recommend using a Nova Scotia mortgage payment calculator.

If you have less than 20% for a down payment, you’ll need to buy mortgage insurance, which guarantees your lender will be repaid. Mortgage insurance is provided by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The insurance premium is calculated as a percentage of the loan and is based on the size of the down payment. To find out how much your premium might be, use the mortgage calculator tool from the CMHC.

Mortgage insurance is an added expense, but high-ratio mortgages have the lowest mortgage rates in Nova Scotia. That’s because mortgage insurance means your lender is taking on less risk than they would with a conventional mortgage. However, your monthly payment will still be larger than someone who made a down payment of 20% or more.

Should you jump into the Nova Scotia housing market now or should you save a little longer? You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons. If you have the option of choosing between a conventional and a high-ratio mortgage, talk to a Nova Scotia mortgage broker before deciding which one is right for you. When you compare rates with, we’ll put you in touch with the Nova Scotia mortgage agent who can help you shop the market and find the best mortgage rates for your future Nova Scotia home.

Many first-time homebuyers wonder whether it’s possible to get a no down payment mortgage in Nova Scotia. The answer is no — it’s not possible to purchase a house in Canada without a down payment. Zero-down mortgages were barred in Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada in 2008 following the financial crisis that ravaged the North American economy.

One of the main drivers of the 2008 financial crisis was 0-down mortgages. In Nova Scotia, there are now guardrails preventing people who cannot truly afford property from buying real estate. Many American homeowners wound up having their homes foreclosed due to the fact that they purchased homes without a down payment. No down payment mortgages in Nova Scotia could be destabilizing to the economy.

There’s a loophole that allows buyers to finance a down payment with a private loan, but this is never advisable — you’ll start off with no equity, and have a ton of debt from your down payment loan and your mortgage payments. Interest rates on private mortgages in Nova Scotia (and elsewhere) tend to be significantly higher than the rates offered at A lenders (think: Canada’s big six banks), or even B lenders (institutions like Equitable Bank and Home Capital).

If you are new to the market, you may be eligible for the federal government’s First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit. The credit is worth $5,000. To qualify, you must not have lived in a home owned by yourself or your partner in the past four years. You must also be purchasing a “qualifying home,” which includes single-family homes, semi-detached, townhouses, mobile homes, and condos among other housing types.9

Ottawa offers a rebate on the GST or the federal portion of HST paid on the sale of new or substantially renovated homes under the First Time Home Buyer Incentive for New Construction. It’s a complex program, so talk to your mortgage advisor to see if your home purchase qualifies.10

Nova Scotia also offers first-time home buyers a rebate of up to $3,000 on new construction. The breaks on offer include an 18.75% rebate on the provincial portion of HST or 1.31% of the purchase price of capital stock in a new housing co-op.11

Homebuyers aged 65 or over, or who receive the federal Disability Tax Credit, may qualify for up to $10,000 in tax credits for renovations to make their homes accessible. People who care for seniors or those with disabilities may also qualify. Again, speak to your mortgage adviser for details.12

The Nova Scotia Down Payment Assistance programs helps households on modest incomes buy their first homes with interest-free loans of up to 5% of the purchase on qualifying homes. To qualify, homes must be priced below $280,000 in Halifax and below and $150,000 elsewhere in the province. The value of the loan is on a sliding scale, hitting the full 5% for households with incomes below $65,000.13

Don’t forget to comparison shop to find out what the best mortgage rate is for your Nova Scotia home. A broker can help you see what different lenders can offer you. Compare rates and get connected to a broker by using today.

Your questions about mortgages in Nova Scotia, answered.

What’s the difference between a mortgage term and an amortization period?

The amortization period on your mortgage is the total number of years you expect it will take to pay off the entire loan. Most new mortgages come with amortizations of 25 years, although periods range from six months to 30 years.

The shorter the term, the higher your monthly payment. This is because you have less time to pay off the principal. Not only that, but banks prefer customers who stretch out their mortgage payments over decades. Therefore, the rates on 6-month mortgages in Nova Scotia will be much higher than on a standard 5-year mortgage.

The mortgage term is a shorter period— usually, four or five years — which represents the length of time your lender will provide your mortgage loan at a given interest rate. At the end of the term, you’ll renegotiate your mortgage for a new term, either with your existing lender or a new financial institution. Lenders offer terms ranging from six months to 10 years.14

What’s the difference between an open mortgage vs. a closed mortgage?

The difference between open and closed mortgages is simple: With an open mortgage, you can pay off, refinance or renegotiate your agreement before term ends without paying a penalty. If you have a closed mortgage, you must wait until the end of your term to make payment on your mortgage principal or renegotiate its terms.

Closed mortgage rates in Nova Scotia (and in Canada) generally are cheaper. You’ll also usually have the ability to make limited payments against your mortgage principal without penalty.

People who expect to be able to make larger payments against their principal—say from bonuses at work or inheritances—may prefer open mortgages.

The reason rates on open mortgages in Nova Scotia are higher is because lenders depend on the revenue you provide with your payments. If you pay off your mortgage sooner than scheduled, they will want to collect the maximum amount of interest.

Open mortgages may carry higher interest rates, but the ability to make large payments against the principal can save you money in the long run.

How much does it cost to live in Nova Scotia?

According to Statistics Canada, the median family income in Nova Scotia stood at $68,100 in 2018, second only to Prince Edward Island among the Maritime provinces, and then by only $400.

That’s not an especially high income compared to the rest of Canada. But Nova Scotia—and the Maritimes in general—make up for the difference in affordability.

The average housing price is almost half the national average and well below average outside of the Halifax urban market, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Rents are competitive, too. The average two-bedroom apartment in Halifax cost $1,225 in 2020, according the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The provincial average came in at $1,183.17

Nova Scotia’s average gasoline price, meanwhile, is high, second only to the price in Quebec and Newfoundland, reports. But drivers catch a break on auto insurance premiums with averages that are generally lower than most other provinces.18

Still have questions about whether you can truly afford to buy a home? We recommend this mortgage affordability calculator for Nova Scotia from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

How much does getting a lower interest rate matter in Nova Scotia?

For would-be homeowners in Nova Scotia, mortgage interest rates are only part of the equation when it comes to figuring out which mortgage is best for you.

For example, some mortgages allow you to make lump-sum payments on your mortgage principal without penalty. An open mortgage lets you pay off the entire amount whenever you like— but you’ll pay a higher interest rate for the privilege.

Other mortgages allow prepayments, typically around 10% to 20% of the principal each year. If you’re expecting windfall income, say bonuses at work or large commissions, consider pre-payment options when choosing your mortgage. Paying more each month today may help you save money in the long run if you expect to be able to make large payments against your principal down the road.

You should also consider whether you want a “portable” mortgage when you buy your home. Portability allows you to transfer the balance of your mortgage, its term, and interest rate to the purchase of a new home if you decide to move before your mortgage term ends. This means you avoid penalties for breaking a mortgage early, which can be very costly

But remember, not all mortgages are portable, especially variable rate mortgages. If you think you might need to sell your home before the end of your mortgage term—maybe you have a growing family—think twice before signing up for that low-interest variable rate plan.20

To find your cheapest mortgage rate in Nova Scotia, we recommend shopping the market. You can also see how much different interest rates affect the size of your monthly payments with our Nova Scotia mortgage calculator.

Your questions about, answered.

How are mortgage rates determined on works with 50+ banks and brokers to bring you competitive Nova Scotia house mortgage rates from lenders in Canada and we’re always adding new ones. 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. 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.

Is it safe to get a mortgage online?

Yes, it’s safe — you no longer need to visit a bank branch or mortgage broker’s office in person to apply for a mortgage. It’s becoming increasingly common for Canadians to apply for mortgages online. only works with reputable, trustworthy financial institutions. Your credit score won’t be affected, and your information is secure. We don’t share your information with anyone unless you want to connect with a mortgage broker. We take care of the heavy lifting by comparing the market for you and can connect you with the best mortgage lenders in the country.

How do I know I’m getting the lowest rate?

We have a strong selection of lenders on 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.

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