Expert realtors on how to move up Canada's property ladder
Top real estate agents around Canada offer some advice on how to leverage your home in this red-hot market.
On average, Canadians save thousands of dollars per year by comparing rates with us.
Compare rates from Canada's top banks and brokers
Regina homebuyers are in luck: in addition to benefiting from subdued home prices, they can also take advantage of mortgage rates that are hovering near record lows. With good prices and great rates, it’s a perfect time to apply for a mortgage or renew the one you already have by comparing rates from 30+ mortgage lenders on LowestRates.ca.
Homebuyers can start a mortgage application from LowestRates.ca for several different kinds of mortgages. The two main types are conventional mortgages and high-ratio mortgages. The difference between them is the size of your down payment and the mortgage loan relative to the property’s purchase price.
With a conventional mortgage, you make a down payment of at least 20% of the purchase price. This means you are borrowing 80% or less of the money you need to buy the property.
A high-ratio mortgage allows you to borrow a higher percentage of the money you need to buy the property — more than 80% of the purchase price. Your down payment can be less than 20%. With a high-ratio mortgage loan for your Regina home purchase, you will have to carry mortgage insurance through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
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Last Updated: March 1, 2021
Customers searching for the lowest mortgage rates in Regina need to understand the difference between fixed rate mortgages and variable rate mortgages. Which type of mortgage product you choose, combined with market conditions, can determine whether you end up paying the cheapest mortgage rates in Regina, or more than you need to when you purchase your home.
With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate stays the same throughout the term of your mortgage. With a variable rate mortgage, your interest rate changes based on conditions in the market. Your lender will adjust the rate periodically during the course of the mortgage term.
Typically in the past, variable interest rates have been lower than fixed interest rates in Canada. However, during the last year, those figures have been very close, with fixed rates actually edging out variable rates very slightly to be a fraction of a percentage point lower.
Whichever mortgage product you decide on, you can shop for and find the lowest fixed mortgage rates in Regina as well as the cheapest variable mortgage rates in Regina and start your application on LowestRates.ca.
Last Updated: March 1, 2021
Lenders take a number of factors into account when considering your mortgage application and determining the mortgage interest rates for your Regina home purchase.
Here are the main factors banks use to calculate your mortgage rate in Regina.
Down payment: The size of your down payment relative to the purchase price is one of the main factors that banks use to set mortgage interest rates. And, of course, the size of your down payment largely determines the size of your mortgage loan.
In Canada, you are required to make a down payment that’s between 5% and 20% of the home’s purchase price. The exact percentage depends on the price of the home. Here are the federal government’s rules governing the down payment amount:
Remember, if you decide to purchase a property with a down payment less than 20% of the home’s value, you will have to budget for CMHC mortgage insurance as well.
Debt service ratios: Along with your down payment amount, debt ratios are additional factors lenders consider when setting your mortgage interest rates. There are two main types of debt ratio you should know.
Gross debt service ratio (GDS): Your GDS ratio compares your housing costs to your income. To find your housing costs, lenders add up your mortgage payment (interest and principal), property taxes, heating costs and, if your home is a condo, half of the condo fees. Lenders will then divide this figure by your gross annual income to find your GDS ratio. Generally, lenders want to see that you spend no more than 35% of your income on housing costs to ensure you can pay back the mortgage loan.
Total debt service ratio (TDS): Your TDS ratio takes into account your housing costs plus other debts and compares that figure to your income. To calculate your TDS ratio, mortgage companies in Regina will start with your GDS ratio, then factor in other monthly payments you have to make. These might include credit card debt, personal loans and car loans. Lenders typically want to see a TDS ratio below 42% to ensure you have enough room in your budget to cover your mortgage payments.
Credit score: Your credit score is a number between 300 and 900 that tells potential lenders how safe or risky it might be to lend you money. This is based on your borrowing and repayment history on your credit report. A higher credit score means you appear to be more creditworthy, which could help you qualify for the lowest mortgage interest rates for your Regina home purchase. Lower credit scores reflect missed payments and other problems lenders may have had with lending you money in the past, or a lack of experience with loans. Since a lower credit score means it could be riskier to lend you money, this means banks could set mortgage rates for your Regina home higher. Lenders have different minimum credit score requirements, but most require a score of at least 600. If you need to buy CMHC mortgage insurance, CMHC requires a minimum credit score of 680. (Remember, you will need CMHC insurance if your down payment is less than 20% of the property’s purchase price.)
Employment and income: Lenders will want to get a picture of your regular income and where it is coming from, whether that’s a salaried job, self-employment, rental income or investments. If you are self-employed, lenders will ask for more documents. These could include your tax returns from the previous three years, articles of incorporation, your business’s credit score, business license or GST license, proof that you are a principal owner of the business, Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency showing you are up to date on HST and GST payments, client contracts showing expected future income, and your business’s financial statements.
The size of your mortgage depends on your local market, your down payment amount, and your home mortgage interest rate for your Regina property. The benchmark price for a home in Regina as of December 2020 is $284,700, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). For a buyer making a 20% down payment ($56,940), the mortgage amount would be $227,760. This doesn’t include interest paid throughout the life of the mortgage, however, since that figure depends on your house mortgage rates for your Regina home as well as the amortization period.
Keep in mind that if your down payment is below 20% of the purchase price, you will need to buy CMHC mortgage insurance. This will increase the cost of your mortgage and the amount of interest you pay over the life of the mortgage loan. You can choose to pay the insurance premium as a lump sum or add it to your mortgage payments. CMHC determines the premium amount based on the size of your down payment.
People shopping for real estate in Regina will find a balanced market, reflecting a slowdown in the energy sector. CREA forecasts a modest decrease in home prices in 2021, after a modest increase in average home prices in 2020. The city continues to maintain an unusually low unemployment rate and an impressive number of high-paying jobs despite the pandemic. The unemployment rate for the Regina metro area is just 5.4% as of December 2020 according to Statistics Canada, one of the lowest figures for any metro area in Canada and significantly less than the national jobless rate of 8.8%. With benchmark home prices currently sitting at less than $300,000, Regina still boasts one of the most affordable housing markets in all of Canada.
The benchmark price for a condominium in Regina is $178,600 as of December 2020. Homes in Regina stayed on the market an average of 39 days in the fourth quarter of 2020, representing more rapid sales than the same period in 2019, when that figure was 52 days, according to CREA.
Closing costs are any additional charges besides the down payment for the property that allow you to complete your home purchase. The common wisdom is to expect to spend about 1.5% of the home’s purchase price on closing costs. These charges may include:
Provincial land transfer taxes are typical additional elements of closing costs for most home sales in Canada — and some cities, like Toronto, charge municipal taxes for land transfers as well. These taxes can add thousands of dollars to closing costs.
However, Regina homebuyers are fortunate because Saskatchewan doesn’t tax land transfers. Instead, there is a more modest title transfer fee and a small fee for registering the mortgage. The land transfer fee is based on the property’s value. Here’s how it’s calculated:
For a home with a purchase price of $200,000, the Saskatchewan land transfer fee would be $600. The fee to register a mortgage in Saskatchewan is $160.
The mortgage term describes the period you are committed to a certain lender, while the amortization period is the entire duration of your mortgage loan.
Amortization period: This describes the entire life of your mortgage, including the time it takes you to pay off the principal and interest. Canada allows amortization periods of up to 35 years, but 25 years is most typical. Home purchases requiring CMHC mortgage insurance (those with down payments below 20% of the purchase price) must have amortization periods of 25 years or less.
Mortgage term: This is the length of the contract a homebuyer has with a particular lender for a specific mortgage rate. The most common mortgage term is five years, but Canada allows mortgage terms anywhere between six months and 10 years. After the mortgage term ends, you can renew the contract with your lender at a new rate. You can also shop for another lender.
Open and closed mortgages are aimed at homebuyers with different financial circumstances and plans.
Open mortgage: This kind of mortgage loan allows for full repayment at any time with no penalty. Borrowers typically pay higher than average mortgage rates for their Regina home purchase with open mortgages and the mortgage terms are typically shorter — up to five years. Open mortgages are best for people who plan to pay off their mortgage quickly, refinance or move to a new home in the near future.
Closed mortgage: The most common type of mortgage in Canada is a closed mortgage. Closed mortgages generally offer lower interest rates but they are less flexible than open mortgages, with penalties for refinancing, making extra payments or paying off the loan early. Some lenders do allow you to make limited prepayments, however. Every lender has different policies for their closed mortgages, so if having some flexibility is important to you, make sure you understand the terms of your specific contract.
Regina serves as the cultural and economic hub of the province. With over 200,000 residents, it’s home to a diverse population consisting of German, English, Scottish, and Aboriginal communities.
The cost of living in Regina of course depends on factors such as renting versus owning a home, whether you have a private vehicle or commute using transit, and whether you are supporting a family, among other factors. However, the cost of buying a home in Regina relative to the rest of Canada is quite low. Regina area drivers must buy auto insurance through Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), a Crown corporation. Auto insurance costs in Regina can be a little higher than the national average, but still affordable compared to British Columbia or Ontario.
Home buyers should of course shop carefully to find the best mortgage rates in Regina and Saskatchewan. Doing a thorough mortgage rates comparison for your Regina property purchase can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. However, there are other factors you should consider as well to ensure your mortgage meets your needs and you don’t spend more than you need to. Here are some additional factors to consider to save money on your home purchase:
Prepayment privileges: A prepayment privilege allows you to pay off your mortgage faster without a penalty fee. Mortgage contracts differ in offering prepayment privileges, so if you’d like the option of making accelerated payments, it’s important to understand your contract terms.
Penalties for breaking a mortgage: If you need to refinance or move, you might have to break your mortgage contract. Many mortgage contracts charge thousands of dollars in fees for doing so. Before you enter into a mortgage contract, it’s essential to understand the penalties involved if you want or need to break it.
Porting your mortgage: Porting your mortgage means transferring it from one property to another. You may be able to port a mortgage when you are selling a home at the same time you are buying a new one. This can be a smart move if you already have a low rate on your existing mortgage compared to current mortgage rates for Regina home purchases, or if you would face penalties for breaking a mortgage when you want to move. Not all mortgages are portable, so make sure you discuss this with your lender.
LowestRates.ca works with more than 30 banks and brokers to bring you Regina’s best mortgage rates from lenders in Canada and we’re 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 for Regina. 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.
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. LowestRates.ca 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 not only in Regina, but across the country.
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.
Top real estate agents around Canada offer some advice on how to leverage your home in this red-hot market.
First-time buyers can be more prone to make mistakes because they don’t have as much experience.