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Today’s lowest 3-year fixed
mortgage rate in:

0.00%

selection_with_rates_3_year_variable

Rates updated: May 23, 2024 at 7:30 AM

5.14%

3-Year Fixed

Rates updated: May 23, 2024 at 7:30 AM

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The best current mortgage rates in Canada

Check out today's best mortgage rates in Canada by type and term.

Rates are based on an average mortgage of $300,000
 Insured ?

The rates in this column apply to borrowers who have purchased mortgage default insurance. This is required when you purchase a home with less than a 20% down payment. The home must be owner-occupied and the amortization must be 25 years or less.

80% LTV ?

The rates in this column apply to mortgage amounts between 65.01% and 80% of the property value. The home must be owner-occupied and have an amortization of 25 years or less. You must have purchased it for less than $1 million. These rates are not available on refinances. Refinances require "Uninsured" rates.

65% LTV ?

The rates in this column apply to mortgage amounts that are 65% of the property value or less. The home must be owner-occupied and have an amortization of 25 years or less. You must have purchased it for less than $1 million. These rates are not available on refinances. Refinances require "Uninsured" rates.

Uninsured ?

The rates in this column apply to purchases over $1 million, refinances and amortizations over 25 years. More info on the differences between insured and uninsured rates.

Bank Rate ?

Bank Rate is the mortgage interest rate posted by the big banks in Canada.

 
1-year fixed rate
Insured
4.99%
80% LTV
5.6%
65% LTV
5.6%
Uninsured
6.69%
6.79%
 
2-year fixed rate
Insured
5.59%
80% LTV
5.19%
65% LTV
5.19%
Uninsured
6.04%
6.39%
 
3-year fixed rate
Insured
4.79%
80% LTV
4.94%
65% LTV
4.94%
Uninsured
4.94%
5.55%
 
4-year fixed rate
Insured
4.94%
80% LTV
4.89%
65% LTV
4.89%
Uninsured
5.04%
5.29%
 
5-year fixed rate
Insured
4.74%
80% LTV
4.79%
65% LTV
4.79%
Uninsured
4.89%
4.84%
 
7-year fixed rate
Insured
4.94%
80% LTV
5.29%
65% LTV
5.29%
Uninsured
5.09%
5.9%
 
10-year fixed rate
Insured
5.74%
80% LTV
5.84%
65% LTV
5.84%
Uninsured
5.84%
7.25%
 
3-year variable rate
Insured
6.1%
80% LTV
6.7%
65% LTV
6.7%
Uninsured
N/A
8.6%
 
5-year variable rate
Insured
5.9%
80% LTV
6.1%
65% LTV
6.1%
Uninsured
6.15%
6.59%
 
HELOC rate
Insured
7.2%
80% LTV
7.2%
65% LTV
7.2%
Uninsured
7.2%
N/A
 
Stress test
Insured
6.74%
80% LTV
6.79%
65% LTV
6.79%
Uninsured
5.25%
N/A

What is a 3-year fixed mortgage?

A three-year fixed mortgage rate is a fixed mortgage rate that homebuyers take up for a fixed period of three years. The mortgage term is the length of time that a lender will loan the mortgage amount to the borrower. In Canada, the 2-to-5-year term period is the most common among homebuyers.

At the end of the three-year term, the borrower could either pay off the entire amount remaining or renew their mortgage rate with their existing lender or a new mortgage provider depending on the market situation and mortgage rates.

Unlike a variable rate, in which the percentage of interest may vary according to the market situation, a fixed mortgage rate locks in the rate as per the existing economic situation. In the case of a 3-year fixed mortgage rate, the rate is locked in for a period of three-years, at the end of which, the borrower will have to assess their financial situation and seek renewal.

A 3-year fixed-rate mortgage is a popular choice for borrowers seeking a shorter commitment with favorable terms. It strikes a balance between a competitive interest rate and a relatively shorter duration. Consider a 3-year fixed rate if you value flexibility and anticipate potential changes in your financial situation within the next few years. While not as prevalent as the 5-year term, the 3-year fixed rate is offered by a variety of mortgage lenders, allowing for easy comparison to secure the most favorable terms. In certain market conditions or personal financial scenarios, a 3-year fixed-rate loan may align better with your needs.

A 3-year fixed-rate mortgage loan is a great option for borrowers who might plan to move within a few years following your home purchase. There are several reasons this might be the case: You’re planning on expanding your family and will require a larger home, or you plan to move towns or cities for a new job. If you’re unsure whether you’d like to live in the home you’re purchasing long-term, a 3-year fixed-rate mortgage might be a good choice for you. You also might want to consider a three-year mortgage term if you believe mortgage rates will fall within the next few years, as that would allow you to renew your mortgage at a lower rate.

How do 3-year fixed mortgages work in Canada?

Lenders use the Government of Canada’s bond market to set their fixed rates. A government bond is an investment type where an investor lends money to the government at a fixed rate for a specific amount of time, earning interest over the term of the bond. Once the bond term is up, the investor receives their principal investment back in full. Because these investments are considered so safe, lenders use their bond yields to cover the cost of the mortgages they lend out. They will offer rates based on their bond yields. Usually, mortgage rates are 1-2% higher than bond yields.

In the current economic situation, Canadians are faced with the rising interest rates, inflation and a global economic downturn.

Starting in March 2022, the Bank of Canada has raised the policy interest rate at least 10 times — from 0.25% in March 2022 to 5% in October 2023. This has resulted in borrowing rates going up for households and businesses, spending has declined, especially on housing.

The Bank of Canada’s overnight rate increase can have a significant impact on the yield of a 3-year bond. A higher overnight rate leads to increase in interest rates across the economy, including the yield on 3-year bonds.

When the Bank of Canada raises its overnight rate, the cost of borrowing for banks and other financial institutions generally increases. As a result, the yields on short-term bonds, including 3-year bonds, tend to rise as well. Conversely, when the Bank of Canada lowers its overnight rate, the cost of borrowing decreases and the yields on short-term bonds, including 3-year bonds, tend to fall.

The pros and cons of a 3-year fixed mortgage in Canada

The three-year fixed mortgage rate may be perfect for some homebuyers, but others might not consider it due to their financial situation.

Pros of a 3-year fixed rate mortgage

Here are some pros of three-year fixed rate which can help you decide better:

  1. Lower rates compared to longer terms: Three-year fixed mortgages typically offer lower rates compared to longer terms, such as the 5-year fixed, Canada’s most popular mortgage. The difference between the two can generally run from 20-40 bps in normal rate environments.

  2. A good compromise between low rates and rate protection: The 3-year fixed provides borrowers with a balance between the interest rate savings of a shorter term and multi-year protection against rate increases.

  3. Less chance of paying mortgage breakage penalties: A 3-year mortgage deal is the lengthiest among what we consider short-term mortgages. Shorter mortgage terms usually translate to a lower likelihood of the borrower having to end the mortgage before it reaches maturity. It's worth noting that, on average, most borrowers end their 5-year mortgage around the 3.8-year mark. Choosing a shorter mortgage deal reduces the risk of facing steep prepayment penalties, which are often associated with fixed-rate mortgages, especially those from the Big 6 banks.

  4. Refinance flexibility: A 3-year fixed offers greater flexibility for those needing to refinance their mortgage without limitation or penalty. After 36 months, you can freely switch lenders for a better deal if your existing lender refuses to play ball.

Cons of a 3-year fixed mortgage

The following are some potential drawbacks of choosing a 3-year fixed mortgage:

  1. Less protection against rate hikes: A 3-year fixed term increases your odds of renewing into a higher rate, especially when compared to committing to a longer term, such as a 5-year fixed term.

  2. Fixed rates can have higher penalties: If you’re considering the 3-year fixed term as an alternative to a variable, keep in mind that penalties for breaking a fixed mortgage are often significantly higher. Terminating a fixed-rate early usually means you’ll pay a penalty based on the higher of three months’ interest, or the Interest Rate Differential (IRD). IRDs often run into four or even five-digit dollar amounts. Breaking a variable, or “floating” rate, on the other hand, usually involves a penalty of just three months’ interest.

  3. Increased renewal frequency: Compared to a 5-year term, a 3-year requires more frequent paperwork, rate research and renegotiation. If your lender is not cooperative, then at renewal you’d have a lot of homework to do!

Frequently asked questions about 3-year fixed mortgages

How can I find the best 3-year mortgage rate?

You can find the best 3-year fixed rate mortgage by shopping around. Rate comparison sites like LowestRates.ca can help you find the best 3-year fixed rate. We will help you compare rates in Canada among 50+ financial institutions and quickly provide quotes as you embark on home ownership journey. You could also reach out to your mortgage broker to fish out the best available rates in the market.

Are 3-year fixed-rate mortgages better than other mortgage terms?

While one mortgage term isn’t necessarily better than others, a 3-year fixed-rate mortgage is a great option for many homebuyers. Three-year fixed rate mortgages are one of the more popular shorter terms available in Canada. More competition among lenders in the market means more competitive rates for borrowers, so there’s a good chance you’ll save money by comparing 3-year fixed-rate mortgages. Another advantage of 3-year fixed-rate mortgages is that lenders typically offer lower rates for short-term mortgages. So, you can save money by choosing a shorter term compared to if you choose a longer term. 

What is a good 3-year fixed mortgage rate?

A good mortgage rate will depend on a number of factors. Every borrower is evaluated by lenders based on their creditworthiness. To determine this, lenders will verify a borrower’s income and work history, your credit score and debt ratios, among other factors. Borrowers who have a solid credit history have a great chance of qualifying for a good 3-year fixed-rate mortgage. There’s no one-size-fits-all for mortgages, so what’s considered a good rate to one person may not seem so to another. And keep in mind that rates are always fluctuating, so what’s considered good today may seem even better tomorrow if rates rise.

How much can you save comparing 3-year fixed rates in Canada with LowestRates.ca?

Since LowestRates.ca started, we’ve helped our users save $1 billion in interest and fees. While a small percentage difference in mortgage rates may not seem like much, even a fraction of a percentage point savings can result in thousands of dollars in saved money over a mortgage term. And since mortgage amortization periods are so long (they typically run between 25 and 30 years), a few thousand dollars in savings each year can really add up. You can compare 3-year fixed rates on LowestRates.ca and potentially save thousands of dollars. 

Shivani Kaul

Shivani Kaul

About the Author

Shivani Kaul is a content manager in the personal finance space. Prior to this, she worked as a digital editor with Pagemasters North America (a division of The Canadian Press) for four years. Shivani has also worked as a freelance writer and editor for Investor's Digest of Canada and The Ghost Bureau.

She has more than a decade of experience working as an editor and writer for different news media organizations in Canada and South Asia. She has a Digital Marketing Management certification from the University of Toronto, a Master's degree in Mass Communication (Journalism) and a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Delhi (India).

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