Brokers may have even more to thank BMO for this time around, with its second “irrational” rate offer encouraging even more fence sitters into the market, say agents.
“It was even better this time around than in January,” Trent Glover, with Dominion Lending Centres Team Kehler, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “We as brokers were better prepared this time to explain the shortcomings of the BMO product and to get them into other better product. But also, whether because of the spring season, more people jumped off the fence to get houses.”
The comments echo those of brokers from across the country, who ultimately benefited from the aggressive rate war BMO rekindled in March.
The bank’s offer of 2.99 per cent on a five-year fixed ends later this week, with banks and other lenders also preparing to drop their 2.99 on a four-year term by Thursday.
While the collective move has raised concerns in Ottawa about a possible exacerbation of sky-high household debt, it has also helped brokers shift a growing number of pre-approvals.
Glover suggests that brokers were better able to divert client interest stirred by the BMO promotion, although there was one downside.
“We did have some clients who were questioning the rates they had received,” he said, “but we explained the limitations of the (stripped-down) BMO mortgage, and they understood.”
Economists are predicting March activity will ultimately eclipse year-ago sales in most Canadian markets, although there’s some concern that the early spring will negatively impact originations in April through June.