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Published February 15, 2024

The Best Mortgage Rates in Newfoundland and Labrador

Compare customized mortgage rates from NL’s top lenders to find the best mortgage rate for your needs.

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Nerdy Insight: Newfoundland and Labrador’s best mortgage rates got a little better in February, as three- and five-year fixed rates dipped in response to lower government bond yields. But with yields on the rise again, it may not be long before fixed rates follow suit. After the Bank of Canada held its overnight rate at 5% on January 25, variable mortgage rates remain elevated and aren’t likely to decrease until June, when analysts believe the Bank may finally be ready to lower the overnight rate.

The best fixed and variable mortgage rates in Newfoundland and Labrador

Rates updated: January 10, 2024

Mortgage Type

Purchase Price

Down Payment

Province

Term

Fixed

Variable

1-Year

Rate

6.79%

Est. payment

: $3,120.00/mo
B2B
:
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3-Year

Rate

5.24%

Est. payment

: $2,694.00/mo
Manulife Financial
:
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Rate

6.30%

Est. payment

: $2,982.00/mo
Radius Financial
:
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4-Year

Rate

5.04%

Est. payment

: $2,641.00/mo
RFA
:
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5-Year

Rate

5.04%

Est. payment

: $2,641.00/mo
First National
:
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Rate

6.10%

Est. payment

: $2,927.00/mo
Equitable Bank
:
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Disclaimer: These rates do not include taxes, fees, and insurance. Your actual rate and loan terms will be determined by the partner’s assessment of your creditworthiness and other factors. Any potential savings figures are estimates based on the information provided by you and our advertising partners. Mortgage Brokerage Licensed in ON #12984, BC #X301004, MB and AB. Homewise can pursue mortgage brokering activity in SK, NL, NS and NB.

Data source:

Alternative and B mortgage lender rates

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The average mortgage rate in Newfoundland and Labrador

There isn’t a single average mortgage rate for Newfoundland and Labrador. Even if you could access all the current mortgage rates on offer, it wouldn’t be much help. That’s because any mortgage offer you receive is always specific to you. Lenders take into account multiple factors, such as credit score, the type of mortgage and the amount needed.

Think about the “average mortgage rate” the way you would average home price. It’s interesting data to have, but it’s not necessarily relevant to your own home buying journey.

Historical trend: New mortgage loans in NL

Newfoundland and Labrador mortgage rate update: February 2024

Toward the end of January, mortgage rates finally dipped in response to falling three- and five-year government bond yields. Generally, this kind of action in the bond market would lead to faster reductions in three- and five-year fixed mortgage rates, but lenders don’t usually rush to serve up bargains.

As of February 12, 2024, lenders were offering five-year fixed rates below 4.8% on certain mortgage products, while three-year fixed mortgage rates were available for around 5%.

Five-year terms being a more affordable option puts Newfoundland’s mortgage shoppers in a bind: A five-year term isn’t overly attractive if rates are expected decline significantly by 2025 or 2026, but it may be easier to qualify for once the stress test is factored in.

According to the Bank of Canada, the average posted rate for a one-year, fixed-rate mortgage was an eye-watering 7.84% as of February 7. At an average posted rate of 6.99%, three-year fixed mortgage rates might be more affordable, but they require borrowers to pass the stress test at a brutal 8.99%. 

Don’t let your bank’s posted rates make you hyperventilate, though. They’re meant to be negotiated down, and should be closer to the rates found on the table above.

Variable mortgage rates remain elevated after the Bank of Canada held its overnight rate at 5% on January 24. The Bank’s rate hikes have likely come to an end, but the overnight rate, and variable mortgage rates, won’t be reduced until inflation is firmly under control and heading toward the Bank’s target of 2%. That may not occur until June 2024.

Forecasting Newfoundland mortgage rates

Fixed mortgage rates

Based on the activity in the Canadian bond market in December, fixed mortgage rates should begin declining at some point in early 2024. Bond yields fell significantly throughout December, sinking to levels not seen since May 2023. This kind of downward movement generally gives lenders leeway to reduce fixed rates.

But the bond market is based on investor behaviour, which makes fixed mortgage rates difficult to predict over the long-term. If investors sell off their bonds, for example, yields increase, which generally spurs lenders to increase fixed rates.

Variable mortgage rates

Variable mortgage rates should finally decrease in 2024. As pesky as inflation has been, it’s gradually getting closer to the Bank of Canada’s 2% target. Once inflation falls — and stays — below 3%, the Bank should feel confident lowering its overnight rate. When it does, variable mortgage rates should follow suit immediately.

A suitable amount of evidence will still be required to convince the Bank of Canada to start reducing rates. If inflation declines steadily in January, February and March, that long awaited dip in variable rates could come in April.

Newfoundland housing market update: February 2024

In January, real estate sales across Newfoundland and Labrador rose 5.6% year-over-year, according to the Newfoundland and Labrador Real Estate Association. The growth was driven by a 20% increase in sales in St. John’s, which outweighed the 3.1% decrease seen in the rest of the province.

Detached home sales in St. John’s experienced a stunning uptick, rising more than 77% compared to January 2023.

The average residential sale price in Newfoundland and Labrador in January was $302,834, 8% higher than a year ago.

Newfoundland home sales and price forecast

Real estate experts predict a more normal real estate market in 2024, though the bar for “normal” is low given the tumult of 2023. Many believe Bank of Canada interest rate hikes — a primary driver behind last year’s affordability crunch — are largely over. But exactly when and how quickly the Bank begins to taper interest rates down remains an important question mark.

A report released by real estate company Royal LePage forecasts home prices increasing about 5% by the end of the year, with most of that increase taking place in the second half of 2024. RE/MAX Canada suggests a more subdued average price increase of less than 1%. 

Newfoundland first-time home buyer programs

First-time home buyers who’ve already been pre-approved for a mortgage can apply to a government program to receive grants of up to $1,500 plus a repayable loan of up to 5% of the home’s purchase price. The interest rate on the loaned amount is capped at the prime rate minus one percent, which is likely to be less than market rates. To be eligible, your household income can’t exceed $95,000, and your home price must fall under the limit, which varies by location.

Land transfer taxes in Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland doesn’t have land transfer taxes, but you’ll pay a fee to register your mortgage. The fee is $100 plus $0.40 for every $100 of your home’ value above $500.

Mortgage calculators to inform your home buying decisions

Mortgage payment calculator ↗

Estimate your monthly mortgage payments.

Mortgage affordability calculator ↗

Estimate how much house you can afford.

Mortgage closing costs calculator ↗

Create a home buying budget by estimating your closing costs.

Guide to Newfoundland and Labrador mortgage rates

Types of lenders in Newfoundland and Labrador

A lenders. Big banks and credit unions are A lenders and offer borrowers the best rates currently available. You’ll need a strong credit score before being offered a loan, and you’ll be expected to pass a stress test

B lenders. Some smaller Canadian banks and mortgage investment corporations work with people who have poorer credit scores or limited credit history. Rates are higher as a result. 

Types of mortgages in Newfoundland and Labrador

Fixed-rate mortgages. The interest rate stays the same for the duration of the mortgage term in a fixed-rate mortgage, even if the market fluctuates. Fixed rates typically:

Variable-rate mortgages. Variable mortgage rates increase or decrease whenever your lender’s prime rate increases or decreases. Variable-rate mortgages typically have rates that:

» MORE: The difference between fixed- and variable-rate mortgages

Hybrid-rate mortgage. A portion of your mortgage is subject to a variable rate and another portion is at a fixed rate of interest. These mortgages:

Insured vs. uninsured mortgages. If you buy a home for under $1 million, and your down payment is under 20%, you must insure your mortgage. Mortgage insurance adds to the cost of your loan. The cost of insurance equals a percentage of your mortgage, and the percentage depends on your down payment. The closer it is to 20%, the smaller your insurance payment is.

Homes worth $1 million or more require a down payment of at least 20%, so insurance is not required. 

Short-term vs. long-term mortgages. Short-term mortgages last five years or less. Long-term mortgages last over five years. With a shorter mortgage, you’ll need to renew sooner, which can provide flexibility. Short-term mortgages often have lower interest rates than long-term mortgage rates.

Closed vs. open mortgages. The primary difference between closed and open mortgages is that you can pay off an open mortgage whenever you like and not pay a penalty. If you have a closed mortgage and make additional payments, you’ll generally be penalized.

Closed mortgages often offer better rates than open mortgages. But open rate mortgages may be a good option if you think you may be able to pay off your mortgage early.

» MORE: Understanding open and closed mortgages

How NL lenders determine mortgage rates

Newfoundland and Labrador mortgage rates fluctuate constantly.

Two main economic factors affect mortgage rates: 

Factors specific to you also affect the rates you’re offered. These include:

How to qualify for a lower mortgage rate in Newfoundland and Labrador

Some factors behind rates are beyond your control, but there are steps you can take to possibly qualify for the best mortgage rates. For example, you can:

Factors that affect mortgage affordability in NL

Mortgage term

The term is the length of time your mortgage contract is valid. In Canada, mortgage terms can run anywhere from six months to as long as 10 years.

Chances are that your mortgage will have multiple terms during the amortization period until you pay it off in full.

Amortization period

A mortgage’s amortization period is the time it will take to pay off the loan in full. In Canada, the most common amortization period is 25 years. If your down payment is less than 20%, you can’t have an amortization beyond 25 years. 

If your down payment is greater than 20%, you may find some lenders willing to offer amortization periods of up to 35 years.

Why would you want a shorter amortization period? You’ll pay less interest overall and potentially save thousands of dollars. A shorter amortization period, however, will result in higher monthly payments.

How to compare mortgages from NL lenders

Compare the annual percentage rate (APR) instead of the interest rate alone. The APR includes fees and closing costs the lender may charge in addition to the interest rate. A lender offering the lowest rate may actually have a higher APR due to those additional costs. Comparing APRs is the easiest way to see the complete cost of each offer.

Be sure you’re comparing the same type of mortgage. For a comparison to be useful, the mortgages should have the same term, amortization period and payment frequency. 

When looking for the best mortgage rates in Newfoundland and Labrador, also consider:

You can also compare mortgage rates in other provinces to get a sense of how the rate you’ve been offered in Newfoundland and Labrador stacks up:

Mortgage shopping is about more than just the interest rate

A low mortgage rate is usually a primary objective for buyers, but getting the lowest rate doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the best mortgage for your needs.

For example, you might opt for a fixed rate, which has a higher rate than a variable rate, if you’re uncomfortable with the risk of rates rising. Or, if you expect to come into a sizable sum of money soon (via an inheritance, for example), paying a higher rate for an open mortgage, which allows you to pay it off early without penalties, could be worth it.

Frequently asked questions for Newfoundland and Labrador mortgage rates

What’s a good mortgage rate in Newfoundland and Labrador right now?

As of January 2024, you could still find fixed mortgage rates for less than 5.25% and variable mortgage rates for under 6.25% for a home purchase price of $400,000 and a down payment of 10%. The rate offers you receive depend on factors like your credit score, total debt level and income.

Will mortgage rates come down in 2024?

Variable mortgage rates could stay where they are until April or June 2024. Conditions in the bond market indicate that fixed mortgage rates could decline in early 2024, but they may not decrease significantly until the Canadian economy shows further signs of stability.

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