I received a question by email from Judy, who's considering switching her line of credit over to a fixed rate mortgage to lock in the current low rates. I wanted to share it here for two reasons, I'd like to see what other reader's opinions are on this and thought it might help other readers that may have similar questions about what the future might hold for interest rates.
Which is safer today, hanging onto a line of credit at prime or locking into a 3.85% five year fixed rate? Does there appear to be an inflationary trend on the horizon or will interest rates remain low in the next three years?
Looking at 5 years I would personally lean towards the 3.85% since that's only 1.6% higher than the historically low prime rate of 2.25%. The average prime rate over the last five years is a little over 5% so there's a reasonable expectation that it could just as easily be 5% for the next 5 years. Here's a handy link from CanEquity that shows variable prime rates and 5 year fixed rates.
The other side of it is that the Bank of Canada said they do not plan to raise rates until June. While that sounds good for the next few months, even if they can stick to that plan the rates could easily jump 0.5% three times in a row after that. One thing for sure is that interest rates only have one direction they can go at this point, and that's up.
That's my opinion, of course we can't tell the future but the odds are that the next 5 years could be 5% on average, possibly more. What does everyone else think? I'd like to hear some other thoughts on which choice you would make and why.