Mortgage rates in Nova Scotia
You can find a great mortgage rate in Nova Scotia through a mortgage lender or broker. All major Canadian banks offer mortgage loans in Nova Scotia. You can also find a more tailored mortgage solution though one of the many private and monoline mortgage lenders in the province.
Be sure to shop around for a mortgage rate before you settle on a home financing solution. Mortgage rates vary widely from lender to lender, and often you can negotiate for a better rate if you do your homework.
If you're unsure about shopping around and negotiating for a mortgage rate, you can always contact a licensed mortgage broker who can do all the comparison shopping and negotiating for you.
Likewise, you can use the MapleMortgage.ca mortgage search tool to find the best mortgage rates in Nova Scotia and contact the lenders who match your mortgage needs the best.
What's the difference between a fixed rate and variable rate mortgage in Nova Scotia?
Accounting for 74% of all mortgages, most mortgages in Nova Scotia are fixed rate loans. Fixed rate mortgages offer homeowners more predictability. The monthly mortgage payments on fixed rate loans remain the same for the duration of the mortgage term. Your payments won't change because of interest rate changes.
On the other hand, there are variable rate mortgages, which account for 20% of all mortgages in Nova Scotia. Variable rate mortgages can potentially have lower interest rates than fixed rate loans, but only if your mortgage lender's prime interest rates remain low. If prime lending rates rise, so will the interest costs on a variable rate mortgage.
What's the difference between an open term mortgage and a closed term mortgage?
Most people are fine meeting their regularly scheduled mortgage payments. But some people may want to pay off their mortgage sooner by making extra payments towards their mortgage balance. These extra payments are referred to as mortgage prepayments, and how much you can make in prepayments depends on the type of mortgage term you get.
Closed term mortgages limit how much prepayments you can make every year. Typically, lenders will limit annual prepayments to 10%-20% of your mortgage principal amount every year; the exact amount varies. Closed term mortgages also limit how much you can increase your monthly mortgage payment. Exceeding any of these prepayment limits will result in a prepayment penalty.
Open mortgages have no prepayment limits. You're able to make as much in extra payments towards your mortgage whenever you want during your mortgage term, without penalty.
In Nova Scotia, most mortgages have closed terms. Closed terms have lower interest rates than open term mortgages. Additionally, closed term mortgages offer lengthier term lengths so borrowers can lock in their interest rates for a longer period, typically 5 years.
Nova Scotia Deed transfer tax
Nova Scotia levies a land transfer tax on all property purchases called a Deed transfer tax. Land Registration Offices collect the tax on behalf of municipalities in Nova Scotia.
Each municipality, in Nova Scotia, sets its own Deed transfer tax and is based on the value of the property being purchased. The exact Deed transfer tax rate varies from municipality to municipality but generally falls in the 0.5% to 1.5% range.
You can find a list of the latest Deed transfer tax rates for each municipality in Nova Scotia online. But to be sure, if you're purchasing property in Nova Scotia, contact the municipality in which the property resides for the latest Deed transfer tax rate.
In Nova Scotia's largest city, Halifax, the Deed Transfer tax is 1.5% of the value of the property being purchased. So, for example, if you're buying a house in Halifax for $250,000, you would have to pay a Deed transfer tax of $3,750 ($250,000 x 1.5%).
Nova Scotia housing market
Nova Scotia has experienced steady population growth over the last few years, especially in its capital Halifax. The steady population growth reflects in its steady appreciation of real estate prices in the province.
The average house in Nova Scotia sold for $267,000 in 2020, up 12% from $237,000 in 2018. In Halifax, the largest city in Nova Scotia, the average price for a home reaches $320,000.
Homeownership rates in Nova Scotia fall within national averages, with 64% of Nova Scotian households owning the home in which they live in.
Nova Scotia mortgage brokers
To be a licensed mortgage broker in Nova Scotia, an individual must have a valid mortgage broker permit from the provincial Government in Nova Scotia. They must also meet specific education requirements and be a part of a licensed mortgage brokerage in the province.
In 2021, Nova Scotia will introduce an updated mortgage broker regulatory framework. The new regulations are meant to replace existing requirements to become a licensed mortgage broker. They also aim to provide a more centralized process for enforcing regulations in Nova Scotia's mortgage brokering industry.
About Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is located in the eastern region of Canada. With a population of 970,000 residents, it's the largest of the Atlantic region provinces. Nova Scotia is the 2nd smallest province by land size, and the 2nd most densely populated in Canada.
Major economic sectors in Nova Scotia include fishing, tourism, and manufacturing, with manufacturing making up the largest share of GDP in the province.
Nova Scotia has one of the lowest GDPs per capita in Canada. The province generates about $46,000 in GDP for every resident, well below the national average of $60,000.
The province is a net import economy, importing more goods than it exports. Interestingly, Nova Scotia is the largest exporter of lobster and Christmas trees in the world.