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Homebuyers urged to ‘lock in’ as rates rise

Homebuyers are being advised to meet with their financial advisers and consider locking in a fixed mortgage rate.

Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Board Vice President Donna Mathewson says interest rates are going to increase, so locking in costs nothing and is good for 90 to 100 days.

“The economists that I’ve went to listen to lately are telling me that we should see two to three more increases before the end of 2019,” said Mathewson. “So, if we’re seeing mid 3.5 percent, 3.6 right now, we should see maybe mid 4’s and expect that by the end of 2019.”

Mathewson said Canada’s big banks started announcing their increases Wednesday.

“People that for instance went into a bank a couple months ago and got pre-qualified, and had a certain amount of money that they were told they could spend, even today with the increases that we’ve had, that spending limit has been reduced dramatically and makes a big difference in even the neighbourhood that they can now look in.”

October was another record month for Sarnia Lambton real estate sales.

A total of 172 properties worth $54 million sold, pushing year-to-date volumes sales to $496 million.

A lack of listings continues to drive an increase in sale prices with the average at almost $312,000.