The Bank of Canada released their monetary update yesterday and as expected there is no change in the overnight lending rate and thus your variable mortgage rate remains unchanged. The Bank of Canada reiterated its conditional promise not to increase rates until the end of the 2nd quarter (end of July). Regardless of this promise, the Bank of Canada has no economic reasons to move rates anytime soon. The only time the bank will begin moving rates is when inflation becomes a concern. That being said a strong Canadian dollar helps dampen this effect, a good thing for variable mortgage holders. In closing, I suggest everyone with a variable rate mortgage maintain the status quo. No need entertain locking into a fixed term until the Bank of Canada gives us some indication of escalating rates.
As for fist time home buyers, it would be wise to get your pre-approvals completed in January 2010. Banks will lock in a rate for you with your pre-approval for a given period of time. If rates go up and you have not purchased, you will still get the all time low rate we have all been enjoying. Just be sure to purchase before your pre-approval expires.