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Mortgage competition up

TD Bank is looking to attract more homebuyers with a hefty discount to its variable mortgage rate as competition among Canada's biggest lenders heats up.

The Toronto-based lender decreased its five-year variable closed rate to 2.45 per cent, or 1.15 per cent lower than its prime rate, for the month of May.

TD's special rate offer comes roughly one week after the Bank of Montreal discounted its variable mortgage rate to 2.45 per cent until the end of May.

Mortgage planner Robert McLister said last week that BMO's special discounted variable rate was the biggest widely advertised discount ever by a Big Six Canadian bank.

TD spokeswoman Julie Bellissimo says its special five-year variable closed rate discount applies to new and renewed mortgages, as well as the variable rate term portion of certain TD home equity lines of credit.

The moves come amid slowing mortgage growth. The Canadian Real Estate Association says national home sales sank to the lowest level in more than five years in April, falling by 13.9 per cent on an annual basis. The national average sale price decreased by 11.3 per cent year-over-year.



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