MORTGAGES taken out in Canadian dollars are a good option for Hong Kong people considering owning a home in Canada. Royal Bank of Canada banking services manager Patty Lam said there had been a 10 per cent rise in the number of people mortgaging home purchases in Canada. This follows a 20 per cent growth the previous year. Mortgages are available in Canadian dollars and Hong Kong dollars. Ms Lam recommended a mortgage in Canadian currency. 'If you take a mortgage in Hong Kong dollars you run the risk of a rates change,' Ms Lam said. 'If I were a customer I would be taking a Canadian dollar mortgage because it has a lower interest rate than a mortgage in Hong Kong dollars.' At the Royal Bank of Canada, the country's largest bank, mortgage terms range from six months (7.75 per cent) to 25 years (9.625 per cent). A three-year term at 8.875 per cent remains one of the most popular mortgages on offer. Based on a minimum limit of C$10,000 (HK$56,500) and no maximum, the bank will lend up to 60 per cent of the purchase price of properties up to the value at C$500,000. For properties worth more than C$500,000, the bank will lend up to 55 per cent. Amortisation is a minimum of five years to a maximum of 25. At the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), mortgage rates are guaranteed for 60 days from the date of application (90 days for new construction) to protect the mortgage owner should the rate rises within that period. If the rate should fall, the buyer gets the benefit of the lower rate. Eddie Sze, manager of CIBC Hong Kong, said aside from offering a conventional mortgage service, the bank also offered a commercial property investment service. 'Normally, Canadian financial service teams only target residential investors,' Mr Sze said. 'But what we also offer, aside from the regular banking services, is commercial mortgages investment, and we also try to arrange corporate financing.' In Canada, the Hongkong Bank will lend a minimum of C$30,000 in Hong Kong or Canadian dollars for a maximum 25 years' amortisation period. Overseas investors taking a Canadian dollar mortgage can get financing for up to 65 per cent of the purchase price of a property. The most popular mortgage is a one year closed term at 7.625 per cent rate. For investors taking mortgages in Hong Kong dollars, the rate is Hong Kong prime rate (nine per cent) plus two per cent. Private bankers Hill Samuel offers financing for United States properties. The bank's interest rates for loans of up to 25 years are US prime rate (8.75 per cent) plus 1.5 per cent for Hong Kong-dollar mortgages, and US prime rate plus one per cent for US-dollar mortgages. Barry Lea, regional director of financial services and marketing, said Hill Samuel did the paper work for US mortgages in Hong Kong. The application is a simple two-sided sheet. Mr Lea said: 'I've seen American lenders who have 20-page forms. 'Also, we understand the nature of the borrower here, the tax rates, the annual bonus is 13 months, gratuity commissions and so forth. 'So we can get a much better feel and come to that level with the individual borrower instead of dealing from thousands of miles away.' Hill Samuel offers loans of up to 80 per cent in the currency of the country of purchase. The minimum is HK$500,000, and up to 75 per cent financing is available in Hong Kong dollars. There are also 'umbrella loans' that cover several jurisdictions where a person who already owns another property outright can get 100 per cent financing on another property.