Bank of Canada Cuts Rates: Impact on Housing Market

Bank of Canada Cuts Rates: Impact on Housing Market

After maintaining the overnight lending rate at a two-decade high of 5% for 11 months, the Bank of Canada has now reduced its policy rate. In its scheduled June announcement, Canada’s central bank lowered the target for the overnight rate by 25 basis points to 4.75%.

Despite inflation remaining slightly above the BoC’s target of 2%, the overall consumer price index has decreased over the past year, indicating a slowdown in core inflation which is expected to continue.

“Governing Council decided monetary policy no longer needs to be as restrictive and lowered the policy interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.75%,” said Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada, in a statement to reporters following the announcement. “We’ve come a long way in the fight against inflation. And our confidence that inflation will continue to move closer to the 2% target has increased over recent months. The considerable progress we’ve made to restore price stability is welcome news for Canadians.”

Impact on Canada’s Housing Market: With the anticipated interest rate cut now in effect, many rate-sensitive homebuyers are likely to see this as a cue to re-enter the housing market.

A recent Royal LePage survey conducted by Leger found that 51% of Canadians who had postponed their home buying plans in the past two years would return to the market once the Bank of Canada reduced its key lending rate. Specifically, 10% of respondents said a 25-basis-point drop would prompt them to re-enter the market, 18% would wait for a cut of 50 to 100 basis points, and 23% would need to see a cut of more than 100 basis points before resuming their search.

“The long-awaited cut to the overnight lending rate has arrived. The Bank of Canada held its key lending rate at 5% for the past 11 months, and it has been more than four years since the rate was last reduced,” commented Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage. “Our research shows that half of sidelined homebuyers in Canada plan to resume their home search once the bank rate starts to decline. This will likely spark activity and put upward pressure on home prices in the latter half of the year.”

The Bank of Canada will make its next announcement on Wednesday, July 24th.

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