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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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Navigating the Canadian Housing Market: Insights on Interest Rates and Home Buying Intentions

The past two years saw 51% of Canadians delaying their home buying plans, responding to the rise in borrowing costs. This surge led to a significant reassessment of intentions among millions of Canadians. Since March 2022, when the Bank of Canada began raising its key lending rate, over a quarter of the adult population (27%) actively participated in the housing market. However, more than half of them (56%) postponed their property search due to escalating interest rates, according to a recent survey by Royal LePage and Leger.

As inflation inches closer to the desired 2% target, expectations are high for the Bank of Canada to make its first cut to the overnight lending rate later this year. This anticipated reduction is poised to bring relief to variable-rate mortgage holders and those who deferred their home buying plans. Among those who delayed their purchase, 51% are ready to resume their search if interest rates drop. Specifically, 10% await a mere 25-basis-point drop, 18% anticipate a cut of 50 to 100 basis points, while 23% seek more than a 100-basis-point reduction before reconsidering their search.

Though 20% of sidelined buyers have abandoned their plans altogether, another 12% are poised to re-enter the market if the Bank of Canada's key lending rate remains steady. Among those aiming to re-enter once rates decrease, 44% prefer a four-year or five-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most favoured mortgage type and term in Canada. This number doubles the respondents intending to opt for a variable-rate mortgage (22%), while another 12% plan to secure a short-term fixed-rate mortgage.

Despite the challenges posed by rising interest rates, 65% of respondents remain actively engaged in the home buying process. This engagement spans from casual browsing of listings (39%) to continuing to save for a down payment (19%), applying for a mortgage pre-approval (12%), or already having obtained one (7%). However, 26% of respondents have temporarily disengaged from the home shopping process.

Ready to make your move in the housing market? Don't let rising interest rates hold you back! Whether you're ready to buy, actively browsing listings, or just considering your options, now is the time to stay informed and prepared. Let's take the next step together!

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Bank of Canada Holds Steady: Balancing Inflation and Stability in Economic Policy

The Bank of Canada has opted to maintain its overnight lending rate at 5% for the fifth consecutive occasion, as announced in its scheduled interest rate declaration on March 6th. It affirmed its commitment to keep the policy rate steady at 5% and to continue the process of normalizing the Bank’s balance sheet.

Despite a drop in the annual inflation rate to 2.9% in January, the Bank cited underlying inflationary factors like shelter costs as grounds for maintaining the current interest rate level. It expressed the desire to witness further easing of inflation and the establishment of price stability before considering rate adjustments.

Economists anticipate potential rate reductions later in the year, possibly in the June announcement, should inflation continue to decrease toward the central bank’s target of 2%. The Bank of Canada's next announcement is scheduled for April 10th, 2024.

Today, the Bank maintained its target for the overnight rate at 5%, with the Bank Rate at 5¼% and the deposit rate at 5%, while also continuing its policy of quantitative tightening.

The global economic landscape saw a slowdown in growth in the fourth quarter, with the US experiencing a slight deceleration but maintaining robust and broad-based GDP growth. Meanwhile, the euro area's economic growth remained stagnant after a contraction in the third quarter. Inflation in both the US and the euro area continued to ease, while bond yields rose and corporate credit spreads narrowed. Equity markets showed strong gains, and global oil prices were slightly higher than previously projected.

In Canada, fourth-quarter GDP growth exceeded expectations, driven by exports, although overall economic growth remained below potential. Despite a modest increase in consumption, final domestic demand contracted, primarily due to a significant decline in business investment. Employment growth continued to lag behind population growth, and there were indications of easing wage pressures. Overall, the data suggest an economy operating with modest excess supply.

CPI inflation eased to 2.9% in January, mainly due to a moderation in goods price inflation. However, shelter price inflation remained elevated and remained the primary contributor to overall inflation. Underlying inflationary pressures persisted, with year-over-year and three-month measures of core inflation remaining in the 3% to 3.5% range. Although the proportion of CPI components growing above 3% declined, it remained above historical averages. The Bank anticipates inflation to stay close to 3% during the first half of the year before gradually easing.

The Governing Council's decision to maintain the policy rate at 5% and continue the normalization of the Bank’s balance sheet reflects concerns about inflation risks, particularly regarding the persistence of underlying inflation. The Council aims to witness further and sustained easing in core inflation while focusing on the balance between demand and supply in the economy, inflation expectations, wage growth, and corporate pricing behavior. The Bank remains steadfast in its commitment to restoring price stability for Canadians.

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