Good news for Canadians! The Bank of Canada just shared that they’re keeping the current overnight lending rates Canada steady at 5%.
This decision comes after three rate increases earlier in 2023 and the decision in September to keep rates unchanged.
Can We Expect Further Hikes in 2023?
In September, the annual inflation rate dropped to 3.8%, a pleasant surprise considering earlier estimates hinted at a 4% inflation rate. Despite this positive turn, the Bank of Canada is emphasizing that they’re keeping the option of a rate hike on the table.
James Laird, Co-CEO of Ratehub.ca and President of CanWise mortgage lender points out that predicting economic trends has been quite challenging for the Bank due to the continued volatility in the economy over the past 12 months.
Factors Influencing the Decision
Several key factors have contributed to the Bank’s decision to keep interest rates Canada unchanged.
One pivotal consideration is the recent inflation dynamics. While the annual inflation rate in Canada fell to 3.8% in September, providing a slight relief compared to earlier predictions, the central bank remains vigilant.
The Bank recognizes the need to strike a delicate balance between supporting economic recovery and preventing an overheated economy that could exacerbate inflationary pressures.
Additionally, the Bank’s decision takes into account the impact of previous rate hikes in 2023. The three rate increases earlier in the year aimed to normalize monetary policy and respond to the changing economic conditions.
The Bank’s decision to pause after these hikes reflects a cautious approach, allowing time to assess the effects of these adjustments on the economy.
The September announcement to hold rates also plays a role in the overall decision-making process. This earlier decision demonstrated a readiness to adapt to evolving circumstances, and the subsequent decision to maintain rates underscores a commitment to flexibility in responding to economic shifts.
Real Estate Market Thrives as Spending Slows: A Closer Look at the Impacts
The high overnight bank interest rates Canada have had a noticeable impact on the spending habits of Canadians across the country, leading to significant changes in real estate plans for many.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined by 1.9% from August, marking the third consecutive month of decrease. Sales took a hit in every major market, with Ontario cities being notably affected.
Hamilton-Burlington saw a substantial month-over-month drop of 20.3%, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) experienced a 12.3% decrease, and Ottawa saw a 7.8% dip. Even Greater Vancouver was affected, experiencing a 16.3% decline in sales from August.
In a recent survey involving over 1,600 Zoocasa readers, 23.3% of respondents expressed that the decision to hold off on interest rate hikes had a positive effect on their interest in the real estate market. On the flip side, 16.1% strongly disagreed, indicating that the pause didn’t have a positive impact.
This points to the notion that the borrowing costs are still perceived as too high for Canadians, and it seems that it will require more than just maintaining the current interest rates to motivate potential homebuyers to take action.
On the flip side, the slowdown in the real estate housing market Canada is creating an opportunity for inventory to bounce back in several major markets.
After months of historically low inventory levels, the reduced number of active buyers led to a notable increase in new listings across Canada, rising by 12.6% month-over-month in September, as reported by CREA.
This also represents a substantial 14.2% increase compared to the previous year. Ontario saw the most significant boost in new listings, with Kitchener-Waterloo, the GTA, Niagara Region, and Hamilton-Burlington all experiencing year-over-year increases of more than 14%. Nationally, the months of inventory are gradually rising, moving from 3.5 months in August to 3.6 months in September.
The Bank of Canada’s decision to hold steady on interest rates reflects a nuanced approach to economic management.
As the nation grapples with the challenges of post-pandemic recovery, the central bank’s decisions play a crucial role in shaping the trajectory of the Canadian economy.
The impact of Missing Middle in Canada’s Housing Market, businesses, and real estate market underscores the interconnectedness of monetary policy and everyday life, making the Bank’s deliberations a subject of considerable importance for all Canadians.