Another Variable Rate Increase


Bank of Canada has raised their overnight rate by 0.50%, bringing it to 1.50%. Which for most lenders will likely increase their Prime rate to 3.70% from the previous 3.20%.


We are not yet at our Pre-pandemic rates. Remember we had 3x .50% emergency rate decrease (totalling 1.50%) in March 2020 alone. So this increase does not come as a surprise. Since then we have increased 1.25% total and we would need to come up another .25% to bring us to that Pre-pandemic rate.


 

This change will have an impact on those with a Variable Rate Mortgage or Home Equity Line of Credit. It will mean a $22 a month payment increase for every $100,000.


Those with a fixed rate mortgage won't be affected by raising rates until they come up for renewal.


 

What is the Bank of Canada Overnight Rate?


The overnight rate is generally the interest rate that large banks use to borrow and lend from one another in the overnight market.


The Bank of Canada holds this Key Lending rate. They might lower it to encourage borrowing and spending OR they may increase it to curb inflation and debt levels.


Major lenders typically raise their prime rate when there is a hike. Thats the number they use to set interest rates for loans and mortgages.


Unlike a fixed rate where one is locked in to their rate, those in a variable rate will be affected by these changes. Home owners with fixed rate mortgages won't be affected until they have to renew.



Should I lock into a Fixed Rate now?

Historically variable rates have shown to save you more money in the long run.

A few things you should consider before locking into a Fixed rate is:

  • Are you planning to sell your home within the next 3yrs? Then we would highly recommend you stay in your variable rate mortgage.

  • Can your budget handle a payment increase if rates go up?

  • Will you be putting extra money down on your mortgage each month? If so, the savings from a variable rate can help you pay down your mortgage faster.

If you are considering locking in, give us a call to discuss first. We have a fun little calculator to help you forecast your savings if you decide to stay with your variable rate.



 

Source: First National - one of Canada's largest non-bank mortgage lenders, offering both commercial mortgages and residential mortgage solutions.


Today, the Bank of Canada showed once again that it is seriously concerned about inflation by raising its overnight benchmark rate to 1.50%. This latest 50 basis point increase follows a similar-sized move in April and is considered the fastest rate hike cycle in over two decades.


With it, the Bank brings its policy rate closer to its pre-pandemic level. As a result, the Bank Rate rises to 1.75% and the deposit rate increases to 1.50%. The Bank is also continuing its policy of quantitative tightening and signalled that more rate hikes are likely.


In rationalizing its 3rd increase of 2022, the Bank cited several factors, most especially that “the risk of elevated inflation becoming entrenched has risen.” As a result, the BoC will use its monetary policy tools to return inflation to target and keep inflation expectations well anchored.

These are the highlights of today’s announcement.


Inflation at home and abroad

  • Largely driven by higher prices for food and energy, the Bank noted that CPI inflation reached 6.8% for the month of April, well above its forecast and “will likely move even higher in the near term before beginning to ease”

  • As “pervasive” input pressures feed through into consumer prices, inflation continues to broaden, with core measures of inflation ranging between 3.2% and 5.1%

  • Almost 70% of CPI categories now show inflation above 3%

  • The increase in global inflation is occurring as the global economy slows

  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine, China’s COVID-related lockdowns, and ongoing supply disruptions are all weighing on activity and boosting inflation

  • The war has increased uncertainty, is putting further upward pressure on prices for energy and agricultural commodities and “dampening the outlook, particularly in Europe”

  • U.S. labour market strength continues, with wage pressures intensifying, while private domestic U.S. demand remains robust despite the American economy “contracting in the first quarter of 2022”

  • Global financial conditions have tightened and markets have been volatile

Canadian economy and the housing market

  • Economic growth is strong and the economy is clearly “operating in excess demand,” a change in the language the Bank used in April when it said our economy was “moving into excess demand”

  • National accounts data for the first quarter of 2022 showed GDP growth of 3.1%, in line with the Bank’s April Monetary Policy Report projection

  • Job vacancies are elevated, companies are reporting widespread labour shortages, and wage growth has been “picking up and broadening across sectors”

  • Housing market activity is moderating from exceptionally high levels

  • With consumer spending in Canada remaining robust and exports anticipated to strengthen, growth in the second quarter is expected to be “solid”

Looking ahead

With inflation persisting well above target and “expected to move higher in the near term,” the Bank used today’s announcement to again forewarn that “interest rates will need to rise further.”

The pace of future increases in its policy rate will be guided by the Bank’s ongoing assessment of the economy and inflation.

In case there was any doubt, the Bank’s message today was clear: it is prepared to act more forcefully if needed to meet its commitment to achieve its 2% inflation target.


July 13, 2022 is the date of the BoC’s next scheduled policy announcement.

 

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