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Variable Rate Increases yet again another 0.25%



Bank of Canada has raised their overnight rate by 0.25%, bringing it to 5%. Which for most lenders will likely increase their Prime rate to 7.20% from the previous 6.95%

 

This change will have an impact on those with a Variable Rate Mortgage or Home Equity Line of Credit. It will mean a $15 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 in the near future? 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.




 

Whats to come??


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 increased its overnight interest rate to 5.00% (+0.25% from June) because of the “accumulation of evidence” that excess demand and elevated core inflation are both proving more persistent and after taking into account its “revised outlook for economic activity and inflation.”


This decision was not unexpected by analysts but is disconcerting – as is the Bank’s pledge to continue its policy of quantitative tightening.


To understand today’s decision and the Bank’s current thinking on inflation, interest rates and the economy, we highlight its latest observations below:


Inflation facts and outlook

  • In Canada, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation eased to 3.4% in May, a “substantial and welcome drop from its peak of 8.1% last summer”

  • While CPI inflation has come down largely as expected so far this year, the downward momentum has come more from lower energy prices, and less from an easing of “underlying inflation”

  • With the large price increases of last year removed from the annual data, there will be less near-term “downward momentum” in CPI inflation

  • Moreover, with three-month rates of core inflation running around 3.5% to 4% since last September, “underlying price pressures appear to be more persistent than anticipated”, an outcome that is reinforced by the Bank’s business surveys, which found businesses are “still increasing their prices more frequently than normal”

  • Global inflation is easing, with lower energy prices and a decline in goods price inflation; however, robust demand and tight labour markets are causing persistent inflationary pressures in services

Canadian housing and economic performance

  • Canada’s economy has been stronger than expected, with more momentum in demand

  • Consumption growth was “surprisingly strong” at 5.8% in the first quarter

  • While the Bank expects consumer spending to slow in response to the cumulative increase in interest rates, recent retail trade and other data suggest more persistent excess demand in the economy

  • The housing market has seen some pickup

  • New construction and real estate listings are lagging demand, which is adding pressure to prices

  • In the labour market, there are signs of more availability of workers, but conditions remain tight, and wage growth has been around 4-5%

  • Strong population growth from immigration is adding both demand and supply to the economy: newcomers are helping to ease the shortage of workers while also boosting consumer spending and adding to demand for housing

Global economic performance and outlook

  • Economic growth has been stronger than expected, especially in the United States, where consumer and business spending has been “surprisingly” resilient

  • After a surge in early 2023, China’s economic growth is softening, with slowing exports and ongoing weakness in its property sector

  • Growth in the euro area is effectively stalled: while the service sector continues to grow, manufacturing is contracting

  • Global financial conditions have tightened, with bond yields up in North America and Europe as major central banks signal further interest rate increases may be needed to combat inflation

  • The Bank’s July Monetary Policy Report projects the global economy will grow by “around 2.8% this year and 2.4% in 2024, followed by 2.7% growth in 2025”

Summary and outlook

As higher interest rates continue to work their way through the economy, the BoC expects economic growth to slow, averaging around 1% through the second half of 2023 and the first half of next year. This implies real GDP growth of 1.8% in 2023 and 1.2% in 2024. The Canadian economy will then move into “modest excess supply” early next year before growth picks up to 2.4% in 2025.


In its July Monetary Policy Report, the Bank noted that CPI inflation is forecast to “hover” around 3% for the next year before gradually declining to 2% in the middle of 2025. This is a slower return to target than was forecast in its January and April projections. As a result, the Bank’s Governing Council remains concerned that progress towards its 2% inflation target “could stall, jeopardizing the return to price stability.”


In terms of what Canadians can expect in the near term, the Bank had this to say: “Quantitative tightening is complementing the restrictive stance of monetary policy and normalizing the Bank’s balance sheet. Governing Council will continue to assess the dynamics of core inflation and the outlook for CPI inflation. In particular, we will be evaluating whether the evolution of excess demand, inflation expectations, wage growth and corporate pricing behaviour are consistent with achieving the 2% inflation target. The Bank remains resolute in its commitment to restoring price stability for Canadians.”


Stay tuned

Please circle September 6th, 2023 on your calendar as the date of the Bank’s next scheduled policy rate announcement. We will follow that decision closely with an executive summary the same day.





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