BOC Interest Rate Staying at 1.5% for September 2018 – What Real Estate Professionals Need to Know
The BOC increased interest rates from 1.25% to 1.5% in July of 2018 — the fourth increase in a year. On September 5, 2018, the BOC announced that interest rates would stay at 1.5% for now.
High cost of consumer price index inflation due to gasoline prices, the U.S. economy, and uncertain trade policies all influenced the BOC’s decision — as did the Canadian real estate market.
“Meanwhile, activity in the housing market is beginning to stabilize as households adjust to higher interest rates and changes in housing policies,” the BOC said in the September 5 announcement.
“Continuing gains in employment and labour income are helping to support consumption. As past interest rate increases work their way through the economy, credit growth has moderated and the household debt-to-income ratio is beginning to edge down.”
The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index has seen some stabilization over the summer months, although that stabilization has largely been seasonal.
The new mortgage stress test for uninsured mortgages, introduced on January 1, 2018, appears to have affected the market. Mortgage Professionals Canada “Report on the Housing and Mortgage Market in Canada” for July 2018 stated that an estimated 100,000 Canadians have been prevented from buying a home as result of stress testing.
Statistics Canada reported that the Canadian household debt-to-income ratio decreased to $1.68 for every $1 earned as of June 2018, although that figure is still higher than it was a year earlier.
The BOC said in the September 5 announcement that interest rates will continue to increase gradually. Many economists are predicting at least one more hike in 2018 — likely in October.
The next interest rate announcement is scheduled for October 24, 2018.
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