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Mortgage Minute 30: Hints of positive things to come

Deciphering the Bank of Canada’s Latest Move: A Glimpse into Future Interest Rate Trends

In its most recent announcement, the Bank of Canada decided to keep the party going with its policy rate firmly planted at 5%, leaving PRIME at a steady 7.2%. While many of us had our predictions bingo cards ready, this move didn’t come as a surprise. However, the real excitement lies in the breadcrumbs left by the Bank, hinting at when we might see a shift in this trend.

The Economic Landscape: A Standstill with a Promise

The Bank painted a picture of an economy that’s hit the pause button since mid-2023, with expectations to stay in this chill mode for a bit longer. High interest rates and soaring prices have put a damper on spending habits, aligning perfectly with the Bank’s script. But here’s the kicker: the Bank is eyeing core inflation like a hawk, waiting for it to take a back seat before making any moves on interest rates.

Mortgage Rates: Reading Between the Lines

For those of us navigating the world of mortgages, the Bank’s steadfast rate might seem like a non-event. But, the plot thickens with the expectation of a potential rate cut, stirring the pot in the bond market and nudging fixed mortgage rates from their lofty perches since last October.

Even with a slight uptick in inflation this past December, the forecast is looking up, with anticipation of hitting that sweet spot of 2% inflation by mid-2025. This could mean a more stable pricing landscape for all of us.

The Economic Plot Twists: Retail Sales and GDP

Diving deeper, retail sales growth isn’t keeping up with the Joneses, aka population growth, translating to a real dip in spending. And with GDP growth per capita in the blues, it’s clear our economic output isn’t keeping pace with our population boom. But don’t point fingers at immigration; it’s not the villain of this story.

Peering through the economic lens of Dejardins Bank, we find that the shadow of above-target inflation is cast mainly by shelter costs, pumped up by those same high interest rates. Strip away the housing hustle, and we’re almost hitting the Bank’s target, showing that the root of mortgage interest cost inflation lies within the Bank’s own backyard.

The Future Unfolds: Interest Rates on the Horizon

A recent poll by Reuters had economists playing the prediction game, with a majority betting on a rate decrease by June or shortly after. Capital Economics throws in their two cents, forecasting a 2% decrease by the summer of 2025. What does this mean for us? A potential revival in real estate, with Calgary and Edmonton leading the charge in a vibrant market comeback.

Charting Your Path: Navigating the Mortgage Maze

If you’re pondering over purchasing, remortgaging, or up for a renewal, the shifting sands of interest rates call for a savvy navigator. With the Bank of Canada’s signals in mind, understanding this economic chapter is key to making informed decisions in your homeownership journey.

As we stand on the cusp of a shift from high-interest rates, the horizon is bright for homebuyers and investors alike. With a bit of guidance and strategic planning, the dream of homeownership is within reach, promising a smoother sail through these complex economic waters.



January 24, 2024


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