Bank of Canada December Update
As you know, variable rate mortgages, lines of credit and/or student loans are all based on the prime rate and here is an update from me on the recent Bank of Canada announcement on changes to their Overnight Lending Rate which in most cases impacts your Prime rate.At 10:00 am EST, Wednesday December 4th, 2013 the Bank of Canadaagain did what we expected them to do... they continued to maintain their overnight rate.What this means to you is that once again the prime rate on your mortgage, line of creditor student loan willnotchange and remains at 3.00%. This is fabulous news but don't forget to make themostof the low payments you still have, as the ratewill increase in the future. Theholiday season is upon us which often means ourpersonal spendingon gifts and celebrations will potentiallyblow our budgetsas we spend more than we maybe should... let me help you get back on track with a review of your financial situationwhichmight be a savings plan,purchasing anincome property or debtconsolidation topay off high interest loans or credit cards. If you would like to chat about some budgeting and saving strategies - let me know as I would be happy to assist.Here is an excerpt from the announcement from the Bank of Canada and what they had to say about their decision:"The global economy is expanding at a modest rate, as the Bank expected.Although growth in several emerging markets has continued to ease, growth in the US during the 3rd quarter of 2013 was stronger than forcasted.Even if some of this pickup was due to temporary factors, the data is consistent with the Bank's view of gathering momentum in the US economy. In Canada,the housing sector has been stronger than expected but is consistent with updated demographic data and a pulling forward of home purchases in light of favourable financing conditions. The Bank continues to expect a soft landing in the housing market. Non-commodity exports continue to disappoint and the price of oil produced in Canada has eased further.Business investment spending is up from previous low levels, but is still recovering more slowly than anticipated. On balance, the Bank sees no reason to adjust its expectation of a gradual return to full production capacity around the end of 2015"Based on this news and continued slower level of economic activity in Canada, the Bank does not expect to increase their rate in the foreseeable future with any change most likely to occur in late 2014 or even not until 2015! Remember that any increase to the prime rate since 1992 has only been by 0.25% at anyONE time, so you won't see a large significant increase all at once.Fixed rates did go up but then have come back down since. Right now they are sitting at around 3.39% to 3.59% for a five year fixed term.Based on this recent announcement, and the anticipation that the prime rate will still remain low for a while now, unless you feel otherwise, I'd recommend that you remain with your current variable rate product as the interest is lower than a fixed term rate right now. However if having a fixed payment is important to you, call me so I can calculate what your new payment would look like and also if it is suitable for you. The next announcement on any change to the prime rate is January 22, 2014.
BOC maintains overnight rate target at 1/2 per cent; projects moderate growth in Q2
The Bank of Canada is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/4 per cent.
Inflation is broadly in line with the Banks projection in its April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Food prices continue to decline, mainly because of intense retail competition, pushing inflation temporarily lower. The Banks three measures of core inflation remain below two per cent and wage growth is still subdued, consistent with ongoing excess capacity in the economy. The global economy continues to gain traction and recent developments reinforce the Banks view that growth will gradually strengthen and broaden over the projection horizon. As anticipated, growth in the United States during the first quarter was weak, reflecting mostly temporary factors. Recent data point to a rebound in the second quarter. The uncertainties outlined in the April MPR continue to cloud the global and Canadian outlooks.
The Canadian economys adjustment to lower oil prices is largely complete and recent economic data have been encouraging, including indicators of business investment. Consumer spending and the housing sector continue to be robust on the back of an improving labour market, and these are becoming more broadly based across regions. Macroprudential and other policy measures, while contributing to more sustainable debt profiles, have yet to have a substantial cooling effect on housing markets. Meanwhile, export growth remains subdued, as anticipated in the April MPR, in the face of ongoing competitiveness challenges. The Banks monitoring of the economic data suggests that very strong growth in the first quarter will be followed by some moderation in the second quarter.
All things considered, Governing Council judges that the current degree of monetary stimulus is appropriate at present, and maintains the target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent.
Canadian home sales drop in April
According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined in April 2017.
National home sales fell 1.7% from March to April.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in April was down 7.5% from a year earlier.
The number of newly listed homes jumped 10% from March to April.
The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) was up 19.8% year-over-year (y-o-y) in April 2017.
The national average sale price rose 10.4% y-o-y in April.
Home sales over Canadian MLS Systems fell by 1.7% in April 2017 from the all-time record set in March. April sales were down from the previous month in close to two-thirds of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and offset by gains in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 7.5% year-over-year, with declines in close to 70% of all local markets. Sales were down most in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, where activity continues to run well below last years record-levels. The GTA also factored in the decline, with faded activity compared to record levels set in April last year.
Sales in Vancouver are down from record levels in the first half of last year but the gap has started to close, CREA President Andrew Peck. Meanwhile, sales are up in Calgary and Edmonton from last years lows and trending higher in Ottawa and Montreal. All real estate is local, and REALTORS remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to.
Homebuyers and sellers both reacted to the recent Ontario government policy announcement aimed at cooling housing markets in and around Toronto, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. The number of new listings in April spiked to record levels in the GTA, Oakville-Milton, Hamilton-Burlington and Kitchener-Waterloo, where there had been a severe supply shortage. And with only ten days to go between the announcement and the end of the month, sales in each of these markets were down from the previous month. It suggests these housing markets have started to cool. Policy makers will no doubt continue to keep a close eye on the combined effect of federal and provincial measures aimed at cooling housing markets of particular concern, while avoiding further regulatory changes that risk producing collateral damage in communities where the housing market is well balanced or already favours buyers.