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22 Apr

Residential Market Commentary – Rate hike disappears over the horizon


Posted by: Kimberly Walker

The likelihood of a Bank of Canada interest rate increase appears to be getting pushed further and further beyond the horizon.

The Bank is expected to remain on the sidelines again this week when it makes its scheduled rate announcement on Wednesday.

A recent survey by Reuters suggests economists have had a significant change of heart about the Bank’s plans. Just last month forecasters were calling for quarter-point increase in the third quarter with another hike next year. Now the betting is for no change until early 2020. There is virtually no expectation there will any rate cut before the end of next year.

The findings put the Bank of Canada in line with the U.S. Federal Reserve and other major central banks. World economies have hit a soft spot largely due to trade uncertainties between China and the United States. Canada is also being affected by depressed oil prices and a slowdown in the housing market.

Market watchers will be paying close attention to the Monetary Policy Report that comes with this week’s BoC rate setting. Realtors and mortgage lenders have been pressuring for some loosening of the B20 stress test to allow some life back into the market. The odds are against the Bank advocating for any easing. Canadian households are still carrying record high debt loads and there are growing expectations of a recession within the next two years.