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How will the Bank of Canada's interest rate decision impact real estate?



Real estate pundits note a cautious stance among potential homebuyers in the aftermath of the Bank of Canada's recent decision to maintain interest rates. Despite this, certain sectors still experience robust demand.


Victor Tran, a real estate expert at Ratesdotca, observes a static state in the housing market, marked by limited supply and intense competition for desirable properties. While some buyers brace for potential rate drops by accepting higher current interest rates, others grow weary of waiting for reductions that may not materialize as swiftly as anticipated.


The Bank of Canada's choice to hold the policy rate at five percent, aligning with economists' expectations, underscores the institution's wait-and-see approach. Nevertheless, speculation looms about an impending shift towards lower rates.


Leah Zlatkin from LowestRates.ca suggests that this rate hold might embolden Canadian buyers to act, believing that interest rates will either remain stable or decrease later. She points out the scarcity of housing inventory in the Greater Toronto Area, coupled with rising sales prices, indicative of heightened competition among buyers.


John Lusink of Right at Home Realty highlights continued demand in select Toronto neighborhoods, particularly in the detached homes sector within the 905 area, fueled partly by affordability concerns.


Despite pockets of buoyancy in the real estate landscape, a significant portion of potential buyers remains on the sidelines. A Royal LePage survey found that elevated interest rates have caused over half of market participants to delay purchasing plans. However, more than half of these individuals intend to resume their search once interest rates decline.


James Laird, co-CEO of Ratehub.ca, anticipates minimal impact on house prices post-Bank of Canada's decision. He notes that fixed rates remain notably lower than variable rates presently.


Zlatkin advises potential buyers to monitor the gap between fixed and variable rates, considering a shift to variable rates when advantageous. However, Laird cautions variable rate and HELOC holders to exercise patience until the central bank implements rate reductions.


In essence, the Bank of Canada's decision maintains a delicate balance in the real estate market, with buyers weighing current rates against future prospects. While some remain vigilant for favorable rate adjustments, others navigate the market's currents, spurred by limited inventory and persistent demand in specific segments.


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