As we expected and discussed in last months report, the Bank of Canada raised interest rates another 50bps in October. Markets were pricing in a 75bps rate hike but the Bank of Canada failed to deliver, citing growing concerns around financial stability. It’s the first time in awhile they have flagged financial stability concerns, which suggests we are likely near the end of this rate hiking cycle. Still, the damage is already done. Prime rate now sits at 5.95%, meaning nearly all variable rate mortgages are now north of 5.5% and closing in on 6% when we get our next (and perhaps final??) rate hike in December. Short term fixed rates are now north of 6% in many cases, particularly for renewals where borrowers have less flexibility in changing lenders. Just for curiosity sake, I called one of the big banks the other day to inquire about converting a variable rate mortgage to a two year fixed rate mortgage and I was quoted 6.14%. This was the best rate they could offer. Suffice to say, mortgage rates of 6% are hard to stomach and the market is not digesting it well at all.
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