Will the Bank of Canada raise rates again?

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“I think we’re into a pattern of them assessing if everything is going in the right direction, and [whether] inflation is going to ease in the coming months and into next year,” Laird said. “If it does, they won’t raise rates further, but if they get some surprise piece of data – consumer spending, economic growth, an uptick in inflation – they quite clearly say they’re going to get back to the 2% target, whatever that takes.

“I think it’s prudent for Canadians to still, if possible, have some slack in the budget and definitely don’t think it’s for sure over. It might be – but it’s not for sure, so we still need to be prepared if they do surprise us and

Could the housing market heat up in the closing months of the year?

The Bank’s first pause on rate hikes earlier this year laid part of the groundwork for an unexpectedly strong housing market in the spring and early summer, helping convince central bank policymakers that additional increases were required in June and July to cool the economy further.

The coming months will reveal whether a repeat of that “surprisingly robust” real estate market could be in the cards, Laird said, although there’s also the prospect of potential homebuyers remaining on the sidelines because interest rates remain prohibitively high for many.

The Bank’s September decision kept the policy rate rooted at 5.0%, although that level remains its highest for more than 22 years and sits a full 475 basis points above the rock-bottom low rates of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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