BoC welcomes mortgage rules, predicts slowdown in sales

By Steve Randall
The governor of the Bank of Canada spoke of the risk to the economy from the high level of household debts and the rising cost of homes when he announced a hold-steady on interest rates Wednesday.

Stephen Poloz said that the bank came close to making a further cut in interest rates but decided that additional stimulus was not required right now with other macroeconomic measures in play.

He referenced the federal government’s newly introduced rules on mortgages which he called a “welcome development” that should “mitigate financial vulnerabilities over time.”

The governor said that housing sales are expected to be reduced in the near term due to the new rules and that it may spur construction of smaller homes.

Although he did not rule out a further cut in interest rates down the line, especially as the bank’s outlook for the economy has been revised down for the coming two years; but he said that the balance of risk is still within the scope of current monetary policy.

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