What the BoC’s softer take on interest rates means for homebuyers: Canadian real estate news for January 27

What the BoC’s softer take on interest rates means for homebuyers: Canadian real estate news for January 27
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Home of the Week is home of the late designer Nike Onile. Ms. Onile redesigned the space in 2020.Angie Choi/Angie Choi

Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real estate stories this week, with the lowest mortgage rates available in Canada today and one home worth a look.

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The Bank of Canada keeps interest rate at 5%. Here’s what the decision means for the housing market

The Bank of Canada’s softer message on interest rates could give prospective buyers more confidence to jump back into the real estate market, writes Rachelle Younglai. With the busy spring season approaching, the real estate industry said the central bank’s change to a holding position on interest rates were an attempt to hold back the momentum that is building in the market after last year’s slowdown – the BoC has said a jump in home prices would pose the risk of higher inflation.

Opinion: Thinking of buying your first home in 2024? Stop trying to time mortgage rates

For first-time home buyers struggling with uncertain questions of potential future rate cuts – like when they’ll happen, how U.S. policy will affect our rates or what quantitative tightening might mean – it’s crucial to acknowledge that a crystal ball for mortgage rates doesn’t exist, writes James Laird. The truth is, no one knows the future of interest rates, and the most important thing is to ensure you have a stable personal life and sound household finances before jumping into the housing market. Otherwise you might end up having to sell sooner than you had planned – perhaps in unfavourable market conditions.

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The Strathcona neighbourhood in Edmonton, Alta. receives some fresh snow on Jan. 21. The area has many high-density apartments and condos.Megan Albu/The Globe and Mail

Edmonton inches forward with new zoning bylaw

A new land-use bylaw came into effect on Jan. 1, marking a shift of the as-of-right zoning of single lots in residential areas to allow for multi-family dwellings of up to three storeys, as well as townhouses and row houses across Edmonton, writes Ximena Gonzalez. Residents hope the change will allow more areas to become more accessible and walkable. But the zoning bylaw alone won’t guarantee multi-family buildings will be built in these new neighbourhoods, experts say. City planners have seen an increase in developer interest, but say it’s too early to tell if there’s any upward trend.

Rob Carrick: If you’re a renter, your inflation rate is double

If you’re a renter, the 3.4 per cent year-over-year inflation rate from December sounds too good to be true. If you try out Statistics Canada’s Personal Inflation Calculator, you’ll see that it is, writes personal finance columnist Rob Carrick. Add the average one-bedroom rent of $1,922 plus $700 combined for groceries and restaurant meals and $60 for utilities and you get an inflation rate of 6.8 per cent. Economists predict more moderate rent increases later in the year as the economy slows, so the renter’s inflation rate should fall. For now, your inflation rate as a renter is double the overall rate.

Home of the Week: The home of the late designer Nike Onile a place of light, joy and comfort

  • The remodel of Ms. Onile’s 12-year-old, 800-square-foot Etobicoke condo was completed in 2021.Angie Choi/Angie Choi

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710 Humberwood Blvd., Unit 2406A, Toronto

The two-bedroom condo was previously owned by rising interior design star Nike Onile, who died in July 2023. In 2021, Onile completed a full remodel of the condo, a corner unit with southwest exposure so the light walls and pale wood floors suck in and reflect light onto the room. The kitchen is all done in dark black and slate slabs with dark appliances, and then flips to all white and light on the peninsula as it flows into the bright living space. Fellow designers say the primary bathroom was remade with Onile’s signature style. Slabs of grey porcelain surround a Moroccan-inspired bathtub, with subtle touches that add warmth and light to the room.

What do you think is the asking price for the property?

a. $788,000

b. $659,000

c. $1,340,000

d. $875,000

b. The asking price is $659,000.