June 5, 2024

Bank of Canada Reduces Interest Rate to 4.75% After Six Rate Holds

Bank of Canada Reduces Interest Rate to 4.75% After Six Rate Holds

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The Bank of Canada (BoC) has made a significant move by reducing its key interest rate to 4.75%, marking the first rate cut in over four years. This decision comes after six consecutive rate holds and is expected to impact various sectors, including real estate and mortgages. Let’s break down what this means for Canadians.

Key Highlights

  • Interest Rate Cut: The BoC lowered the target for the overnight rate to 4.75% from 5%.
  • First Rate Cut in Four Years: This is the first reduction since the BoC began a series of rate hikes in 2022.
  • Economic Context: The decision is driven by easing inflation and a need to balance economic growth.

Recent Rate Changes

DateTarget (%)Change (%)
June 5, 20244.75-0.25
April 10, 20245.00
March 6, 20245.00
January 24, 20245.00
December 6, 20235.00
October 25, 20235.00
September 6, 20235.00
July 12, 20235.00+0.25
June 7, 20234.75+0.25
April 12, 20234.50
March 8, 20234.50
January 25, 20234.50+0.25

Impact on Real Estate and Mortgages

The interest rate cut is expected to have several implications for the real estate and mortgage markets in Canada:

Variable-Rate Mortgages and HELOCs

  • Rate Relief: Homeowners with variable-rate mortgages or Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) will see some relief as their interest rates adjust downward.
  • Monthly Payments: Lower interest rates mean lower monthly payments for these homeowners.

Fixed-Rate Mortgages

  • Unchanged Rates: Fixed mortgage rates are likely to remain unchanged as rate cuts are already factored into the current bond market.
  • Long-Term Planning: Those considering fixed-rate mortgages can plan with more stability, knowing that rates are unlikely to rise in the near future.

Real Estate Market

  • Market Activity: A rate cut could potentially reignite the real estate market, which has been cooling off.
  • Affordability: Lower borrowing costs may improve affordability for first-time homebuyers.

Economic Context

Global Economy

  • Growth: The global economy grew by about 3% in the first quarter of 2024, broadly in line with projections.
  • Regional Variations: The U.S. economy expanded more slowly than expected, while the euro area and China showed stronger performance.

Canadian Economy

  • GDP Growth: Canada’s GDP grew by 1.7% in the first quarter of 2024, slower than forecasted.
  • Labour Market: Employment growth is slower than the working-age population, but businesses continue to hire.


  • CPI Inflation: Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation eased to 2.7% in April, down from 2.9% in March.
  • Core Inflation: Measures of core inflation also slowed, indicating downward momentum.
  • Inflation Outlook: The BoC remains committed to restoring price stability and is closely monitoring inflation expectations, wage growth, and corporate pricing behavior.

Additional Insights

Historical Context

The BoC’s latest rate cut is a move not seen since the beginning of the pandemic. The policy rate now sits at 4.75%, down from the 5% it has been sitting at since July of last year. The bank began raising its key interest rate in March of 2022, following larger-than-expected inflation numbers that followed a period of pandemic stimulus and disrupted global supply chains.

Global Peers

The Canadian central bank is the first among its peers, including the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the United States Federal Reserve, to cut rates. This decision reflects the BoC’s confidence that underlying inflation is easing sustainably.

Governor’s Remarks

“We’ve come a long way in our fight against inflation,” said Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem. “And our confidence that inflation will continue to move closer to the 2 per cent target has increased over recent months.” However, Macklem warned that risks to the inflation outlook remain and that further rate cuts will be considered one meeting at a time. “But if we lower our policy interest rate too quickly, we could jeopardize the progress we’ve made,” he added.

Employment Growth

Employment grew by 90,000 in April, driven mainly by part-time employment. While employment has not kept up with the working-age population, it has allowed the number of workers to catch up to job vacancies, and wage pressures have started to ease.

Next Rate Announcement

The next rate announcement is scheduled for July 24.

Impact on Bank Prime Rates

The BoC’s decision to cut the overnight rate also affects the bank prime rates:

  • Prime Rate Reduction: The prime rate has decreased from 7.20% to 6.95%.
  • Impact on Loans and Lines of Credit: This reduction in the prime rate will lower the interest costs on loans and lines of credit that are tied to the prime rate, providing additional financial relief.

What Should Homeowners Do?

Given the BoC’s interest rate announcement, homeowners and potential buyers should consider the following:

  1. Review Your Mortgage: If you have a variable-rate mortgage or HELOC, check how the rate cut affects your monthly payments.
  2. Consider Refinancing: With lower rates, refinancing could be an option to reduce your mortgage costs.
  3. Stay Informed: Keep an eye on future BoC announcements and economic indicators.

Expert Opinions

  • James Laird, Ratehub.ca Co-CEO: “With a rate cut, it will be interesting to see if heat returns to the real estate market across the country. Perhaps a quarter-point cut will not be enough to fuel the fire.”


The Bank of Canada’s decision to reduce the interest rate to 4.75% comes as a response to easing inflation and economic conditions. While this move provides some relief for variable-rate mortgage holders, its impact on the broader real estate market remains to be seen. As always, staying informed and consulting with financial experts can help navigate these changes effectively.

What are your thoughts on the BoC’s rate cut? Leave a comment below and let us know!

At Everything Mortgages, we strive to help first-time homebuyers, small business owners, and hardworking professionals navigate their mortgage journeys. Whether it’s securing a loan or seeking better solutions, our team is here to guide you toward becoming mortgage-free sooner and building wealth faster. Reach out to us today to explore these strategies and more.

Note: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Please consult a financial advisor or mortgage professional before making decisions about your mortgage.

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