Earlier this year a Vancouver house with a $5 million assessed value was put on the market for $6 million. Guess how much it ended up selling for? Hint, it’s in the upscale Shaughnessy neighbourhood. 🙂
After 12 days and multiple bids from 10 prospective buyers the 78 year old home was sold for $8 million, lol. Welcome to Vancouver. You’re welcome to buy a house here, as long as you’re willing to pay $2 million over the asking price. 😛
Our hot real estate market is about to get even more extreme because yesterday morning the Bank of Canada announced another 0.25% rate cut. Holy pumpernickel! Now it will be even harder to raise rates in the future without pricking the bubble. 📌
The Effects of the Rate Cut ✂
The overnight lending rate was lowered to 0.5% in an attempt to boost capital expenditure and drive companies to spend more on hiring and manufacturing. However this will also unintentionally persuade already heavily indebted consumers to take on even more debt.
The problem with monetary policy is that it affects the entire country even though places like Vancouver really don’t need any further easing of credit. A better solution would have been to address the faltering economy in some parts of Canada, like Alberta, using targeted fiscal policy instead of a blanket rate cut. But that’s just my personal opinion.
In any case all 5 major banks subsequently cut their Prime lending rates by 0.15% to 2.70%. Debtors rejoice! For anyone who has variable rate interest loans, a 0.15% rate cut essential means for every $1,000 you owe, you’ll now pay $1.50 per year less to service that debt. It may not sound like a lot, but mortgages and line of credits can get pretty large, so the savings can really add up if you owe a lot. For me personally this directly translated into an extra $60 a month in savings! 🙂 Here’s how I did it.
- Step 1: Borrow $500,000
- Step 2: Wait for a rate cut
- Step 3: profit 😀
What will I do with my extra money? Probably use it to pay for the cost of even more debt I plan to rack up now, muahaha! This is the second time this year we’ve seen an interest rate decrease. So I figure based on logic, the more debt I have, the more I benefit from these rate cuts! Au bon pain! 😀
Here are some other ways the recent rate cut will help Canadians financially.
- Lower Canadian dollar – One Canadian dollar is worth $0.77 U.S. now. The lowest since 2009. Cheaper currency drives up tourism activity, manufacturing, and attracts production companies in the film industry.
- Increased spending – People can spend more and enjoy more lavish lifestyles. 55% of Canada’s economy is from household spending. More spending = more economic growth.
- Higher inflation – Demand increases as people are willing to pay more. This means increased rental income for landlords and REITs. Great for any real estate investor.
- Increased foreign investment in property and business – Foreigners can invest in Canadian buildings or set up companies here and hire workers at a lower cost relative to their own country. Maybe we can win back some auto manufacturers from Mexico. More business investment = more Canadian jobs!
- Stable housing market – More than 70% of Canadians own our own property. This is good news for the majority of us. Higher real estate prices = wealthier Canadians on average.
The rate cut doesn’t benefit everyone however. People who import goods from the U.S., keep a lot of money in a savings account, plan to travel overseas, or are currently waiting for a housing correction before buying a home will not be happy about the lower interest rate. To be frank I’m not happy with a prolonged period of cheap money either. Over the long run I believe this will do more harm than good. It’s too bad that policy makers are more concerned with the health of the economy in the next quarter than the next decade.
But what happens when rates increase? Luckily we don’t have to worry about what central banks will do next. We can take advantage of both rate cuts as well as rate hikes. 🙂 This is because some investments like real estate and existing bonds do well when rates go down. But other investments like insurance company stocks and mortgage investment corporations tend to do well when rates rise.
My low risk plan to get rich is to simply buy both types of investments to create a balanced portfolio. All of these asset classes I’ve mentioned pay either dividends or interest. So even though half of them will be on the losing side of the next rate adjustment, it doesn’t matter in the long run because they will all become winners eventually since they’re all constantly paying out 4% to 8% in distributions a year. Investors can get paid to wait. 🙂
Random Useless Fact
Some people’s legs look like sausages 😝
I my case at least I fully appreciate the rate cut as I am running a HELOC for investment purposes (interest charges are deductible against dividends paid). The dividends go automatically to pay down the HELOC so I do not even touch the money (highly recommended). As the dividends I receive fully cover the interest service charges every month this not only serves to lower the priincipal but also the following months service charge and therefor a more rapid decline of the principal. This either lets me invest more as investment margin opens up or there is more rapid descent of the service charges as the principal gets paid down.
Way to use the system to your advantage man, good job! I have a small HELOC myself but might consider increasing its limit in the future.
I’d like to remind all homeowners with mortgages out there that you don’t technically own your house, the bank does.
Until your mortgage is cleared, the bank owns your house and can foreclose on you, seize the asset and you’re left with bupkiss.
I have the same belief for everything — you own your car if you paid it in full; you own your phone if you paid it in full, etc etc.
Not to say that I am knocking mortgages or anyone who has them out there, just….. let’s not get too excited about pretending 70% of Canadians are homeowners.
Great point Sherry. The government has the right to sell your home to raise money to recoup money owed if you fail to pay for property tax and any other levies. The ramifications of delinquent back taxes are worse in some countries than others.
@Sherry: I’d like to remind all homeowners withOUT mortgages out there that you don’t technically own your house, the government does. Try not paying your land tax and you’ll quickly find out just how much “pride of ownership” is truly worth. Onward… “Lower Canadian dollar – One Canadian dollar is worth $0.77 U.S. now. The lowest since 2009. Cheaper currency drives up tourism activity, manufacturing, and attracts production companies in the film industry.” ~It also decimates investment and growth in most other sectors, as well as making all imports more expensive (which you mentioned). It also drives foreign investors away from our bonds. Something is wrong with an economy when the largest economic sector is based solely on zero production, fees, and higher prices. “Increased spending – People can spend more and enjoy more lavish lifestyles. 55% of Canada’s economy is from household spending. More spending = more economic growth.” ~Um…a rate cut does not equal an income raise. Where are people getting more money? Not everyone will be spending new cheap credit; most Canadians have already tapped that keg. “Higher inflation – Demand increases as people are willing to pay more. This means increased rental income for landlords and… Read more »
Good points. Although the low Canadian dollar is good for some people it can also hurt consumers. We import a lot of our food like oranges and bananas from the U.S. A weaker loonie means we’ll have to pay more. :0(
Maybe the rate cut and drop in CAD$ will help tourism?
My parents travel between Canada and Europe (England mostly) and the Pound is expensive so they are suffering a bit.
A lot of Canadian businesses (with the excepting of exporters – and low commodity pricing is hurting them anyway) do business in US and are invoiced in US dollars. It is going to hurt.
I think it will help tourism too. A lower $CAD means other countries can buy more Canadian currency with their own. Before someone in the U.S. would pay $200 US to stay at a hotel in Vancouver. But with the recent rate cut maybe they’ll pay less than $200 US, making it more attractive.
American tourists in Canada spend roughly $6.5 billion.
The stronger US$ could theoretically boost tourism revenue by $2 billion.
The current exchange rate is costing Canadian importers $100 billion per year.
Tourism, et al cannot make up the difference in any meaningful manner.
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times…