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'Things just keep getting more expensive': B.C. residents brace for another interest rate hike

With the Bank of Canada increasing its overnight lending rate 25 basis points, some Vancouver residents voiced their concerns regarding housing affordability.

"A down payment's one obstacle, but higher interest rates are just going to be another obstacle," Marc Pitcher, a Vancouver resident currently hunting for a home.

"I mean we're already the most expensive place to live," Rony Habooshesh, a fellow Vancouver resident. "Who can live in Vancouver anymore?"

The Bank of Canada made the move citing 'stubbornly high' inflation levels. The increase is the first hike since January as rates have hit the highest point since 2001.

"I do think it's important for us to all bear in mind the destination," said federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.

"The destination is stable, low inflation and steady, strong growth."

The feds are also citing a national housing market that's recently picked up steam. B.C., Canada's priciest housing market, also bounced back leading the way in the national trend.

"Household debt in B.C. is a lot higher than other provinces, a lot of that is because home prices are higher and people have to take on higher mortgages," said Brendon Ogmundson, chief economist with the BC Real Estate Association.

"So we are somewhat more interest rate sensitive in B.C. compared to other provinces, so when the rates go up we should expect that our economy is going to feel it a bit more."

Ogmundson cautions that the impacts of the rate increases will be more noticeable in the next few years when homeowners on fixed-term mortgages will be forced to renew with the higher rate.

Meanwhile, the increase is good news for some.

"I'm thrilled, absolutely," said retiree Eric Wickham, who worked as a commercial fisherman. "I'm 80 years old and retired and have to live off my interest income and it's been terrible over the past few years, it's been starvation."

The next update from the Bank of Canada on if we could see another rate hike is slated for July 12. Top Stories

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