|Bank of Canada leaves key rate unchanged
|March 1st, 2011
|The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the
overnight rate at 1 percent which has been in effect since September 2010.
Bank Prime Rate remains unchanged at 3 percent. This is the rate that affects
Variable Rate mortgages, Lines of Credit and other consumer loans.
The central bank target overnight lending rate has been at one per cent since
September. The bank lowered its overnight target rate to an all-time low of 0.25 per
cent in April 2009 in order to stimulate borrowing and economic activity in the wake of
a deep credit crisis that began six months earlier.
The bank started edging up the rate in three quarter point increments that began last
June but paused in the monetary tightening after Canada economy slowed last
The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is 12 April 2011.
|The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCRE
|The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its Housing
Forecast for the first quarter of 2011 today.
BC Multiple Listing Service (MLS) residential sales are forecast to increase 8 per
cent from 74,640 units in 2010 to 80,900 units this year, and increase another 4 per
cent to 83,950 units in 2012.
"British Columbia housing markets are returning to normalcy after two years of
volatility, said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. Employment and population
growth will fuel consumer demand over the next two years. However, higher mortgage
interest rates and tighter credit conditions for low equity home buyers will limit home
sales to below the ten-year average of 87,600 units.
Total active residential listings in the province declined 14 per cent since last spring.
However, the inventory of homes for sale is expected to edge higher as the number
of new listings to the market advances during the first two quarters of 2011, added
Muir. Regional market differences continue in the province, with Vancouver trending
into a seller market, while the Okanagan, Kootenay and Kamloops markets trend
from a buyer market toward balanced conditions.
The average MLS residential price is forecast to increase 2 per cent to $517,000 this
year and remain relatively unchanged in 2012, albeit declining by 0.4 per cent to