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Bank of Canada Cuts Interest Rate To Lowest Rate In History At January Meeting

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Hello Google Searchers! A post about the March 3, 2009 announcement can be found here!

This morning, the Bank of Canada lowered its key overnight lending rate (the rate at which it lends funds to Canada’s commercial banks) to 1%, slashing it a further 0.5% and taking to 3.5% the total amount shaved off the key overnight rate since the current trend of trimming it started last year.

The Bank believes that the Canadian economy will contract 1.2% this year and we will experience two quarters of deflation and expects the economy will start to turn around in 2010, with a healthy growth of 3.8% as changes to policy take hold. The Bank also noted that the lower Canadian dollar will make Canadian commodities cheaper to other countries.

Because the Bank doesn’t foresee core inflation returning to its target 2% until 2011, you can expect interest rates to remain low for all of this year and next.

Canada’s big banks have already indicated that they would be matching the full 0.5% rate cut, trimming their prime rates to 3%. I believe this is a good sign that the availability of credit has loosened up somewhat. In recent months, when the Bank of Canada has made a cut to interest rates, the big banks have been hesitant to match the cut in their prime consumer lending rates, opting to keep the savings to themselves to offset higher credit costs.

As a result, anybody on a variable rate mortgage is now saving more money, and anyone shopping for a new mortgage just increased their buying power. With inventory on the MLS starting to ramp up, this combination is great if you’ve been thinking about buying.

The full Bank of Canada news release can be found here.

For more information and sound advice on real estate in Victoria and Sooke, please contact me.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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