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Scotiabank forecast: Canadian interest rates will remain low

The Bank of Nova Scotia has released a new forecast which tells Canadians to expect low interest rates until 2014.

In the forecast, Scotiabank economists Dov Zigler and Derek Holt estimate the economy will likely average 1.9 per cent growth this year, and 1.8 in 2013.

"At best, we're going to see a very slow-growth environment which downsides risks," said Holt.  He went on to note that most developed countries will be in a similar position.  He expects that strong growth will come from emerging economies like India, Indonesia, and China.

The report noted these factors should keep the Bank of Canada on hold at the current policy interest rate setting into 2014.

This goes against indications from Mark Carney who has signalled there may be a rate hike in the future.  An article from The Canadian Press explains Holt's argument, saying "that given the many global central bankers are easing lending conditions, any counter action from Canada will light a spark under the dollar, further weakening exports."

Home Inspections: Facts you need to know!

Myth or Fact: A home inspection is a warranty that everything in the home you are about to purchase is in order. MYTH! It is really important that you understand that a home inspection is one person's opinion about the state of the home at a given point in time.  That's all it is.  The home inspections industry is unregulated so while most of the inspections are pretty good, you should do some homework.  For example, are they insured? What is thier background? You have to be fair to your inspector.  He/she cannot see behind walls and is not responsible for Latent Defects.  The Seller is the only one who can advise you about that.  The inspector is not allowed to do any invasive exploration.  He can't go around moving furniture or opening walls.  Most of the time the inspector is going on instinct and experience and will often suggest further investigation.  This would require express permission from the Seller.  Read the limitations on the inspection report.  The warranty is usually limited to the price of the inspection.  Make sure you feel comfortable with your inspector and be realistic; he is not superman.  But he can help reduce your risk when buying real estate.


CREA: Home Sales down 1.3 per cent in June

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, national resale housing activity was down in June 2012.

Home sales were down 1.3 per cent in June, following a 3.4 per cent decline in May.  The report states that "actual (not seasonal adjusted) activity stood 4.4 per cent below levels in June 2011, marking the first year-over-year decline since April 2011."

Wayne Moen, CREA President, said that "Canada's housing market lost a litle altitude in June, but it's still flying pretty high.  Sales activity and average prices bucked the national easing trend in a number of markets, which underscores that all real estate is local."

However, according to the press release, "a total of 257,193 homes traded hands over the Canadian MLS® Systems in the first half of 2012.  This is up 4.7 per cent from levels reported over the same period in 2011, and marks the strongest sales for the first half of any year since 2007."

George Klump, CREA's Chief Economist notes that "Home buyers didn't rush their purchases before the most recently announced changes to mortgage regulations came into effect.  That's a big change compared to what we saw as a response to previously announced changes.  It will take some time before the compound effect of previous and recent changes to regulations on Canada's housing market becomes apparent."