Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bank of Canada keeps overnight rate target at 3 per cent

OTTAWA – The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 3 per cent. The operating band for the overnight rate is unchanged, and the Bank Rate remains at 3 1/4 per cent.

Since the April Monetary Policy Report (MPR), economic developments have been broadly in line with expectations. However, the balance of risks to the Bank's April projection for inflation in Canada has shifted slightly to the upside. Although the composition of U.S. growth has not been favourable for demand for Canadian goods and services, overall, global growth has been stronger and commodity prices have been sharply higher than expected. At the same time, many of the downside risks to inflation identified in the April MPR have eased, while the evolution of credit conditions has been in line with expectations. The risk remains that potential growth will be weaker than assumed.

With the decline in first-quarter GDP, the Canadian economy is judged to have moved into excess supply, which is expected to increase this year. Consistent with the April MPR, the Bank continues to project that economic growth will pick up this year and accelerate in 2009, owing in part to a firming of U.S. demand and accommodative monetary policy in Canada.

If current levels of energy prices persist, total CPI inflation will rise above 3 per cent later this year. However, with the Canadian economy operating in excess supply, core inflation is expected to remain below 2 per cent through 2009. Both total and core inflation should converge on 2 per cent in 2010 as the economy returns to balance.

Against this backdrop, the Bank now judges that the current stance of monetary policy is appropriately accommodative to bring aggregate demand and supply into balance and to achieve the 2 per cent inflation target. There continue to be important downside and upside risks to inflation in Canada, which the Bank will monitor closely.

Information note:
The Bank of Canada's next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is 15 July 2008. The Bank will publish an updated projection for the economy and inflation, and its assessment of the risks, in the Monetary Policy Report Update on 17 July 2008.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Land Transfer Tax Refund to First Time Buyers of Resale Homes

Refund on Resale Homes, it's Now the Law.

In the 2007 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, the government proposed to expand the Land Transfer Tax Refund Program to include first-time homebuyers of resale homes for agreements of purchase and sale entered into after December 13, 2007.

This measure was included in Bill 44, Budget Measures and Interim Appropriation Act, 2008, and, having received Royal Assent on May 14, 2008, is now law. As a result of this change, first-time homebuyers of resale homes may now be able to receive a refund from the provincial government of up to $2,000 of the land transfer tax paid.

Details from the original announcement December 2007

First-time buyers of resale homes to benefit from new tax measure

The McGuinty government is giving all first-time homebuyers a break on land transfer tax by proposing to expand the Land Transfer Tax Refund Program to include purchases of resale homes, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced today.

“Expanding this Land Transfer Tax refund is an important part of our government’s commitment to helping Ontarians buying their first home,” Duncan said.

Effective December 14th , first-time buyers of resale homes, as well as newly constructed homes, would be eligible for a refund from the provincial government of up to $2,000 of the Land Transfer Tax paid.

The expanded Land Transfer Tax Refund Program for First-time Homebuyers is part of a package of new tax initiatives announced in the 2007 Fall Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review that would provide $1.4 billion in provincial tax relief for business and people over three years. The government is making strategic investments in people, communities and infrastructure to strengthen Ontario’s economic advantage and help manufacturers and other sectors challenged by current economic conditions.

For copies of the Refund Forms and or a Land Transfer Tax Calculator visit: www.OntarioMortgageTeam.com