To constitute fraud, the representation must be of a past or existing fact. What has been said in treating of misrepresentation is equally applicable here. A mere expression of opinion, belief, or expectation, however unfounded, will not invalidate a contract, nor give cause for an action for deceit.12

If, for instance, the seller of property says it is worth so much, this is a mere expression of opinion upon which the buyer may or may not act, just as he chooses.18 So, also, where a person makes a false representation as to the harvest which land sown in certain crops will produce,14 or as to the cubic contents of a piece of grading which he employs another to do,15 or as to what it will cost to build a house,16 these are all mere expressions of opinion, and, as a rule, do not amount to fraud.17 A statement as to the dimensions of land is a statement of fact;18 but where the boundaries are correctly pointed out, a representation as to the area embraced therein is an expression of opinion.19

12 GORDON v. PARMELEE, 2 Allen (Mass.) 212, Throckmorton, Cas. Contracts, 1S9; Gordon v. Butler, 105 U. S. 553, 26 L. Ed. 11G6; Mooney v. Miller, 102 Mass. 217; Sawyer v. Prickett, 19 Wall. 146, 22 L. Ed. 105; Allen v. Hart, 72 I11. 104; Buschman v. Codd, 52 Md. 207; Ellis v. Andrews, 56 N. Y. 83, 15 Am. Rep. 379; Chrysler v. Canaday, 90 N. Y. 272, 43 Am. Rep. 166; Beard v. Bliley, 3 Colo. App. 479, 34 Pac. 271; Montreal Lumber Co. v. Mihills, 80 Wis. 540, 50 N. W. 507; Southern Development Co. v. Silva, 125 U. S. 247, 8 Sup. Ct. 881, 31 L. Ed. 678; Sheldon v. Davidson, 85 Wis. 138, 55 N. W. 161; Nash v. Trust Co., 159 Mass. 437, 34 N. E. 625; Reeves v. Corning (C. C.) 51 Fed. 774. But see Grim v. Byrd, 32 Grat (Va.) 293, 301, where it is said, per Staples, J.: "But even a matter of opinion may amount to an affirmation, and be the inducement to a contract, especially where the parties are not dealing upon equal terms, and one of them has, or is presumed to have, means of information not equally open to the other." See "Contracts," Deo. Dig. (Key-No.) § 93; Cent. Dig. §§ 415-1,19.

13 Lindsay Pet. Co. v. Hurd, L R. 5 P. C. 243; Simar v. Canaday, 53 N. Y. 298, 13 Am. Rep. 523; Shanks v. Whitney, 66 Vt. 405, 29 Atl. 367; Johnson v. Seymour, 79 Mich. 156, 44 N. W. 344; Geddes' Appeal, 80 Pa. 442; Doran v. Eaton, 40 Minn. 35, 41 N. W. 244; Belz v. Keller (Ky.) 1 S. W. 420; Noetling v. Wright, 72 I11. 390; Lockwood v. Fitts, 90 Ala. 150, 7 South. 467; Gordon v. Butler, 105 U. S. 553, 26 L. Ed. 1166; Cagney v. Cuson, 77 Ind. 494; Lynch v. Murphy, 171 Mass. 307, 50 N. E. 623. See "Sales," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 43; Cent. Dig. §§ 86-100.

14 Holton v. Noble, 83 Cal. 7, 23 Pac. 58. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 94; Cent. Dig. §§ 420-430.

15 East v. Worthington, 88 Ala. 537, 7 South. 189. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 91; Cent. Dig. §§ 420-430.

16 Sweney v. Davidson, 68 Iowa, 386, 27 N. W. 278. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 94; Cent. Dig. §§ 1,20-1,30.

17 Representations as to the speed of a horse not made as of personal knowledge. State v. Cass, 52 N. J. Law, 77, 18 Atl. 972. Representation that a stallion will not produce sorrel colts. Scroggin v. Wood, 87 Iowa, 497, 54 N. W. 437. Representations as to solvency and credit See Homer v. Perkins, 124 Mass. 431, 26 Am. Rep. 677; Yeager Milling Co. v. Lawler, 39 La. Ann. 572, 2 South. 398; Childs v. Merrill, 63 Vt. 463, 22 Atl. 626, 14 L. R. A. 264.