Housing will continue to moderate in 2009

National housing starts reached 211,056 units in 2008, a decrease from 228,343 in 2007, according to CMHC's first quarter Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition report. Starts are expected to be about 160,250 for 2009 and about 163,350 for 2010. "The new home market is moderating due to a number of key factors," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist for CMHC. "The economic downturn will result in a decrease in demand for home ownership leading to a decline in housing starts and existing home sales in 2009. Housing market activity will begin to strengthen as the Canadian economy rebounds in 2010 and the level of housing starts over the forecast period will be more in line with demographic fundamentals."

Existing home sales, as measured by the MLS®, are expected to decline 14.6% during 2009 to 370,500 units. In 2010 the level of MLS® sales is expected to increase by 9.3% to 405,000 units. The average MLS® price is also expected to decrease over the course of 2009. Average prices nationally are forecast to be $287,900 for 2009, a decline of 5.2%, while 2010 will see little change from 2009 average prices.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and cities across the country.

Magdalena Luczak

Magdalena Luczak

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