OTTAWA – February 8, 2011 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has revised its 2011 forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations, and extended it to 2012.
Sales in the second half of 2010 rebounded faster than CREA had previously expected. “The hand-off going into 2011, together with the highs and lows for sales activity posted in 2010, provided guidance for CREA’s revised forecast,” said Gregory Klump, CREA Chief Economist.
“Home buyers recognize that low mortgage interest rates represent a once in a lifetime opportunity. At the same time, they expect that rates will rise, so they’re doing their homework in order to understand what it could mean in terms of higher mortgage payments down the road before they make an offer,” said Georges Pahud, CREA President. “The housing market and buyer psychology is different now than it was at the beginning of last year, so buyers and sellers would do well to consult their REALTOR® to understand local market trends.”
The upward revision to CREA’s forecast for 2011 reflects recent improvements in the consensus economic outlook and a further expected improvement in consumer confidence. National sales activity is now expected to reach 439,900 units in 2011, representing an annual decline of 1.6 per cent. In 2012, CREA forecasts that national sales activity will rebound by three per cent to 453,300 units, which is roughly on par with the ten year average.
“Recent additional changes to mortgage regulations will further ensure that buyers don’t buy more home than they can afford when interest rates inevitably rise,” said Klump. “The announcement of the new changes to mortgage regulations will likely bring forward some sales into the first quarter that would have otherwise occurred later in the year, particularly in some of Canada’s more expensive housing markets. This is expected to produce a milder version of the volatility in sales activity that we saw last year which resulted from additional transitory factors.”