Business

Housing market leveling off, CMHC says

Canada's real estate market will stabilize this year and next, with new home construction and resale homes moderating from their previous highs.

Canada's real estate market will stabilize this year and next, with new home construction and resale homes moderating from their previous highs.

The federal home insurance agency says it expects housing starts to come in somewhere between 170,900 to 199,900 units in 2011.

That's around the range of the 189,930 units started in Canada last year, a decline from the highs hit in previous years. In its first quarter outlook, the agency says it expects starts to stabilize at levels consistent with demographic fundamentals this year and next.

"Despite continued uncertainty in the global economy, Canada’s economic fundamentals remain positive, particularly with respect to interest rates, employment and immigration," CMHC's deputy chief economist Mathieu Laberge said.

In 2012, the agency expects housing starts to be in the range of 161,650 to 206,350 units, with a point forecast of 186,750 units.

Price increase forecast

On the resale front, CMHC says it expects between 423,600 and 470,100 homes to be sold in 2011. Sales are expected to move up modestly in the range of 406,100 to 509,000 units in 2012, with a point forecast of 458,500 units.

In terms of price, the agency price says the average price of a Canadian home sold in 2011 is expected to move up to $363,900 in 2011, while 2012 will see a more moderate increase to $368,200.

Those figures are consistent with the balanced market conditions that have occurred so far in 2011, and that are expected next year, the agency said.

now