Print Back

Housing Will Continue to Moderate in 2009

OTTAWA, Ontario, February 19, 2009 — Housing starts reached 211,056 units in 2008, a decrease from 228,343 in 2007, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) 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 Multiple Listing Service (MLS®)1, are expected to decline 14.6 per cent during 2009 to 370,500 units. In 2010 the level of MLS® sales is expected to increase by 9.3 per cent to 405,000 units. The average MLS® price is also expected to decrease over the course of 2009. Average prices are forecast to be $287,900 for 2009, a decline of 5.2 per cent, while 2010 will see little change from 2009 average prices.

As Canada’s national housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (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.

For more information, call 1-800-668-2642.

* The forecasts included in the Housing Market Outlook are based on information available as of January 27. Where applicable, forecast ranges are also presented in order to reflect economic uncertainty.

1 The term MLS® stands for Multiple Listing Service and is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Data are for 10 provinces. All 2007 MLS® figures are estimated as at the time of the forecast. Final figures have since been released by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Information on this release:

Stéphanie Bento
CMHC
Media Relations
613-748-2811
sbento@cmhc.ca

Julie Girard
CMHC
Media Relations
613-748-4684
jgirard@cmhc.ca

National Housing Outlook

Key Housing Market Indicators

2008
Actual
2009
Forecasts
2010
Forecasts
Total housing starts (units) 211,056 160,250 163,350
Forecast Ranges 141,000 – 180,000 143,000 – 180,000
Total single-detached houses 93,202 74,825 76,600
Forecast Ranges 65,800 – 83,800 68,600 – 84,600
Total multiple housing units 117,854 85,425 86,750
Forecast Ranges 75,200 – 96,200 74,400 – 95,400
Total MLS® sales1 433,990 370,500 405,000
Forecast Ranges 344,000 – 395,000 360,000 – 420,000
Average MLS® selling price ($) 303,607 287,900 288,100
Forecast Ranges $270,000 – $305,000 $270,000 – $310,000

Provincial Housing Outlook

Total Housing Starts

2008
Actual
2009
Forecasts
2010
Forecasts
Newfoundland and Labrador 3,261 2,675 2,775
Prince Edward Island 712 575 625
Nova Scotia 3,982 3,675 3,900
New Brunswick 4,274 3,475 3,650
Quebec 47,901 40,700 40,500
Ontario 75,076 58,255 59,700
Manitoba 5,537 4,748 5,000
Saskatchewan 6,828 4,141 4,500
Alberta 29,164 19,200 22,000
British Columbia 34,321 22,800 20,700

Source: CMHC Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition, First Quarter 2009.