Housing Starts to Decline in 2009



    HALIFAX, Feb. 19 /CNW/ - According to Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation's (CMHC's) latest outlook, housing starts are forecast to decline
in 2009 in Atlantic Canada but rise marginally in 2010. Stability in singles
activity in 2008 will be replaced by a slowdown in activity in 2009, as
economic uncertainty continues to impact the housing sector. As well, the
anticipated increase in multiple starts in 2008 did not materialize.
    The expectations for 2009 have also been reduced, as the appetite for
development moderates in the current economic environment. "The entire region
will face challenges in 2009, as weakness is expected to prevail in all four
Atlantic Provinces," said Alex MacDonald, regional economist, with CMHC's
Atlantic Business Centre. The housing sector is expected to show positive
growth in 2010, as consumers begin to regain their footing and a recovery
begins to take hold as a result of additional fiscal and monetary stimulus.
    In 2009, existing home sales activity is expected to decline across the
region. The overall level of sales activity will be impacted by softness in
employment and economic growth. There is some downside risk to the forecast,
as consumers remain cautious and income growth is not expected to be as strong
in 2009. As well, global factors could continue to affect the outlook in 2009.
    Multiple starts are expected to decline in 2009, but row housing starts
will remain popular in some urban centres across Atlantic Canada, as the
current price of housing will continue to shift some consumers away from more
costly single-detached units. Higher prices will also continue to ease demand
for single starts in 2009.

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national
housing agency for more than 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians
access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant,
healthy communities and cities a reality across the country. For more
information, visit www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca or call 1 800 668-2642.


    
                     Atlantic Housing Market Outlook(1)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Housing Starts                   2008           2009          2010
                                         Actual       Forecast      Forecast
                                    -----------------------------------------
    New Brunswick                         4,274          3,475         3,650
     Forecast Ranges                               2,900-3,700   2,750-4,000
    Nova Scotia                           3,982          3,675         3,900
     Forecast Ranges                               3,200-4,100   3,000-4,400
    Prince Edward Island                    712            575           625
     Forecast Ranges                                   525-600       575-650
    Newfoundland and Labrador             3,261          2,675         2,775
     Forecast Ranges                               2,400-3,200   2,100-3,000
    Atlantic Region Total                12,229         10,400        10,950
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Forecast Ranges                              9,025-11,600  8,425-12,050
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                     Atlantic Housing Market Outlook(1)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total MLS(R) Sales(2)                  2008           2009          2010
                                         Actual       Forecast      Forecast
                                    -----------------------------------------
    New Brunswick                         7,555          6,500         6,750
     Forecast Ranges                               6,000-7,500   5,800-7,250
    Nova Scotia                          10,874          9,500         9,850
     Forecast Ranges                              8,750-10,175  8,500-10,500
    Prince Edward Island                  1,413          1,300         1,325
     Forecast Ranges                               1,200-1,350   1,250-1,450
    Newfoundland and Labrador             4,695          4,000         4,200
     Forecast Ranges                               3,700-4,300   3,750-4,400
    Atlantic Region Total                24,538         21,300        22,125
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Forecast Ranges                             19,650-23,325 19,300-23,600
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    

SOURCE: CMHC Housing Market Outlook, Atlantic Highlights, First Quarter 2009. (1) 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. (2) The term MLS(R) stands for Multiple Listing Service and is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).(1) Atlantic Housing Market Outlook(1) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Average MLS(R) Price ($)(2) 2008 2009 2010 Actual Forecast Forecast ----------------------------------------- New Brunswick $145,762 $146,500 $149,000 Forecast Ranges 145,000- 146,000- 151,500 153,000 Nova Scotia $189,902 $191,000 $194,500 Forecast Ranges 188,000- 189,000- 196,000 198,000 Prince Edward Island $139,944 $140,250 $141,500 Forecast Ranges 139,000- 140,000- 144,000 145,000 Newfoundland and Labrador $178,477 $179,500 $182,500 Forecast Ranges 178,000- 178,500- 187,500 190,000 Atlantic Region Total $171,247 $172,163 $175,167 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Forecast Ranges 169,995- 170,864- 177,115 179,428 -------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOURCE: CMHC Housing Market Outlook, Atlantic Highlights, First Quarter 2009. (1) 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. (2) The term MLS(R) stands for Multiple Listing Service and is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)(1).

For further information:

For further information: Alex P. MacDonald, Regional Economist, CMHC,
(902) 426-8964, amacdona@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; The Housing Market Outlook, Atlantic
Region Highlights report is available on the CMHC Web site:
http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca


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