Outlook Weakens Marginally



    HALIFAX, Feb. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Housing starts will decline slightly in
2008 for Atlantic Canada after a surge of activity was recorded in the second
half of 2007 but the recent trend in activity is forecast to support a greater
level of activity in 2008 than had previously been expected. The strongest
market for growth in 2008 will be Newfoundland-Labrador.
    Labour market conditions still remain tight. The price of existing homes
continues to close the gap with new home prices, but there is still a good
selection of inventory available in the existing market. "This should result
in a small decline in single starts in 2008, but continue to provide an
opportunity for growth in the higher density semi-detached segment of the
market." said Alex MacDonald, Regional Economist, with CMHC's Atlantic
Business Centre.
    "For 2008 MLS(R) sales activity is expected to decline marginally across
the region except in Newfoundland-Labrador," added MacDonald. The overall
level of MLS(R) sales activity continues to be supported by an improving
picture for migration, rising incomes and stable consumer confidence.
    The economic forecast is supported by the recent gains in household
income and continued positive outlook for employment. Economic growth for the
four provincial economies will also be supported by increased capital
investment, especially from the energy sector. At the same time the challenges
for the manufacturing sector remain, as exporters struggle to adjust to a
strong Canadian dollar and competitive global markets.

    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
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Housing Starts                2007           2008           2009
                                      Actual       Forecast       Forecast
                                    -----------------------------------------
      New Brunswick                    4,242          3,925          3,650
        Saint John CMA                   687            650            625
        Moncton CMA                    1,425          1,340          1,250
        Fredericton CA                   636            650            600
      Nova Scotia                      4,750          4,550          4,500
        Halifax CMA                    2,489          2,500          2,550
      Prince Edward Island               750            700            675
        Charlottetown CA                 394            375            375
      Newfoundland and Labrador        2,649          2,650          2,675
        St John's CMA                  1,480          1,650          1,700
      Atlantic Region Total           12,391         11,825         11,500
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                       Atlantic Housing Market Outlook
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total MLS(R) Sales(1)               2007           2008           2009
                                      Actual       Forecast       Forecast
                                    -----------------------------------------
      New Brunswick                    8,161          7,750          7,500
        Saint John CMA                 2,253          2,100          2,000
        Moncton CMA                    2,849          2,650          2,500
        Fredericton CA                 2,448          2,325          2,200
      Nova Scotia                     11,857         11,100         10,900
        Halifax CMA                    6,942          6,500          6,400
      Prince Edward Island             1,769          1,600          1,550
        Charlottetown CA                 650            625            600
      Newfoundland and Labrador        4,471          4,650          4,750
        St John's CMA                  4,471          4,650          4,750
      Atlantic Region Total           26,258         25,100         24,700
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    

SOURCE: CMHC Housing Market Outlook, Atlantic Highlights, First Quarter 2008. (1) The term MLS(R) stands for Multiple Listing Service and is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Atlantic Housing Market Outlook ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Average MLS(R) Price ($)(1) 2007 2008 2009 Actual Forecast Forecast ----------------------------------------- New Brunswick $136,603 $142,000 $146,000 Saint John CMA $140,544 $146,000 $152,000 Moncton CMA $140,032 $147,000 $152,000 Fredericton CA $141,117 $146,500 $151,500 Nova Scotia $180,989 $190,000 $195,000 Halifax CMA $215,645 $223,000 $230,000 Prince Edward Island $133,457 $137,500 $142,000 Charlottetown CA $166,244 $170,000 $175,000 Newfoundland and Labrador $149,258 $160,000 $170,000 St John's CMA $149,258 $160,000 $170,000 Atlantic Region Total $158,589 $166,275 $171,988 -------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOURCE: CMHC Housing Market Outlook, Atlantic Highlights, First Quarter 2008. (1) The term MLS(R) stands for Multiple Listing Service and is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

For further information:

For further information: on this release: 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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