Housing activity to strengthen in 2010

OTTAWA, Nov. 2 /CNW/ - Housing starts have started to recover and are expected to continue to improve in the second half of 2009. Starts are expected to reach 141,900 for the year and will increase to 164,900 for 2010, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) fourth quarter Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition* report.

"We expect housing markets across Canada to strengthen leading into and over the course of 2010 as economic conditions improve", said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist for CMHC.

"Demand for existing homes has rebounded since the beginning of the year. In addition, lower inventory levels characterize both the new and existing home markets. As a result, stronger housing demand will be reflected in higher levels of housing starts in 2010."

The strong pace of MLS(R)(1) sales seen in the second and third quarters of this year reflects, in part, activity that was delayed in the previous two quarters and is not likely to be sustained. The level of sales is expected to move back closer in line with anticipated economic conditions. As a result, existing home sales, as measured by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS(R)), will reach 441,300 units in 2009 and increase to 445,150 units in 2010. The average MLS(R) price is expected to be $312,950 in 2009 and $324,500 in 2010.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.

    * The forecasts included in the Housing Market Outlook are based on
        information available as of October 1, 2009. Where applicable,
        forecast ranges are also presented in order to reflect economic

This release is also available on the CMHC Web site: http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

                           National Housing Outlook

    Key Housing Market Indicators
                                    2008          2009             2010
                                   Actual      Forecasts        Forecasts
    Total housing starts (units)  211,056       141,900          164,900
    Forecast ranges                         138,000-146,000  135,000-190,000

    Total single-detached houses   93,202        70,350           79,700
    Forecast ranges                          68,800-72,150    63,100-93,600

    Total multiple housing units  117,854        71,550           85,200
    Forecast ranges                          69,200-73,850    71,900-96,400

    Total MLS(R) sales(1)         433,990       441,300          445,150
    Forecast ranges                         437,000-453,500  415,000-460,000

    Average MLS(R)
     selling price ($)            303,607       312,950          324,500
    Forecast ranges                         309,000-316,500  313,000-341,500

                         Provincial Housing Outlook

    Total Housing Starts
                                    2008          2009             2010
                                   Actual      Forecasts        Forecasts
    Newfoundland and Labrador       3,261         2,900            3,000
    Prince Edward Island              712           740              725
    Nova Scotia                     3,982         3,275            3,500
    New Brunswick                   4,274         3,400            3,525
    Quebec                         47,901        43,300           43,000
    Ontario                        75,076        47,400           56,500
    Manitoba                        5,537         4,000            4,800
    Saskatchewan                    6,828         3,600            4,350
    Alberta                        29,164        17,950           22,000
    British Columbia               34,321        15,200           23,400

    SOURCE: CMHC Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition, Fourth Quarter 2009.
    Totals may not add due to rounding.

    (1) The term MLS(R) stands for Multiple Listing Service and is a
        registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
        Data are for 10 provinces.

For further information: For further information: Information on this release: Charles Sauriol, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-2799, csauriol@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

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