Housing will continue to moderate in 2009

    OTTAWA, Feb. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - 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(R))(1), are expected to decline 14.6 per cent during 2009 to 370,500
units. In 2010 the level of MLS(R) sales is expected to increase by 9.3 per
cent to 405,000 units. The average MLS(R) 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

    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.

                           National Housing Outlook

    Key Housing Market Indicators
                                  2008          2009               2010
                                 Actual      Forecasts          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(R) sales(1)       433,990       370,500            405,000
      Forecast Ranges                     344,000-395,000    360,000-420,000

    Average MLS(R) 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          2009               2010
                                 Actual      Forecasts          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. ---------------------------------- (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. All 2007 MLS(R) figures are estimated as at the time of the forecast. Final figures have since been released by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

For further information:

For further information: Stéphanie Bento, CMHC Media Relations, (613)
748-2811, sbento@cmhc.ca; Julie Girard, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-4684,
jgirard@cmhc.ca; This release is also available on the CMHC Web site:

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