“Housing starts have been strong in the last few months, but are forecast to moderate closer in line with demographic fundamentals,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist for CMHC. “Despite recent financial uncertainty, factors such as employment, immigration and mortgage rates remain supportive of the Canadian housing sector.”
Housing starts will be in the range of 166,300 to 197,200 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 183,200 units. In 2012, housing starts will be in the range of 161,700 to 207,200 units, with a point forecast of 183,900 units.
Existing home sales will be in the range of 425,000 to 472,500 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 446,700 units, essentially the same level as in 2010. In 2012, MLS®2 sales are expected to move up modestly in the range of 407,500 to 510,000 units, with a point forecast of 458,000 units.
The average MLS® price increased in the first half of 2011 partly as a result of more higher-end homes sold during that period. For the remainder of 2011, the average MLS® price is expected to moderate. Nevertheless, the annual average MLS® price will experience an overall increase in 2011 compared to last year. As the existing home market moves to more balanced markets, growth in the average MLS® price in 2012 is expected to be more modest.