Canadian Housing Starts Forecast to Remain Stable in 2014

ONTARIO – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) expects total housing starts to be stable in 2014, as fundamentals, such as employment growth and migration, continue to support the Canadian housing market, according to CMHC’s fourth quarter 2013 Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition.

“In the new home market, builders are nevertheless expected to limit the number of housing starts while inventories of unabsorbed units, completed and under construction, are drawn down,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist for CMHC. “In the resale market, home buyers have been motivated to advance their purchases and lock-in pre-qualified mortgages given the recent moderate increase in mortgage rates. It is expected that existing home sales will increase modestly in 2014 with improving economic conditions,” added Laberge.

On an annual basis, housing starts are expected to range between 179,300 to 190,600 units in 2013, with a point forecast of 185,000 units, down from 214,827 units in 2012. In 2014, housing starts are expected to range from 163,700 to 205,700 units, with a point forecast of 184,700 units.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sales are expected to range between 439,400 to 474,000 units in 2013, with a point forecast of 456,700 units, about equal with the 454,005 in 2012. In 2014, sales are expected to range from 438,300 to 498,100 units, with an increase in the point forecast to 468,200 units.

The average MLS price is forecast to be between $372,300 and $383,700 in 2013 and between $374,100 and $396,300 in 2014.

CMHC’s point forecast for the average MLS price calls for a 4.0 per cent gain to $378,000 in 2013 and a further 1.9 per cent gain to $385,200 in 2014.

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