Steve Baldwin

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Housing Activity to Stabilize in 2010 and 2011

OTTAWA, May 19, 2010 — Housing starts rebounded in the second half of 2009 and early 2010 and will stabilize over the next two years, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) second quarter .

Following a total of 149,081 units in 2009, housing starts are expected to be in the range of 166,900 to 199,600 units in 2010, with a point forecast of 182,000 units. In 2011, housing starts will be in the range of 148,600 to 208,800 units, with a point forecast of 179,600 units.

“Canadian housing markets have recovered from the low levels posted in early 2009,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist for CMHC. “Moving forward, housing starts will moderate as activity becomes more in-line with long term demographic fundamentals. New measures for government-backed mortgage insurance introduced by the Government of Canada that took effect on April 19, 2010 will continue to support the long-term stability of Canada's housing market.”

Mr. Dugan also noted that the existing home market will move toward balanced conditions over the next two years as MLS®1 sales ease and inventory levels increase. In late 2009 and early 2010, sales activity included some pent-up demand from early 2009. Once this demand is exhausted, and as mortgage rates gradually rise, the pace of activity in the resale market will ease. As a result, existing home sales will be in the range of 484,000 to 513,300 units in 2010, with a point forecast of 497,300 units, and then move slightly lower in 2011 to be in the range of 443,500 to 504,900 units, with a point forecast of 473,500 units.

With an improved balance between demand and supply, the average MLS® price is expected to stabilize through the end of 2010 and then rise modestly in 2011.

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Prime Lending Rate Increases 0.25% to 2.75%

The Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points for the second time in two months, even as households and governments in the developed world continue to cut back on spending.

The rate is now 0.75 per cent. The bank said any further increases "would have to be weighed carefully against domestic and global economic developments."

The central bank became the only one in the Group of Seven to hike its key lending rate after keeping it at unprecedented lows during the recession.

While economic growth in Canada has largely relied on consumer spending, the bank now projects that business and trade will make up a larger part of the country's gross domestic product, but overall growth won't be as large as the bank previously thought.

The bank now estimates that Canadian GDP will expand 3.5 per cent in 2010 and 2.9 per cent in 2011, down from the previous projection of 3.7 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively,


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Property Photo: 314 1859 SPYGLASS PL in Vancouver
New property listed at 314 1859 SPYGLASS PL in Vancouver.
It doesn't get better than this! View suite, steps to the False Creek waterfront. Freehold Strata property. On the Canada Liine, walk to everything in the heart of vibrant False Creek. Updated in 2005 with a new kitchen and bathrooms.Secured parking and storage locker.
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