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Housing starts will slow; resales of existing homes will remain steady in 2013

Construction of new homes in Canada was higher than expected in 2012, but is expected to slow in 2013 according to a forecast released today by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The CMHC’s fourth quarter 2012 outlook also noted that resales of existing homes should remain steady. This is expected to lead to house price growth that is roughly in step with or slightly below inflation.

Housing starts appeared to slow in September, but through a significant chunk of 2012 economists have been surprised by the number of starts. The high number has been attributed to the large number of condos being built.

“A weaker outlook for global economic conditions and the waning of the effect of pre-sales from late 2010 and early 2011, which contributed to support multi-family starts this year, will bring moderation in housing starts next year,” Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at CMHC, explained in a press release.

“Nevertheless, employment growth and net migration will help support housing starts activity going forward.”

Here are a few more essential points from the CMHC’s quarterly report:

  • The CMHC forecasts that there will be 193,600 housing starts in 2013 and estimates that the 2012 number will total 213,700
  • The CMHC forecasts there will be 461,500 resales in 2013 and 457,400 by the year end of 2012
  • Total starts in 2013 are expected to decline as a result of lower multi-family starts
  • Resales are expected to rise due to employment growth and low interest rates
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No sharp dive in housing market says CIBC economist

According to a top CIBC economist, suggesting the anticipated housing decline will not be as sharp or as long as earlier projected because of immigration.

“It turns out fears of a long and sharp downturn in the housing market, are highly exaggerated and very premature,” said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC. “In fact demographic forces will be supportive to real estate markets in the coming decade.”

Tal predicts immigration, which is responsible for most of the population growth, will be a major force impacting housing demand.

“What’s more, there is significant jump in the home ownership rate among immigrants as they pass the three-year mark,” said Tal. “In fact, after 10 years in Canada, the propensity among immigrants to own a house is higher than among native Canadians.”

While there will be a decline in the number of Canadians under the age of 25 and those between 45 and 54, those age groups account for a relatively small portion of home buyers, Tal writes in his latest Consumer Watch report.

By contrast, the number of Canadians between the ages of 25 and 35 – the age group that makes up the vast majority of first-time home buyers – will continue to rise, the report said.

“From a housing market perspective, what counts is not only the change in population of a given age group, but more importantly, the level of housing market activity among these groups,” said Tal. “In other words, the group that is most likely to buy a house will grow faster in the coming decade.” Source: Brokernews.ca

 
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