CMHC says Toronto housing market to remain balanced in 2011

Toronto’s housing market will remain stable next year as sales and prices gradually increase from current levels and housing starts hold steady, stated Shaun Hildebrand, CMHC’s senior market analyst for the GTA at the annual CMHC Toronto Housing Outlook Conference held Nov. 3.
“Year-over-year comparisons to 2010 will mask an underlying growth trend that will gain momentum in the second half of next year. The worst of the correction from the run-up in activity in late 2009 and early 2010 is already behind us. Moving forward, homeownership demand will be supported by an improving labour market, a continuation of low borrowing costs and a quickly rising population,” said Hildebrand.
While total sales and housing starts recorded for 2011 will be slightly lower in comparison to 2010, opportunities for growth will continue to present themselves next year, according to CMHC.
Highlights of the conference included:
  • Housing starts in the GTA will remain virtually unchanged in 2011. A decline in construction of single-detached homes will be offset by an increase in high-rise starts.
  • MLS sales will remain below peaks reached in 2009 and 2007 due to less demand from first-time buyers. Move-up and downsizing households are expected to represent a larger share of purchases in the existing home market.
  • The resale market will remain in balance, with prices rising at around the rate of inflation throughout the year. Expect less price pressures in the condo market as more units are completed and listed for sale.
“While Ontario homes sales and prices have moderated since early this year, Ontario housing activity is now more in line with economic conditions. This ensures more stability in housing markets in the months ahead,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC’s Ontario regional economist. “This transition in housing activity has been orderly thanks to improving job markets and historically low interest rates.”
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