No growth for Canadian housing market in 2012

Despite the busy housing market in Vancouver, analysts predict that housing won't be seeing much growth next year. 

The Canadian Press has the story:

 The Canadian housing market has flattened out and will likely stay pretty close next year to where it is now, in terms of new housing starts and resales, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says.

The federal agency said Friday that the market has shifted to a more balanced position as listings have increased and prices are expected to remain flat to the end of 2012.

Low mortgage rates, the domestic economy and immigration remain positive factors for the real estate market, while the uncertainty in the global economy and U.S. economic recovery pose threats.

``These factors will continue to support Canada's housing sector in 2012,'' said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist for CMHC.

CMHC it expects new housing starts to come in around the 191,000-unit mark this year and level off next year to about 186,750 units.

The agency said existing home sales will be come in this year between 423,600 to 470,100 units, rising only ``modestly'' to between 406,100 and 509,000 units next year.

The average home price in Canada for 2011 is expected to be $363,900 in 2011, and reach $368,200 in 2012.

The report by CMHC came as Statistics Canada said contractors took out $5.6 billion worth of building permits in September, a 4.9 per cent drop from August and their third straight monthly decline.

The value of residential permits declined one per cent to $3.6 billion, while non-residential sector permits fell 11 per cent nationally to $2 billion.

Construction intentions fell in six provinces, with lower construction intentions for both residential and non-residential sectors in British Columbia, and the non-residential sector in Alberta leading the way.

The value of permits increased in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scoti

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