CMHC predicts steady housing market

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The latest forecast from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says that the nation's economy should help maintain moderate growth in the housing market this year and into 2012 as more consumers take advantage of low posted rates.

According to the report, housing starts this year should range from 166,300 to 197,200, with an overall forecast of 183,200. Next year, that point prediction remains relatively steady, with 183,900 starts expected.

Similar sales patterns are expected for existing homes, with the point forecast of 446,700 – which is very similar to 2010 numbers – rising to 458,000 in 2012.

"Housing starts have been strong in the last few months, but are forecast to moderate closer in line with demographic fundamentals," said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist for CMHC. "Despite recent financial uncertainty, factors such as employment, immigration and mortgage rates remain supportive of the Canadian housing sector."

The CMHC says price gains should slow during the remainder of this year, and show "modest" growth in 2012.

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