CMHC: Ottawa’s housing market to be balanced into 2015

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) expects Ottawa-area housing starts will decline in 2014 as condominium apartment construction trends below the 10 year average, but there will be a rebound in 2015.

The CMHC Housing Market Outlook, Spring 2014 edition for the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) says that, as economic activity accelerates, starts will rebound in 2015 to 5,200 units.         Row construction will moderate from its 2013 level, but will remain robust as builders and consumers have already begun to gradually shift to this less costly alternative to single-detached homes and more spacious one to apartments.

“While lower than historical average mortgage rates remain supportive of housing demand, weaker employment conditions in Ottawa have slowed down resale market activity,” said Sandra Pérez Torres, CMHC’s senior market analyst. “Consequently, it is expected that sales of existing homes will retreat in 2014 by over two per cent, before picking up slightly in 2015 as economic and employment conditions improve,” she said.

The resale market will remain in balanced market territory until 2015, increasing by 1.1 per cent the growth in MLS prices, CMHC says. On the supply side of the market, this spring and summer the listings will begin to slow relative to sales, as pent-up demand accumulated over the last months hits the market.

Although, the number of existing-home sales will moderate by the end of the year, 2015 will bring positive news once again as economy-wide employment picks up, the CMHC report says.

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