OTTAWA, ON — Canada's hot housing market is cooling down, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

CMHC predicts housing starts to range between 178,600 to 202,000 units in 2013, with a point forecast of 190,300 units. Last year, 214,827 housing units were started across Canada.

Peering into 2014, CMHC said housing starts are expected to improve over 2103 - ranging from 171,200 to 217,000 units, with a point forecast of 194,100 units.

CMHC pointed to moderation in economic and employment growth durinig the second half of 2012 and beginning of 2013 as major factors contributing to "more modest housing demand" this year. It anticipates that a surge in momentum later this year will lead to housing growth into 2014.

The CMHC's expectations are documented in its first quarter 2013 Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition.

“CMHC expects housing construction activity will trend lower in the first half of 2013, before gaining more momentum by the end of the year as economic and employment growth remain supportive of the Canadian housing market,” said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist for CMHC. “In 2014, improving economic conditions may be partially offset by a slight moderation in the number of first-time homebuyers, and potential small and steady increases in mortgage interest rates.”


The anticipated slowdown was captured in the CMHC's report for January housing activity; housing starts in Canada were trending at 203,208 units.

January’s seasonally adjusted annual rates of urban starts decreased in Ontario (-­43.9%), Quebec (-29.6%) and in the Prairies (-5.9%). Urban starts increased in Atlantic Canada (+59.4%) and in British Columbia (+7.7%).  Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 22,443 units in January.


Preliminary Housing Start Data
January 2012 – 2013
Canada January 2012 January 2013
Actual, all areas 13,038 9,904
Actual, rural areas 730 745
Actual, urban centres1
January Single-detached 3,707 3,279
January — Multiples 8,601 5,880
January Total 12,308 9,159
January to January — Single-detached 3,707 3,279
January to January — Multiples 8,601 5,880
January to January — Total 12,308 9,159
December 2012 January 2013
SAAR2, all areas 197,118 160,577
SAAR, rural areas 19,411 22,443
SAAR, urban centres1
Single-detached 66,780 59,318
Multiples 110,927 78,816
Total 177,707 138,134
Atlantic region, urban centres 7,713 12,295
Quebec, urban centres 35,599 25,062
Ontario, urban centres 74,767 41,912
Prairie region, urban centres 39,329 37,009
British Columbia, urban centres 20,299 21,856

Source: CMHC
1 Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
2 Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates
Detailed data available upon request.

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