House prices expected to ease this year
OTTAWA — Home resales are expected to rise by 0.3 per cent this year in Canada, with low interest rates continuing to support the market, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday.
National sales are forecast to reach 458,800 units in 2012, up from 457,305 in the previous year. "Rising demand in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia, is expected to offset softer activity in British Columbia, Ontario, and New Brunswick," CREA said.
In 2013, CREA said, sales are expected ease back to 457,200 units, with modest gains in all provinces except Ontario "as economic and job growth picks up later this year and builds into 2013," it said.
Meanwhile, the national average price is likely to decline by 1.1 per cent this year to $359,100, followed by a slight increase of 0.9 per cent to $362,300 in 2013.
"Risks to the Canadian economic outlook remain elevated owing to the European sovereign debt quagmire, but the continuation of low interest rates is the silver lining," said Gregory Klump, CREA's chief economist.
"So long as the European debt crisis is contained and a global economic recession avoided, low interest rates will support Canadian home sales and prices. Recent trends are reassuring, but interest rates remaining low for longer will doubtless keep the Canadian housing market under scrutiny for signs of overheating."