CMHC: Same old same old … market for investors

This year and next may be deja  vu all over again for property investors looking to buy or sell, with CMHC predicting the national market will see the same kind of restrained growth it experienced in 2011, and not the correction many had feared.

With the Canadian economy set to expand at a moderate pace and mortgage rates expected to remain low,” said Mathieu Laberge, an economist with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, activity levels in 2012 in both new home construction and sales of existing homes will stay close to levels seen in 2011.’

The first quarter 2012 Housing Market Outlook, released Monday, predicts much the same kind of performance for 2013.

This year’s housing starts should range from 164,000 to 212,700 units, according to the report, also offering a point forecast of 190,000 units.

That should climb only marginally in 2013, as the global economy deepens its recovery and builder housing starts edge up to a forecast 193,800 units.

That activity won’t necessarily help investors who this year have had their acquisition ambitions stymied  by a dearth of inventory in several key markets. Small multifamily properties have been hardest to come by.

Still, CMHC is predicting that existing home sales will be in the range of 406,000 to 504,500 units for 2012, with next year’s coming in at 417,600 to 517,400 units.

Price growth is likely to show less restraint.

The average MLS price is forecast to be between $330,000 and $410,000 in 2012 and between $335,000 and $430,000 in 2013.

The moderate increases in the average MLS price are consistent with the balanced market conditions that occurred in 2011, and that are expected to continue in 2012 and 2013,’ reads the report.