CMHC: Toronto housing market activity to ease in 2016

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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) housing market analysts said housing starts in the Toronto Census metropolitan Area (CMA) will decline both in 2016 and 2017 from current year levels, in presentations at the organization’s annual housing market conference on Nov. 3.

In specific:

  • Housing starts will edge lower by five per cent to 35,950 units in 2016 from 2015, and decline further to 32,500 units in 2017.
  • Apartment starts, primarily driven by condominium structures, will dominate housing construction in 2016 and 2017, and exceed 20,000 units in each year.
  • Existing homes sales will moderate to 91,000 in 2016 and 87,500 in 2017

“As the backlog of units under construction clears in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), more resources in terms of land, labour and materials will continue to make room for more high-rise construction,” said Dana Senagama, principal market analyst at CMHC. “Existing home sales will slow over the next two years as first-time home buyers will be unable to enter the market.”

“Despite improving economic performance, Ontario housing activity is expected to slow over the forecast period as the cost of owning a home continues to increase,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC regional economist. “However, some segments of the housing market will do better than others. Homes in south-western and southern Ontario markets bordering the GTA tend to be more affordable, thus we expect a lot of activity in those centers as we do for high-density housing which includes less expensive rental accommodation.”

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