Saskatoon housing starts, prices to decline in 2015: CMHC

SASKATOON –Global News, May 25,2015 -  Housing starts are forecast to decline in Saskatoon for 2015. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said starts are expected to decline 15 per cent from last year to 3,000 units in 2015. CMHC’s Housing Market Outlook released Monday said that will decline even further in 2016 to 2,075 units.

Officials are blaming a weak economic outlook for the downturn.

“Weaker economic conditions created by lower oil prices will moderate employment growth and slow net migration to Saskatoon in 2015 and 2016,” said Goodson Mwale, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Saskatchewan.

Single-detached starts are expected to decline 9.6 per cent to 1,425, significantly lower than the five-year average of 1,701. Multi-family starts are forecast to drop 19.4 per cent to 1,575 units from last year’s 32-year high of 1,954 units.

“Combined with rising levels of new home inventory, these factors will constrain housing starts in Saskatoon throughout the forecast period as local home builders seek to meet new demand from their unsold units,” said Mwale.

The CMHC report also said MLS sales are expected to drop, along with prices, as “risks posed by lower oil prices temper resale demand,” with a shift to a buyer’s market.

The average resale price is expected to decline to $338,700 in 2015 from the 2014 average of $341,061 before rebounding to $343,800 in 2016.

Sales are forecast to drop to 5,500 units, a decline of 8.3 per cent from 2014.

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