The annual pace of work will range between 178,600 to 202,000 units in 2013, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. said in an emailed statement. Construction will pick up next year, with starts reaching about 194,100 units on an annual basis, CMHC said.
The housing forecast, along with other economic data, suggests the world’s 11th-largest economy is struggling as consumers pare spending and the nation’s exporters grapple with tepid demand. Inflation rose 0.5% in January from a year earlier, the least since October 2009, while retailers recorded a 2.1% drop in sales in December, the biggest decline in almost three years, Statistics Canada said today from Ottawa.
Prices of existing homes will rise 1% this year to a national average of C$367,500 ($358,571), the agency said. Prices will climb 2.7% next year to C$377,300.
Sales of existing homes will drop to 451,100 units this year, before rising to 472,300 units in 2014, CMHC said. The pace of housing starts fell to the slowest since 2009 in January, CMHC reported Feb. 8.