The association now expects sales to fall by 1.6% in 2011, compared to its November call for a drop of almost 9%. Prices are also expected to do better than forecast, with a gain of 1.3% instead of a slight decline.
“The hand-off going into 2011, together with the highs and lows for sales activity posted in 2010, provided guidance for CREA’s revised forecast,” said Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “The announcement of the new changes to mortgage rules will likely bring forward some sales into the first quarter that would otherwise have occurred later in the year.”
For 2012, CREA expects sales to slightly outpace 2011 and prices to advance by another 1.3%. The forecast is at odds with a recent report by Capital Economics, which said prices could fall by 25% in the next three years as interest rates rise. Several Canadian banks raised their mortgage rates by 25 basis points this week.
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