VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 30, 2011) - Housing starts in British Columbia are forecast to gradually increase this year and next, reaching their ten-year average in 2012, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC's) Housing Market Outlook published today. Home starts, including single-detached and multiple-family homes, are projected to total 26,400 units in 2011 and 29,000 units in 2012.

"Mortgage loan interest rates which will remain low by historic standards, together with stable employment and strong population growth, will support the resale and new home markets in 2011 and 2012," said Carol Frketich, CMHC's BC Regional Economist.

"This housing market outlook is similar to CMHC's first quarter forecast, except for adjustments to the existing home price outlook," noted Frketich. The forecast for the BC MLS®1 average price has been revised higher in 2011 as a result of price increases recorded in the first quarter of the year, stemming from higher than anticipated first quarter price gains in the Vancouver housing market, specifically in the cities of Vancouver and Richmond as well as West Vancouver.

"Greater Vancouver accounts for almost half of MLS® sales in the province and a rising share of single detached home sales, which tend to have higher prices, as well as an increasing proportion of sales in higher priced areas of Greater Vancouver. These factors contributed to an increase in the BC average resale price," she added.

Resales are expected to remain in line with job and population growth, approaching 83,900 sales in 2011 and 87,500 sales in 2012, slightly above their ten-year average.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.

For more information, and to download CMHC's housing reports, please visit CMHC's website at or call 1-800-668-2642.

1 MLS® is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Contact Information:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Carol Frketich
(604) 737-4067

BC Regional Economist
Cell: (604) 787-5598