HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 13, 2012) - According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Atlantic Housing Market Outlook, housing market performance in 2012 will be impacted by the current inventory of apartments under construction.

"Although more favourable financing conditions available in the second half of 2011 continued to support apartment construction last year, the expectation is that activity will slow in 2012. Notwithstanding the decline, the level of construction is forecast to remain historically high," said Alex MacDonald, regional economist, with CMHC's Atlantic Business Centre. "Multiple starts, including apartments, are forecast to decline 15 per cent in 2012," added MacDonald.

Single starts saw improved performance in the second half of 2011, as a result of historically low interest rates, but weak employment and wage growth are expected to dampen the outlook for 2012, with single starts forecast to decline seven per cent.

House prices for the existing market were up close to four per cent in 2011. Prices are forecast to continue to rise, but at a slower pace in 2012, as a continuing increase in supply will keep the level of price increases closer to the rate of inflation. Existing home sales for 2012 are expected to decline moderately, in the two per cent range, after rising two per cent in 2011.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. 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 informed decisions.

For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642. CMHC Market Analysis standard reports are also available free for download at CMHC Housing Market Information.

The Housing Market Outlook, Atlantic Region Highlights report is available on the CMHC Web site: http://www.cmhc.gc.ca

Atlantic Housing Market Outlook1

Total Housing Starts 2011 2012
Actual Forecast
New Brunswick 3,452 2,950
Forecast Range 2,600 - 3,300
Nova Scotia 4,644 4,250
Forecast Range 3,800 - 4,700
Prince Edward Island 940 800
Forecast Range 705 - 895
Newfoundland and Labrador 3,488 3,200
Forecast Range 2,850 - 3,550
Atlantic Region Total 12,524 11,200
Forecast Range 9,955 - 12,445
Total MLS®Sales2 2011 2012
Actual Forecast
New Brunswick 6,599 6,250
Forecast Range 5,600 - 6,900
Nova Scotia 10,321 10,450
Forecast Range 9,600 - 11,300
Prince Edward Island 1,521 1,375
Forecast Range 1,250 - 1,500
Newfoundland and Labrador 4,480 4,250
Forecast Range 3,900 - 4,600
Atlantic Region Total 22,921 22,325
Forecast Range 20,350 - 24,300
Average MLS®Price ($)2 2011 2012
Actual Forecast
New Brunswick $160,545 $162,000
Forecast Range 159,500 - 164,500
Nova Scotia $212,512 $220,000
Forecast Range 216,000 - 224,000
Prince Edward Island $149,617 $153,000
Forecast Range 150,500 - 155,500
Newfoundland and Labrador $251,581 $257,500
Forecast Range 253,500 - 261,500
Atlantic Region Total $201,013 $ 206,775
Forecast Range 203,615 - 209,975

SOURCE: CMHC Housing Market Outlook, Atlantic Highlights, First Quarter 2012.

1 The forecasts included in the Housing Market Outlook are based on information available as of January 18th 2012. Where applicable, forecast ranges are also presented in order to reflect economic uncertainty.

2 The term MLS® stands for Multiple Listing Service and is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).1

Contact Information:

Alex P. MacDonald
Regional Economist
(902) 426-8964