The once white hot resale housing market is cooling significantly and prices should remain flat the rest of this year and fall in 2011, economists say.

“We’ve had this immensely powerful sellers’ market and ... there could be a very rapid transition so that it now becomes a buyers’ market,” said Will Dunning of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals.

The Canadian Real Estate Association yesterday lowered its 2010 national forecast for resale transactions following a weaker than anticipated start to the year in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

CREA also revised its projected housing price increases for this year, saying the increase is expected to be just 1.6 per cent over 2009. It predicted that by 2011, the national average housing price is expected to decline by 1.5 per cent, driven down by an easing of the growth in sales in Ontario and B.C. in the first half of 2010.