Housing crumbles

Home construction is forecast to tumble 24 per cent this year.

Home construction is forecast to tumble 24 per cent this year.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s startling outlook for housing starts projects 160,250 starts for 2009, down from 211,056 units in 2008, which was itself 7.6 per cent lower than 2007.

CMHC also predicts sales of existing homes will fall 14.6 per cent this year.

“The economic downturn will result in a decrease in demand for home ownership,” said Bob Dugan, the federal housing agency’s chief economist.

Housing starts — a key economic measure, as new homes define demand for everything from cinder blocks to chandeliers — are almost 50 per cent below last spring’s peak, with Western Canada showing the sharpest pullback.

 
 
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