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Rise predicted in Canadian housebuilding

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South-West Canada is expected to see a growth in housebuilding next year, according to a long-range official forecast

National agency the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation predicted an increase in starts in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan in 2014.

But with little change in Quebec or Ontario, and mixed fortunes in the smaller far Eastern provinces, overall levels are expected to stay flat next year.

The agency published a point forecast of 184,700 housing starts in 2014 – down only very marginally from a forecast of 185,000 this year.

More than 214,000 housing units started on site in 2012.

Conditions are expected to support housebuilding, with steady rises in GDP and employment next year along with strong net migration and relatively low mortgage rates.

But developers are still wary of global economic risks and will want to build at a measured pace, according to the report.

‘In the new home market, builders are expected to limit the number of housing starts while inventories of unabsorbed units, completed and under construction, are drawn down,’ said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist for CMHC.

Single detached starts are expected to increase slightly from 77,200 this year to 79,000 next year.

Multi-family starts are predicted to decline marginally from 107,800 to 105,700 over the same time period.

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