Canada housing agency says big-city home prices, resales, construction to fall in 2020

FILE PHOTO: An apartment building is lit by the dawn sun in Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 23, 2020. Picture taken April 23, 2020. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s major cities are expected to post broad declines in home prices, resales and construction this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with a tentative recovery expected over the next two years, the country’s housing and mortgage insurance agency said on Tuesday.

Across Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton, housing starts, sales and price growth will remain below 2019 levels throughout this year, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said in a report on Tuesday.

“Large employment and income declines, coupled with uncertainty over the future trajectory of the virus, will lower demand for housing,” the CMHC’s Deputy Chief Economist Aled ab Iorwerth said in the report.

“Housing starts will fall sharply as construction decisions are delayed and builders work to protect employees’ safety on worksites. House prices will fall as well and are unlikely to recover over the horizon of this report.”

Reporting By Nichola Saminather; Editing by Sandra Maler