Home sales expected to decline further [media clip]

“Ontario, however, showed some signs of strength. Permits rose 7.3 per cent in March, with multifamily dwellings offsetting decreases in the non-residential sector.”

Existing home sales are expected to fall 11.5 per cent in Canada this year and 4 per cent in 2009, according to a forecast released yesterday by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

That equates to 460,900 homes changing hands in 2008 compared with a record 520,747 the year before. In 2009, the drop is expected to continue at a more moderate pace, leading to CREA’s projected 442,500 in unit sales.

Sales volumes are seen cooling the most in Alberta this year, at a drop of 18.9 per cent, followed by British Columbia and New Brunswick, with projected drops of 14.4 per cent and 11.7 per cent, respectively.

The news came as Statistics Canada reported an unexpected 4.5-per-cent month-over-month drop in building permits in March, led by weakness in Alberta. Residential and non-residential permits fell there, giving it the largest provincial drop at 32.9 per cent.

Continue Reading: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080507.REALESTATE07/TPStory/?query=real+estate

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