Housing market to be hit hard by COVID pandemic through to the end of 2022, according to CMHC housing outlook

Ontario to be hit harder than some, but not as bad as oil-dependent Alberta and Saskatchewan

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says the COVID-19 pandemic will leave its mark on the national housing market for years to come, while the total impact is hard to predict.

CMHC released a special Spring housing market outlook today, and in it, the Corporation claims Canada will see a historic recession in 2020, with a significant impact on housing. It says housing starts, sales, and prices won’t start to recover again until mid-2021, while sales and prices will likely remain lower than they were pre-pandemic.

It is expected these prices will remain below pre-COVID levels through to the end of 2022, but “The precise timing and duration of the recovery is highly uncertain because the virus’s future path is not yet known,” according to the report.

On a provincial level, CMHC forecasts Ontario will see larger declines in sales and prices as compared to B.C. or Quebec, but far better than among the prairies; due to dependence on a declining oil market, CMHC says Alberta and Saskatchewan will be hardest-hit among all the provinces. Manitoba may weather the storm better than most, as are the Atlantic provinces; the CMHC says economic declines in these areas are expected to decline only modestly compared to the rest.