THUNDER BAY – The year has got off to a slow start in terms of new housing starts in Thunder Bay. However that has shifted in April as housing starts have jumped to a new ten year high. According to preliminary data released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), there were 20 Thunder Bay starts in April compared to seven units that enter their construction phase last April.
“On average Thunder Bay has seven single-detached starts in the fourth month; however, this year this number more than doubled. The 15 single homes combined with five row units brought the year-to-date total to 24 units, sixty percent higher than last year’s first four months,” said Warren Philp, CMHC’s Northern Ontario Market Analyst.
The Ontario preliminary Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of home starts across urban centres reached an estimated 95,400 residential housing units in the latest month, up from 85,000 units in March. While multi-family home construction, pushed construction activity higher, single detached construction also moved higher. While the GTA was the source of strength in March, April strength was witnessed in other markets across the province. Ontario housing starts for the year ending April are running 30 per cent above the same period in 2011.
“Residential construction activity is running strong and above trend levels in April,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC’s Ontario Regional Economist. “Given uncertainty regarding labour conditions and financing, builders have been breaking ground quicker on projects sold out in the past. Meanwhile, tight resale markets for singles and low unsold inventories helped single detached construction grow in April. Modest job growth, rising apartment inventories, high home prices and more balanced resale markets should temper gains ahead,” added Tsiakopoulos.