Thunder Bay Housing Starts up – Contrasts to rest of Ontario


Thunder Bay housing startsTHUNDER BAY – “The 39 single-detached starts are 13 units higher than the ten year average for the month of June. In contrast, housing construction of semi-detached, row and apartment construction is still negligible, leaving total starts off 12.1 per cent from 2011. Nevertheless, given the pent-up demand that exists for condominiums, more high-density housing starts are expected as the year progresses,” said Warren Philp, CMHC’s Northern Ontario Market Analyst.

According to preliminary data released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), there were 39 single-detached Thunder Bay starts in June, rounding out a strong second quarter.

This trend in Thunder Bay is in contrast to the rest of Ontario. The number of Ontario urban* housing starts stabilized at 78,500 units in June, according to preliminary data released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) ** of housing starts. The standalone monthly SAAR was 70,700 units in June, down from 77,700 SAAR units in May.

“Ontario residential construction activity moved lower to levels more in line with demographic trends,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC’s Ontario Regional Economist. “In the short term, starts may diverge from demographic demand because of pent-up consumer demand, above average job growth or rising construction of denser housing types which take longer to start after a sale. Fundamentally, modest job growth across the province, more balanced resale markets and a declining backlog of apartment sales not yet constructed should help temper activity ahead.”

For some markets, CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. Analysing only SAAR data can be misleading as housing starts are largely driven by the apartment segment of the market, which can be quite volatile from one month to the next.

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