Thunder Bay real estate market remains hotter than most of Ontario

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THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay real estate market remains hotter than most of Ontario. Thunder Bay, along with London, Windsor, and Sudbury will outperform the provincial averages over the coming year. Across Canada, sales activity is expected to be less volatile next year than it was in 2012. In 2013, the Canadian Real Estate Association is forecasting that national sales activity will recede by two per cent to 447,400 units.

This is a slightly lower level of activity than previously forecast, reflecting the ongoing impact of new mortgage rules into next year. The continuation of moderate economic, job, and income growth will temper the impact of recent mortgage rule changes, which are not expected to dampen activity much more than has already been felt until interest rates are expected to begin rising in late 2013.

As a result of prudent mortgage lending practices, the number of mortgages in arrears in Canada were trending down in 2011 and the first half of 2012, according to the Canadian Housing Observer, released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).       

“The Canadian Housing Observer is an indispensable source of information about housing’s role in the economy, and better information helps contribute to the stability and efficiency of Canada’s housing system,” said Karen Kinsley, President of CMHC. “This marks the 10-year anniversary of this publication, relied on by many in the private, non-profit and government sectors for its analysis and insight into the dynamics of Canadian housing,” added Kinsley.       

The 2012 Observer examines important housing highlights including:              


  • The rate of Canadian residential mortgages that were three months or more in arrears declined from 0.41% in 2011 to 0.36% in the first half of 2012;            
  • The net worth of Canadian households increased in 2011, with inflation-adjusted per capita net worth about $7,000 higher than prior to the recession;            
  • Moncton has the highest rate of household growth of major urban centres (also known as Census Metropolitan Areas or CMAs), from 2006 to 2011, followed by Kelowna, St. John’s, Calgary and Edmonton; more detail is available in the attached chart outlining the growth in the number of households in selected municipalities;            
  • With the number of households headed by seniors expected to rise through 2036, flexible housing can help meet their needs for comfort, security, independence, well-being and aging-in-place;            
  • Renovation spending in Canada grew 3 % in 2011 to $43.8 billion;            
  • The inventories of completed and unoccupied housing units per 10,000 population are near the historical average, suggesting overall inventories are in line with population growth;            
  • The recently introduced Canadian Covered Bond Legal Framework will support financial stability by facilitating diversified funding for lenders and strengthening the robustness of the Canadian covered bonds market;            
  • The average resale price of a home in Canada in 2011 was $363,116, with Vancouver having the highest average resale price at $779,730, while Trois-Rivières had the lowest average resale price at $156,919;            
  • Housing starts in Canada rose 2.1 % in 2011 and were above the long-term average at 194,000 units;  
New for 2012: interactive local data tables now include over 160 municipalities. Using the interactive tables and charts, various housing indicators (e.g. housing starts, rents and rental vacancy rates, household type and tenure, and core housing need) can be viewed quickly online.
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