Housing Starts in Thunder Bay Up in December 2012

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Investment Market
Thunder Bay Housing Starts December 2012 - CMHC graphic
Thunder Bay Housing Starts December 2012 – CMHC graphic

THUNDER BAY – Housing Starts in Thunder Bay are up in December. Housing starts are a solid indication of the strength of the local economy. In Thunder Bay new housing starts are up. for the month of December 2012. “An above-average 16 single-detached starts in December, plus two semi-detached units brought total starts to 380 in 2012, up slightly from 374 in 2011. Single-detached starts topped 200 units for only the third time in the last 17 years,” said Warren Philp, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Market Analyst for Thunder Bay.

The figures are not being impacted it appears from new mortgage rules, as the local market remains positive.

Housing starts in Thunder Bay, Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 532 units in December, according to the CMHC. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts. The standalone monthly SAAR was 324 units in December, down from 675 in November.

Housing starts in Canada were trending at 212,282 units in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly SAAR of housing starts. The standalone monthly SAAR was 197,976 units in December, down slightly from 201,376 in November. The actual housing starts for 2012 are being verified and will be reported in the January edition of Monthly Housing Statistics, which will be available before the end of the month.

“As expected, housing starts remained below their recent trend in Canada. The decrease recorded in December was due to a decline in rural starts, while urban starts remained stable. Housing starts were below their trends in all regions except Ontario,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC.

Housing starts in Ontario were trending at 71,119 units in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly SAAR of housing starts. The standalone monthly SAAR was 75,430 units in December, up from 56,526 units in November.

“The Ontario residential construction industry enjoyed a banner year and beat expectations. Annual home starts hit their highest levels since 2005 on the strength of apartment ownership and rental construction. Despite a jump in December, due in large part to a lower than expected November starts reading, housing starts have moved lower since April and this trend is expected to persist until the latter part of 2013. Modest job growth versus the recent past, better supplied resale markets, and a high level of apartment units under construction are headwinds for the residential construction industry this year,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC’s Ontario Regional Economist.

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. In some situations, analysing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite variable from one month to the next.

While urban housing starts grew by over 14 per cent in 2012 to reach 74,418 units, almost as many centres posted declines as the number that posted increases this year. Residential construction grew the fastest in London, Hamilton and Toronto while declining faster in Kingston and Sudbury.

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