THUNDER BAY – The hot housing market in Thunder Bay continues. Housing starts in Thunder Bay, Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 146 units in July up slightly from 122 units in June according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)(1) of housing starts.
“The continuing increase in seasonally adjusted starts in Thunder Bay still trails both 2013 and 2012 levels. New listings in the resale market have topped 2013 levels for six of seven months of 2014 thus far providing more supply coming from this side of the homeownership market. This coupled with weaker employment has slowed new construction market thus far in the year-to-date. Finally building permits in July do not point to late summer being any stronger than we have traditionally seen,” reported Warren Philp, CMHC’s Market Analyst for Thunder Bay.
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.
The standalone monthly SAAR was 278 units in July up from 201 in June.
The figures are in the positive numbers for Ontario as well.
Across Ontario housing starts were trending at 57,826 units in July, compared to 56,149 units in June, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts.
The SAAR of total urban housing starts was 67,514 units in July, up from 55,026 units in June. The growth in residential construction was not broad based but rather driven by increases in the GTA and Kitchener-Guelph areas. For the year ending July, Ontario raw urban starts were four per cent above levels for the same period one year ago.
“While most housing structures posted increases in activity during July, most of the strength was in the Ontario apartment sector. Multi-unit home starts, which include semi detached, row and apartment structures, were skewed by a large condominium project which commenced construction in the GTA. Nevertheless, rising home prices combined with modest income and job growth strengthened demand for less expensive home types – resulting in more support for the multi-unit home sector so far this year,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC’s Ontario Regional Economist.