Real Estate Market Remains Steady as New Home Starts Sag

Real Estate Home sales

THUNDER BAY – REAL ESTATE – The 2015 housing market in Thunder Bay is slightly down in terms of new home starts, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Fall Housing Market Outlook report for Thunder Bay.

The CMHC reports that “Total housing starts will decrease slightly to 230 units in 2015 before rising in 2016 on the strength of slightly higher singles and apartment starts”.

“Starts will increase as builders respond to pent-up demand for smaller units by smaller households wanting to downsize,” stated Warren Philp, CMHC Market Analyst. “New singles construction will climb in 2016 before dipping in 2017 while demand for apartments and freehold and condo rows continues to increase modestly in 2015 through 2017. Weakening employment will be at the heart of a general softening of housing market demand in 2016 and 2017, especially in the resale market,” concluded Philp.

Resale Market Remains Steady

Existing home sales will increase by just 1.9 per cent in 2015, before slipping in 2016 and 2017. Thunder Bay’s tight resale conditions gave way to more balanced conditions due to new listings growth and waning demand. Consequently, price growth will moderate from eight per cent in 2014 to three per cent this year and two per cent in 2016.

The average vacancy rate will increase this year due to employment decline and more renters transitioning into homeownership. Migration from Northwestern Ontario into Thunder Bay and increased international student placements at Thunder Bay’s post-secondary institutions will support rental demand next year and into 2017, causing the vacancy rate to, once again, decrease.