Thunder Bay Housing Starts Up Through November

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THUNDER BAY – The local housing market continues on a positive trend. Housing starts in Thunder Bay, Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 323 units in November, up from 317 units in October according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“The upward momentum of the six-month moving average trend measure over the past several months continued in November despite the monthly SAAR for housing starts dipping. Weaker economic underpinnings will cause the current trend to slow in the next few months,” said Warren Philp, CMHC Market Analyst for the Thunder Bay CMA.

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 214 units in November down from 293 units in October. This decline in the monthly SAAR was due to a dip in multiples in November, after having been higher than usual for several months. Singles activity stayed relatively high.

The Thunder Bay housing stats match with the provincial statistics released today as well. Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 74,287 units in November, up slightly from 73,759 units in October, 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 Ontario residential construction trend continued to grow on the strength of semi-detached and apartment construction. The trend in single detached construction has remained relatively stable in recent months. Ontario starts have been running above levels supported by household formation rates since June suggesting recent activity is likely not sustainable. Nevertheless, rising home prices for single family homes, low rental vacancy rates and less land available for low density housing development should continue to support apartment starts in the immediate term,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC’s Ontario Regional Economist.

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