THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – For the fourth month in a row, housing starts in Thunder Bay are down.
Housing starts in Thunder Bay, Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 201 units in March, down from 267 units in February 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 trend’s downward movement in March marks the fourth month that the trend has moved down after a solid run-up that had begun in April of 2015. The decline can be attributed primarily to weaker multiple-unit housing starts, which include semi-detached homes, townhouses and apartments. Flat employment and a resale market moving into balance caused starts to slow in the last few months,” concluded 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 16 units in March down from 149 units in February due to weak single-detached and multiple-unit housing starts.