THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – The housing starts trend in the Thunder Bay Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) was slightly lower at 188 units in December compared to 211 units in November 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 small decrease in total housing starts trend in December was due to slightly lower singles and multiples starts trends,” said Warren Philp, CMHC Market Analyst for the Thunder Bay CMA. “Actual total housing starts for the year reached 183 units, down 24.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2015, as demographic and economic fundamentals have not improved over this period.”
Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 71,096 units in December, down from 72,427 units in November, 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.
“Despite a second consecutive monthly decline in the residential construction trend in December, Ontario housing starts grew in 2016 to one of the highest levels in over a decade. Single detached starts drove starts activity while condo construction eased last year from exceptionally strong levels in 2015. Stronger growth in the Ontario economy, low vacancy rates and less choice in the resale market, particularly for single family homes, pushed starts higher in 2016,” 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.
The standalone monthly SAAR of total housing starts was 146 units in December, down from 164 units in November, as stronger multiples starts were more than offset by weaker single-detached starts.