THUNDER BAY – Housing starts in Thunder Bay were down 21 percent in September 2020 when compared to September 2019. There were a total of 13 single-detached housing units started in the city in September. There were two other starts of multi-detached housing units that started during the month. That was down from three units in the previous year’s tally.
Across Canada, the trend in housing starts was 214,647 units in September 2020, up from 212,609 units in August 2020, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
“The national trend in housing starts was largely unchanged in September,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Multi-family starts have been very volatile in recent months, partly reflecting the impact of COVID-19. High levels of multi-family starts in July and August were largely offset by lower levels in September, leaving the trend largely unchanged. This pattern was particularly evident in Ontario, including Toronto. We expect national starts to trend lower by the end of 2020 as a result of the negative impact of COVID-19 on economic and housing indicators.”
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 Canada’s housing market. In some situations, analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.
The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 208,980 units in September, a decrease of 20.1% from 261,547 units in August. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 21.1% in September to 195,909 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 27% to 146,005 units in September while single-detached urban starts increased by 3.4% to 49,904 units.