Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

May 08, 2014 08:15 ET

April 2014 Housing Starts in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 8, 2014) - Housing starts in Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 3,931 units in April compared to 4,513 units in March 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.

"Low-rise activity should revitalize into the summer months driven by singles and rows, but remain below long term historical averages. The starts picture is gradually shifting to a three-way split between dwelling types offering a balanced mix for potential buyers," said Sandra Perez Torres, Senior Market Analyst for Eastern and Northern Ontario.

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 multiples segment includes apartments, rows and semi-detached homes.

In Ottawa, the standalone monthly SAAR was 3,103 units in April down from 5,368 units in March. In April, seasonally adjusted housing starts activity reversed from the March pick-up due to a drop in the number of apartment units started. As for the other dwelling types, singles and semis trended higher while rows moderated.

This month, the main market driver was single-detached construction. Kanata took up 40 per cent of single-detached starts followed by Nepean (outside the Greenbelt) which seized 27 per cent. Boosted by construction of this dwelling type, together both areas captured over half of all CMA activity in April. Year-to-date activity saw Old Ottawa City still capturing one quarter of total CMA activity due to the concentration of apartment starts in the core area. Aside from the core, Nepean still has the edge so far into the year with 20 per cent market share vs. 17 for Kanata.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca

(1) All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) - that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.

Additional data is available upon request.

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Tables and a graph are available at the following address:

Contact Information

  • Sandra Perez-Torres, Senior Market Analyst

    National Media Contact:
    Beth Bailey, Consultant, Communications and Marketing
    (416) 218-3355