Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

January 09, 2015 08:15 ET

December 2014 Housing Starts in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 9, 2015) - Housing starts in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) remained stable at 6,246 units in December compared to 6,210 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) [1] of housing starts.

"Ottawa housing starts remained stable in December, particularly supported by the construction of townhouses. And while overall starts declined in 2014, single-detached construction was almost on par with 2013 levels and row construction continued a revitalization path that started in mid-2013," said Sandra Perez Torres, Senior Market Analyst for Eastern and Northern Ontario. "Recovering job growth in recent months also stimulated demand for new homes in multiple housing, particularly those that provide bigger living spaces, such as townhomes".

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 monthly SAAR measure was 6,826 units in December down from 7,662 units in November. This decline was the result of a moderation of all dwelling types, with the exception of townhomes. Apartment starts posted the highest decline as the build-up of inventory over the last two years continues to be absorbed by the market.

This month, Kanata captured the highest number of housing starts with 26 per cent of the total due to the area's high share of singles and rows. Nepean both inside and outside the Greenbelt came in second place as it secured 40 per cent share of apartment starts, mostly purpose-built rental apartments. Gloucester and Cumberland tied for third place, each with 19 per cent of total starts. For the year, the suburban areas of Nepean and Kanata held the highest shares of starts with over 20 per cent share each. While it was strong row starts that gave Nepean the lead, Kanata's high share of single-detached starts boosted starts levels in the area.

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

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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[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: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/986894e.pdf

Contact Information

  • Market Analysis Contact:
    Sandra Perez-Torres, Senior Market Analyst
    613-748-5120
    sperezto@cmhc.ca

    Media Contact:
    Beth Bailey, Consultant, Communications and Marketing
    416-218-3355
    Cell: 416-988-4615
    bbailey@cmhc.ca