Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

March 10, 2014 08:15 ET

February 2014 Housing Starts in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 10, 2014) - Housing starts in Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 4,918 units in February compared to 6,037 units in January 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.

"Seasonally adjusted housing starts continued on a moderating trend in February following an already weak start to the year. Apartment starts came to a halt while single detached construction remained resilient, albeit scaling back slightly from January levels. Single construction is expected to regain some of its lost ground this year as apartment construction retreats from previous years' record highs," 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 2,222 units in February down from 3,469 units in January.

Nepean (outside the greenbelt) captured half of all starts due to relatively healthy row and single-detached construction. The area captured 89 per cent of all rows and 35 per cent of singles. Gloucester (outside the greenbelt) came in a distant second place with 19 per cent, driven by strong low-rise construction. Kanata came in third place with 16 per cent of CMA activity. The three areas maintained their dominance in activity, a tendency that began in the fall of last year as apartment construction retreated in the core.

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

Additional data is available upon request.

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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.

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