Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

March 09, 2015 08:15 ET

February 2015 Housing Starts in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 9, 2015) - Housing starts in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 5,180 units in February compared to 5,976 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.

"For the third consecutive month, housing starts trended lower for all dwelling types in February affected by low temperatures reducing the number of work days in the construction sector. Year-to-date the actual number of single-detached starts compared to 2014 retreated. Over the last few years, in the low-rise segment of the market, single-detached starts have declined at a faster rate than both semis and rows. In addition, since 2008, the gap between the number of single-detached and row starts has narrowed considerably as affordability of the latter made them a viable alternative to the higher-priced singles," said Anne-Marie Shaker, Market Analyst Ottawa.

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 2,374 in down February from 2,799 in January.

This month, about 29 per cent of starts occurred in Gloucester outside the greenbelt as all condominiums started were concentrated in the area. While the trend remains that most condominium construction occurs in Ottawa centre or close to it, other areas have begun to attract such developments, as builders and buyers respectively seek lower costs and prices.

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 information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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.

(Ce document existe également en français)

Tables and a graph are available at the following address:

Contact Information

  • Market Analysis Contact:
    Anne-Marie Shaker, Market Analyst

    Media Contact:
    Angelina Ritacco
    Public Affairs Advisor, Communications and Marketing
    Cell: 647-210-7420