Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

August 11, 2014 08:15 ET

July 2014 Housing Starts in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 11, 2014) - Housing starts in Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 5,442 units in July compared to 5,258 units in June 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.

"Construction activity trended slightly higher in July from its June level driven by robust single-detached construction. This month singles had a clear dominance in the market breaking the 55 per cent market share, a phenomenon seen only once in the past 5 years. The expectation is for a tilt toward low-rise construction this year led by stronger construction activity of singles outside the greenbelt. Year-to-date construction of this dwelling type surpassed 2013 numbers, albeit following historic lows," 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 4,572 units in July down from 6,658 units in June reflecting a sharp decline in rows and apartment starts.

Starts in Nepean outside the greenbelt (OTG) edged slightly over Kanata this month, with 21 per cent vs. 20 per cent of the total. Although the latter area took the clear lead in single-detached construction with 31 per cent of the total, construction of singles in Nepean (OTG) came in three times its level over the same period in 2013. Slowly but surely, year-to-date single-detached construction is moving further outside of the city limits. Cumberland single starts almost doubled, while Osgoode's came in 50 per cent higher and Russell expanded almost by one quarter more compared to 2013. Year-to-date, while each of these three aforementioned areas has a relatively low share of single-detached starts, their combined market share rose to 17 per cent.

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.

(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.

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Additional data is available upon request.

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Tables and a graph are available at the following address:

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