Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

April 10, 2015 08:15 ET

March 2015 Housing Starts in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 10, 2015) - Housing starts in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 4,600 units in March compared to 5,175 units in February 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.

"Starts for all dwelling types trended lower for the fourth consecutive month. Elevated condominium starts in the preceding three years are gradually translating into higher inventories of completed and unsold units, which has led builders to reduce apartment starts this year. In addition, weak employment is keeping starts activity at bay," 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 1,512 in March down from 2,361 in February with the sharpest declines occurring among rows and apartments.

This month, about 30 per cent of starts occurred in the core area due to the concentration of apartment starts in the area. About 20 per cent of starts occurred in Gloucester outside the greenbelt as over a quarter of single-detached starts took place in the area. Another 29 per cent of starts occurred in Nepean outside the greenbelt and Kanata. Housing starts activity has typically been concentrated in these four areas as they are the submarkets with the highest population density. That being said, more single starts are occurring in peripheral areas where they are more affordable.

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