Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

June 08, 2015 08:15 ET

May 2015 Housing Starts in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 8, 2015) - Housing starts in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 3,829 units in May compared to 4,508 units in April 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 activity trended lower in May driven by a significant drop in apartment starts as builders are scaling back on condominium apartment starts. Tepid demand conditions due to weak employment in the CMA coupled with a high number of completed and unsold condominium apartments compared to historical averages is causing this scale back," 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 3,600 in May down from 5,673 in April.

About one third of starts this month occurred in Gloucester outside the greenbelt (OTG), 27 per cent occurred in Nepean (OTG) and 17 per cent in Kanata. Half of all single-detached starts occurred in Kanata and Gloucester (OTG) with almost equal shares, while half of all row starts occurred in Nepean (OTG). Notably this month, ten per cent of single-detached starts occurred in Russell. Year-to-date, the latter area took up about seven per cent of starts compared to about an average one per cent for the same period over the last five years.

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.

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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