Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

April 08, 2011 08:16 ET

Ottawa Apartment Construction Dominates in March

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 8, 2011) - According to the latest preliminary data released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), total housing starts in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) reached 583 units in March, pushing year-to-date starts 5 per cent higher than in the first three months of 2010.

In the Ottawa CMA, multiple-family dwellings accounted for 76 per cent of new builds in March. The region experienced a surge in apartment-related activity, followed by new townhome construction while single homes experienced decreased starts activity compared to last year, as well as on a year-to-date basis.

"Strong starts this month can be attributable to the presence of first-time home buyers, as the demand for more affordable types of homes continues in the Capital," said Rocco Caminiti, Market Analyst at CMHC. As well, strong employment figures in Ottawa continue to provide a solid foundation in the new home market. "High income levels have also contributed to encourage demand, particularly in the multiple-family segment," concluded Caminiti.

To view Figure 1, please visit the following link:

A strong month of March in new home activity is directly attributable to two regions – the old City of Ottawa and Gloucester. The growth did not come from the downtown core, but rather came from Vanier, which had 195 apartment starts. Vanier had not seen any major starts activity since December 2009 and has not witnessed this number of new builds since January 2009. Gloucester had penetration among all housing types, with 80 per cent being multiple-family homes, the majority of which were town-homes.

To view Figure 2, please visit the following link:

As a result, on a year-to-date basis, Ottawa continues to lead the way on the total number of homes constructed, followed by Gloucester and Nepean. With the exception of the downtown core, this is the first time this year that we have witnessed any new construction inside the Greenbelt, as both Gloucester and Nepean had 5 singles, 11 townhomes and 8 apartments between them in this area. Cumberland reverted back to the trend of single home construction, while other areas in the region remained relatively flat this month.

To view Figure 3, please visit the following link:

Ottawa Housing Starts
Row House88187112.5%375345-8.0%

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. 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.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-668-2642.

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  • Ottawa (in English or French):
    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Rocco Caminiti
    Market Analyst

    Ontario: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Ted Tsiakopoulos
    Regional Economist

    Canada: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Charles Sauriol
    Senior Media Relations Officer