Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

August 09, 2011 08:15 ET

Ottawa Starts Moderate in July

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 9, 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 385 units in July. Year-to-date starts are down 18 per cent for the first six months of this year compared to the same period one year ago.

In July, building activity slowed across all housing types, with the more volatile higher- density dwellings showing the largest decline from a year ago. Worthy of note is that all apartment units started this past month were intended for social housing. "A moderating resale housing market, the effects of tighter mortgage rules and emerging global uncertainties have combined to temper demand for new homes in Ottawa," said Sandra Pérez Torres, Senior Market Analyst at CMHC.

"Although apartment starts posted a decline this month when compared to a year ago, they are expected to follow a solid trend that remains in line with underlying demographic fundamentals," concluded Pérez Torres.

Almost thirty per cent of total construction activity took place in Ottawa's core, driven mostly by a new social housing complex of 70 units. The only urban area registering growth in July was Cumberland with a mix of row houses and single-detached homes. As well, Ottawa's more affordable outlying areas, especially Clarence-Rockland and West Carleton, attracted a growing share of new single-detached home starts. Finally, almost all new townhome buyers in July will soon call the suburban neighbourhoods of Cumberland, Kanata and Nepean (outside of the Greenbelt) their home.

Residential construction activity for most regions so far in 2011 continued to trail behind last year's pace, with the sole exception of downtown Ottawa, due to a warm early start of the year.

Single-detached home starts remained flat or slightly behind last year only in Ottawa's core, Nepean and Cumberland; while declining in all the other submarkets.

New semi-detached home starts were mainly concentrated in the Old City of Ottawa, Nepean and Gloucester.

The Gloucester area was alone among the major row house markets to grow its popularity, while activity in Nepean, Kanata and Cumberland remained largely subdued. Lastly, overall apartment starts lagged below pace mainly due to lower activity in Nepean.

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 www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.

To view the graph "Ottawa housing starts for 2009-2011" please view the following link:

http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ottawa1.pdf.

To view the graph "Housing starts by area July 2010 and July 2011" please view the following graph.

http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ottawa2.pdf.

To view the graph "Housing starts by area 2010 and 2011 YTD", please view the following link:

http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ottawa3.pdf.

To view the table associated with this release, please view the following link:

http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ottawa4.pdf.

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