Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

November 08, 2011 08:36 ET

Ottawa's Apartments Lead Construction in October

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 8, 2011) - According to the latest preliminary data released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing starts in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) totalled 602 units in October. This represented the second straight month of significant advance, thus improving the year-to-date pace to just 6 per cent lower than a year ago.

"Condominium apartment construction activity gained momentum in October, confirming CMHC's expectation of an active year-end as some of the larger development projects in the pipeline materialize," said Sandra Pérez Torres, Senior Market Analyst at CMHC.

Following two months of strong activity and a recent demand surge for low-rise homes at builders' sales office, new starts of single-detached homes and townhomes came in lower than both last year and the five-year average for the month. "Ottawa's condo market demand continued to be supported both by shifting consumer preferences in favour of more affordable housing as well as by the active role played by young first-time buyers and empty-nesters," concluded Pérez Torres.

To view "Ottawa Housing Starts 2009-2011," please visit the following link:

Residential construction for the month was dominated by activity within the city core, with the start of 197 new condominium apartment units. The other two regions with positive contributions for the month were Nepean –outside of the Greenbelt– and Goulbourn, both adding a mixture of single-detached homes and condominium apartments. While most other regional sub-markets registered lower starts, activity both inside and outside of the Greenbelt still managed to advance compared to a year ago driven mainly by new condo apartments, with four out of ten units being located in outer regions. The suburban areas of Kanata and Cumberland were the heaviest drags to starts growth during October, both showing lower demand for new townhomes while Kanata also posting weaker activity for new single-family homes.

To view "Housing Starts by Area October 2010 and October 2011," please visit the following link:

Combining to sixty per cent of total residential construction activity, the three regional submarkets with the highest year-to-date number of housing starts, namely Nepean, Ottawa's core and Cumberland, also boast the best annual pace performance so far in 2011. Nepean now stands alone as the only area posting an advance from last year, closing in to its local record from three years ago thanks to strong activity for all housing types except townhomes. Following the best month of the year for apartment construction, Ottawa's city core has recouped its pace and is now tailgating last year's record. For its part, Cumberland's latest slip brought the region to virtually match last year's pace, being dragged mainly by the wider weakening of activity to-date for new townhomes. With no apartment construction and weaker low-rise activity due to declining affordability, Kanata now stands as the heaviest drag to Ottawa's annual pace.

To view "Housing Starts by Area 2010 and 2011 YTD," please visit the following link:

Ottawa Housing Starts

Oct-10 Oct-11 % Change 2010 (YTD) 2011 (YTD) % Change
Single-Detached 162 153 -5.6 % 1,785 1,602 -10.3 %
Multi-Family 252 449 78.2 % 3,191 3,076 -3.6 %
Semi-Detached 26 38 46.2 % 272 309 13.6 %
Row House 201 81 -59.7 % 1,689 1,435 -15.0 %
Apartment 25 330 1220.0 % 1,230 1,332 8.3 %
Total 414 602 45.4 % 4,976 4,678 -6.0 %

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.

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Contact Information

  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Ottawa (in English or French): Sandra Perez-Torres
    Senior Market Analyst

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Ontario: Ted Tsiakopoulos
    Regional Economist

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Canada: Charles Sauriol
    Senior Media Relations Officer
    (613) 748-2799

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation