Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
New Home Market
Ottawa’s Low Rise Starts Post
Solid Growth in January
Total housing starts in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) reached 371 units in January, down 10 per cent from 2009. While total activity declined from a year ago, this was mostly due to a strong showing in the apartment sector last January. Aside from this, activity among all other housing types was boosted by strong levels of homeownership demand and posted close to record growth for the month. Consistent with CMHC’s forecast for 2010, January housing starts heralded an early recovery phase for the local industry.
Single-detached home starts registered a healthy performance for the fi fth consecutive month and reached an eight-year high for the month. Being the less affordable but traditionally more popular dwelling type, its recent trend clearly refl ects the strength and health of housing demand in Ottawa. Nevertheless, it was the more affordable but close substitute townhome sector that took the lion’s share of total activity, reaching a fouryear high by more than doubling the previous pace for the third straight month, and even surpassing the singles segment. As well, starts of semidetached homes attained the highest level for the month in three decades. This trend clearly confi rms the strong presence of fi rst-time buyers in Ottawa’s market.
The areas of Nepean, Cumberland, Gloucester and Kanata entered 2010 on a positive note with combined starts accounting for almost 8 in 10 of all construction in Ottawa, half of which were townhomes. The most signifi cant growth from a year ago in single-detached starts was observed in Kanata, where builders broke ground on 39 new homes. Being highly infl uenced by the volatile apartment sector, starts in Ottawa’s city core declined signifi cantly from last year. Finally, the more affordable city outskirts continued their streak of solid activity this past January on the back of 37 new townhomes, 25 of which were in West Carleton.