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Ottawa’s Low Rise Starts Post Solid Growth in January

Updated Monday, February 8, 2010
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Ottawa’s Low Rise Starts Post Solid Growth in January

OTTAWA, February 8th, 2010 – According to the latest data released this morning by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), 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,” said Sandra Pérez Torres, Senior Market Analyst at CMHC.

Single-detached home starts registered a healthy performance for the fifth 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 reflects the strength and health of housing demand in Ottawa,” added Pérez Torres. Nevertheless, it was the more affordable but close substitute townhome sector that took the lion’s share of total activity, reaching a four-year high by more than doubling the previous pace for the third straight month, and even surpassing the singles segment. As well, starts of semi-detached homes attained the highest level for the month in three decades. This trend clearly confirms the strong presence of first-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 significant growth from a year ago in single-detached starts was observed in Kanata, where builders broke ground on 39 new homes. Being highly influenced by the volatile apartment sector, starts in Ottawa’s city core declined significantly 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.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of 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 vital decisions. For more information, visit or call 1-800-668-2642.


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