Ottawa housing starts up 44% in first half of 2017

Housing starts

The busy year continued for Ottawa homebuilders in June as local developers posted double-digit increases in housing starts over last year, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

Construction started on 310 homes last month, up 22 per cent from the 254 starts registered in June 2016, CMHC said Tuesday.

That brings year-to-date housing starts to 2,743 homes, an increase of 44 per cent over the 1,899 homes recorded at the midway point of 2016.

Industry representatives previously told OBJ that local homebuilders are currently in “catch-up mode” after several years of below-average construction levels that coincided with attempts by the previous Conservative government to control federal spending. That had a negative impact on consumer confidence and caused many Ottawa residents to delay major purchases such as homes.

Nationally, the CMHC said the annual pace of housing starts in Canada picked up in June.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in June came in at 212,695 units, up from 194,955 units in May.

Economists had expected the annual rate to come in at 200,000, according to Thomson Reuters.

The overall increase came as the pace of urban starts increased by 9.6 per cent to 194,773 units. Multi-unit urban starts increased by 9.4 per cent to 127,944, while single-detached urban starts increased by 10.1 per cent to 66,829.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,922 units.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates increased to 215,459 in compared with 214,570 in May.

– With reporting by the Canadian Press