Ottawa housing starts jump 22% in August

Apartment construction

Local homebuilders continued to record impressive year-over-year gains as the summer drew to a close with a 22 per cent jump in housing starts, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported Monday.

Developers started work on 618 new homes last month, including 177 single-detached dwellings. That’s up from 508 in August 2016.

Industry officials have previously said the industry is recovering in lockstep with a rebound in consumer confidence following years of belt-tightening under the Conservative government that limited the region’s economic growth.

In addition to reporting actual housing starts, the CMHC also calculates a seasonally adjusted six-month rolling annualized average to show trends in new home construction.

By that measurement, the trend in Ottawa last month was 7,015 annualized housing starts. Over the last eight year, developers have averaged 5,834 new starts per year.

Nationally, homebuilders across Canada started work on 17,750 new homes, up 22 per cent from 14,514 in August 2016.

The national six-month rolling annualized average was 219,447 units in August, up from 217,339 units in July 2017. August marked the eighth straight month that the trending figure was above the 200,000 mark, the CMHC said.

“Demand for new homes remains strong, consistent with consumer confidence which reached its highest level in 10 years,” Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist, said in a statement.