Housing starts fall 32% in December

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Housing starts in Ottawa declined in December 2012 compared to a year earlier, figures released Wednesday by Canada’s national housing agency show.

The number of starts stood at 382 last month, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. That’s down from 563 in December 2011.

Local housing starts for the full year nevertheless increased, going from 5,794 in 2011 to 6,026 in 2012. That suggests a slowdown towards the end of the year.

“In December, housing starts moderated from a year earlier on declines in both single and row

structures,” said Sandra Pérez Torres, CMHC’s senior market analyst for eastern and northern Ontario, in a statement. “Notwithstanding, the year ended with total starts rising four per cent over the previous year’s pace boosted by strong apartment construction in May while starts activity declined in the other market segments.”

The seasonally-adjusted annual rates had housing starts at 4,237 units in December 2012, compared to 3,967 units a year earlier.

Most of the new starts were located in Kanata, West Carleton, the old City of Ottawa and Cumberland, the CMHC figures said.