Ottawa housing starts down in June, but six-month trend still on the rise

Default image

The annual pace of housing starts in Ottawa was down slightly in June – but the six-month trend was up, reversing a four-month downward trend, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

By Jacob Serebrin

CMHC’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 5,723 units in June, down from 5,987 in May. An increase in low-rise dwelling starts failed to offset a "strong decline in apartment starts," according to the agency.

It’s a steep drop from this time last year, when the SAAR measure was at 8,866 units. CMHC’s trend, a six-month moving average of the SAAR, was at 4,562 units in June, up from 4,442 units in May.

That increase was credited to a rise in row starts and a small uptick in single detached home starts.

"Row starts activity has been on an upward trajectory since February while the starts of the other housing types have trended down," Anne-Marie Shaker, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Ottawa, said in a statement. "New rows are relatively more affordable than singles and high-rise condominiums and are relatively more spacious than the latter, making them a popular housing type."

Nationwide, CMHC’s SAAR was 218,333 units in June, up from 186,709 in May.

Driving that growth was multiple-unit projects in urban areas, which increased by 26.7 per cent to an annualized annual rate of 142,819 units.

Single-detached urban starts increased by 1.7 per cent to 59,883, and urban starts of both categories increased by 18.1 per cent in the month to 202,702 units.

B.C., Ontario and the Prairies showed increases in urban starts, while those rates declined in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15,631 units.

CMHC’s six-month moving average increased to 197,918 units in June compared with 190,302 in May.