Ottawa’s housing starts cool while Gatineau heats up in November: CMHC

housing starts

Despite a flurry of building on the Gatineau side of the river, a lag in new projects in Ottawa led to a slowdown in November housing starts.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Monday morning that Ottawa-Gatineau builders started 846 new projects last month, an 18 per cent drop from the same period last year.

Ottawa saw 579 housing starts in November, a decrease of nearly 40 per cent from 2017. While the number of single-detached units was up slightly year-over-year, a 53 per cent drop in multi-unit residential starts drove the decline.

It was a different story in Gatineau, however, which saw an additional 200 multi-unit starts in November. There were 267 total housing starts in Gatineau in November compared with 81 new projects last year.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, however, the pace of housing starts in the National Capital Region was up 100 per cent over October.

On a national scale, the CMHC says the annual pace of housing starts in November picked up compared with October.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in Canada was 215,941 units in November, up from 206,753 in October.

Economists had expected an annual rate of 198,000, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The increase in the overall annual rate of housing starts came as the pace of urban starts increased by 2.2 per cent in November to 202,054 units.

The annual rate of urban multiple-unit projects such as condominiums, apartments and townhouses grew 3.9 per cent to 151,596 units, while single-detached urban starts fell 2.3 per cent to 50,458.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13,887 units.

– With files from Canadian Press