UPDATED: Housing starts in Ottawa-Gatineau soar 170%, top 2,000 in July, CMHC reports

housing starts

Housing starts in Ottawa-Gatineau surged past the 2,000 mark for the first time ever in July as homebuilders kicked into high gear in a bid to address the region’s ongoing supply shortage.

Work began on 2,130 new housing units in the National Capital Region last month, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported Tuesday. 

That’s up nearly 170 per cent from the 795 starts recorded in July 2021, thanks to a dramatic jump in construction of new apartments, condos and other multi-unit projects on both sides of the Ottawa River.

While single-detached starts fell 25 per cent year-over-year to just over 300, developers launched 1,824 new apartment, condo and other multi-unit suites in Ottawa-Gatineau last month – an increase of nearly 400 per cent over the previous July.

Multi-unit starts rose 344 per cent in Ottawa to 1,548. In Gatineau, 276 new condos and apartments were launched, up from 38 a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the region’s annual pace of housing starts – a rolling average designed to smooth out monthly fluctuations – skyrocketed in July compared with the previous month.CMHC said the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new builds in Ottawa-Gatineau was 24,887 last month, up from 10,641 in June.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts in July edged higher compared with June despite a slowdown in urban starts.

The housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in July was 275,329 units, an increase of 1.1 per cent from June.

The annual rate of urban starts was down 0.8 per cent at 254,371 units in July, while multi-unit urban starts fell 0.3 per cent to 195,987 units.

The pace of single-detached urban starts dropped 2.3 per cent to 58,384 units.

Meanwhile, rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,958 units.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates was 264,426 units in July, up from 257,862 in June.

– With additional reporting from the Canadian Press