Ottawa housing starts up 25% in September

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Ottawa homebuilders got busy in September as the number of housing starts for the region increased 25 per cent when compared to the same month a year earlier, numbers released by Canada’s housing agency on Tuesday said.

There were 642 housing starts in Ottawa last month, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., up from the 512 that were measured in September of 2012.

The six-month moving average of seasonally-adjusted annual rates – CMHC’s preferred metric for measuring housing starts – was at 7,963 units. That’s an increase when compared to the 7,525 units measured for August.

However the standalone seasonally adjusted rate had September down to 7,768 units from 8,966 units in August.

“Seasonally adjusted housing starts trended slightly lower in September compared to August, but remained robust boosting third quarter starts 28 percent ahead of the previous quarter,” said Sandra Perez Torres, senior market analyst for the region, in a statement.

“While low-rise construction scaled back compared to the previous month, stronger apartment construction lifted total starts.”

A jump in multiple-unit dwellings drove the year-over-year increase for September, going from 512 in 2012 to 642 last month. The number of single-detached starts were down to 97 from 118 in September of 2012.

Construction in Gloucester was responsible for 44 per cent of total activity, according to CMHC, making it even more popular than the downtown core.