Frigid February drops Ottawa housing starts for third straight month: CMHC

The record-breaking cold temperatures in February was a main factor in another drop in housing starts in the capital, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said Monday.

With a smaller number of work days in the construction sector, starts trended at 5,180, down almost 800 from January.

Gloucester outside the greenbelt saw 29 per cent of the starts, as all the condominium starts in February were in this area. While most condo construction is still centrally located, CMHC said outlying areas are beginning to attract the attention of developers looking to lower costs, and buyers looking for lower prices.

Ottawa's seasonally-adjusted annual rate of starts also dropped in February, from 2,799 to 2,374

Across the country, the annual pace of new housing construction also slowed in February, with fewer multiple-unit projects such as condos and apartments.

CMHC says the seasonally adjusted annual rate decreased to 156,276 units in February, down from 187,025 in January – an below the estimate of 179,000 units.

The agency says the rate of new home starts in urban areas fell to 140,722 in February, down from 171,950 in January.

The decrease was led by a slower rate of multiple-dwelling starts, which fell to 86,214 units in February from 115,123 in January.

CMHC says single-detached urban starts decreased to 54,508 units in February from 56,827 the previous month.

The six-month moving average in February was 182,137 units, compared to 188,761 in January.

-with files from the Canadian Press