Ottawa-Gatineau housing starts bounce back in June: CMHC

housing starts
housing starts

The pace of housing starts heated up in June compared with a year earlier as builders in Ottawa-Gatineau ramped up construction to meet continued strong demand, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says.

Developers started work on 897 new housing units in the National Capital Region last month, up 18 per cent from the 761 starts recorded in June 2021, CMHC said Monday. That reversed two consecutive months of year-over-year declines in local housing starts.

While construction slowed down on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River, with the number of new starts falling to 132 from 151 the previous June, builders in Ottawa picked up the pace.

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There were 765 new units started in the capital last month, a year-over-year jump of 25 per cent.

A surge in starts of apartments, condos and other multi-unit projects accounted for most of the increase. Multi-unit starts in Ottawa rose 80 per cent compared with June 2021, tallying 534 units. By contrast, the number of single-detached units fell 26 per cent to 231.

Meanwhile, the region’s annual pace of housing starts – a rolling average designed to smooth out monthly fluctuations – fell significantly last month after rising slightly in May.

CMHC said the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new builds in Ottawa-Gatineau was 10,660 in June, compared with 14,924 in May.

Nationally, the federal housing agency says the annual pace of housing starts in June slowed compared with May.

CMHC says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts came in at 273,841 units for June, down three per cent from 282,188 in May.

The drop came as the annual rate of urban starts fell three per cent to 257,438 units in June.

The annual pace of multi-unit housing projects dropped two per cent to 197,022 units, while the rate of single-detached urban starts decreased four per cent to 60,416 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,403 units.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 258,295 in June, up from 252,444 in May.

– With additional reporting from the Canadian Press

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