Ottawa-Gatineau’s annual pace of housing starts jumped a whopping 725 per cent in February, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Wednesday, reversing months of steep declines.
The national housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts for the second month of the year was 14,283 units compared with just 1,730 in January.
The rate – a rolling average designed to smooth out monthly fluctuations – rose from 1,370 to 6,345 in Ottawa and from 360 to 7,938 in Gatineau.
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Meanwhile, regional housing starts for the month of February increased 23 per cent year-over-year to 1,077, bouncing back from a recent trend that saw starts decline from the previous year.
Starts on the Ottawa side of the river held steady at 493, a gain of just two from February 2022, with a 51 per cent drop in single-detached starts offset by a 19 per cent rise in multi-unit starts.
Gatineau builders launched 584 new units last month, up substantially from 386 a year earlier. The city recorded 60 starts for single-detached homes compared with just five in February 2022, while multi-unit starts increased 38 per cent to 524.
Countrywide, CMHC says the annual pace of housing starts climbed 13 per cent in February.
The national housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 243,959 units compared with 216,514 in January.
The result came as the annual rate of urban starts bumped up 16 per cent to 222,663 units in February.
The annual rate of multi-unit urban starts increased 18 per cent to 173,745 for the month, while the pace of starts for single-detached urban homes rose eight per cent to 48,918 units.
The annual pace of rural starts was estimated at 21,296 units.
The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate was 255,735 in February, down two per cent from 259,830 units in January.
– With additional reporting from the Canadian Press