Region’s annual rate of housing starts fell 58% in January: CMHC

Housing construction image housing starts

Housing starts in Ottawa-Gatineau plummeted 84 per cent in January compared with the previous year, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says.

Builders started work on 101 new units last month, down from 640 in January 2022, the national housing agency said Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in the National Capital Region fell 58 per cent in January. The six-month rolling average – designed to smooth out monthly fluctuations – was 1,735 units, compared with 4,095 units in December.

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Housing starts declined sharply on both sides of the river in the first month of 2023. Starts in Ottawa fell 80 per cent from a year earlier to a total of 71, while starts in Gatineau dipped 89 per cent to a total of 30.

Nationally, CMHC says the annual pace of housing starts fell 13 per cent in January.

The national housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts for the first month of the year was 215,365 units compared with 248,296 in December.

The result came as the annual rate of urban starts fell 16 per cent to 191,491 in January.

The annual rate of multi-unit urban starts dropped 20 per cent to 146,267 for the month, while the pace of starts for single-detached urban homes rose three per cent to 45,224 units.

The annual pace of rural starts was estimated at 23,874.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate was 259,412 in January, down four per cent from 269,781 in December.

– With additional reporting from the Canadian Press

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