New Ottawa housing starts trending slightly higher in January: CMHC

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Housing starts in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 5,567 units in January compared to 5,537 units in December according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“Housing starts trended slightly higher in January compared to the previous month as apartment home starts strengthened due to a bounce-back in condominium apartments,” said Anne-Marie Shaker, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Ottawa . “Historically high inventories of completed and unsold condominium units amid weak employment conditions in the CMA had led builders to reduce condominium starts over the last six months. This has led to the decline of under construction inventories to their lowest level since April 2012.”

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations, analysing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets, which can be quite variable from one month to the next. The multiples segment includes apartments, rows and semi-detached homes.

In Ottawa, the monthly SAAR measure was 4,740 in January down from 5,116 in December due to a decline in all low-rise dwellings, which more than offset the increase in high-rise dwellings.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables

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