housing market

Ottawa housing starts continue downward trend

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Housing starts in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 4,475 units in July, down from 4,533 units in June, 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.

“The continued downward trend in apartment starts more than offset the upward trend in low-rise dwelling starts, putting slight downward pressure on total housing starts activity in July,” said Anne-Marie Shaker, CMHC senior market analyst for Ottawa, in a press release. “While the inventory of completed and unsold condominium units has come off from previous peaks, builders remain cautious at this time. About 40 per cent of the apartments started this month were rentals.”

The trend measure is used to complement the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for significant swings in monthly estimates and provide a better impression of the state of the housing market. In some instances, using only SAAR data can be misleading as they are often driven by the apartment, townhouse and semi-detached segments of the markets, which can vary dramatically month-to-month.

In Ottawa, the monthly SAAR measure was 4,477, a large decline compared to the 5,637 in June, due to a fall in single-detached and row starts following four and five months of increases, respectively.

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