OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 9, 2015) - Housing starts in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 5,984 units in January compared to 6,256 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)(1) of housing starts.

"The year began with Ottawa housing starts trending lower compared to December, and also coming in below their level at the same time a year earlier. Weak employment conditions and flat earnings in the nation's capital continue to weigh on developer and buyer sentiment restraining housing market activity. Low-rise starts once more took up the larger share of activity as the condominium segment faced inventory issues," said Anne-Marie Shaker, Market Analyst Ottawa.

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 2,837 in January down from 6,858 in December.

This month, about 26 per cent of starts occurred in Nepean outside the greenbelt and about 20 per cent in Kanata. In both cases, most of the starts were single-detached or row homes. Both are high income and high population growth areas, and this supports strong activity in both the new and resale housing markets.

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

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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(1) All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) - that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.

Additional data is available upon request.

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Tables and a graph are available at the following address:

Contact Information:

Market Analysis Contact:
Anne-Marie Shaker, Market Analyst

Media Contact:
Beth Bailey, Consultant, Communications and Marketing
Cell: 416-988-4615