Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Ottawa housing starts plummet as economic uncertainty continues
The number of new home starts fell dramatically in May compared with the same month a year ago, according to new statistics released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
The national housing market watchdog said new home construction fell to 330 units in May, down from 906 starts in May 2014.
The poor month for construction adds to a low year for Ottawa home builders, who have begun construction on 1,243 homes during the first five months of 2015. During the year-ago period, housing starts totalled 1,933.
“Tepid demand conditions due to weak employment in the (city) coupled with a high number of completed and unsold condominium apartments compared to historical averages is causing this scale back,” said Anne-Marie Shaker, Ottawa real estate market analyst for CMHC.
High density housing was hardest hit, but no segment was left unscathed. The number of new multiple dwelling units, including condominiums and apartments, fell to 164, down from 665 in May 2014. Starts on single detached homes fell to 166, down from 241 in May 2014.
The only district in which housing construction increased last month from the year before was Gloucester, with 242 starts compared with 207 started during May 2014.
Of all the districts within Ottawa, Nepean recorded the most starts, 324, during the first five months of 2015. In the old city of Ottawa, 267 units were started, down from 549 a year ago.
New home starts fell dramatically in Kanata and Cumberland, CMHC said.