Condo surge leads Ottawa housing starts

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A more than four-fold increase in apartment-style housing starts boosted the overall numbers year-over-year in January, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The housing agency recorded 245 apartment starts breaking ground in January 2012, 433 per cent more than the 46 started a year ago.

This led the charge in a 220-per-cent increase in multi-family homes, to 362 starts, year-over-year. Single-family homes, by contrast, rose by only 18 per cent to 122.

Overall housing starts rose 124 per cent to 484, from 216 in 2011.

"Notably, construction in Nepean almost tripled from last year on the back of strong townhome demand, while builders in suburban Cumberland remained active with the addition of a varied mix of new homes," the CMHC stated.

Most of the construction came in the city's core, the agency noted, with declines seen in Kanata in both single-detached homes and townhomes.

Nationally, seasonally adjusted starts increased by 16 per cent to 197,900 in January, but were virtually flat since December.

The one-per-cent decrease since last month was due to declines in multiple-housing starts in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, the CMHC stated.