City housing starts trend down in September: CMHC

The “modest employment picture” in Ottawa continues to “dampen housing sentiment,” the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Wednesday.

The agency’s latest numbers show housing starts in September trended down in Ottawa at 6,211, compared with 6,246 in August.

CMHC senior marketing analyst Sandra Perez Torres said the drop was due mostly to a decline in row and apartment starts.

“In contrast, single-detached homes strengthened once more. On the whole, the third quarter ended with fewer starts as builders continued to reduce new apartment construction,” she said in a statement.

Kanata saw the most starts in September, followed by Gloucester outside the greenbelt and Nepean. For the quarter and year-to-date, Nepean is leading the way thanks to rowhouse starts. The most single-detached starts year-to-date have been in Kanata.

Nationally, starts were up in September compared with August.

CMHC estimates there were 17,343 actual starts in September and extrapolates that out over 12 months to produce a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 197,343 starts. That’s up from an annual rate of 196,283 in August.

Economists had expected the annual pace to come in at 196,100, according to Thomson Reuters.

CMHC says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts in September decreased in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada and increased in Quebec, Ontario and the Prairies.

It says urban starts recorded a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 177,019 in September, up from 176,234 in August.

The annual pace of multiple urban starts in September increased to 114,579 units, while the single-detached urban starts segment decreased to 62,440 units.

- with files from the Canadian Press