Friday, April 07, 2006

Ottawa Housing Starts Cool Modestly

Housing starts in the Ottawa CMA eased to 390 units in January 2006, from 395 units in January 2005 according to data released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. A slight decline in multiple starts, to 291 units last month from 310 units during the equivalent year-earlier month, outweighed an increase in single starts to 99 units from 85 units.

"While last month's starts volume represents a drop from January 2005, it is well above the 256-unit average of total housing starts posted during the prior 10 years," observed CMHC market analyst Robin Wiebe. "A warmer-than-average January kept single-detached home construction respectable."

A drop in apartment starts from 199 units in January 2005 to 2 last month outweighed smaller increases in semidetached and row unit starts to nudge multiple starts down. "Multiple starts are typically volatile," Wiebe added.

Gloucester, Nepean lead construction volumes - starts in the former municipalities of Gloucester and Nepean were last month's highest and among Ottawa's growth leaders in January. Surging row construction largely underpinned hikes in these areas. Advancing multiple starts also fuelled construction increases in Kanata, while in Cumberland, higher singles starts outweighed modest multiple easing.

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