Housing starts decline 16 per cent in Ottawa in first half of 2022

Housing starts declined 16 per cent in the city of Ottawa during the first half of the year, as interest rate hikes and rising costs affected construction activity.

However, new statistics from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation shows housing starts were still higher than the five-year average in Ottawa.

The Housing Supply Report from CMHC shows there were 4,147 total housing starts in the city of Ottawa in the first half of the year, down 16 per cent from the same time last year.

“The decrease was particularly significant in the single-detached and condominium apartment segments, where the level of construction was very high between January and June of 2021,” CMHC said.

Construction on single-detached starts continued to grow in rural west Ottawa this year, according to CMHC, while Barrhaven, Gloucester and West Orleans saw a decline in single family home construction starts.

“The number of single-detached starts remained at a historically high level in Gloucester/ West Orleans despite the decline.”

The report also shows construction times for all dwelling types became longer in 2021 compared to the 2016-2020 period, due to supply chain issues.

“Supply chain interruptions and labour constraints could explain the most recent lengthening of construction times,” CMHC said in its report.

“On average, it took two more months to complete a single-detached or a semi-detached home in 2021, versus the average of the previous five years.”

Construction times ranged from 8.9 months for a single-family home to 10 months for a semi-detached home and 16 months for an apartment.

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