New housing construction in Ottawa hit 50-year high in 2021: CMHC

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) says Ottawa saw a boom in the housing market in 2021, with the highest number of new starts in nearly 50 years.

A new report shows there were more than 10,000 housing starts in the city last year, marking a three per cent increase over 2020, which was also a historically high year for housing starts.

CMHC figures show 3,276 new single-detached units, 255 semi-detached units, 2,824 rowhouses, and 3,866 apartments were started in 2021.

Two-thirds of new builds were in the suburbs, with Barrhaven, Sittsville, western Orleans and Gloucester outside the Greenbelt leading the charge.

South Keys, Westboro North, Hampton Park, and Little Italy saw 25 per cent of the city’s new apartments and condos. The CMHC notes these neighbourhoods are all close to O-Train expansion areas. In the past year, 2,702 condominiums were started, compared to 1,196 rental units, the CMCH said.

Nearly 40 per cent of housing starts last year were apartments. In 2000, that number was closer to 10 per cent.

The CMHC notes that Ottawa’s population growth is outpacing new housing construction, which is contributing to higher prices in the market. Of the new starts in 2021, only 200 new units had not found buyers, a nearly 20-year low.