Concentration of vacant residential land ownership 'significantly increases': city
By Peter Kovessy, Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Mon, Oct 26, 2009 2:00 PM EST
Nine homebuilders control more than two-thirds of Ottawa's vacant residential urban land supply, city staff say in a new report.
In a study being tabled at Tuesday's planning and environment committee meeting, city officials say there has been a "significant increase" in the concentration of ownership.
Including the city of Ottawa, the ten largest landowners held 70 per cent of the vacant residential land supply in 2008, up from 59 per cent a year earlier, the report says.
When partnerships are considered, Richcraft and Urbandale together account for 32 per cent of the land supply. Other major residential landowners include:
Minto (10 per cent)
Mattamy (six per cent)
Monarch (six per cent)
Brookfield Homes (five per cent)
Claridge (five per cent)
Tartan (three per cent)
City of Ottawa (three per cent)
Excluding the land added to the urban area by council in June, the city had a net urban residential land supply of 2,441 hectares (6,032 acres), enough for 96,100 units. Based on the city's projected growth figures, this is enough to meet Ottawa's needs for the next two decades.
However, the head of Ottawa's homebuilding sector has previously taken issue with the way the city calculates its available land supply.
"We see the next 25 years being very different from the last 25 years in terms of the demographics, and the type of housing that is going to be required for that demographic group," said John Herbert, the executive director of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders' Association, in an earlier interview.
He said empty-nesters and seniors who have historically moved from single-family houses into condominiums and apartments will stay in their homes longer. In the past, those groups were forced to move because of financial or health reasons.
Separately, the city reports notes that at 33.9 units per hectare, the average density of housing built in 2008 was the highest recorded level since the city began monitoring in 1983.