Housing starts up in May



    MONTREAL, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The results of the latest monthly starts
survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) revealed
that residential construction in Quebec was up during the month of May. In
all, 3,998 housing units were started in urban centres with 10,000 or more
inhabitants, compared to 3,754 starts in May 2006. The May result is
attributable to activity in census metropolitan areas (CMA), particularly in
the multi-family condominium market segment.
    "As the May survey result encloses several opposing dynamics, it would be
premature to infer a trend reversal from it," said Kevin Hughes, Provincial
Economist at CMHC.
    The number of multi-family (semi-detached, row and apartment) housing
starts went up by 7 per cent, in comparison with the same month last year
(2,207 units, versus 2,055 in May 2006). Apart form the Québec area, which
registered a 21 per cent drop, all CMAs recorded notable increases. Activity
in the Montréal (23 per cent) and Gatineau (over 100 per cent) areas was
especially vigorous. In centres of 50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants, multi-family
housing starts registered a significant decline (69 per cent). Analysis of the
results by tenure type show rental housing starts down by 25 per cent in CMAs
while those aimed at the condominium market were up sharply (65 per cent in
CMAs).
    The monthly survey also reports that single-detached housing starts
increased by 5 per cent in May. In total, 1,791 such houses were started in
Quebec in May 2007, compared to 1,699 during the same period the year before.
All metropolitan areas - with the exception of the Gatineau (- 10 per cent)
and Montréal (0 per cent) areas - registered increases in single detached
starts. Thus far in 2007, single-detached home starts are now down by 6 per
cent in Quebec's urban centres (see table).

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national
housing agency for more than 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians
access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant,
healthy communities and cities a reality across the country. For more
information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.

    
    Preliminary Results - Monthly Starts Survey - Province of Quebec
                        (centres with 10,000+ inhab.)

                           Singles            Multiples                Total
                 2006   2007     %   2006   2007      %   2006   2007      %
               -------------------- -------------------- --------------------

    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU      101     91   -10     55    181   (xxx)   156    272    74
    MONTREAL      893    891     0  1,101  1,358     23  1,994  2,249    13
    QUEBEC        214    266    24    373    294    -21    587    560    -5
    SAGUENAY       36     51    42      6     15   (xxx)    42     66    57
    SHERBROOKE(*)  76     97    28     69     79     14    145    176    21
      SHERBROOKE
       (2001
       geography)  76     89    17     69     67     -3    145    156     8
      MAGOG       N/A      8   N/A    N/A     12    N/A    N/A     20   N/A
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES      38     44    16     24     45     88     62     89    44

    Subtotal
     (100,000+) 1,358  1,440     6  1,628  1,972     21  2,986  3,412    14
      Subtotal
       (excluding
        Magog)  1,358  1,432     5  1,628  1,960     20  2,986  3,392    14

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE  45     51    13     12     23     92     57     74    30
    GRANBY         33     40    21     36     22    -39     69     62   -10
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE(*)  15     18    20     40     22    -45     55     40   -27
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-RICHELIEU 59     59     0     22     37     68     81     96    19
    SHAWINIGAN     14      7   -50    227      0   -100    241      7   -97

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)      166    175     5    337    104    -69    503    279   -45

    Quebec
     (estimate
      10,000+)  1,699  1,791     5  2,055  2,207      7  3,754  3,998     6


                               January to May

                           Singles            Multiples                Total
                 2006   2007     %   2006   2007      %   2006   2007      %
               -------------------- -------------------- --------------------

    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU      422    343   -19    458    525     15    880    868     -1
    MONTREAL    3,500  3,369    -4  5,419  5,596      3  8,919  8,965      1
    QUEBEC        999    932    -7  1,452  1,095    -25  2,451  2,027    -17
    SAGUENAY       82    103    26     47     47      0    129    150     16
    SHERBROOKE(*) 205    221     8    209    322     54    414    543     31
      SHERBROOKE
       (2001
       geography) 189    196     4    188    213     13    377    409      8
      MAGOG       N/A     25   N/A    N/A    109    N/A    N/A    134    N/A
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES     131    144    10    236    286     21    367    430     17

    Subtotal
     (100,000+) 5,339  5,112    -4  7,821  7,871      1 13,160 12,983     -1
      Subtotal
       (excluding
        Magog)  5,339  5,087    -5  7,821  7,762     -1 13,160 12,849     -2

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE 133    129    -3    101    456   (xxx)   234    585   (xxx)
    GRANBY        101    103     2    142     81    -43    243    184    -24
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE     32     35     9     98     70    -29    130    105    -19
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-
     RICHELIEU    230    249     8     90    251   (xxx)   320    500     56
    SHAWINIGAN     40     25   -38    253      0   -100    293     25    -91

    Subtotal
     (50,000
      to 99,999)  536    541     1    684    858     25  1,220  1,399     15

    Quebec
     (estimate
      10,000+)  6,448  6,071    -6  9,081  9,160      1 15,529 15,231     -2

    (xxx) Absolute value greater than 100%

    (*) Data adjusted to reflect geographical definitions of the 2006 census.
        Saint-Hyacinthe now belongs to the 50 000 to 99 999 population
        category. The Sherbrooke CMA now includes the former agglomeration of
        Magog. It is however impossible to adjust the 2006 monthly totals for
        Sherbrooke according to it's new definition as Magog was previously
        enumerated on a quarterly basis.
    




For further information:

For further information: Province: Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist, (514)
283-4488; Montréal: Sandra Girard, Senior Market Analyst, (514) 283-5075;
Québec, Sherbrooke (Estrie), Trois-Rivières (Mauricie), Saguenay: Marie-Elaine
Denis, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8100; Gatineau (Outaouais, Abitibi): Patricia
Dépot, Market Analyst, (514) 283-7312


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