Quebec housing starts forecasts



    MONTREAL, Sept. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the latest forecasts
conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a weaker economic
environment, combined with increased supply of homes will lower housing
construction in Quebec this year. Despite favorable buying conditions, housing
starts will descend to the 43,000 level in 2009, while sales of existing homes
will decline to about 75,000 units. The province's economy and housing sector
will begin to recover in 2010.
    Quebec's economy, whose growth went from 2.6 per cent in 2007 to 1.0 per
cent last year, has contracted in the fourth quarter of 2008 and in the first
quarter of 2009. Recent losses in the labour market combined with the
currently high level of economic uncertainty will continue to hold back
household spending in the near term. This, in turn, will reduce private
investment. Moreover, exports will remain weak in 2009 as external (foreign
and Canadian) demand weakens.
    Governments have responded with increased spending on infrastructure
projects and recent fiscal and monetary stimulus plans. As a result, the
Quebec economy is expected to recede by 2 per cent in 2009, while job growth
will register a decline of 1.1 per cent. In 2010, the economy will grow by 1.4
per cent while the labour market begins to recover (0.4 per cent).

    In Detail

    Single Starts: This segment will be affected by the economic and
financial environment, as well as by the recently rising supply of resale
homes. Affordability has become more of an issue, prompting homebuyers to turn
to the resale market, where supply is more abundant. As well, semi-detached
and row housing are likely to be viewed as substitutes for single-detached
houses. Approximately 17,600 single starts are expected in 2009 and just under
18,000 are expected in 2010.
    Multiple Starts: In recent years, vigorous construction of retirement
homes and condominiums brought multi-family starts to historically high levels
in Quebec markets. Given the fact the growth rate of the population aged 75
and over will temporarily slow and given current supply, starts in this
category will slow to approximately 25,500 units in 2009 and just over 23,000
in 2010.
    Resales: Sales of existing homes will decline in 2009, but will remain at
a relatively high level. Demand for condominiums will still be an important
component, but will nevertheless decrease. The Multiple Listing Service
(MLS(R)) will record over 75,000 sales in 2009. Being the first market to
react to the economic recovery, resales will amount to 77,000 in 2010.
    Prices: Lower sales and higher inventories will begin to take pressure
off prices. Cooling demand should cool price growth in the final months of
2009 and early 2010. As a result, the average MLS(R) price will post growth of
1.4 per cent to $213,700 in 2009. Market conditions will improve slightly in
2010, translating into marginal price growth, as the average MLS(R) price
surpasses the $215,000 level.

    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.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Forecast Summary - September 2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Single-
                          Total detached              MLS(R) Rental
    Major               housing  housing   MLS(R)   average vacancy  Average
    Centres     Year     starts   starts   sales      price    rate     rent
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                2008      3,304    1,120   4,390    186,212     1.9      677
               --------------------------------------------------------------
    Gatineau    2009(F)   2,910      960   4,025    192,800     2.3      690
               --------------------------------------------------------------
                2010(F)   2,850      850   3,925    197,500     2.5      705
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                2008     21,927    6,602  40,440    258,028     2.4      659
               --------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal    2009(F)  17,900    4,800  37,400    263,000     2,1      668
               --------------------------------------------------------------
                2010(F)  18,900    5,400  39,000    263,700     2,4      675
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                2008      5,457    2,031   8,003    193,195     0.6      653
               --------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec      2009(F)   4,800    1,725   7,450    202,850     0.6      663
               --------------------------------------------------------------
                2010(F)   4,300    1,450   7,800    208,950     0.8      673
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                2008        869      400   1,557    150,597     1.6      518
               --------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay    2009(F)     525      275   1,400    158,000     2.0      530
               --------------------------------------------------------------
                2010(F)     850      300   1,400    165,000     2.0      540
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                2008      1,627      802   1,864    179,434     2.8      543
               --------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke  2009(F)   1,550      730   1,790    183,000     3.0      555
               --------------------------------------------------------------
                2010(F)   1,525      750   1,880    186,600     3.1      565
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                2008      1,148      373     799    141,610     1.7      505
               --------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-      2009(F)     850      325     765    144,500     1.8      515
    Rivières   --------------------------------------------------------------
                2010(F)     810      300     750    148,800     2.0      525
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                2008     47,901   19,778  79,402    210,775     n/a      n/a
               --------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec      2009(F)  43,175   17,250  75,400    213,700     n/a      n/a
               --------------------------------------------------------------
                2010(F)  41,100   17,500  77,000    215,100     n/a      n/a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    n/a: Not applicable

    MLS(R) is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association
    (CREA).
    Sources: CMHC, Canadian Real Estate Association, Statistics Canada, CMHC
    Forecast 2009-2010
    Source for Quebec CMA's MLS(R) data: The Quebec Federation of Real Estate
    Boards by Centris(TM), CMHC compilation
    NOTE: Rental universe = Privately initiated rental apartment
    structures of three units and over
    




For further information:

For further information: Province: Catherine Léger, Communications,
(514) 283-7972; Montréal: Astrid Joseph, Market Analyst, (514) 496-8564;
Québec: Elisabeth Koulouris, Senior Market Analyst, (418) 649-8098; Gatineau
(Outaouais): Patrice tardif, Senior Market Analyst, (514) 283-2097; Sherbrooke
(Estrie): Francis Cortellino, Market Analyst, (514) 283-8391; Trois-Rivières
(Mauricie): Elisabeth Koulouris, Senior Market Analyst, (418) 649-8098;
Saguenay: Patrice Tardif, Senior Market Analyst, (514) 283-2097


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