Quebec housing starts in April



    MONTREAL, May 8 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the results of the latest
monthly survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC),
residential construction declined this past month in Quebec's centres with
10,000 or more inhabitants. In all, 3,051 dwellings were started, compared to
3,964 a year earlier.
    The seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts, for its part, was down by
7 per cent in April from the previous month, after having posted a gain
between February and March 2009. This decrease was in fact mainly due to the
low level of single-detached home construction, as the seasonally adjusted
annual rate of such starts fell from 11,800 to 9,700 units in the space of one
month (-18 per cent).
    Despite the drop in starts, the province of Québec continued to stand out
from the rest of Canada. "Quebec is registering smaller decreases than most of
the other large Canadian regions, as the decline began earlier there. Quebec
is also relatively less affected than the other provinces by the current
economic conditions," said Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist at CMHC.
    In April, the fall in starts registered in Quebec reflected the results
observed in most census metropolitan areas (CMAs) across the province. In
fact, while increases were reported in Gatineau (more than 100 per cent) and
Trois-Rivières (+51 per cent), foundations were laid for fewer homes in Québec
(-46 per cent), Sherbrooke (-28 per cent), Saguenay (-25 per cent) and
Montréal (-15 per cent). Among all these major urban centres, an even more
general picture is however becoming apparent as, apart from the Trois-Rivières
area, all Quebec CMAs recorded declines in single-detached home building, with
the greatest drop having occurred in Montréal (-44 per cent). In the
multiple-unit housing segment, the results varied from one CMA to another (see
table).
    As well, the survey revealed that starts fell by 69 per cent in all large
census agglomerations (CAs). Both single-detached home building (-51 per cent)
and multi-unit housing construction (-85 per cent) were responsible for this
decline.
    Still according to the survey, there were fewer freehold and condominium
housing starts, while new rental units were more numerous than in April 2008.
Compared to the first four months of 2008, housing activity was down by 25 per
cent.

    As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of
experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally
sustainable, and affordable homes--homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities 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.)


                                    April

                        Singles           Multiples             Total
                   2008   2009    %   2008   2009     %    2008   2009     %
                  ------------------ ------------------- --------------------
    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU         93     89   -4     74    268  (xxx)    167    357  (xxx)
    MONTREAL        842    471  -44  1,165  1,226     5   2,007  1,697   -15
    QUEBEC          268    194  -28    566    257   -55     834    451   -46
    SAGUENAY         37     33  -11     23     12   -48      60     45   -25
    SHERBROOKE       55     44  -20     75     50   -33     130     94   -28
    TROIS-RIVIERES   36     48   33     41     68    66      77    116    51

    Subtotal
     (100,000+)   1,331    879  -34  1,944  1,881    -3   3,275  2,760   -16

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE    30     20  -33     25      2   -92      55     22   -60
    GRANBY           29     10  -66     46      0  -100      75     10   -87
    SAINT-HYACINTHE  13      6  -54     24      3   -88      37      9   -76
    SAINT-JEAN-SUR-
     RICHELIEU       36     14  -61     33     12   -64      69     26   -62
    SHAWINIGAN       10      8  -20      8      4   -50      18     12   -33

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)        118     58  -51    136     21   -85     254     79   -69

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)     1,748  1,037  -41  2,216  2,014    -9   3,964  3,051   -23


                               January to April

                        Singles           Multiples             Total
                   2008   2009    %   2008   2009     %    2008   2009     %
                  ------------------ ------------------- --------------------
    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU        261    276    6    503    699    39     764    975    28
    MONTREAL      2,105  1,267  -40  5,303  4,183   -21   7,408  5,450   -26
    QUEBEC          537    425  -21  1,166    517   -56   1,703    942   -45
    SAGUENAY         62     47  -24     33     30    -9      95     77   -19
    SHERBROOKE      150    157    5    176    196    11     326    353     8
    TROIS-RIVIERES   95     72  -24    168    118   -30     263    190   -28

    Subtotal
     (100,000+)   3,210  2,244  -30  7,349  5,743   -22  10,559  7,987   -24

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE    77     52  -32     66     45   -32     143     97   -32
    GRANBY           68     40  -41     95     92    -3     163    132   -19
    SAINT-HYACINTHE  30     13  -57     50     29   -42      80     42   -48
    SAINT-JEAN-SUR-
     RICHELIEU       80     49  -39     67     50   -25     147     99   -33
    SHAWINIGAN       15     11  -27      8     10    25      23     21    -9

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)        270    165  -39    286    226   -21     556    391   -30

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)     3,964  2,720  -31  8,093  6,299   -22  12,057  9,019   -25

    (xxx) Absolute value greater than 100%
    




For further information:

For further information: Province of Quebec: Kevin Hughes, Senior
Economist, (514) 283-4488; Montréal: Stéphane Duguay, Market Analyst, (514)
496-1468; Sherbrooke (Estrie): Francis Cortellino, Market Analyst, (514)
283-8391; Québec: Elisabeth Koulouris, Senior Market Analyst, (418) 649-8098;
Trois-Rivières (Mauricie): Marie-Elaine Denis, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8100;
Gatineau (Outaouais, Abitibi): Patrice Tardif, Senior Market Analyst, (514)
283-2097; Saguenay: Patrice Tardif, Senior Market Analyst, (514) 283-2097


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