Quebec housing starts in August



    MONTREAL, Sept. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the results of the latest
monthly survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC),
residential construction rose this past month in Quebec's centres with 10,000
or more inhabitants. In all, 3,409 dwellings were started in August 2009,
compared to 3,082 a year earlier. As well, the seasonally adjusted annual rate
of starts for this same month (41,000) was comparable to pace recorded in July
(40,000). Nationally, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts was
150,400 units in August.
    "So far in 2009, residential construction in Quebec's urban centres is
down by 16 per cent. The less significant decline in the multiple-unit housing
segment (-10 per cent, compared to -25 per cent for single-detached homes)
reflects, in part, a shift toward more affordable housing types," said Kevin
Hughes, Senior Economist at CMHC.
    The strength housing activity registered this past August in Quebec was
entirely attributable to an increase in the multi-unit (semi-detached, row and
apartment) housing segment; in fact, while starts of this type rose by 36 per
cent, the number of new single-detached homes fell by 28 per cent.
    As expected, the same observation was made in the census metropolitan
areas (CMAs), with a decrease of 21 per cent in single-detached home starts
and an increase of 37 per cent for multiple-family housing. Single-detached
house construction was on the decline or stable in all six Quebec CMAs, while
only two recorded drops in multiple-unit housing activity (see table). In all,
2,981 housing units got under way in the CMAs during August, for a gain of 16
per cent over the 2,559 starts enumerated a year earlier.
    In the larger census agglomerations (with 50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants),
housing starts increased by 68 per cent in August (223 units in 2009, versus
133 in 2008). Multi-unit housing starts were in fact very numerous in these
centres, surging by more than 100 per cent. However, no significant variation
in housing activity was observed in the single-detached home segment.
    Still according to the survey results, there were fewer freehold home
starts but more new rental and condominium housing units compared to August
2008. The Québec CMA stood out in this regard.

    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.)


                               August

                    Singles             Multiples              Total
                  2008   2009    %    2008    2009    %    2008    2009    %
                ------------------  -------------------  -------------------

    Centres with
     100,000+
     inhab.

    GATINEAU       119     83  -30     244     266    9     363     349   -4
    MONTREAL       447    370  -17   1,123   1,269   13   1,570   1,639    4
    QUEBEC         168    134  -20     157     545 (xxx)    325     679 (xxx)
    SAGUENAY        52     52    0      58      18  -69     110      70  -36
    SHERBROOKE      64     42  -34      10     149 (xxx)     74     191 (xxx)
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES       51     31  -39      66      22  -67     117      53  -55

    Subtotal
     (100,000+)    901    712  -21   1,658   2,269   37   2,559   2,981   16

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE   23     29   26       6       4  -33      29      33   14
    GRANBY          32     32    0      17      71 (xxx)     49     103 (xxx)
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE      10      6  -40       9      21 (xxx)     19      27   42
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-
     RICHELIEU      20     26   30       2      17 (xxx)     22      43   95
    SHAWINIGAN      10      3  -70       4      14 (xxx)     14      17   21

    Subtotal
     (50,000
     to 99,999)     95     96    1      38     127 (xxx)    133     223   68

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)    1,216    873  -28   1,866   2,536   36   3,082   3,409   11


                         January to August

                    Singles             Multiples              Total
                  2008   2009    %    2008    2009    %    2008    2009    %
                ------------------  -------------------  -------------------

    Centres with
     100,000+
     inhab.

    GATINEAU       663    676    2   1,120   1,440   29   1,783   2,116   19
    MONTREAL     4,729  3,211  -32  10,197   8,552  -16  14,926  11,763  -21
    QUEBEC       1,394  1,159  -17   2,307   2,265   -2   3,701   3,424   -7
    SAGUENAY       288    204  -29     141     130   -8     429     334  -22
    SHERBROOKE     522    482   -8     409     593   45     931   1,075   15
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES      269    240  -11     460     381  -17     729     621  -15

    Subtotal
     (100,000+)  7,865  5,972  -24  14,634  13,361   -9  22,499  19,333  -14

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE  212    218    3     196     102  -48     408     320  -22
    GRANBY         208    166  -20     256     270    5     464     436   -6
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE      85     43  -49     103     106    3     188     149  -21
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-
     RICHELIEU     189    153  -19     183      99  -46     372     252  -32
    SHAWINIGAN      79     43  -46      30      50   67     109      93  -15

    Subtotal
     (50,000
     to 99,999)    773    623  -19     768     627  -18   1,541   1,250  -19

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)   10,305  7,719  -25  16,547  14,831  -10  26,852  22,550  -16
    

    (xxx) Absolute value greater than 100%




For further information:

For further information: Province of Quebec: Kevin Hughes, Senior
Economist, (514) 283-4488; Montréal: David L'Heureux, Market Analyst, (514)
496-2587; Sherbrooke (Estrie): Francis Cortellino, Market Analyst, (514)
283-8391; Québec: Elisabeth Koulouris, Senior Market Analyst, (418) 649-8098;
Trois-Rivières (Mauricie); Elisabeth Koulouris, Senior Market Analyst, (418)
649-8098; Gatineau (Outaouais, Abitibi): Patrice Tardif, Senior Market
Analyst, (514) 283-2097; Saguenay: Patrice Tardif, Senior Market Analyst,
(514) 283-2097


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