Quebec housing starts rise in December



    MONTREAL, Jan. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the latest monthly starts
survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC),
residential construction increased in Quebec during the past month in centres
with 10,000 or more inhabitants. In all, 2,747 housing units were started in
December 2008, compared to 2,668 one year earlier, for a gain of 3 per cent.
However, the pace of construction, as measured by the seasonally adjusted
annual rate of starts, was more moderate than in November.
    In 2008, 41,554 dwellings were started in centres with 10,000 or more
inhabitants, a volume similar to the level recorded the previous year (40,885
units). Single-detached home building fell by 5 per cent, while
multiple-family housing construction rose by 6 per cent. In the census
metropolitan areas (CMAs), the year-to-date figures were comparable to the
2007 results while, in the larger census agglomerations (CAs), those with
50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants, total starts for the year show a decrease of 10
per cent. "I am not at all surprised by the starts result observed in 2008, as
it is exactly in line with our forecast from a year ago," said Kevin Hughes,
Senior Economist at CMHC for Quebec.
    In December, contrary to what was noted for the province overall, starts
recorded a decrease of 5 per cent in the CMAs (2,126 units in 2008, compared
to 2,232 in 2007). The major gain (+18 per cent) posted in the multiple-family
(semi-detached, row and apartment) housing segment was not sufficient to fully
offset the 37-per-cent drop in single-detached home building. In the larger
CAs, a considerable increase (+74 per cent) resulted from the construction of
many new units (intended for the rental and condominium markets) in the
Drummondville, Granby and Saint-Hyacinthe agglomerations.
    Multi-family housing starts were up significantly (+27 per cent) over
December of the previous year. With the exception of the Trois-Rivières area
(-26 per cent), all CMAs registered notable increases (see table). The
Montréal and Gatineau areas posted gains of 9 per cent and 11 per cent,
respectively, while the other three CMAs recorded greater hikes. "The increase
in multi-unit housing construction observed in 2008 was attributable to two
main factors: a growing demand for more affordable housing (condominiums, row
homes) and a strong supply of retirement homes," noted Mr. Hughes.
    A marked change in housing starts was also observed in the
single-detached home category, but in the opposite direction. In fact, the
December result (804 starts) showed a decline of 29 per cent from the same
month in 2007. All CMAs registered significant drops (see table). "The major
decrease in single-detached housing starts noted in recent months is
comparable to what can be observed in the case of existing home sales. While
it is too early to speak of a trend, these results-as well as the figures for
multiple-family housing-are in line with our forecasts for 2009, namely, that
demand is decreasing and also shifting toward more affordable housing options.
We can see here not only the effect of the economic environment but also the
impact of the demographic changes in the province," concluded Kevin Hughes.

    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.)

                                December

                    Single-Detached         Others               Total
                    2007   2008    %    2007   2008    %    2007   2008    %
                  -------------------  ------------------  ------------------
    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.
     (December)

    GATINEAU          82    59   -28     131    146   11     213    205   -4
    MONTREAL         562   335   -40     827    899    9   1,389  1,234  -11
    QUEBEC           125    98   -22     160    250   56     285    348   22
    SAGUENAY          28    12   -57       2     56 (xxx)     30     68 (xxx)
    SHERBROOKE        72    56   -22      39     86 (xxx)    111    142   28
    TROIS-RIVIERES    56    20   -64     148    109  -26     204    129  -37

    Subtotal
     (100,000+)      925   580   -37   1,307  1,546   18   2,232  2,126   -5

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.
     (December)

    DRUMMONDVILLE     37    23   -38       6     78 (xxx)     43    101 (xxx)
    GRANBY            16    24    50       4     57 (xxx)     20     81 (xxx)
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE(*)     12     2   -83      39     85 (xxx)     51     87   71
    SHAWINIGAN         7    13    86      34      9  -74      41     22  -46
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-RICHELIEU    19    22    16       8      3  -63      27     25   -7

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)          91    84    -8      91    232 (xxx)    182    316   74

    Centres with
     10,000 to
     49,999 inhab.
     (4th Quart.)

    ALMA               8    10    25       6     22 (xxx)     14     32 (xxx)
    AMOS               4    13  (xxx)      2      0 -100       6     13 (xxx)
    BAIE-COMEAU        2     6  (xxx)      0     24 (xxx)     2      30 (xxx)
    COWANSVILLE        5     8    60       7      0 -100     12       8  -33
    DOLBEAU-
     MISTASSINI        2     5  (xxx)      0      8 (xxx)     2      13 (xxx)
    GASPE             25    10   -60       0      0    0     25      10  -60
    JOLIETTE          44    49    11     144     54  -63    188     103  -45
    LA TUQUE           1     2   100       0      0    0      1       2  100
    LACHUTE           16    21    31      18     28   56     34      49  44
    LES-ILES-DE-
     LA-MADELEINE     na    33    na      na      4   na     na      37   na
    MATANE             8     2   -75       8      6  -25     16       8  -50
    MONT-LAURIER      na     9    na      na     62   na     na      71   na
    MONTMAGNY          3     1   -67      18     20   11     21      21    0
    PREVOST           na    34    na      na     14   na     na      48   na
    RAWDON            na    27    na      na     24   na     na      51   na
    RIMOUSKI          44    39   -11      75     50  -33    119      89  -25
    RIVIERE-DU-
     LOUP             25    19   -24       2     54 (xxx)    27      73 (xxx)
    ROBERVAL           1     2   100       0      2 (xxx)     1       4 (xxx)
    ROUYN-NORANDA     17    20    18       2      0 -100     19      20    5
    SAINTE-ADELE      na    21    na      na     22   na     na      43   na
    SAINTE-MARIE       8    12    50      30     40   33     38      52   37
    SAINTE-SOPHIE     na    44    na      na     24   na     na      68   na
    SAINT-FELICIEN     5     4   -20       0      5 (xxx)     5       9   80
    SAINT-GEORGES     30    26   -13      40     18  -55     70      44  -37
    SAINT-LIN-
     LAURENTIDES      64    46   -28       0     43 (xxx)    64      89   39
    SALABERRY-DE-
     VALLEYFIELD      21    16   -24      59     25  -58     80      41  -49
    SEPT-ILES          5    11  (xxx)      2      0 -100      7      11   57
    SOREL-TRACY       20    26    30      39     16  -59     59      42  -29
    THETFORD MINES     4    11  (xxx)      2      2    0      6      13 (xxx)
    VAL-D'OR          28    54    93      31      6  -81     59      60    2
    VICTORIAVILLE     34    28   -18      36     64   78     70      92   31

    Subtotal
     (10,000 to
     49,999)(*)      424   609    44     521    637   22    945   1,246   32

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)      1,140   804   -29   1,528  1,943   27  2,668   2,747    3



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

                         January to December

                    Single-Detached         Others               Total
                    2007   2008    %    2007   2008    %    2007   2008    %
                  -------------------  ------------------  ------------------
    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU       1,037  1,120    8   1,751  2,184   25   2,788  3,304   19
    MONTREAL       8,013  6,602  -18  15,220 15,325    1  23,233 21,927   -6
    QUEBEC         2,144  2,031   -5   3,140  3,426    9   5,284  5,457    3
    SAGUENAY         373    400    7     312    469   50     685    869   27
    SHERBROOKE       666    802   20     652    825   27   1,318  1,627   23
    TROIS-RIVIERES   430    373  -13     767    775    1   1,197  1,148   -4

    Subtotal
     (100,000+)   12,663 11,328  -11  21,842 23,004    5  34,505 34,332    1

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE    329    322   -2     590    330  -44     919    652  -29
    GRANBY           325    330    2     285    755 (xxx)    610  1,085   78
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE(*)     95    107   13     226    205   -9     321    312   -3
    SHAWINIGAN       119    125    5      57     65   14     176    190    8
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-RICHELIEU   451    272  -40     566    230  -59   1,017    502  -51

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)       1,319  1,156  -12   1,724  1,585   -8   3,043  2,741  -10

    Centres with
     10,000 to
     49,999 inhab.

    ALMA              57    102   79      32     69 (xxx)     89    171   92
    AMOS              17     41 (xxx)      9      4  -56      26     45   73
    BAIE-COMEAU       13     23   77       0     24 (xxx)     13     47 (xxx)
    COWANSVILLE       32     40   25      12     29 (xxx)     44     69   57
    DOLBEAU-
     MISTASSINI       12     36 (xxx)      4     20 (xxx)     16     56 (xxx)
    GASPE             76     95   25       2     26 (xxx)     78    121   55
    JOLIETTE         225    246    9     249    169  -32     474    415  -12
    LA TUQUE           5      6   20       0     17 (xxx)      5     23 (xxx)
    LACHUTE           51     80   57      52     78   50     103    158   53
    LES-ILES-DE-
     LA-MADELEINE     na     40   na      na      4   na      na     44   na
    MATANE            31     23  -26      14      8  -43      45     31  -31
    MONT-LAURIER      na     43   na      na     64   na      na    107   na
    MONTMAGNY         25     13  -48      21     26   24      46     39  -15
    PREVOST           na    132   na      na     14   na      na    146   na
    RAWDON            na     78   na      na     32   na      na    110   na
    RIMOUSKI         130    151   16     127    182   43     257    333   30
    RIVIERE-DU-
     LOUP             86     77  -10     114    100  -12     200    177  -12
    ROBERVAL          11     18   64       2      6 (xxx)     13     24   85
    ROUYN-NORANDA    110    102   -7       7      4  -43     117    106   -9
    SAINTE-ADELE      na     87   na      na     49   na      na    136   na
    SAINTE-MARIE      29     39   34      92    148   61     121    187   55
    SAINTE-SOPHIE     na    159   na      na     70   na      na    229   na
    SAINT-FELICIEN    29     27   -7      24      5  -79      53     32  -40
    SAINT-GEORGES    120    105  -13     116    106   -9     236    211  -11
    SAINT-LIN-
     LAURENTIDES     254    207  -19      13     73 (xxx)    267    280    5
    SALABERRY-DE-
     VALLEYFIELD      81     74   -9     153    219   43     234    293   25
    SEPT-ILES         52     44  -15      34     11  -68      86     55  -36
    SOREL-TRACY      106     99   -7     132    106  -20     238    205  -14
    THETFORD MINES    27     49   81       2     19 (xxx)     29     68 (xxx)
    VAL-D'OR         100    118   18      45      9  -80     145    127  -12
    VICTORIAVILLE    161    148   -8     235    286   22     396    434   10

    Subtotal
     (10,000 to
     49,999)(*)    1,846  2,504   36   1,491  1,977   33   3,337  4,481   34

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)     15,828 14,988   -5  25,057 26,566    6  40,885 41,554    2

    (xxx) Absolute value greater than 100%

    (*) Data adjusted to reflect geographical definitions of the 2006 census.
        Les-Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Mont-Laurier, Prévost, Rawdon,
        Sainte-Adèle, and Sainte-Sophie now belong to the 10 000 to 49 999
        population category.

    




For further information:

For further information: Province of Quebec: Kevin Hughes, Senior
Economist, (514) 283-4488; Montréal: Bertrand Recher, Senior Market Analyst,
(514) 283-2758; 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: Frédéric Brie, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8102


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