Quebec housing starts slightly down in July



    MONTREAL, Aug. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the latest starts survey
conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing starts
were down this past month in Quebec's urban centres with 10,000 or more
inhabitants. A total of 3,122 starts were enumerated in July, a 3-per-cent
decrease year-over-year. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts,
for its part, was up 2 per cent compared to June. In all CMAs across Quebec,
2,582 units were started in July 2008 versus 2,616 in July 2007 (-1 per cent).
The drop was more pronounced (-13 per cent) in agglomerations with 50,000 to
99,999 inhabitants, where foundations were laid for 279 new dwellings.
    The results for July are much like the statistics observed since the
beginning of the year, with an increase in multi-housing starts and a decrease
in single-detached starts. In fact, 1,756 multi-family units were started in
centres with 10,000 or more inhabitants, a 5-per-cent jump from July a year
ago. "The relative affordability of condominiums and semi-detached and row
houses, when compared to single-detached homes, fuelled demand for properties
of this type, especially in major urban centres. This contributed to the
overall growth of multi-housing starts, in spite of the decrease recorded in
rental housing," said Frédéric Brie, Market Analyst at CMHC. Multi-housing
starts increased by 1 per cent in the CMAs and by 8 per cent in centres with
50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants.
    Single-detached starts were down 12 per cent from July 2007. This marks
the fifth month in a row where a drop in residential construction is observed
in this market segment. In all, 1,366 single-detached houses were started in
July 2008, compared to 1,556 a year earlier. The decrease was less significant
in all the CMAs (-4 per cent) than in centres with 50,000 to
99,999 inhabitants (-33 per cent).
    Overall results for the Quebec CMAs were mixed in July. Increases were
reported in Trois-Rivières (+26 per cent), Sherbrooke (+21 per cent) and
Montréal (+10 per cent), while starts fell by 14 per cent in Québec City,
39 per cent in Gatineau and 42 per cent in Saguenay.
    In centres of 50,000 or more inhabitants, the July survey results
revealed that starts were up in Saint-Hyacinthe (+30 per cent) and
Drummondville (+22 per cent), and down in Granby (-15 per cent),
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (-18 per cent) and Shawinigan (-76 per cent).

    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.)

                                     July

                    Singles             Multiples              Total
                  2007   2008    %     2007   2008     %    2007   2008    %
                 -----------------    ------------------  ------------------

    Centres with 100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU       141     94  -33      188    106   -44     329    200  -39
    MONTREAL       629    626    0      950  1,111    17   1,579  1,737   10
    QUEBEC         241    198  -18      168    155    -8     409    353  -14
    SAGUENAY        41     51   24       75     16   -79     116     67  -42
    SHERBROOKE      74    120   62       44     23   -48     118    143   21
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES       41     36  -12       24     46    92      65     82   26

    Subtotal
    (100,000+)(*)1,167  1,125   -4    1,449  1,457     1   2,616  2,582   -1


    Centres with 50,000 to 99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE   40     24  -40       33     65    97      73     89   22
    GRANBY          40     35  -13       44     36   -18      84     71  -15
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE(*)    6     10   67       21     25    19      27     35   30
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-RICHELIEU  41     31  -24       47     41   -13      88     72  -18
    SHAWINIGAN      37     10  -73       12      2   -83      49     12  -76

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)(*)    164    110  -33      157    169     8     321    279  -13

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)    1,556  1,366  -12    1,676  1,756     5   3,232  3,122   -3


                               January to July

                    Singles             Multiples              Total
                  2007   2008    %     2007   2008     %    2007   2008    %
                 -----------------    ------------------  ------------------

    Centres with 100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU       599    544   -9      865    876     1   1,464  1,420   -3
    MONTREAL     4,847  4,282  -12    7,856  9,074    16  12,703 13,356    5
    QUEBEC       1,412  1,226  -13    1,707  2,150    26   3,119  3,376    8
    SAGUENAY       209    236   13      139     83   -40     348    319   -8
    SHERBROOKE     362    458   27      451    399   -12     813    857    5
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES      238    218   -8      366    394     8     604    612    1

    Subtotal
    (100,000+)(*)7,667  6,964   -9   11,384 12,976    14  19,051 19,940    5

    Centres with 50,000 to 99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE  201    189   -6      496    190   -62     697    379  -46
    GRANBY         193    176   -9      148    239    61     341    415   22
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE      51     75   47      117     94   -20     168    169    1
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-RICHELIEU 326    169  -48      420    181   -57     746    350  -53
    SHAWINIGAN      70     69   -1       12     26  (xxx)     82     95   16

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)       841    678  -19    1,193    730   -39   2,034  1,408  -31

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)    9,570  8,915   -7   13,298 14,629    10  22,868 23,544    3


    (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, Québec and Saguenay CMAs: Frédéric
Brie, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8102; Montréal: Astrid Joseph, Market Analyst,
(514) 496-8564; Sherbrooke, Gatineau and Trois-Rivières: Francis Cortellino,
Market Analyst, (514) 283-8391


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