Quebec housing starts up in May



    MONTREAL, June 9 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the latest monthly starts
survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC),
residential construction registered an increase this past month in centres
with 10,000 or more inhabitants across Quebec. In fact, 4,459 housing units
were started in May, up 9 per cent over the same month a year earlier (4,081).
As well, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts increased by 17 per
cent in May, compared to April. Foundations were laid for 3,887 dwellings in
all the census metropolitan areas (CMAs), in comparison to 3,412 in May 2007
(+14 per cent). However, starts decreased by 20 per cent in the agglomerations
(to 222 in 2008, from 279 in 2007).
    Urban multi-family (semi-detached, row and apartment) housing starts
increased by 20 per cent year-over-year (2,685 in 2008, versus 2,232 in 2007).
However, this growth concealed opposing dynamics. While significant increases
were observed in all the CMAs except Gatineau (see table), there was a
9-per-cent decrease in the agglomerations.
    "It should be pointed out that semi-detached and row home building
activity remained strong in May, as starts increased by 27 per cent. Since
these homes are usually more affordable than single-detached houses, it is no
surprise that starts of this type are on the rise for the thirteenth straight
month in centres of 50,000 or more inhabitants and that they have increased by
16 per cent since the beginning of this year," said Kevin Hughes, Regional
Economist at CMHC.
    It should also be mentioned that, in the Trois-Rivières area,
multi-family housing starts more than tripled compared to the same period last
year (144 in 2008, versus 45 in 2007) and that these units were mainly
intended for the rental market.
    Again according to the monthly survey, single-detached housing starts
fell by 4 per cent in Quebec, for a third straight monthly decline. In all,
1,774 single-detached houses were started in May 2008, compared to
1,849 during the same month last year. However, as was the case for multiples,
the results varied depending on the centres. While a slight increase was
observed in the CMAs (+2 per cent), a decrease of 27 per cent was reported in
the agglomerations.
    In centres of 50,000 or more inhabitants, the May survey results further
revealed that rental housing starts jumped by 41 per cent, while condominium
and homeowner housing starts were up 15 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively.
    Overall, except for the Gatineau area, foundations were laid for a
greater number of units in May across all Quebec CMAs. The largest increase
was registered in the Trois-Rivières CMA (over 100 per cent), followed by
Saguenay (+26 per cent), Québec (+24 per cent), Sherbrooke (+19 per cent), and
Montréal (+10 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.)

                                     May

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


    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU                      91     111      22     181     114     -37
    MONTREAL                     891     894       0   1,358   1,586      17
    QUEBEC                       266     250      -6     294     443      51
    SAGUENAY                      51      63      24      15      20      33
    SHERBROOKE                    97      96      -1      79     114      44
    TROIS-RIVIERES                44      52      18      45     144    (xxx)

    Subtotal (100,000+)        1,440   1,466       2   1,972   2,421      23

    Centres with 50,000
     to 99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE                 51      38     -25      23      41      78
    GRANBY                        40      30     -25      22      32      45
    SAINT-HYACINTHE(*)            18      15     -17      22       4     -82
    SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU      59      28     -53      37      10     -73
    SHAWINIGAN                     7      16    (xxx)      0       8    (xxx)

    Subtotal (50,000
     to 99,999)                  175     127     -27     104      95      -9

    Quebec (estimate 10,000+)  1,849   1,774      -4   2,232   2,685      20


                                                               Total
                                                        2007    2008       %
                                                       ----------------------


    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU                                             272     225     -17
    MONTREAL                                           2,249   2,480      10
    QUEBEC                                               560     693      24
    SAGUENAY                                              66      83      26
    SHERBROOKE                                           176     210      19
    TROIS-RIVIERES                                        89     196    (xxx)

    Subtotal (100,000+)                                3,412   3,887      14

    Centres with 50,000
     to 99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE                                         74      79       7
    GRANBY                                                62      62       0
    SAINT-HYACINTHE(*)                                    40      19     -53
    SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU                              96      38     -60
    SHAWINIGAN                                             7      24    (xxx)

    Subtotal (50,000
     to 99,999)                                          279     222     -20

    Quebec (estimate 10,000+)                          4,081   4,459       9


                               January to May

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

    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU                     343     372       8     525     617      18
    MONTREAL                   3,369   2,999     -11   5,596   6,889      23
    QUEBEC                       932     787     -16   1,095   1,609      47
    SAGUENAY                     103     125      21      47      53      13
    SHERBROOKE                   221     246      11     322     290     -10
    TROIS-RIVIERES               144     147       2     286     312       9

    Subtotal (100,000+)        5,112   4,676      -9   7,871   9,770      24

    Centres with 50,000
     to 99,999 inhab..

    DRUMMONDVILLE                129     115     -11     456     107     -77
    GRANBY                       103      98      -5      81     127      57
    SAINT-HYACINTHE               35      45      29      70      54     -23
    SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU     249     108     -57     251      77     -69
    SHAWINIGAN                    25      31      24       0      16    (xxx)

    Subtotal (50,000
     to 99,999)                  541     397     -27     858     381     -56

    Quebec (estimate 10,000+)  6,251   5,543     -11   9,213  10,760      17


                                                               Total
                                                        2007    2008       %
                                                       ----------------------

    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU                                             868     989      14
    MONTREAL                                           8,965   9,888      10
    QUEBEC                                             2,027   2,396      18
    SAGUENAY                                             150     178      19
    SHERBROOKE                                           543     536      -1
    TROIS-RIVIERES                                       430     459       7

    Subtotal (100,000+)                               12,983  14,446      11

    Centres with 50,000
     to 99,999 inhab..

    DRUMMONDVILLE                                        585     222     -62
    GRANBY                                               184     225      22
    SAINT-HYACINTHE                                      105      99      -6
    SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU                             500     185     -63
    SHAWINIGAN                                            25      47      88

    Subtotal (50,000
     to 99,999)                                        1,399     778     -44

    Quebec (estimate 10,000+)                         15,464  16,303       5


    (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, Regional
Economist, (514) 283-4488, Gatineau (Outaouais): Patrice Tardif, Market
Analyst, (514) 283-2097; Montréal: Sandra Girard, Senior Market Analyst, (514)
283-5075; Trois-Rivières (Mauricie): Marie-Elaine Denis, Market Analyst, (418)
649-8100; Québec: Marie-Elaine Denis, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8100;
Saguenay: Marie-Elaine Denis, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8100; Sherbrooke
(Estrie): Sandra Girard, Senior Market Analyst, (514) 283-5075


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