Quebec residential construction down 12 per cent in March



    MONTREAL, April 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The results of the latest monthly
starts survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
revealed that residential construction in Quebec declined by 12 per cent in
March. In all, 2,903 housing units were started in urban centres with 10,000
or more inhabitants. The decrease in activity affected the multi-family
housing market segment and was observed notably in the Montréal area (-20 per
cent).
    "Exceptionally, the month of March stood out with vigorous
single-detached housing activity since, as we have reiterated, demand for
homes of this type has reacted more significantly to the moderate economic
growth and the easing of the resale market. Considering the recent market
conditions, we anticipate that construction in this market segment will return
to the levels recorded in previous months. As for multiple housing, the
decline in starts was not surprising, given the current significant
inventory," said Kevin Hughes, Provincial Economist at CMHC.
    Urban multi-family (semi-detached, row and apartment) housing starts fell
by 23 per cent, in comparison with the same month last year (1,638 units,
versus 2,130 in March 2006). That being said, only the Montréal area
registered a decrease in activity. Among the other results, it should be noted
that construction rose by close to 70 per cent in the Trois-Rivières area (81
starts, versus 48 in March 2006) (see table). For the first quarter, multiple
housing starts are down by 7 per cent, compared to the same quarter in 2006.
    Still according to the monthly survey, foundations were laid for 1,265
single-detached houses in Quebec in March 2007, compared to 1,179 during the
same period the year before, for an increase of 7 per cent. All metropolitan
areas, with the exception of Gatineau (-19 per cent), registered gains in
starts in this market segment. For the first quarter, single-detached home
starts are down by 8 per cent in Quebec's urban centres (see table).

    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.)

                                    March

                     Singles              Others                Total
                 2006   2007     %   2006   2007      %   2006   2007      %
               -------------------- -------------------- --------------------

    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.
     (March)

    GATINEAU       62     50   -19     51     68     33    113    118      4
    MONTREAL      722    841    16  1,664  1,060    -36  2,386  1,901    -20
    QUEBEC        191    140   -27    200    186     -7    391    326    -17
    SAGUENAY        6      9    50      0      4   (xxx)     6     13   (xxx)
    SHERBROOKE(*)  15     25    67     15     26     73     30     51     70
    SHERBROOKE
     (2001
     geography)    15     22    47     15     26     73     30     48     60
    MAGOG         n.a.     3   n.a.   n.a.     0    n.a.   n.a.     3    n.a.
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES      16     17     6     48     81     69     64     98     53

    Subtotal
     (100,000+) 1,012  1,082     7  1,978  1,425    -28  2,990  2,507    -16
    Subtotal
     (excluding
     Magog)     1,012  1,079     7  1,978  1,425    -28  2,990  2,504    -16

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

    DRUMMONDVILLE  15     22    47      2      8   (xxx)    17     30     76
    GRANBY          3      6   100      0     13   (xxx)     3     19   (xxx)
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE(*)   0      5  (xxx)     4      6     50      4     11   (xxx)
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-
     RICHELIEU     50     79    58     10    136   (xxx)    60    215   (xxx)
    SHAWINIGAN     14      1   -93      4      0   -100     18      1    -94

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)       82    113    38     20    163   (xxx)   102    276   (xxx)

    Centres with
     10,000 to
     49,999 inhab.
    (1st Quart.)

    ALMA            5      2   -60      0      2   (xxx)     5      4    -20
    AMOS            1      0  -100      0      0      0      1      0   -100
    BAIE-COMEAU     2      1   -50      0      0      0      2      1    -50
    COWANSVILLE     3      4    33      7      0   -100     10      4    -60
    DOLBEAU-
     MISTASSINI     7      2   -71      8      0   -100     15      2    -87
    GASPE          14      6   -57     14      0   -100     28      6    -79
    JOLIETTE       23      9   -61     16     17      6     39     26    -33
    LA TUQUE        1      0  -100      0      0      0      1      0   -100
    LACHUTE         6      5   -17      6      0   -100     12      5    -58
    MATANE          6      0  -100      6      0   -100     12      0   -100
    MONTMAGNY       7      1   -86      3      0   -100     10      1    -90
    RIMOUSKI        8      9    13      2     32   (xxx)    10     41   (xxx)
    RIVIERE-DU-
     LOUP           2      2     0      0      4   (xxx)     2      6   (xxx)
    ROBERVAL        0      1  (xxx)     0      0      0      0      1   (xxx)
    ROUYN-NORANDA   3      1   -67      0      0      0      3      1    -67
    SAINTE-MARIE    8      0  -100    155      0   -100    163      0   -100
    SAINT-FELICIEN  0      2  (xxx)     0      0      0      0      2   (xxx)
    SAINT-GEORGES  10      6   -40      2      0   -100     12      6    -50
    SAINT-LIN-
     LAURENTIDES   33     38    15     10      3    -70     43     41     -5
    SALABERRY-DE-
     VALLEYFIELD    6      9    50     19     50   (xxx)    25     59   (xxx)
    SEPT-ILES       7      2   -71      0      0      0      7      2    -71
    SOREL-TRACY     8     20  (xxx)     8      4    -50     16     24     50
    THETFORD MINES  4      3   -25      0      0      0      4      3    -25
    VAL-D'OR        1      2   100      0      0      0      1      2    100
    VICTORIAVILLE  18     18     0     42     66     57     60     84     40

    Subtotal
     (10,000 to
     49,999)      185    145   -22    298    178    -40    483    323    -33

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)   1,179    1,265   7  2,130  1,638    -23  3,309  2,903    -12

    (xxx) Absolute value greater than 100%

    (*)   Data adjusted to reflect geographical definitions of the 2006
          census. Saint-Hyacinthe now belongs to the 50 000 to 99 999
          population category. The Sherbrooke CMA now includes the former
          agglomeration of Magog. It is however impossible to adjust the 2006
          monthly totals for Sherbrooke according to it's new definition as
          Magog was previously enumerated on a quarterly basis.


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

                              January to March

                     Singles              Others                Total
                 2006   2007     %   2006   2007      %   2006   2007      %
               -------------------- -------------------- --------------------
    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU      224    156   -30    222    261     18    446    417     -7
    MONTREAL    1,521  1,474    -3  3,304  2,810    -15  4,825  4,284    -11
    QUEBEC        419    345   -18    654    369    -44  1,073    714    -33
    SAGUENAY       11     18    64      6      8     33     17     26     53
    SHERBROOKE(*)  73     79     8     89    150     69    162    229     41
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES      57     44   -23    180    155    -14    237    199    -16

    Subtotal
     (100,000+) 2,305  2,116    -8  4,455  3,753    -16  6,760  5,869    -13

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE  53     52    -2     83    406   (xxx)   136    458   (xxx)
    GRANBY         43     42    -2     66     56    -15    109     98    -10
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE(*)  10      8   -20     44     38    -14     54     46    -15
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-
     RICHELIEU    104    124    19     26    187   (xxx)   130    311   (xxx)
    SHAWINIGAN     20      4   -80      8      0   -100     28      4    -86

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)      230    230     0    227    687   (xxx)   457    917   (xxx)

    Centres with
     10,000 to
     49,999 inhab.

    ALMA            5      2   -60      0      2   (xxx)     5      4    -20
    AMOS            1      0  -100      0      0      0      1      0   -100
    BAIE-COMEAU     2      1   -50      0      0      0      2      1    -50
    COWANSVILLE     3      4    33      7      0   -100     10      4    -60
    DOLBEAU-
     MISTASSINI     7      2   -71      8      0   -100     15      2    -87
    GASPE          14      6   -57     14      0   -100     28      6    -79
    JOLIETTE       23      9   -61     16     17      6     39     26    -33
    LA TUQUE        1      0  -100      0      0      0      1      0   -100
    LACHUTE         6      5   -17      6      0   -100     12      5    -58
    MATANE          6      0  -100      6      0   -100     12      0   -100
    MONTMAGNY       7      1   -86      3      0   -100     10      1    -90
    RIMOUSKI        8      9    13      2     32   (xxx)    10     41   (xxx)
    RIVIERE-DU-
     LOUP           2      2     0      0      4   (xxx)     2      6   (xxx)
    ROBERVAL        0      1  (xxx)     0      0      0      0      1   (xxx)
    ROUYN-
     NORANDA        3      1   -67      0      0      0      3      1    -67
    SAINTE-MARIE    8      0  -100    155      0   -100    163      0   -100
    SAINT-FELICIEN  0      2  (xxx)     0      0      0      0      2   (xxx)
    SAINT-GEORGES  10      6   -40      2      0   -100     12      6    -50
    SAINT-LIN-
     LAURENTIDES   33     38    15     10      3    -70     43     41     -5
    SALABERRY-DE-
     VALLEYFIELD    6      9    50     19     50   (xxx)    25     59   (xxx)
    SEPT-ILES       7      2   -71      0      0      0      7      2    -71
    SOREL-TRACY     8     20  (xxx)     8      4    -50     16     24     50
    THETFORD MINES  4      3   -25      0      0      0      4      3    -25
    VAL-D'OR        1      2   100      0      0      0      1      2    100
    VICTORIAVILLE  18     18     0     42     66     57     60     84     40

    Subtotal
     (10,000 to
     49,999)      185    145   -22    298    178    -40    483    323    -33

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)   2,720  2,491    -8  4,980  4,618     -7  7,700  7,109     -8

    (xxx) Absolute value greater than 100%
    




For further information:

For further information: Province: Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist, (514)
283-4488; Montréal: Sandra Girard, Senior Market Analyst, (514) 283-5075;
Québec: Jean-François Dion, Senior Market Analyst, (418) 649-8101; Gatineau
(Outaouais, Abitibi): Patricia Dépot, Market Analyst, (514) 283-7312;
Sherbrooke (Estrie): Hélène Dauphinais, Market Analyst, (819) 564-5622;
Trois-Rivières (Mauricie): Marie-Elaine Denis, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8100;
Saguenay: Frédéric Brie, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8102


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