Quebec Residential Construction Down 19 per cent in October



    MONTREAL, Nov. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the results of the latest
monthly housing starts survey, conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC), residential construction decreased by 19 per cent in
Quebec during the month of October. According to this survey, 3,433 dwellings
were started in urban centres (100,000 inhabitants and over). This drop was
mostly observed in the multi-family housing segment and was particularly
obvious in the Montréal and Gatineau Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA), where
new construction sites of this type were half less numerous.
    "I am not the least surprised by the decrease observed in October,
considering the slowdown in the resale and labour markets which started this
summer. It should also be recalled that the level of housing starts recorded
during the reference month (October 2006) was particularly strong" said Kevin
Hughes, regional economist with CMHC
    For the current year, starts in Quebec's urban centres have reached a
total of 34,964 units, up by 10 per cent from the first ten months of 2005.
    The number of multi-family (semi-detached, row, and apartments) homes
started in urban centres went down by 24 per cent from the same month last
year (2,296 housing starts compared to 3,023 in October 2006). The Montreal
and Gatineau areas saw a notable slowdown in activity (- 49 per cent and -
50 per cent respectively), while the Québec and Trois-Rivières areas recorded
significant increases of housing starts of this type. The October result
brings the year-to-date total to 21,780 starts, a 15 per cent increase from
the same period last year. "In the case of Québec, the strength was in
condominiums and senior's residences, whereas in Trois-Rivières it was mainly
latter category," adds Kevin Hughes.
    The latest survey also reports the start of 1,137 single-detached houses
in Quebec urban centres in October. This total, which represents a 7 per cent
drop when compared to the same month in 2006, hides regional differences. It
is noted, for example, the only the Gatineau and Québec CMAs recorded
decreases whereas new construction sites were less numerous in almost all
agglomerations with population between 50,000 and 99,999 inhabitants. (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.)

                                   October

                           Singles            Multiples                Total
                  2006   2007    %   2006   2007      %   2006   2007      %
               -------------------- -------------------- --------------------

    Centres with
     100,000+
     inhab.

    GATINEAU       100     65  -35    159     79    -50    259    144    -44
    MONTREAL       674    700    4  2,378  1,219    -49  3,052  1,919    -37
    QUEBEC         148    123  -17    159    532   (xxx)   307    655   (xxx)
    SAGUENAY        23     23    0     12     21     75     35     44     26
    SHERBROOKE(*)   32     59   84     54     44    -19     86    103     20
      SHERBROOKE
       (2001
       geography)   32     46   44     54     34    -37     86     80     -7
    MAGOG          N/A     13  N/A    N/A     10    N/A    N/A     23    N/A
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES       33     46   39     30    161   (xxx)    63    207   (xxx)

    Subtotal
     (100,000+)  1,010  1,016    1  2,792  2,056    -26  3,802  3,072    -19
      Subtotal
       (excluding
       Magog)    1,010  1,003   -1  2,792  2,046    -27  3,802  3,049    -20

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE   20      0 -100      5      0   -100     25      0   -100
    GRANBY          17     12  -29     30     23    -23     47     35    -26
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE(*)    5      5    0     52      9    -83     57     14    -75
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-RICHELIEU  38     32  -16      5     12   (xxx)    43     44      2
    SHAWINIGAN      11      3  -73      0      9   (xxx)    11     12      9

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)        91     52  -43     92     53    -42    183    105    -43

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)    1,223  1,137   -7  3,023  2,296    -24  4,246  3,433    -19


                             January to October

                           Singles            Multiples                Total
                  2006   2007    %   2006   2007      %   2006   2007      %
               -------------------- -------------------- --------------------

    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU       981    836  -15  1,039  1,584     52  2,020  2,420     20
    MONTREAL     6,489  6,728    4 11,964 13,264     11 18,453 19,992      8
    QUEBEC       1,882  1,856   -1  2,376  2,799     18  4,258  4,655      9
    SAGUENAY       231    306   32    150    294     96    381    600     57
    SHERBROOKE(*)  482    541   12    758    571    -25  1,240  1,112    -10
      SHERBROOKE
      (2001
      geography)   406    476   17    674    413    -39  1,080    889    -18
    MAGOG          N/A     65  N/A    N/A    158    N/A    N/A    223    N/A
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES      304    337   11    477    601     26    781    938     20

    Subtotal
     (100,000+) 10,369 10,604    2 16,764 19,113     14 27,133 29,717     10
    Subtotal
     (excluding
      Magog)    10,369 10,539    2 16,764 18,955     13 27,133 29,494      9

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE  266    245   -8    149    536   (xxx)   415    781     88
    GRANBY         229    274   20    292    243    -17    521    517     -1
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE      69     69    0    219    174    -21    288    243    -16
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-RICHELIEU 451    410   -9    172    534   (xxx)   623    944     52
    SHAWINIGAN      89     93    4    259     23    -91    348    116    -67

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)     1,104  1,091   -1  1,091  1,510     38  2,195  2,601     18

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)   12,787 13,184    3 18,945 21,780     15 31,732 34,964     10

    ((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.
    




For further information:

For further information: Province: Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist, (514)
283-4488; Montréal: Astrid Joseph, Market Analyst, (514) 496-8564; Québec:
Marie-Elaine Denis, Senior Market Analyst, (418) 649-8101; Gatineau
(Outaouais, Abitibi): Kim-Anh Lam, Market Analyst, (514) 231-5017; 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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