Quebec residential construction in December another significant decline



    MONTREAL, Jan. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - According to results of the latest
monthly survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC),
residential construction declined in December. A total of 2,668 homes were
started in urban centres of 10,000 inhabitants, which represents a 25 per cent
drop from December 2006. The decrease brings total annual housing starts to
40,885, edging up by 4 per cent from 2006. "It was not conceivable that
residential construction maintain the pace observed at the end of the summer.
December's decline is thus in line with the trend of the past months," said
Kevin J. Hughes, Senior Economist at CMHC.
    Elsewhere in Canada, the provinces of Ontario (-23 per cent) and Alberta
(-33 per cent) also recorded significant decreases. In this context, the
national total regressed accordingly (11,176 compared to 14,019 in
December 2006).
    Single-detached housing starts were down by 3 per cent, for a total of
1,140 dwellings last December, compared to 1,175 during the same month of the
previous year. This result masks regional contrasts between the Census
Metropolitan Areas (CMA). In fact, the Montreal (-10 per cent) and Québec
(-22 per cent) CMAs recorded notable losses, whereas elsewhere in Quebec, the
remainder of CMAs posted major increases. In agglomerations of 50,000 to
99,999 inhabitants, housing starts in this category were less numerous
(-19 per cent) compared to December 2006, especially, the Saint-Jean-sur
Richelieu agglomeration (-49 per cent). Meanwhile, construction of this type
was strong in smaller agglomerations (10,000 to 49,999 inhabitants), where a
20 per cent rise from the same period in 2006 was recorded.
    The number of multi-family homes started in urban centres during the
month of December of 2007 dropped considerably (-36 per cent) compared to
December 2006. The Saguenay (-92 per cent) and Sherbrooke (-71 per cent)
exhibited the most obvious declines. In agglomerations of 50,000 to
99,999 inhabitants, construction was down by 13 per cent compared to December
of 2006, notably in Granby (-94 per cent). In smaller urban agglomerations
(10,000 to 49,999 inhabitants), the picture is reversed, as multi-family
housing starts climbed by 39 per cent during the last quarter compared to the
same period in 2006.
    "Even though multi-family housing starts were particularly volatile in
2007, the level, was again quite high, and reflects strong interest in the
retirement home sector. Considering the rising trend in vacancy rates, the
temporary slowdown of demand and high inventory of buildings under
construction, it shall be all the more important for the industry to carefully
monitor supply and demand conditions during the coming years" added Kevin J.
Hughes.

    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.


    
                         MONTREAL METROPOLITAN AREA

                       PRELIMINARY HOUSING STARTS DATA

    December 2007

                       -------------- Intended Markets --------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               Freehold
                    -----------------------------
                    Single-Detached Semi-Detached    Rental      Condominium
                         Houses        and Row    ------------  -------------
                                        Houses

                       2006   2007   2006   2007   2006   2007   2006   2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Island of
     Montréal            34     55     24     30    374      8    398    213
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Crown         351    250     40    100    286     65     92    115
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Laval             104     68     12     15     75      6     27     45
      North Shore       230    158     26     79    211     44     58     51
      Saint-Jérôme       17     24      2      6      0     15      7     19
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    South Crown         139    171     30     26     44     28    156    207
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Longueuil           4     29      0      0      0      6      0     33
      South Shore
       (others)         135    142     30     26     44     22    156    174
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vaudreuil-
     Soulanges(*)        99     86     18      4      0     23      0      8
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL - Greater
     Montréal           623    562    112    160    704    124    646    543



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                TOTAL

                                                         2006    2007  % Chg.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Island of Montréal                                    830     306    -63%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Crown                                           769     530    -31%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Laval                                               218     134    -39%
      North Shore                                         525     332    -37%
      Saint-Jérôme                                         26      64    146%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    South Crown                                           369     432     17%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Longueuil                                             4      68   1600%
      South Shore (others)                                365     364      0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vaudreuil-Soulanges(*)                                117     121      3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL - Greater Montréal                            2,085   1,389    -33%


    Notes: The term "freehold" means that the owner owns the dwelling and the
           lot outright.
           The "Semi-Detached and Row Houses" category also includes
           duplexes.
           The "Rental" category also includes housing cooperatives.
           (*)  Including only municipalities in the delimitations of
                Montreal metropolitan area.
           (xx) Starting January 2007, some municipalities were added to the
                Montréal CMA. Those municipalities are:
           L'Epiphanie (North Shore), Verchères (South Shore (others)),
           Saint-Zotique, Coteau-du-Lac and Les Coteaux
           (Vaudreuil-Soulanges).



                         MONTREAL METROPOLITAN AREA

                       PRELIMINARY HOUSING STARTS DATA

    CUMULATIVE 2007 (January to December)

                       -------------- Intended Markets --------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               Freehold
                    -----------------------------
                    Single-Detached Semi-Detached    Rental      Condominium
                         Houses        and Row    ------------  -------------
                                        Houses

                       2006   2007   2006   2007   2006   2007   2006   2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Island of           352    382    243    287  2,028  2,484  4,332  3,745
     Montréal
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Crown       4,569  4,484    744    929  2,548  2,529  2,296  1,751
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Laval             957  1,030    100    185  1,402  1,306    601    456
      North Shore     3,351  3,120    572    672  1,080  1,022  1,512  1,069
      Saint-Jérôme      261    334     72     72     66    201    183    226
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    South Crown       1,925  2,028    412    532    952    809  1,243  1,722
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Longueuil         169    171     20     66    388    202    163    177
      South Shore
       (others)       1,756  1,857    392    466    564    607  1,080  1,545
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vaudreuil-
     Soulanges(*)       947  1,119     32    188     11    101    179    143
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL - Greater
     Montréal         7,793  8,013  1,431  1,936  5,539  5,923  8,050  7,361



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                TOTAL

                                                         2006    2007  % Chg.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Island of Montréal                                  6,955   6,898     -1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Crown                                        10,157   9,693     -5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Laval                                             3,060   2,977     -3%
      North Shore                                       6,515   5,883    -10%
      Saint-Jérôme                                        582     833     43%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    South Crown                                         4,532   5,091     12%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Longueuil                                           740     616    -17%
      South Shore (others)                              3,792   4,475     18%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vaudreuil-Soulanges(*)                              1,169   1,551     33%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL - Greater Montréal                           22,813  23,233      2%


    Notes: The term "freehold" means that the owner owns the dwelling and
           the lot outright.
           The "Semi-Detached and Row Houses" category also includes
           duplexes.
           The "Rental" category also includes housing cooperatives.
           (*)   Including only municipalities in the delimitations of
                 Montreal metropolitan area.
           (xx): Starting January 2007, some municipalities were added to the
                 Montréal CMA. Those municipalities are:
           L'Epiphanie (North Shore), Verchères (South Shore (others)),
           Saint-Zotique, Coteau-du-Lac and Les Coteaux
           (Vaudreuil-Soulanges).
    




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): Kim-Anh Lam, Market Analyst, (514) 231-5017; Sherbrooke
(Estrie): Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist, (514) 283-4488; Trois-Rivières
(Mauricie): Marie-Elaine Denis, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8100; Saguenay,
Frédéric Brie, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8102


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