Quebec Residential Construction Slows Down in August



    MONTREAL, Sept. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The latest starts survey conducted by
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) revealed that residential
construction showed much slower growth in Quebec. In fact, after having posted
gains ranging from 5 per cent to 33 per cent during the previous four months,
housing starts edged up by just 1 per cent in August. CMHC enumerated
3,153 new dwellings in Quebec's urban centres (with 10,000 or more
inhabitants) this past month, or only slightly more than the 3,110 units
started in August 2006.
    Single-detached home starts remained stable in August, with 1,066 new
units, or 5 more than during the same month last year. Multi-family housing
barely did better, as construction got under way on 2,087 new units, for a
gain of 2 per cent over August 2006.
    "This slowdown is not surprising and was even expected," said Kevin
Hughes, Regional Economist at CMHC. "The current economic and demographic
factors cannot support a strong growth in housing starts over the long term,"
explained Mr. Hughes.
    While there may be a slowdown at the provincial level, not all areas are
following the same trend. While Montréal maintained its momentum with a fifth
consecutive monthly increase, Gatineau changed course and registered a
decrease of 5 per cent, after having posted gains of more than 40 per cent in
the previous three months. Sherbrooke, for its part, showed renewed growth
after two declines in as many months, while Québec registered the opposite
trend, with a decrease following two monthly increases.
    The results for the first eight months of 2007 indicate that starts
increased by 6 per cent in the province's urban centres, reaching just under
26,000 units. It should be noted that, after only eight months, the level of
activity has already exceeded, by far, the annual volumes recorded in Quebec
from 1995 to 2001.
    Elsewhere across the country, several provinces registered declines in
starts. Only Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Saskatchewan posted
gains.

    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.

    A backgrounder is attached.

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

                                    August

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

    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU      121      72  -40     193     227   18     314     299   -5
    MONTREAL      455     562   24   1,304   1,316    1   1,759   1,878    7
    QUEBEC        150     154    3     254     185  -27     404     339  -16
    SAGUENAY       22      25   14      12     110 (xxx)     34     135 (xxx)
    SHERBROOKE(*)  33      53   61      22      26   18      55      79   44
      SHERBROOKE
       (2001
       geography)  33      49   48      22      24    9      55      73   33
      MAGOG       N/A       4  N/A     N/A       2  N/A     N/A       6  N/A
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES      31      29   -6      55      66   20      86      95   10

    Subtotal
     (100,000+)   812     895   10   1,840   1,930    5   2,652   2,825    7
      Subtotal
       (excluding
       Magog)     812     891   10   1,840   1,928    5   2,652   2,819    6

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE  17      24   41       4       0 -100      21      24   14
    GRANBY         30      38   27      34      24  -29      64      62   -3
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE(*)  11       4  -64       4      19 (xxx)     15      23   53
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-
     RICHELIEU     40      29  -28      21       6  -71      61      35  -43
    SHAWINIGAN      2      12 (xxx)      0       2 (xxx)      2      14 (xxx)

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)      100     107    7      63      51  -19     163     158   -3

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)   1,061   1,066    0   2,049   2,087    2   3,110   3,153    1


                              January to August

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

    Centres with
     100,000+ inhab.

    GATINEAU      775     671  -13     808   1,092   35   1,583   1,763   11
    MONTREAL    5,260   5,409    3   8,394   9,172    9  13,654  14,581    7
    QUEBEC      1,565   1,566    0   2,030   1,892   -7   3,595   3,458   -4
    SAGUENAY      182     234   29     128     249   95     310     483   56
    SHERBROOKE(*) 400     415    4     670     477  -29   1,070     892  -17
      SHERBROOKE
       (2001
       geography) 346     370    7     603     345  -43     949     715  -25
      MAGOG       N/A      45  N/A     N/A     132  N/A     N/A     177  N/A
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES     235     267   14     369     432   17     604     699   16

    Subtotal
     (100,000+) 8,417   8,562    2  12,399  13,314    7  20,816  21,876    5
    Subtotal
     (excluding
     Magog)     8,417   8,517    1  12,399  13,182    6  20,816  21,699    4

    Centres with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMONDVILLE 227     225   -1     137     496 (xxx)    364     721   98
    GRANBY        192     231   20     223     172  -23     415     403   -3
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE     60      55   -8     164     136  -17     224     191  -15
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-
     RICHELIEU    350     355    1     137     426 (xxx)    487     781   60
    SHAWINIGAN     72      82   14     259      14  -95     331      96  -71

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)      901     948    5     920   1,244   35   1,821   2,192   20

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)  10,379  10,525    1  14,180  15,419    9  24,559  25,944    6

    (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 of Quebec and Gatineau: Kevin Hughes,
Regional Economist, (514) 283-4488, khughes@cmhc.ca; Montréal: Astrid Joseph,
Market Analyst, (514) 496-8564, ajoseph@cmhc.ca; Québec: Hélène Dauphinais,
Senior Market Analyst, (819) 564-5622, hdauphin@cmhc.ca; Sherbrooke (Estrie):
Hélène Dauphinais, Senior Market Analyst, (819) 564-5622, hdauphin@cmhc.ca;
Trois-Rivières (Mauricie): Marie-Elaine Denis, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8100,
medenis@cmhc.ca; Saguenay: Frédéric Brie, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8102,
fbrie@cmhc.ca


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