Quebec residential construction stable in January



    MONTREAL, Feb. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - According to Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC), 2,353 homes were started during the month of January 2008,
virtually the same number as that recorded during the same month a year ago.
CMHC's monthly housing starts survey translates into a 20 per cent rise in
Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) starts and a significant drop (-80 per cent) in
smaller agglomerations.
    In both cases it was starts of multi-family dwellings that caused the
changes. "If we take into account of the seasonal effect, January's total
amounts to a 22 per cent rebound from the month of December. This is hardly
surprising given the fact that activity was rather anaemic during the last
months of 2007," stated Kevin Hughes, Provincial Economist at CMHC.
    In the single-detached home category, the survey shows an eight per cent
rise, for a total of 644 such starts in January 2008 compared to 598 during
the same period a year ago. Housing starts were up in the same proportion in
Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA), where four of six regions recorded gains. As
for agglomerations with 50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants, 59 single detached homes
were started compared to 67 in January of 2007 (see table).
    Starts of multi-family homes in urban centres were down by two per cent
last January. According to the survey, 1,709 such housing starts were observed
compared to 1,736 in January of 2006. However, this apparent stability masked
two opposing movements: a 27 per cent surge in CMA starts (stemming from the
start several retirement home projects) and a major drop in agglomerations of
50,000 and 99,999 inhabitants (see table).
    The January survey also revealed a significant increase of housing starts
aimed at the ownership (18 per cent in CMAs) and rental (83 per cent in CMAs)
markets, while starts aimed at condominium tenure were down by 15 per cent in
CMAs.

    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.)

                                   January

                           Singles            Multiples                Total
                 2007    2008    %   2007   2008      %   2007   2008      %
                ------------------- -------------------- --------------------
    Centres
     with
     100,000+
     inhab.

    GATINEAU       70      92   31    135    201     49    205    293     43
    MONTREAL      245     276   13    876    916      5  1,121  1,192      6
    QUEBEC        113      86  -24     75    325   (xxx)   188    411   (xxx)
    SAGUENAY        4       8  100      0      2   (xxx)     4     10   (xxx)
    SHERBROOKE     44      43   -2     76     22    -71    120     65    -46
    TROIS-
     RIVIERES      15      26   73     34     47     38     49     73     49

    Subtotal
     (100,000+)   491     531    8  1,196  1,513     27  1,687  2,044     21

    Centres
     with
     50,000 to
     99,999 inhab.

    DRUMMOND-
     VILLE         20      24   20    389      4    -99    409     28    -93
    GRANBY         27      23  -15     43     29    -33     70     52    -26
    SAINT-
     HYACINTHE(*)   1       9 (xxx)    22     14    -36     23     23      0
    SAINT-JEAN-
     SUR-
     RICHELIEU     19       3  -84      6      0   -100     25      3    -88
    SHAWINIGAN      0       0    0      0      0      0      0      0      0

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)       67      59  -12    460     47    -90    527    106    -80

    Quebec
    (estimate
    10,000+)      598     644    8  1,736  1,709     -2  2,334  2,353      1



                             January to January

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

    Centres
     with
     100,000+
     inhab.

    GATINEAU       70      92   31    135    201     49    205    293     43
    MONTREAL      245     276   13    876    916      5  1,121  1,192      6
    QUEBEC        113      86  -24     75    325   (xxx)   188    411   (xxx)
    SAGUENAY        4       8  100      0      2   (xxx)     4     10   (xxx)
    SHERBROOKE     44      43   -2     76     22    -71    120     65    -46
    TROIS-
    RIVIERES       15      26   73     34     47     38     49     73     49

    Subtotal
     (100,000+)   491     531    8  1,196  1,513     27  1,687  2,044     21

    Centres
     with
     50,000 to
     99,999
     inhab.

    DRUMMOND-
     VILLE         20      24   20    389      4    -99    409     28    -93
    GRANBY         27      23  -15     43     29    -33     70     52    -26
    SAINT-
    HYACINTHE       1       9 (xxx)    22     14    -36     23     23      0
    SAINT-JEAN-
    SUR-
    RICHELIEU      19       3  -84      6      0   -100     25      3    -88
    SHAWINIGAN      0       0    0      0      0      0      0      0      0

    Subtotal
     (50,000 to
     99,999)       67      59  -12    460     47    -90    527    106    -80

    Quebec
     (estimate
     10,000+)     598     644    8  1,736  1,709     -2  2,334  2,353      1


    (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: Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist CMHC,
(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): Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist CMHC, (514)
283-4488; Sherbrooke (Estrie): Francis Cortellino, Market Analyst, (514)
283-8391; Trois-Rivières (Mauricie): Marie-Elaine Denis, Market Analyst, (418)
649-8100; Saguenay: Frédéric Brie, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8102


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