Rental market tightens slightly in the Québec CMA



    QUEBEC, Dec. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the results of the Rental
Market Survey conducted by CMHC, the rental market tightened slightly in the
Québec census metropolitan area (CMA). In fact, the vacancy rate fell from  
1.5 per cent in October 2006 to 1.2 per cent in 2007. In more concrete terms,
944 units were unoccupied this past October, out of a stock of 77,607
apartments contained in privately initiated buildings with three or more
housing units.
    "Contrary to the last four years, during which rental housing
construction had slightly exceeded demand, the trend turned around in 2007.
The Québec area is currently experiencing a period of very strong economic
activity and, according to certain criteria, the regional economy can even be
qualified as being at full employment. This performance is having an impact on
migration, which, in turn, is putting more pressure on housing demand," said
Marie-Elaine Denis, Market Analyst at the CMHC point of service in Québec. It
was on the South Shore that the rental market conditions were the tightest,
with vacancy rates of 0.2 per cent and 0.3 per cent in zones 8 (Charny,
Saint-Romuald, Saint-Jean-Chrysostome, etc.) and 9 (Lévis, Pintendre, etc.),
respectively.
    The surplus observed in certain luxury segments during the last few years
was fully absorbed in 2007. In fact, while the proportions of unoccupied units
stood at 3.4 per cent for apartments renting from $850 to $999 and at
3.8 per cent for those with rents of $1,000 or more in October 2006, these
rates reached 1.4 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively, in October 2007.
"The gradual vacancy rate decreases recorded in certain luxury segments since
2005 have resulted from an adjustment on the part of developers and from a
sustained demand for such units. Since the completion of some 700 luxury
apartments between 2002 and 2004, construction in these segments has been at a
standstill, which has allowed for the absorption of the unoccupied units,"
explained Marie-Elaine Denis.
    Since 2006, CMHC has been surveying rental condominiums in a few
metropolitan areas across the country, including the Québec area. According to
the October 2007 survey results, about 9.2 per cent of the 18,526 condominiums
in the Québec CMA were rental dwellings, or around 300 more units than in
October 2006. The survey results also revealed that the proportion of vacant
rental condominiums rose from 1.2 per cent at the time of the 2006 survey to
2.4 per cent in 2007.

    Conditions across the province of Quebec

    Elsewhere across Quebec, the results were mixed. In fact, rental market
conditions tightened in three of the six CMAs, including the Québec area, but
eased in the others. The vacancy rates decreased to 2.9 per cent in Gatineau
and to 2.8 per cent in Saguenay, while they increased in Montréal, Sherbrooke
and Trois-Rivières, to 2.9 per cent, 2.4 per cent and 1.5 per cent,
respectively. Despite a few more pronounced movements in certain metropolitan
areas (Sherbrooke, Saguenay and Gatineau), the situation remained relatively
stable for all urban centres with 10,000 or more inhabitants. In fact, the
overall vacancy rate for these centres reached 2.6 per cent in October 2007,
compared to 2.5 per cent in October 2006.

    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.


    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Private Apartment Vacancy Rates (%)
                           by Zone and Bedroom Type
                                 Québec CMA
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            -------------------------------------------------
                                          1         2        3
    Zone                    Bachelor   Bedroom   Bedroom  Bedroom +   Total
                            -------------------------------------------------
                            Oct. Oct. Oct. Oct. Oct. Oct. Oct. Oct. Oct. Oct.
                             06   07   06   07   06   07   06   07   06   07
                            -------------------------------------------------
    Québec Basse-Ville,
     Vanier                 1.4  (xx) 2.6  2.4  1.6  1.1  (xx) (xx) 1.9  1.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec Haute-Ville      2.2  2.5  2.2  2.3  1.0  0.7  2.8  0.1  2.0  1.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Qué.-des-Rivières,
    L'Anc.-Lorette          0.9  2.4  0.6  0.9  0.1  0.7  0.3  0.1  0.3  0.8
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ste-Foy/Sillery/C.-
     Rouge/St-Aug.          1.6  1.8  1.4  1.4  1.6  0.7  0.7  1.1  1.4  1.1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Val-Bélair/St-Emile/
     Loretteville           (xx) 4.6  0.5  2.9  1.1  0.6  0.0  (xx) 0.7  1.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Charlesbourg, Stoneham,
     etc.                   1.4  3.1  2.4  1.4  1.3  1.4  1.1  0.8  1.6  1.4
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Beauport, Boischatel,
     I.O., etc.             4.2  1.4  2.0  0.7  2.5  1.3  3.0  (xx) 2.5  1.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Charny, St-Romuald,
     St-Jean-Chr.           0.0  2.0  0.7  0.5  0.7  0.1  0.0  0.0  0.6  0.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lévis, Pintendre,
     etc.                   0.9  0.0  1.0  0.5  1.7  0.3  (xx) 0.2  1.6  0.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA              1.7  2.3  1.8  1.7  1.3  0.9  1.4  0.9  1.5  1.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    




For further information:

For further information: Marie-Elaine Denis, Market Analyst, CMHC, (418)
649-8100, medenis@cmhc.ca


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