Vacancy rate remains stable overall in Quebec



    MONTREAL, Dec. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the results of the rental
market survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the
vacancy rate in Quebec's urban centres remained practically unchanged in
October (2.6 per cent in 2007, compared to 2.5 per cent in 2006). "The overall
stability concealed mixed results, as vacancy rates increased in half of the
province's 37 urban centres," said Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist at CMHC. In
the vast majority of cases, however, the changes (whether up or down) were
marginal. Vacancy rates rose in the Montréal, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières
census metropolitan areas (CMAs) but fell in those of Gatineau, Québec and
Saguenay. Market conditions eased in the smaller urban agglomerations, and
their overall vacancy rate was also around 2.5 per cent in October 2007.
    In the Montréal area, the percentage of unoccupied apartments reached
2.9 per cent this past October, compared to 2.7 per cent in 2006. While this
was the sixth consecutive vacancy rate increase in the Montréal CMA since the
low point recorded in 2001, it was one of the smallest since 2002.
    According to the survey results, the vacancy rate decreased slightly in
2007, in the Québec area. In fact, this rate reached 1.2 per cent in October
of this year, compared to 1.5 per cent for the same month in 2006. This was
the first time that the Québec CMA rental market tightened since 2002. Rental
housing demand continued to be supported by strong employment growth, but
supply was relatively stable.
    A less robust job market for young people and slower migration
contributed to easing the rental market in the Sherbrooke area this year. In
fact, the proportion of vacant units reached 2.4 per cent this year, versus
1.2 per cent last year. This increase drove the vacancy rate in this area to
its highest level since the year 2000.
    A strong economy and weak traditional rental housing construction
contributed to the tightening of the rental market in 2007 in the Gatineau
area. The apartment vacancy rate fell by 1.3 points to 2.9 per cent, compared
to 4.2 per cent in October2006. The large surplus of units prevailing in the
area for the past four past years limited the increase in rents. A comparison
of the change in rents for the same housing stock shows that the average
increase was 1.4 per cent between 2006 and 2007.
    In the Trois-Rivières CMA, the rental market eased slightly this fall, as
the vacancy rate there reached 1.5 per cent, compared to 1.0 per cent one year
earlier. The construction of new rental units was vigorous, but the job market
for young people (aged from 15 to 24 years) was less robust in 2006 and in
early 2007, which limited rental housing demand.
    Fuelled by a dynamic labour market, rental housing demand was up in the
Saguenay CMA in October 2007. Consequently, the vacancy rate fell to 2.8 per
cent in October 2007, from 4.1 per cent in 2006. This was the third straight
decrease in the proportion of vacant units in the CMA since October 2004, when
this rate had attained 5.3 per cent.
    The results were also varied in mid-size centres (with 10,000 to 49,999
inhabitants). The tightest markets included Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, where
the vacancy rate remained stable (0.9 per cent, versus 0.7 per cent in 2006),
and Granby, which registered a decrease (1.7 per cent, compared to 2.3 per
cent in 2006). The proportions of unoccupied units were slightly higher in
Saint-Hyacinthe (2.3 per cent) and Drummondville (2.8 per cent). The
agglomeration of Shawinigan stood out not only because the vacancy rate rose
significantly there (close to 2 percentage points) but also because this rate
was clearly higher (5.7 per cent).
    For a more accurate measure of the change in rents, CMHC now uses a
measure (introduced last year) that estimates the change in rents charged in
existing structures. This measure therefore excludes the impact of new
structures and conversions added to the universe between surveys. "On average,
the rents charged in the CMAs rose by about 2.5 per cent over 2006. In
general, the changes were similar to the variations observed at the time of
the 2006 survey," underlined Kevin Hughes.
    According to the Secondary Rental Market Survey results, around 9 per
cent of the condominiums in the Montréal and Québec CMAs were rental units in
October 2007. This market would appear to be less tight in 2007, as the
vacancy rates for dwellings of this type increased (from 2.8 per cent to
3.8 per cent in the Montréal area and from 1.2 per cent to 2.4 per cent in the
Québec area). It should be noted that, in absolute figures, this segment
accounts for a marginal share of the overall rental market.

    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.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   1. Private Apartment Vacancy Rates (%)
                               by Bedroom Type
                                Québec - CMAs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Centre                        Bachelor       1 Bedroom       2 Bedroom
                             ------------------------------------------------
                               Oct.06  Oct.07  Oct.06  Oct.07  Oct.06  Oct.07
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau (RMR)
     (Qué.)                    5.0 d   3.5 c   4.0 c   2.9 b   4.0 b   3.1 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal (RMR)             4.4 b   4.8 b   3.3 a   3.4 a   2.2 a   2.3 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec (RMR)               1.7 a   2.3 b   1.8 a   1.7 a   1.3 a   0.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay (RMR)             3.4 c   2.8 c   4.0 b   3.6 b   3.8 b   1.8 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke (RMR)(1)        3.5 b   5.2 a   1.3 a   2.9 a   0.8 a   2.0 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières (RMR)       1.6 b   4.0 c   1.7 b   1.8 b   0.7 a   1.1 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RMR du Québec              4.0 b   4.5 b   3.0 a   3.1 a   2.1 a   2.1 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    AR du Québec
     (50 000-99 999)           7.1 b   7.0 b   2.9 a   3.6 b   1.6 b   1.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    AR du Québec
     (10 000-49 999)           3.4 a   4.0 a   3.3 a   4.2 a   1.7 a   1.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec,
     centres de 10 000+        4.1 a   4.6 b   3.0 a   3.2 a   2.0 a   2.1 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Centre                                      3 Bedroom +        Total
                             ------------------------------------------------
                                              Oct.06  Oct.07  Oct.06  Oct.07
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau (RMR)
     (Qué.)                                    5.0 d   1.5 c   4.2 b   2.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal (RMR)                             2.0 b   2.2 c   2.7 a   2.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec (RMR)                               1.4 a   0.9 a   1.5 a   1.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay (RMR)                             5.7 c   4.6 c   4.1 b   2.8 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke (RMR)(1)                        1.1 a   1.4 a   1.2 a   2.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières (RMR)                       0.6 a   0.8 a   1.0 a   1.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs                                1.9 a   1.9 b   2.5 a   2.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50 000-99 999                             1.8 c   2.0 b   2.3 a   2.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10 000-49 999                             1.7 a   1.6 a   2.3 a   2.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10 000+                             1.9 a   1.9 b   2.5 a   2.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Data for October 2006 does not include the area formerly known as
        Magog CA.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   2. Private Apartment Average Rents ($)
                               by Bedroom Type
                                Québec - CMAs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Centre                        Bachelor       1 Bedroom       2 Bedroom
                             ------------------------------------------------
                              Oct.06  Oct.07  Oct.06  Oct.07  Oct.06  Oct.07
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau CMA
     (Qué.)                    474 a   487 a   565 a   565 a   667 a   662 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA               481 a   490 a   574 a   581 a   636 a   647 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                 452 a   455 a   558 a   547 a   637 a   641 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA               316 a   332 a   402 a   405 a   485 a   490 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA(1)          355 a   366 a   416 a   424 a   515 a   529 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières CMA         337 a   346 a   421 a   406 a   488 a   487 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs                470 a   480 a   560 a   562 a   624 a   634 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     (50 000-99 999)           355 a   361 a   412 a   419 a   491 a   496 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     (10 000-49 999)           349 a   354 a   397 a   403 a   476 a   482 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10 000+             460 a   469 a   545 a   548 a   607 a   616 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Centre                                      3 Bedroom +        Total
                                             --------------------------------
                                              Oct.06  Oct.07  Oct.06  Oct.07
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau CMA
     (Qué.)                                    760 a   762 a   643 a   642 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA                               775 a   806 a   616 a   632 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                                 749 a   755 a   619 a   619 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA                               512 a   526 a   464 a   471 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA(1)                          618 a   644 a   493 a   514 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières CMA                         535 a   535 a   472 a   467 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs                                745 a   769 a   606 a   617 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50 000-99 999                             517 a   548 a   474 a   483 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10 000-49 999                             531 a   532 a   455 a   463 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10 000+                             709 a   734 a   589 a   601 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Data for October 2006 does not include the area formerly known as
        Magog CA.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3. Number of Private Apartment Units Vacant and Universe in October 2007
                               by Bedroom Type
                                Québec - CMAs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Centre                                Bachelor             1 Bedroom
                                  -------------------------------------------
                                     Vacant      Total     Vacant      Total
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau CMA
     (Qué. part)                       31 c        877      161 b      5,620
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA                    2,460 b     50,991    4,991 a    146,160
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                        142 b      6,235      386 a     23,362
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA                       14 c        488       92 b      2,544
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA(1)                 144 a      2,748      234 a      7,930
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières CMA                 47 c      1,198       98 b      5,515
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RMR du Québec                   2,838 b     62,536    5 961 a    191,132
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA 10 000-49 999           148 b      2,125      294 b      8,056
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA 10 000-49 999           151 a      3,798      499 a     12,027
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10 000+                  3,137 b     68,458    6,754 a    211,215
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Centre                               2 Bedroom           3 Bedroom +
                                  -------------------------------------------
                                     Vacant      Total    Vacant      Total
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau CMA
     (Qué. part)                      345 b     11,075       40 c      2,590
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA                    5,213 a    222,387    1,224 c     56,415
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                        327 a     38,001       89 a     10,010
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA                       76 b      4,204       63 c      1,364
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA(1)                 339 a     16,869       75 a      5,344
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières CMA                 82 a      7,224       26 a      3,307
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs                     6,382 a    299,760    1,517 b     79,030
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA 10 000-49 999           265 a     18,142      134 b      6,735
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA 10 000-49 999           430 a     23,007      119 a      7,347
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10 000+                  7,077 a    340,909    1,770 b     93,113
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Centre                                                        Total
                                                        ---------------------
                                                           Vacant      Total
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau CMA
     (Qué. part)                                            577 a     20,162
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA                                         13,888 a    475,954
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                                              944 a     77,607
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA                                            244 a      8,600
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA(1)                                       792 a     32,891
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières CMA                                      253 a     17,244
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs                                          16,698 a    632,458
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA 50 000-99 999                                 841 a     35,058
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA 10 000-49 999                               1,199 a     46,179
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10 000+                                       18,738 a    713,695
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Data for October 2006 does not include the area formerly known as
        Magog CA.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
           4. Private Apartment Estimate of Percentage Change (%)
                     of Average Rent(*) by Bedroom Type
                                Québec - CMAs
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Centre                        Bachelor       1 Bedroom       2 Bedroom
                             ------------------------------------------------
                              Oct.05  Oct.06  Oct.05  Oct.06  Oct.05  Oct.06
                                to      to      to      to      to      to
                              Oct.06  Oct.07  Oct.06  Oct.07  Oct.06  Oct.07
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau CMA
     (Qué. part)                  ++      ++      ++   1.9 b      ++   1.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA               4.1 b   2.0 c   3.0 a   2.5 b   2.8 a   2.3 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                 3.3 d   2.3 c   2.7 b   2.6 b   2.2 b   2.7 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA                  ++    (xx)      ++   5.5 c   1.2 d   6.6 c
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA(1)          5.5 c   3.5 c   3.8 b   2.5 b   3.2 c   3.4 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières CMA            ++   6.7 b   2.6 c   3.9 c   2.1 c   4.4 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAS                3.9 b   2.1 b   2.9 a   2.5 a   2.6 a   2.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50 000-99 999                ++   3.9 c   3.3 b   3.9 b   3.7 c   3.4 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10 000-49 999             2.9 c   3.6 c   1.8 b   2.6 a   1.8 a   2.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10 000+             3.8 b   2.2 b   2.9 a   2.6 a   2.6 a   2.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Centre                                      3 Bedroom +       Total
                                             --------------------------------
                                              Oct.05  Oct.06  Oct.05  Oct.06
                                                to      to      to      to
                                              Oct.06  Oct.07  Oct.06  Oct.07
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ottawa-Gatineau CMA
     (Qué. part)                                  ++   1.7 c      ++   1.4 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA                               3.1 c   1.5 d   2.9 a   2.3 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                                 2.1 c   2.7 b   2.1 b   2.6 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saguenay CMA                               2.3 c  10.9 c   1.4 a   5.7 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherbrooke CMA(1)                          3.1 c   3.5 b   3.6 b   3.4 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trois-Rivières CMA                         4.4 b   3.1 c   2.8 b   3.9 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMAs                                2.8 b   2.1 b   2.7 a   2.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     50 000-99 999                             3.4 d   2.7 b   3.4 c   3.1 b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CA
     10 000-49 999                             1.9 b   2.6 a   2.3 a   2.7 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec 10 000+                             2.7 a   2.2 b   2.7 a   2.5 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Data for October 2006 does not include the area formerly known as
        Magog CA.
    (*) The Estimate of Percentage Change is a measure of the market
        movement, and is based on those structures that were common to the
        survey for both years


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      5. Rental Condominium Apartments and Private Apartments in the RMS(1)
                              Vacancy Rates (%)
                            Québec - October 2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Rental Condominium        Apartments
    Condo Sub Area                      Apartments           in the RMS(1)
                                  -------------------------------------------
                                     Oct-06     Oct-07     Oct-06     Oct-07
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montréal CMA                      2.8 a      3.8 a      2.7 a      2.9 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Québec CMA                        1.2 a      2.4 a      1.5 a      1.2 a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1) Apartments surveyed in the Rental Market Survey (RMS) include only
        those units in purpose built rental buildings with at least three
        rental units.
    (X) CMHC is continuously assessing survey methodologies, weighting and
        classifications used to ensure accurate results. This examination
        and the impact of recently released 2006 Census data may result in
        modification to some statistics previously published.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Apartment Vacancy Rate
                Urban Areas from 50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants
                             Province of Québec
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    %
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Region                                                    2006    2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Drummondville                                              3.0  b  2.8  c
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Granby                                                     2.3  b  1.7  b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shawinigan                                                 3.8  b  5.7  b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saint-jean-sur-le Richelieu                                0.7  a  0.9  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sub-total 50 000 - 99 999 inhabitants                      2.3     2.4
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                           Apartment Vacancy Rate
                Urban Areas from 10,000 to 49,999 inhabitants
                             Province of Québec
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Region
                                                                    %
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              2006    2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Alma                                                       2.9  a  4.1  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Amos                                                       3.1  a  1.7  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Baie-Comeau                                                3.4  a  2.8  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cowansville                                                0.6  a  2.6  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dolbeau-Mistassini                                         4.0  a  4.9  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gaspé                                                      0.6  a  0.7  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Joliette                                                   2.3  a  3.1  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    La Tuque                                                   9.9  a  9,9  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lachute                                                    1.7  a  2.2  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Matane                                                     2.3  a  1.9  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Montmagny                                                  1.3  a  1.5  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rimouski                                                   0.2  a  0.2  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rivièere-du-Loup                                           3.3  a  1.6  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Roberval                                                   2.9  a  2.0  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rouyn-Noranda                                              1.3  a  0.8  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Salaberry-de-Valleyfield                                   2.0  c  1.6  b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sept-iles                                                  2.3  a  1.3  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sorel-Tracy                                                2.8  a  4.0  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saint-Félicien                                             3.5  a  3.7  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saint-georges                                              3.3  a  5.0  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saint-Hyacinthe                                            1.8  b  2.3  c
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saint-lin-des-Laurentides                                  1.2  a  0.9  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sainte-marie                                               2.7  a  4.3  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thetford Mines                                             4.7  a  5.0  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Val D'Or                                                   0.2  a  0.1  a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Victoriaville                                              4.1  b  4.6  b
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sub-total 10 000 - 49 000 inhabitants                      2.3     2.6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    




For further information:

For further information: Province: Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist, (514)
283-4488; Montréal: Sandra Girard, Market Analyst, (514) 283-5075; Québec:
Marie-Elaine Denis, Senior Market Analyst, (418) 649-8100; 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) 649-8100l; Saguenay:
Frédéric Brie, Market Analyst, (418) 928-3812


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