Quebec housing starts to achieve 40,700 in 2009

    MONTREAL, Feb. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the latest forecasts
conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), total housing
starts in Quebec shall achieve 40,700 units in 2009 and 40,500 in 2010.
    A weaker economic context, combined with increased supply in certain
housing market segments, will dominate demographic and interest rate
conditions. This, in turn, will cause housing demand to decline in 2009
pushing starts lower to the 40,000 level. Sales of existing homes will
decrease by approximately 8.1 per cent.
    The province's economy, whose recent growth has stemmed from domestic
consumption and public investment, is showing signs of slowing. While public
spending on infrastructure projects should increase, household spending will
likely moderate as a result of a softer labour market and lower disposable
income growth. Private investment will also slow as financial constraints
continue. Finally, the outlook for exports remains unchanged because the
benefits of a weakening dollar will be offset by decreased global demand. We
thus expect the Quebec economy to recede by 0.6 per cent in 2009, while job
growth registers a similar result, a decline of 0.5 per cent. In 2010, the
economy will grow by 1.3 per cent while job growth will increase by 0.4 per
    Despite the weaker economic context, the province's demographic outlook
will stimulate housing demand in some market segments. The Provincial
Government's higher immigration targets (55,000 by 2010) have already been
observed and will continue to push up net migration in the coming years.
Meanwhile, population aging will continue to fuel demand for apartments.

    In Detail

    Single Starts: Starts in this segment will be especially affected by the
economic and financial environment, as well as the recently rising supply of
resale homes. Approximately 17,000 starts are expected in 2009 and 16,500 in
    Multiple Starts: After several years of vigorous construction of
retirement homes and condominiums, starts of multi-family homes will cool to
23,700 units in 2009, but will increase to 24,000 units in 2010.
    Resales: Sales of existing homes will decline in 2009, but will remain at
a high level. Demand for condominiums (town houses or apartments) will remain
an important component. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) will record
approximately 73,000 sales in 2009 and 80,000 in 2010.
    Prices: Lower sales and rising inventories will continue to take pressure
off prices. Cooling demand should rule out price growth in 2009. As a result,
the MLS average resale price will fall by 1.8 per cent to $207,000 in 2009
while 2010 will see an increase of 0.5 per cent to $208,000.

    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 or call 1-800-668-2642.

                        Quebec Housing Market Outlook

    Key Housing Market Indicators
                                            2008          2009          2010
                                          Actual     Forecasts     Forecasts
    Total housing starts (units)          47,901        40,700        40,500
      Forecast Ranges (thousands)                    36.0-45.5     35.0-44.0

    Single-detached houses                19,778        17,000        16,500
      Forecast Ranges (thousands)                    15.0-19.0     14.5-18.5

    Multiple housing units                28,123        23,700        24,000
      Forecast Ranges (thousands)                    21.0-26.5     20.5-25.5

    Total MLS(R) sales(1)                 79,402        73,000        80,000
      Forecast Ranges (thousands)                    67.5-75.0     71.0-82.0

    Average MLS(R) selling price ($)     210,775       207,000       208,000
      Forecast Ranges (thousands of $)             194.0-215.0   200.0-220.0

                         Provincial Housing Outlook

    Total Housing Starts
                                            2008          2009          2010
                                          Actual     Forecasts     Forecasts
    Newfoundland and Labrador              3,261         2,675         2,775
    Prince Edward Island                     712           575           625
    Nova Scotia                            3,982         3,675         3,900
    New Brunswick                          4,274         3,475         3,650
    Quebec                                47,901        40,700        40,500
    Ontario                               75,076        58,255        59,700
    Manitoba                               5,537         4,748         5,000
    Saskatchewan                           6,828         4,141         4,500
    Alberta                               29,164        19,200        22,000
    British Columbia                      34,321        22,800        20,700


SOURCE: CMHC Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition, First Quarter 2009. Forecast ranges are also presented in order to reflect economic uncertainty. (1) The term MLS(R) stands for Multiple Listing Service and is a registered trademark of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Data are for 10 provinces. All 2007 MLS(R) figures are estimated as at the time of the forecast. Final figures have since been released by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

For further information:

For further information: Province: Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist CMHC,
(514) 283-4488; Montréal: Bertrand Recher, Senior Market Analyst, (514)
283-2758; Québec: Frédéric Brie, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8102; Gatineau
(Outaouais): Patrice tardif, Market Analyst, (514) 283-2097; 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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