Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

December 01, 2010 08:15 ET

CMHC Housing Outlook Conference

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2010) - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) presented its annual Housing Outlook Conference today to some 500 industry professionals. Under the theme "Housing Market: Beyond the Recovery," the speakers talked about the real estate market in the Québec census metropolitan area (CMA) and across the province. They explained how this metropolitan area stands out from other CMAs in Quebec and Canada and then provided a detailed analysis of the conditions in the different market segments and an overview of the major zones in the area.

Across the province

In Quebec, the economic recovery that began at the end of 2009, the demographic environment (characterized by the aging of the population and strong migration) and the borrowing conditions that favoured the catching up on and moving up of home purchases were all factors that contributed to the vigorous activity on the housing markets in 2010. "However, since the second half of the year, the landscape has changed. In fact, economic growth is already less significant and demand, less strong, which will cause the markets to slow down in 2011," said Kevin Hughes, Regional Economist at CMHC.

According to CMHC, housing starts in the province will fall by 10.6 per cent and reach 45,000 units in 2011. Single-detached home building, which already began to slow down in the spring, will register a decrease of about 3 per cent (to 18,750 units), while multiple-unit housing construction, still strong, will sustain a greater decline (around 15 per cent).

Next year, the volume of resales should be similar to the 2010 level. CMHC forecasts that there will be 80,500 MLS® transactions. "In 2011, moderate economic growth and less tight market conditions will result in a stable pace of activity. With the resale market becoming more balanced, we anticipate that prices will rise more slowly," added Kevin Hughes.

Demographics, always demographics!

The annual proportion of Quebec households who buy a home is greater than the proportion of households who sell one, until the age of 75. Using these proportions with the latest demographic projections reveals that the number of buyers will remain above the number of sellers for the next 20 years but that the gap will narrow over time.

Québec CMA

Real estate market to stay active in 2011

The vigorous activity that has driven the residential real estate market in the Québec CMA for the past several years now will continue in 2011. The robust job market, combined with the strong migration and continued favourable financing conditions, will fuel housing demand in the CMA. These factors will stimulate residential construction and keep conditions tight on both the resale and rental markets.

Québec under the microscope

As in recent years, MLS® sales were mainly concentrated in the zones(1) of the Northern Suburbs during the first three quarters of 2010. Val-Bélair ranks first for the total number of MLS® transactions. Market conditions remain favourable to sellers in all zones and for all housing types. Overall, the suburbs are still more affordable.

For residential construction, one general trend remains: the Northern Suburbs dominate. However, single-detached home building shows a significant gain in 2010 in the western part of the South Shore. Single-detached, semi-detached and row home building also remains strong in Val-Bélair. As for condominium construction, the many new units started in the Haute-Ville zone allowed the Centre sector to shine. Lastly, rental housing construction has been vigorous for the past several years, particularly in Les Rivières and Beauport.

Conditions on the traditional rental market are tight in all zones but slightly less so in the Haute-Ville (1.4 per cent, versus 0.6 per cent for the CMA), as the average rent for two-bedroom apartments there is $881, compared to $676 for the overall CMA.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions. For more information, visit or call 1-800-668-2642.

(1) The zones refer to those presented during the conference.

Contact Information

  • Communications
    Catherine Leger