Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

September 09, 2011 08:15 ET

CMHC: Quebec Housing Starts in August

MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2011) - According to the results of the latest monthly survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), residential construction decreased this past month in Quebec's centres with 10,000 or more inhabitants. In all, 2,517 dwellings were started in August 2011, compared to 3,036 a year earlier. As well, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts for this same month (35,400) was lower than for the month of July (38,800).

The results for August brought year-to-date urban starts above the 25,000-unit mark, but the total represented a decrease of 12 per cent from the first eight months of 2010. This decline was mainly due to the single-detached home segment (-21 per cent), as multiple-unit housing starts dropped less significantly (-7 per cent).

"While still relatively high, the rate of multi-unit housing starts has been decreasing for three months now. What's more, the number of new condominium construction sites has been falling for two months. Given the current supply on the market, we forecast that this trend will continue," said Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist at CMHC for Quebec.

Single-detached home starts fell by 26 per cent in August from the same month in 2010. As well, the seasonally adjusted annual rate for August was 9,600, compared to 10,100 for the previous month. With the exception of the Gatineau area, all census metropolitan areas (CMAs) in the province sustained decreases. According to the survey results, they all recorded significant declines (see table).

A decrease in activity was registered in the multiple-unit (semi-detached, row and apartment) housing segment, where starts dropped from 2,126 units in August 2010 to 1,844 units a year later, for a decline of 13 per cent. Moreover, the seasonally adjusted annual rate for August was 25,800, compared to 28,700 for the previous month. The result for August was attributable to the decreases recorded in the Québec, Montréal and Gatineau markets (see table).

Still in the multi-unit housing segment, the figures for August indicate that condominium starts in the CMAs declined from August 2010 (-26 per cent). Homeowner and rental housing starts decreased again significantly from the same month in 2010 (-18 per cent and -33 per cent, respectively).

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 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, call 1-800-668-2642.

To view the table "Preliminary Results - Monthly Starts Survey - Province of Quebec", please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/cmhe0909.pdf

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