Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

February 09, 2009 23:59 ET

Quebec housing starts decline in January

MONTREAL, Feb. 9 - The results of the monthly starts survey
conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in centres with
10,000 or more inhabitants indicate that residential construction declined in
Quebec this past month. In all, 2,021 housing units were started in January,
compared to 2,330 a year earlier. However, the seasonally adjusted annual rate
recorded in January was similar to December's pace. "The decrease in activity,
and the extent of this decrease, were expected and are in line with our
forecasts," said Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist at CMHC for Quebec.

In the census metropolitan areas (CMAs), starts fell by 18 per cent in
January (1,675 units in 2009, compared to 2,044 in 2008). Most CMAs sustained
declines during this period; in particular, the Québec area registered a
volume well below the level recorded a year earlier. It was a completely
different story in the larger census agglomerations (CAs), as four of the five
larger CAs posted gains (for an overall hike of 46 per cent), thanks to the
growth in the multiple-unit housing category (see table).

In the case of single-detached home building, the January result (480
starts) was down by 25 per cent from the same month last year. With the
exception of the Sherbrooke area, where the situation remained relatively
unchanged, all CMAs registered significant declines (see table). The larger
CAs, for their part, recorded a decrease of 19 per cent.

As for multiple-family (semi-detached, row and apartment) housing
construction, the survey results revealed that starts in this segment fell
less significantly (-9 per cent) than in the single-detached home segment.
Paradoxically, half of the CMAs and all of the larger CAs posted gains
compared to January 2008. The decline resulted from a major drop in the Québec
area (see table).

Still according to the survey results, there were fewer freehold and
rental housing starts, while condominium construction was up over January
2008.

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.



Preliminary Results - Monthly Starts Survey - Province of Quebec
(centres with 10,000+ inhab.)

January

Singles Multiples Total
2008 2009 % 2008 2009 % 2008 2009 %
------------------- ----------------- ------------------

Centres with 100,000+ inhab.

GATINEAU 92 62 -33 201 188 -6 293 250 -15
MONTREAL 276 200 -28 916 953 4 1,192 1,153 -3
QUEBEC 86 50 -42 325 50 -85 411 100 -76
SAGUENAY 8 6 -25 2 12 (*) 10 18 80
SHERBROOKE 43 47 9 22 83 (*) 65 130 100
TROIS-RIVIERES 26 12 -54 47 12 -74 73 24 -67

Sous-total
(100 000 et
plus) 531 377 -29 1,513 1,298 -14 2,044 1,675 -18

Centres with 50,000 to 99,999 inhab.

DRUMMONDVILLE 24 18 -25 4 23 (*) 28 41 46
GRANBY 23 18 -22 29 58 100 52 76 46
SAINT-HYACINTHE 9 3 -67 14 20 43 23 23 0
SAINT-JEAN-SUR-
RICHELIEU 3 8 (*) 0 0 0 3 8 (*)
SHAWINIGAN 0 1 (*) 0 6 (*) 0 7 (*)

Sous-total
(50 000 à
99 999) 59 48 -19 47 107 (*) 106 155 46

Quebec
(estimate
10,000+) 643 480 -25 1,687 1,541 -9 2,330 2,021 -13

(*) Absolute value greater than 100%

Contact Information

  • Province of Quebec: Kevin Hughes, Senior
    Economist, (514) 283-4488: Montréal: Bertrand Recher, Senior Market Analyst,
    (514) 283-2758; Sherbrooke (Estrie): Francis Cortellino, Market Analyst, (514)
    283-8391; Québec: Elisabeth Koulouris, Senior Market Analyst, (418) 649-8098;
    Trois-Rivières (Mauricie): Marie-Elaine Denis, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8100;
    Gatineau (Outaouais, Abitibi): Patrice Tardif, Senior Market Analyst, (514)
    283-2097; Saguenay: Frédéric Brie, Market Analyst, (418) 649-8102