Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

January 09, 2009 23:59 ET

Quebec Housing Starts Rise in December

MONTREAL, Jan. 9 - According to the latest monthly starts
survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC),
residential construction increased in Quebec during the past month in centres
with 10,000 or more inhabitants. In all, 2,747 housing units were started in
December 2008, compared to 2,668 one year earlier, for a gain of 3 per cent.
However, the pace of construction, as measured by the seasonally adjusted
annual rate of starts, was more moderate than in November.

In 2008, 41,554 dwellings were started in centres with 10,000 or more
inhabitants, a volume similar to the level recorded the previous year (40,885
units). Single-detached home building fell by 5 per cent, while
multiple-family housing construction rose by 6 per cent. In the census
metropolitan areas (CMAs), the year-to-date figures were comparable to the
2007 results while, in the larger census agglomerations (CAs), those with
50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants, total starts for the year show a decrease of 10
per cent. "I am not at all surprised by the starts result observed in 2008, as
it is exactly in line with our forecast from a year ago," said Kevin Hughes,
Senior Economist at CMHC for Quebec.

In December, contrary to what was noted for the province overall, starts
recorded a decrease of 5 per cent in the CMAs (2,126 units in 2008, compared
to 2,232 in 2007). The major gain (+18 per cent) posted in the multiple-family
(semi-detached, row and apartment) housing segment was not sufficient to fully
offset the 37-per-cent drop in single-detached home building. In the larger
CAs, a considerable increase (+74 per cent) resulted from the construction of
many new units (intended for the rental and condominium markets) in the
Drummondville, Granby and Saint-Hyacinthe agglomerations.

Multi-family housing starts were up significantly (+27 per cent) over
December of the previous year. With the exception of the Trois-Rivières area
(-26 per cent), all CMAs registered notable increases (see table). The
Montréal and Gatineau areas posted gains of 9 per cent and 11 per cent,
respectively, while the other three CMAs recorded greater hikes. "The increase
in multi-unit housing construction observed in 2008 was attributable to two
main factors: a growing demand for more affordable housing (condominiums, row
homes) and a strong supply of retirement homes," noted Mr. Hughes.

A marked change in housing starts was also observed in the
single-detached home category, but in the opposite direction. In fact, the
December result (804 starts) showed a decline of 29 per cent from the same
month in 2007. All CMAs registered significant drops (see table). "The major
decrease in single-detached housing starts noted in recent months is
comparable to what can be observed in the case of existing home sales. While
it is too early to speak of a trend, these results-as well as the figures for
multiple-family housing-are in line with our forecasts for 2009, namely, that
demand is decreasing and also shifting toward more affordable housing options.
We can see here not only the effect of the economic environment but also the
impact of the demographic changes in the province," concluded Kevin Hughes.

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-homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities 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.)

December

Single-Detached Others Total
2007 2008 % 2007 2008 % 2007 2008 %
------------------- ------------------ ------------------
Centres with
100,000+ inhab.
(December)

GATINEAU 82 59 -28 131 146 11 213 205 -4
MONTREAL 562 335 -40 827 899 9 1,389 1,234 -11
QUEBEC 125 98 -22 160 250 56 285 348 22
SAGUENAY 28 12 -57 2 56 (xxx) 30 68 (xxx)
SHERBROOKE 72 56 -22 39 86 (xxx) 111 142 28
TROIS-RIVIERES 56 20 -64 148 109 -26 204 129 -37

Subtotal
(100,000+) 925 580 -37 1,307 1,546 18 2,232 2,126 -5

Centres with
50,000 to
99,999 inhab.
(December)

DRUMMONDVILLE 37 23 -38 6 78 (xxx) 43 101 (xxx)
GRANBY 16 24 50 4 57 (xxx) 20 81 (xxx)
SAINT-
HYACINTHE(*) 12 2 -83 39 85 (xxx) 51 87 71
SHAWINIGAN 7 13 86 34 9 -74 41 22 -46
SAINT-JEAN-
SUR-RICHELIEU 19 22 16 8 3 -63 27 25 -7

Subtotal
(50,000 to
99,999) 91 84 -8 91 232 (xxx) 182 316 74

Centres with
10,000 to
49,999 inhab.
(4th Quart.)

ALMA 8 10 25 6 22 (xxx) 14 32 (xxx)
AMOS 4 13 (xxx) 2 0 -100 6 13 (xxx)
BAIE-COMEAU 2 6 (xxx) 0 24 (xxx) 2 30 (xxx)
COWANSVILLE 5 8 60 7 0 -100 12 8 -33
DOLBEAU-
MISTASSINI 2 5 (xxx) 0 8 (xxx) 2 13 (xxx)
GASPE 25 10 -60 0 0 0 25 10 -60
JOLIETTE 44 49 11 144 54 -63 188 103 -45
LA TUQUE 1 2 100 0 0 0 1 2 100
LACHUTE 16 21 31 18 28 56 34 49 44
LES-ILES-DE-
LA-MADELEINE na 33 na na 4 na na 37 na
MATANE 8 2 -75 8 6 -25 16 8 -50
MONT-LAURIER na 9 na na 62 na na 71 na
MONTMAGNY 3 1 -67 18 20 11 21 21 0
PREVOST na 34 na na 14 na na 48 na
RAWDON na 27 na na 24 na na 51 na
RIMOUSKI 44 39 -11 75 50 -33 119 89 -25
RIVIERE-DU-
LOUP 25 19 -24 2 54 (xxx) 27 73 (xxx)
ROBERVAL 1 2 100 0 2 (xxx) 1 4 (xxx)
ROUYN-NORANDA 17 20 18 2 0 -100 19 20 5
SAINTE-ADELE na 21 na na 22 na na 43 na
SAINTE-MARIE 8 12 50 30 40 33 38 52 37
SAINTE-SOPHIE na 44 na na 24 na na 68 na
SAINT-FELICIEN 5 4 -20 0 5 (xxx) 5 9 80
SAINT-GEORGES 30 26 -13 40 18 -55 70 44 -37
SAINT-LIN-
LAURENTIDES 64 46 -28 0 43 (xxx) 64 89 39
SALABERRY-DE-
VALLEYFIELD 21 16 -24 59 25 -58 80 41 -49
SEPT-ILES 5 11 (xxx) 2 0 -100 7 11 57
SOREL-TRACY 20 26 30 39 16 -59 59 42 -29
THETFORD MINES 4 11 (xxx) 2 2 0 6 13 (xxx)
VAL-D'OR 28 54 93 31 6 -81 59 60 2
VICTORIAVILLE 34 28 -18 36 64 78 70 92 31

Subtotal
(10,000 to
49,999)(*) 424 609 44 521 637 22 945 1,246 32

Quebec
(estimate
10,000+) 1,140 804 -29 1,528 1,943 27 2,668 2,747 3



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

January to December

Single-Detached Others Total
2007 2008 % 2007 2008 % 2007 2008 %
------------------- ------------------ ------------------
Centres with
100,000+ inhab.

GATINEAU 1,037 1,120 8 1,751 2,184 25 2,788 3,304 19
MONTREAL 8,013 6,602 -18 15,220 15,325 1 23,233 21,927 -6
QUEBEC 2,144 2,031 -5 3,140 3,426 9 5,284 5,457 3
SAGUENAY 373 400 7 312 469 50 685 869 27
SHERBROOKE 666 802 20 652 825 27 1,318 1,627 23
TROIS-RIVIERES 430 373 -13 767 775 1 1,197 1,148 -4

Subtotal
(100,000+) 12,663 11,328 -11 21,842 23,004 5 34,505 34,332 1

Centres with
50,000 to
99,999 inhab.

DRUMMONDVILLE 329 322 -2 590 330 -44 919 652 -29
GRANBY 325 330 2 285 755 (xxx) 610 1,085 78
SAINT-
HYACINTHE(*) 95 107 13 226 205 -9 321 312 -3
SHAWINIGAN 119 125 5 57 65 14 176 190 8
SAINT-JEAN-
SUR-RICHELIEU 451 272 -40 566 230 -59 1,017 502 -51

Subtotal
(50,000 to
99,999) 1,319 1,156 -12 1,724 1,585 -8 3,043 2,741 -10

Centres with
10,000 to
49,999 inhab.

ALMA 57 102 79 32 69 (xxx) 89 171 92
AMOS 17 41 (xxx) 9 4 -56 26 45 73
BAIE-COMEAU 13 23 77 0 24 (xxx) 13 47 (xxx)
COWANSVILLE 32 40 25 12 29 (xxx) 44 69 57
DOLBEAU-
MISTASSINI 12 36 (xxx) 4 20 (xxx) 16 56 (xxx)
GASPE 76 95 25 2 26 (xxx) 78 121 55
JOLIETTE 225 246 9 249 169 -32 474 415 -12
LA TUQUE 5 6 20 0 17 (xxx) 5 23 (xxx)
LACHUTE 51 80 57 52 78 50 103 158 53
LES-ILES-DE-
LA-MADELEINE na 40 na na 4 na na 44 na
MATANE 31 23 -26 14 8 -43 45 31 -31
MONT-LAURIER na 43 na na 64 na na 107 na
MONTMAGNY 25 13 -48 21 26 24 46 39 -15
PREVOST na 132 na na 14 na na 146 na
RAWDON na 78 na na 32 na na 110 na
RIMOUSKI 130 151 16 127 182 43 257 333 30
RIVIERE-DU-
LOUP 86 77 -10 114 100 -12 200 177 -12
ROBERVAL 11 18 64 2 6 (xxx) 13 24 85
ROUYN-NORANDA 110 102 -7 7 4 -43 117 106 -9
SAINTE-ADELE na 87 na na 49 na na 136 na
SAINTE-MARIE 29 39 34 92 148 61 121 187 55
SAINTE-SOPHIE na 159 na na 70 na na 229 na
SAINT-FELICIEN 29 27 -7 24 5 -79 53 32 -40
SAINT-GEORGES 120 105 -13 116 106 -9 236 211 -11
SAINT-LIN-
LAURENTIDES 254 207 -19 13 73 (xxx) 267 280 5
SALABERRY-DE-
VALLEYFIELD 81 74 -9 153 219 43 234 293 25
SEPT-ILES 52 44 -15 34 11 -68 86 55 -36
SOREL-TRACY 106 99 -7 132 106 -20 238 205 -14
THETFORD MINES 27 49 81 2 19 (xxx) 29 68 (xxx)
VAL-D'OR 100 118 18 45 9 -80 145 127 -12
VICTORIAVILLE 161 148 -8 235 286 22 396 434 10

Subtotal
(10,000 to
49,999)(*) 1,846 2,504 36 1,491 1,977 33 3,337 4,481 34

Quebec
(estimate
10,000+) 15,828 14,988 -5 25,057 26,566 6 40,885 41,554 2

(xxx) Absolute value greater than 100%

(*) Data adjusted to reflect geographical definitions of the 2006 census.
Les-Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Mont-Laurier, Prévost, Rawdon,
Sainte-Adèle, and Sainte-Sophie now belong to the 10 000 to 49 999
population category.

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