Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

January 10, 2017 08:15 ET

Rental Housing Construction Remained Active in the Quebec Area in 2016

QUÉBEC CITY, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - Jan. 10, 2017) - Housing starts in the Québec census metropolitan area (CMA) were trending at 5,270 units in December, compared to 5,692 in November, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

The pace of construction slowed down slightly in December in the Québec area. "Over the past few months, the level of activity in the condominium segment has remained rather low. The interest shown by builders for this type of property is still limited by the significant supply of units for sale in the area," said Nicolas Bernatchez, Market Analyst at CMHC.

Also, total housing starts for 2016 reached 4,766 units, a decrease of 12 per cent compared to 2015. "It was essentially the significant slowdown in activity in the condominium segment that explained the decrease in housing starts in 2016. This contrasts with the situation on the conventional rental market, where housing starts stayed at an all-time high. In fact, it is estimated that this market is facing a risk of overbuilding in the Québec area," added Nicolas Bernatchez.

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations, analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets, which can be quite variable from one month to the next.

The stand-alone monthly SAAR was 3,837 units in December, down from 6,072 in November. The significant change in the annual rate was due to the multiples segment, which often shows notable variations from one month to the next.

Preliminary housing starts data is also available in English and French at the following link:
Preliminary Housing Starts Tables.

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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Additional data is available upon request.

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To view the graph and tables associated with this release, please visit the following link:

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