Quebec Housing starts in October 2009

Published on by Association des Propriétaires du Québec

Topic(s): Real estate

Source: CMHC

Quebec Housing starts in October 2009
According to the results of the latest monthly survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), residential construction fell this past month in Quebec's centres with 10,000 or more inhabitants. In all, 3,065 dwellings were started in October 2009, compared to 4,144 a year earlier. As well, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts for this same month (31,900) was slower than the pace recorded in September (36,100).

In the census metropolitan areas (CMAs), housing starts fell in October (2,666 units in 2009, versus 3,226 in 2008). Most CMAs effectively sustained decreases during this period. The same held true for the larger census agglomerations (CAs), as three of the five CAs registered declines (for an overall drop of 64 per cent), mainly on account of the slowdown in activity in the multiple-family housing segment.

Single-detached home building declined by 15 per cent this past month, compared to
October 2008, with half of the CMAs having recorded decreases. According to the survey results, the most notable drops were registered in Sherbrooke (-43 per cent) and Québec (-19 per cent). In the CMAs where single-detached home starts increased, Saguenay and Trois-Rivières stood out with gains of more than 20 per cent. The increase observed in Montréal, while smaller (+8 per cent), was still noteworthy, as this was the first gain recorded there in over a year. “Even though the pace of single-detached home construction is slowing, renewed activity in this segment was noted in October,” said Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist at CMHC for Quebec.

Multiple-unit (semi-detached, row and apartment) housing starts, for their part, were down by 31 per cent in October from the same month last year. Once again, activity was down in most of Quebec’s CMAs. In fact, only Saguenay and Trois-Rivières registered increases in this segment. In the other urban centres with 100,000 or more inhabitants, the decreases varied from one CMA to another.

Still according to the survey results, starts in Quebec were down in all intended markets (freehold, rental and condominium), although the contraction was less significant in the freehold home segment. From January to October 2009, housing starts in Quebec’s centres with 10,000 or more inhabitants were down by 15 per cent, compared to the same period last year. This result reflected the declines in single-detached home building (-19 per cent) and, to a lesser extent, multiple-unit housing construction (-13 per cent).

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.

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