Altogether, 2 747 new housing construction sites have been registered in Quebec last December, according to the latest poll of the CMHC which was done in the urban centres of 10 000 inhabitants and more, i.e. 3 % more than during the same period last year (2 668 new construction sites). Residential construction is thus still in good shape in Quebec.
However, approximately the same number of habitations have been put under construction in 2008, if one compares to 2007, i.e. 41 554 habitations for the 12 months of 2008, against 40 885 in the preceding year. One notices that residential construction has diminished by 5 % but construction of collective housing has grown by 6 %. An increase making itself felt in all of the agglomerations of 10 000 inhabitants and more. In the urban centres of 50 000 to 99 999 inhabitants a decrease of 10 % will be observed for all of the components.
New construction in the collective housing component has grown very swiftly in December of 2008 (27 %) if one compares with the same month last year. To the exception of Trois-Rivières, which has registered a decrease of – 26 %, all of the CMAs (Census Metropolitan Areas) have realized important increases. Among these, the regions of Montreal and Gatineau have shown increases of 9 % and 11 % respectively.
Kevin Hughes, principal economist at the CMHC for Quebec has declared : « The growth of collective housing construction sites observed in 2008 is attributable to two main factors: a growing demand for more affordable habitations ( co-ownerships, row houses ) and a sustained supply of residences for elderly people.»