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Quebec housing starts in July

Quebec housing starts in July

According to the results of the latest monthly survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), residential construction decreased this past month in Quebec’s centres with 10,000 or more inhabitants. In all, 3,406 dwellings were started in July 2011, compared to 4,157 a year earlier. As well, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts for this same month (39,200) was lower than for the month of June (42,500).

The decrease in residential activity in July was attributable to both single-detached homes (-24 per cent) and multiple-unit housing (-15 per cent). In this last segment, starts fell from 2,776 units to 2,354 in the space of one year, and four of Quebec’s six census metropolitan areas (CMAs) registered losses, with the most significant having been recorded in Gatineau.

However, a more in-depth analysis of the multi-unit housing data revealed opposing dynamics: while apartment construction decreased, semi-detached and row home building posted a gain. “Housing demand in Quebec continues to shift toward housing types such as semi-detached and row homes,” said Francis Cortellino, Senior Market Analyst at CMHC. In fact, all CMAs in Quebec contributed to the increase in activity for such dwellings. In the case of single-detached home starts, all CMAs, except Saguenay, showed declines in July 2011.

Just like in the province overall, construction was down in all the larger census agglomerations (CAs), apart from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. However, the results by housing type varied from one centre to another.

Still according to the survey results, there were more freehold home starts, while new
rental and condominium units were less numerous than in July 2010. In this regard, the Québec CMA stood out, as new condominiums there registered a considerable drop (from 373 units in July of last year to 83 during the same month this year).

For the first seven months of the year, starts in Quebec’s centres with 10,000 or more
inhabitants were down by 11 per cent, compared to the same period last year. This result reflected the decreases in single-detached home building (-21 per cent) and, to a lesser extent, in multiple-unit housing construction (-6 per cent).

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Québec Landlords Association (1)

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