According to the results of the latest monthly housing starts survey, conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), residential construction decreased by 19 per cent in Quebec during the month of October. According to this survey, 3,433 dwellings were started in urban centres (100,000 inhabitants and over). This drop was mostly observed in the multi-family housing segment and was particularly obvious in the Montréal and Gatineau Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA), where new construction sites of this type were half less numerous.
"I am not the least surprised by the decrease observed in October, considering the slowdown in the resale and labour markets which started this summer. It should also be recalled that the level of housing starts recorded during the reference month (October 2006) was particularly strong" said Kevin Hughes, regional economist with CMHC
For the current year, starts in Quebec's urban centres have reached a total of 34,964 units, up by 10 per cent from the first ten months of 2005.
The number of multi-family (semi-detached, row, and apartments) homes started in urban centres went down by 24 per cent from the same month last year (2,296 housing starts compared to 3,023 in October 2006). The Montreal and Gatineau areas saw a notable slowdown in activity (- 49 per cent and - 50 per cent respectively), while the Québec and Trois-Rivières areas recorded significant increases of housing starts of this type. The October result brings the year-to-date total to 21,780 starts, a 15 per cent increase from the same period last year. "In the case of Québec, the strength was in condominiums and senior's residences, whereas in Trois-Rivières it was mainly latter category," adds Kevin Hughes.
The latest survey also reports the start of 1,137 single-detached houses in Quebec urban centres in October. This total, which represents a 7 per cent drop when compared to the same month in 2006, hides regional differences. It is noted, for example, the only the Gatineau and Québec CMAs recorded decreases whereas new construction sites were less numerous in almost all agglomerations with population between 50,000 and 99,999 inhabitants.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national housing agency for more than 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country. For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.