Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Quebec Residential Construction Up In December 2006

According to the results of latest monthly survey conducted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), residential construction in Quebec was on the rise in December. In all, 3,548 housing units were started in urban centers with 10,000 or more inhabitants, for an increase of 3 % over December 2005. The December result brought the annual total to 39,486 starts, down by 4 per cent in relation to the level recorded in 2005 (see table).

As expected, the slowdown that began in 2005 continued in 2006. Modest economic growth, the increase in mortgage costs and the decrease in pent-up demand are all factors that reduced demand for homeowner housing. On the other hand, steady migration and the aging of the population supported demand for multi-family housing and allowed the new home market to end the year at a still rather high level.

Single-detached home building registered an increase of 1 % in the province. In fact, 1,175 dwellings of this type were started this past December, compared to 1,161 during the same period the year before. This result was due to the significant increases recorded in the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Ottawa-Gatineau (Quebec part) (+24 %) and Montreal (+6 %). Elsewhere across Quebec, the other CMAs showed negative results in this market segment. In urban agglomerations with 50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants, housing starts were down slightly (-4 %) in relation to December 2005. In the smaller centers (10,000 to 49,999 inhabitants), however, construction was more active, with a gain of 6 % in the last quarter of 2006 over the same period in 2005.

Urban multiple starts posted a slightly better performance than single starts, with a gain of 4 per cent in December over the same month in 2005. Trois-Rivières (over 100 per cent) and Gatineau (over 100 per cent) registered the most remarkable gains.

Starts of this type fell by 37 % in centers 50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants in December, compared to one year earlier, and by 5 % in the smaller urban agglomerations (10,000 to 49,999 inhabitants) this past quarter, in relation to the same quarter in 2005.

The good performance of the multi-family housing segment in December and throughout 2006 was mainly attributable to semi-detached and row home building. With an increase of 20 % over December 2005, it can be said that this type of housing continued to gain in popularity, while condominium construction lost some ground (-33 %).


Post a Comment

<< Home