Construction is slowing in Canada, but not in Montreal

The pace of residential construction slowed in Canadian urban centers in April, but continued to advance in the Montreal area.


André DubuqueAndré Dubuque
Journalism

The trend in housing construction was 279055 in April 2021, compared to 272164 the previous month, according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). A decrease of 17% is observed in urban centers with populations of 10,000 and more. This trend is the six-month moving average of the seasonally adjusted monthly and annual housing starts.

Quebec as a whole is following the same trend with a 9% drop in the pace of housing starts. However, the opposite is true for the regions of Gatineau, Saguenay, Montreal and, to a lesser extent, Quebec.

29% increase in the Montreal area

In the Montreal area, the annual rate of housing starts increased from 30,600 units in March 2021 to 39,600 units in April 2021, an increase of 29%.

In fact, Montreal, like the province of Quebec as a whole, experienced an “exceptional” month in April, according to the Association of Building and Housing Professionals in Quebec (APCHQ).

Last month, we built 947 single-family homes in Quebec (+ 64% compared to April 2019) and 4,783 group homes (+ 34% compared to April 2019).

Altogether, this represents a growth of 38% compared to April 2019. The comparison to April 2020 is impossible, as sites have been closed. “This is evidence that we have just witnessed another exceptional month, this is the peak of April,” said Paul Cardinal, Director of Economics at APCHQ.

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In fact, CMHC listed 5,730 residential buildings in Quebec. “This is a record one month in April since the Fed released the data, that is, 1990. It has been six consecutive months until Quebec has recorded significant increases in the number of housing starts being started,” APCHQ said in a press release.

From May 2020 to April 2021, 57,517 housing units in Quebec represent a 42% increase compared to the previous twelve-month period.

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