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Construction of new homes has leaped 18% in 7 years

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Quebec’s economy continues to boom, the number of residential construction projects in the province has increased by nearly 20 per cent since 2011. And it seems that more rental housing is being constructed than previous believed.

For the first six months of 2018, the total number of residential construction starts stood at 19,317 — rental and non-rental — an increase of 18 per cent over the same period in 2011, according to a report by the Association des professionnels de la construction et de l’habitation du Québec obtained by the Presse Canadienne.

“Good job growth, interest rates that remain low and economic growth explain the record levels of construction starts we’ve seen over the past few years, particularly for the first half of 2018,” according to Georges Lambert, the association’s director of economic services.

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Construction of rental units increased by 37 per cent over the period studied and, in what can be perceived as a sign of Quebec’s demographic changes, “almost one out of three is classified as a residence for elderly persons.”

Meanwhile, programs providing incentives to homeowners to renovate appear to have been popular, with municipalities recording a total of $1.1 billion reported renovation work for the first half of 2018, an increase of seven per cent compared with the year-ago period.

The Montreal region accounted for 59 per cent of the residential construction reported for the first six months of the year, Lambert said, noting that around “80 or 90 per cent of the jobs were created in the region of Montreal. … And that creates a demand for housing.”

Original articleMontreal Gazette