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Housing starts have fallen more in Quebec than anywhere else

Montreal, December 18, 2023 – Residential housing starts have fallen much more in Quebec than in the other Canadian provinces this year, criticizes a Montreal Economic Institute researcher.

“The best way to slow the rapid rise in housing prices is to increase supply,” says Gabriel Giguère, public policy analyst at the MEI. “It’s not normal that the city of Vancouver all by itself has had about as many housing starts as the entire province of Quebec.”

Between January 1st and November 30th, there were 29,963 residential housing starts in Quebec, according to the most recent data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This represents a drop of 35 per cent compared to the same period in 2022.

In comparison, Metro Vancouver saw 29,882 housing construction starts over the first 11 months of this year.

Quebec experienced the steepest decline, far ahead of second-place Newfoundland and Labrador, where housing starts have fallen 18 per cent. Across the country, the average drop is eight per cent.

Giguère notes that Greater Montreal alone is responsible for almost two-thirds of the decline in housing starts in Quebec this year.

He points out that the Plante administration, since taking office, has obstructed the creation of 23,760 housing units.

“Interest rates, the prices of materials, and the labour shortage are factors from coast to coast,” explains Giguère. “The gap between Quebec and the other provinces is due to the fact that in other large Canadian cities, developers are seen not as enemies, but rather as allies on the issue of housing.”

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The MEI is an independent public policy think tank with offices in Montreal and Calgary. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship. 

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