Housing starts up in Laval

By Robert Frank

“Build it and they will come” is the motto for Laval resident real estate developers.

Housing starts were up 29 per cent in Laval for the first five months of 2015, compared to the same period last year, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported.

The optimism here contrasted starkly with the market on Montreal Island, where housing starts plummeted 66 per cent, followed by a slightly less precipitous drop of 42 per cent off-island in Vaudreuil-Soulanges region west of Montreal.

Indeed, the only other region where CMHC saw a rise in housing starts from January to May was the South Shore, which lifted lightly by four per cent.

CMHC attributed most of the drop elsewhere to a decrease in condominium construction. It noted that the decline would have been deeper, had it not been offset by long-term condo projects that have proceeded which had already been in the works for several years.

The resale market, saw the opposite trend. Montreal residential real estate resales rose ten per cent, while Laval remained relatively flat, recording an increase of just one per cent. The South Shore also saw strong resale growth of seven per cent.

Cosmopolitan trend

Laval’s lower taxes have long led Montrealers to relocate northward. The city’s population continues to grow briskly and its demographics are shifting even more rapidly.

That growth will likely lead Laval to overtake Quebec City as the province’s second-largest city within a decade or so.

The face of Laval is shifting even more quickly. As The Suburban reported last year, the 2011 Census revealed that Laval’s non-francophone population jumped from slightly under 30 per cent to nearly 40 per cent from the previous census just five years earlier in 2006.

With that growth trend continuing, the next census, which is due in 2016, will likely reveal that majority of city’s population has become non-francophone.

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