Non-residential investment stood at $537.4 million in the Quebec City CMA in the first six months of 2013, up 18% from the same period in 2012. In historical terms, the region recorded its best first half of the year since 2009 ($545.1 million). It also recorded the second-highest growth rate among Canada’s eight main metropolitan areas, behind Vancouver (+21.3%).
A number of major projects are fuelling non-residential capital expenditures in the Quebec City CMA this year. The commercial sector (+23.9%) continues to expand, thanks mainly to preparations surrounding the Target store openings scheduled for September. Activity in the industrial sector (+3.7%) is based on manufacturers’ modernization and expansion projects aimed at boosting competitiveness. The institutional sector is also flourishing (+2.2%). Low vacancy rates (6.7% in the second quarter of 2013) will be conducive to growth in the office building market.
Serving as a bellwether, the 40.7% increase in the value of building permits in the first five months of the year, compared with the same period in 2012, indicates that non-residential investment will also fare well in the second half of the year. The private sector is already active with more than 80 major projects underway or announced valued at more than $3 billion. There are also several major public initiatives, including a multi-purpose amphitheatre. In addition, the region stands to benefit from major projects (such as wind farms) in the surrounding areas.