According to Statistics Canada, the non-residential sector in the Québec City CMA started off on the right track this year. In the first quarter of 2017, $192.5 million were invested, which represents a 2.4% increase compared to the same period last year. The region tries to move forward after the slow starts experienced in 2015 and 2016. Moreover, it tries to withstand the headwinds that affect the majority of majors metropolitan areas in Canada. Let us remind that non-residential investment in Canada decreased 0.9% compared to the first quarter of 2016.
Years 2015 and 2016 allowed several major projects to be finalized and many unoccupied new inventory to be sold, but more importantly to establish the future needs of to the non-residential market in general. As we head into 2017, the Québec City area is gradually getting ready for new major sites. Based on our compilation, the region currently has more than 200 projects, ongoing or announced, totalizing more than $7 billion in investments. The industrial sector will continue to support manufacturers’ expansion and competitiveness. It will also benefit from an increase in activity due to Innoparc Lévis as well as the imminent construction of the Medicago plant, in Estimauville. As for the institutional market, it will be particularly active in the hospital system, the office-space market and the accommodation sector. With a dynamic economy and retail sales on the rise, the commercial sector aims to pursue the expansion of its principal areas of focus, including those of Duplessis, Lebourgneuf and Sainte-Foy.
Just as they were in the last few years, discipline and good management will be de rigueur in order to conduct multiple investment projects simultaneously and manage the availability of new inventory. In this perpective, starting 2017, the region will go back to an average level of $900 million annually in capital expenditures.