MONTREAL -- A group of Quebec entrepreneurs predicts that residential construction will do well this year and next despite the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In predictions posted Tuesday, Quebec’s association of construction professionals (APCHQ) revealed that it initially anticipated a three per cent decline in residential construction for 2020. But it now has plans for 41,000 projects this year in Quebec, which represents a 15 per cent decrease compared to the 47,967 housing units from last year.

Paul Cardinal, the director of the APCHQ’s economic service, said that after a four-week shutdown caused by the pandemic, activities have resumed at a good pace and in the short-term, the vast majority of marketed projects will be built.

The end of autumn onwards is when the flow of units could be a little slower, Cardinal said, because of the economic slowdown and job losses, which might delay the start of certain projects.

The APCHQ is anticipating an active year for 2021. Around 40,000 units are planned, which represents a decline of just two per cent. The single-family home segment is expected to grow as multi-family housing moderates to a certain extent, though it will continue to dominate.

Cardinal said in recent years, the demand for rental housing has been fueled by an increase in non-permanent residents in 2019. However, Cardinal says the immigrant and non-permanent resident factors are difficult to predict currently.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2020.