L’Île-des-Sœurs, June 30, 2020 – The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB) has observed that the real estate statistics for the month of June, based on the real estate brokers’ Centris provincial database, are showing an acceleration in property price increases in the Montreal area, particularly on the Island of Montreal, making home ownership even more difficult.
Although the economic repercussions of the health crisis are expected to slow price increases later in the year, the data for June do not yet show clear signs of this.
Nevertheless, we can see that sales are recovering less quickly in the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) than at the provincial level, despite a significant level of catching-up that is taking place due to sales that could not be concluded during the confinement period.
One striking fact is that new listings are up sharply in Montreal compared to the same period one year ago, which is not the case in other regions of the province. This increase almost exclusively concerns condominiums.
Because condominiums are typically the most popular property category for entering the housing market, we are closely monitoring the evolution of this market in the Montreal area. We are seeing a slight recovery in condominium sales and a significant increase in new listings.
While this phenomenon is being observed throughout the Montreal CMA, it is most pronounced on the Island of Montreal. There is every indication that it is affecting condominiums acquired for investment purposes in particular, such as units available for short- and medium-term rental (for students, Airbnb, etc.). As a result, the inventory of condominiums put up for sale on the market has increased for the first time since September 2015.
Some central areas stand out in particular by a level of sales that is struggling to recover and that is much lower than last year (around -50 per cent), while new listings are soaring. These observations are consistent with Montreal’s drop in tourist numbers, the sharp decline in international migration flows and the drop in investment from foreigners.
In addition, condominiums in segments above $350,000 seem to be more affected by this new dynamic, with a slight drop in prices in some areas. However, it is important to remain cautious in the interpretation of these statistics as there are fewer and fewer condominiums available in the price range below $350,000. The median price of condos on the island of Montreal is now close to $370,000.
In addition, in a context where vacancy rates remain very low and rental prices continue to rise, households wishing to become homeowners are now faced with the tightening of underwriting criteria for mortgages insured by the CMHC and, more generally, with a more selective attitude by financial institutions regarding mortgage loan applications.
Unlike other property categories, the dynamics of the condominium market thus seem to be taking a different turn from that observed before the advent of the health crisis in late March. Even if sellers still have the upper hand on the Island of Montreal, the latest statistics allow us to hope that the condominium market will continue to relax in order to be more favourable for buyers over the next few months, at the very least, for those with the best credit records.
About the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers
The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB) is a non-profit association that brings together more than 13,000 real estate brokers and agencies. It is responsible for promoting and defending their interests while taking into account the issues facing the profession and the various professional and regional realities of its members. The QPAREB is also an important player in many real estate dossiers, including the implementation of measures that promote homeownership. The Association reports on Quebec’s residential real estate market statistics, provides training, tools and services relating to real estate, and facilitates the collection, dissemination and exchange of information. The QPAREB is headquartered in Quebec City and has its administrative offices in Montreal. It has two subsidiaries: Centris Inc. and the Collège de l’immobilier du Québec. Follow its activities at qpareb.ca or via its social media pages: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Centris.ca is Quebec’s real estate industry website for consumers, grouping all properties for sale by a real estate broker under the same address. Société Centris provides real estate industry stakeholders with access to real estate data and a wide range of technology tools. Centris also manages the collaboration system used by more than 13,000 real estate brokers in Quebec.
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