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A historic 2020 for DuProprio and real estate

Published on February 10, 2021

The year 2020 will go down in history as one of the busiest ever in Quebec real estate. The roller-coaster ride of constantly changing COVID-19 health measures didn’t dampen buyers’ interest. As a result, several key market indicators went through the roof.

This intensity was reflected by the activity on our website, DuProprio.com, throughout this extraordinary year. In fact, our platform received 90 million visits in 2020, with peaks of 8.8 million in June and in July—a company record.

A record-breaking 25,000 properties reported sold

Since it launched in 1997, DuProprio.com has beaten its own sales record every year, and 2020 was no exception. But this time the surge was spectacular, topping 25,000 properties reported sold, for the first time in the company’s history.

“In recent years, our sales record increased around 6–7% per year, but between 2019 and 2020, the hike was 15%, which is huge,” said Frédéric Auger, Senior Director at DuProprio. “This demonstrates just how much our services get results, and it shows that Quebecers are more comfortable than ever carrying out their real estate transactions without a go-between.”

Demand outpaces the supply

The inventory of properties for sale, which was already low at the start of last year, plummeted due to the spring lockdown. During that time, very few new listings were added. “There were still as many buyers needing to relocate though,” explained Martin Desfossés, real estate coach at DuProprio. “Less supply and a greater demand resulted in pressure on the market.”

There were a few factors behind this situation. The historically low interest rates encouraged many Quebecers to become homeowners, while telework boosted migration to the suburbs. Coupled with the decreased inventory, these conditions fostered a real estate boom.

Overbidding spreads to rural areas

The intense competition among buyers created another trend in 2020: overbidding. This happens in a market that favours the sellers, who may quickly receive several offers to purchase. To stand out, buyers will even offer more than the list price. This is called overbidding. 

Over 33% of the transactions reported by our clients on Montreal’s north and south shores sold for above the asking price between July and December 2020—another historical high for DuProprio. While overbidding has been entrenched on the island of Montreal since 2018, it has spread to every area of the province since last summer.

The number of sales for more than the list price rose to 32%1 in Gatineau, to 16%1 in Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières, and to 10%1 in the Québec City area. So long as the housing inventory remains low and buyers remain this active, it is realistic to think that this real estate trend will persist. 

1. DuProprio.com, by metropolitan region, July 1 to December 31, 2020.