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The Real Estate Minute, winter 2021 The Real Estate Minute, winter 2021

4th Quarter 2021 Real Estate Stats: Property Sellers Are on a Roll

It continues to be a seller’s market in real estate, and the year 2021 ended with a noteworthy increase in property prices in Quebec. The number of residences being put up for sale decreased once again in the fourth quarter, while demand stayed high. 

Selling has never been easier but buying is a whole other story. To give you a clearer view of the situation, here’s the Quebec Real Estate Minute.

Another exceptional year

The number of transactions continued to rise in 2021 in the residential sector, which includes single-family homes, co-owned properties and multiplexes (2 to 5 units). JLR Land Title Solutions reports 170,419 sales last year in Quebec, a 6% hike over the previous year.

“The years 2020 and 2021 were exceptional,” explains Martin Desfossés, DuProprio real estate coach. “Compared to 2019, which was already a very good year, 2021 had a lot more sales. The year’s results are very good on every level.”

Recall that 2020 beat records with a soaring 16% increase in residential property sales1. While the numbers stayed high in 2021, it’s important to understand that many of the transactions that took place in 2020 were only counted in 2021 because the lack of availability of notaries. So, they may not accurately reflect the reality. 

The 2021 real estate market off to a flying start

Fewer properties to buy

There was also a declining inventory in 2021 that couldn’t keep up with the demand. The number of properties available province-wide fell 39%2 compared to the previous year. Compared to 2019, that’s a 58%3 drop across all categories!

Number of properties on the market in Quebec in 2021

A closer look at the fourth quarter

In the last quarter of 2021 (October, November and December), residential sales dropped 22.22%4 compared to the same time period in 2020. However, when compared to 2019, before the pandemic, we see an increase of 11.35%.5

The median price keeps climbing

While properties on the market are few, the number of people looking for a home is very high, and this has made prices explode.

According to the JLR Real Estate Radar, which inventories all the homes sold in the province, the median price for single-family homes in Quebec hit $340,000 in the last months of 2021, which is 15.3% higher than in the same period of 2020.

Median selling price of single-family homes in Quebec in 2021

Frenzy in the metropolitan area

The Montréal metropolitan area continues to break records, reaching a median price of $500,000 for a single-family home in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the numbers reported by JLR Land Title Solutions. For the island of Montréal, half the transactions were for more than $690,000.6

While prices are peaking in Greater Montréal, there is also very keen interest in the second-ring suburb. The South Shore, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Beauharnois, Saint-Lazare, Chambly, Cowansville and Granby experienced sharp rises in the median price of single-family homes in the fourth quarter. On the North Shore, a similar trend was seen in L’Assomption, Mascouche, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Saint-Lin-Laurentides and Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac.

Predictable overbidding                 

Just like in 2021, the real estate market experienced significant overbidding until the end of the year. Nearly one third of DuProprio’s clients reported selling their property for more than the last asking price on their listing at DuProprio.com.

Houses selling like hotcakes

Under the pressure of this demand, selling times have shortened drastically. On average, it took 55 days to find a buyer for a property in Quebec in 2021, which is 31 days less than in 2020.7 In Trois-Rivières, the selling time in the fourth quarter dropped to 24 days8 to sell a single-family home.

Average selling time in Quebec in 2021

Surprises in some regions

The real estate frenzy of the last two years has allowed many Quebecers to discover—or rekindle their love for—various parts of the province. “Many neglected areas were facing a declining economy and real estate values were stagnant. But since 2020, the trend has reversed in some places, for instance, the Mauricie region, which is currently very popular,” says Mr. Desfossés.

Some administrative regions have seen an impressive hike in the number of residential transactions for 2021. According to JLR Land Title Solutions, the regions of Côte-Nord [31.2%], Nord-du-Québec [30%], Saguenay [18%] and Gaspésie [16.3%] stand out. And sales also increased by a little more than 14% in the Centre-du-Québec, Capitale-Nationale and Mauricie regions.

Since the pandemic triggered an interest in working remotely, rural areas can now count on new inhabitants. According to Martin Desfossés, the profile of cities is in flux. However, the metropolises won’t be abandoned. They will continue to be centres of attraction, thanks to immigration, for instance. 

Adapting to the market’s new reality

“Yes, everything is moving fast right now, and it’s normal to feel a bit disoriented,” says Martin Desfossés. “But prices will continue to rise. The situation is particularly difficult for first-time buyers who, a few years ago, might have been planning to buy their dream home for $300,000. That same house is now much more expensive and is no longer affordable for that family.”

Given the uncertainty, Desfossés advises that buyers respect their capacity to pay and take it one step at a time. Instead of targeting the bungalow with a big yard, perhaps a co-ownership might be a good stepping stone. 

Buying a house in an overbidding context

Selling now rather than later

In early 2022, real estate continues to be a seller’s market. Despite the announced interest rate hike, it’s still a good time to put a home on the market. 

Choosing to sell commission-free, with comprehensive professional support like DuProprio offers, is very advantageous at the moment and could save you thousands of dollars.

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1. According to residential sales in the Real Estate Radar at JLR.ca in 2019 and in 2020. 2. DuProprio and the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB): Estimate based on the mean variation in the inventory of residential properties for sale for Quebec overall between 2020 and 2021. 3. DuProprio and QPAREB: Estimate based on the mean variation in the inventory of residential properties for sale for Quebec overall between 2019 and 2021. 4. Variation in the number of single-family homes, condos and multiplexes (2 to 5 units) sold in the fourth quarter between 2020 and 2021 – Adapted data from the Real Estate Radar at JLR.ca 5. Variation in the number of single-family homes, condos and multiplexes (2 to 5 units) sold in the fourth quarter between 2019 and 2021 – Adapted data from the Real Estate Radar at JLR.ca 6. Median selling price of single-family homes in the fourth quarter of 2021 on the island of Montréal, according to the Real Estate Radar at JLR.ca 7. DuProprio and QPAREB: Estimate based on the mean of residential property selling times between January 1 and December 31, 2021. 8. DuProprio and QPAREB: Estimate based on the mean of single-family-home selling times in the fourth quarter in the Trois-Rivière metropolitan area.