Real Estate: 2018 in Review

December 27, 2018

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The tree is sparkling with lights, the table is set, and it’s time to look back at the year gone by. What real estate trends stood out in 2018? Which events made a lasting impression? And what are the prospects for 2019?

A strong economy

Despite the interest rate hike in January, 2018 was a banner year. Residential sales rose 5% across Quebec. The average number of days on market dropped from 115 days in 2017 to 108 days in 2018. This was accompanied by historically low levels of unemployment (5%), a high level of consumer confidence, and a healthy economy, all of which fostered investments in Quebec real estate.

A seller’s market

In Montreal, you had all the conditions of a strong seller’s market. New residential listings dropped by 16%, creating an inventory shortage and strengthening demand. Buying got competitive: the number of sellers receiving multiple offers went up 12% for single-family dwellings, 9.7% for condos, and 17% for rental properties (plexes).

Prices on the rise

The price of real estate rose steadily throughout the year. The median price for a house is currently $320,000; condos are at $256,000; and plexes are at $511,000.

The condo market was especially hot, shooting up 15%, compared to 1% for single-family dwellings and 4% for rental properties. Thus condos continue to be popular in big cities like Montreal.

Prize neighborhoods

Among buyers, Villeray remains one of the most popular neighborhoods for single-family dwellings, with a 37% increase in sales. Prices rose by 26% on the Plateau and by 22% in Rosemont la Petite-Patrie.

The Sud-Ouest is the new neighborhood of choice for condos, with an 81% increase in sales over 2017.

Foreign buyers

Foreign buyers showed a preference for condos this year, which accounted for two-thirds of all properties purchased by first-time buyers from outside the province. Their favorite neighborhood? Ville-Marie. And unlike the move by other provincial governments to curb foreign investment in Vancouver and Toronto, the Government of Quebec doesn’t currently have any plans to introduce a new tax aimed at foreign buyers.

All of this means it’s been a banner year for home resale in the province. Montreal in particular has been a seller’s market, with little inventory for buyers and rapid sales. Condo resales are through the roof; condos have been particularly popular among foreign buyers.

The real estate market should continue to go strong in 2019; the only cloud in the sky is the Bank of Canada’s intention to raise its interest rate in the second quarter.

(Source: Fédération des chambres immobilières du Québec compiled by Centris – From January to October 2018)

Centris: Statistics

Centris: Real estate market

FCIQ: Window on the market


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