Home sales in Montreal, Quebec City, hit record highs in January, according to the Real Estate Agents Association

People in Montreal and Quebec City rushed to buy a record number of homes earlier in the year, but had fewer options to choose from.

The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers announced Tuesday that January sales in Montreal rose to 3,971, up 17 percent from 3,398 a year earlier.

Quebec City’s revenue reached 829 that same month, up 16 percent from 713 in 2020.

The record highs show house hunters were not stopped from snapping up property, despite the province struggling with strict lockdowns and curfews to keep Quebecers at home and contain COVID-19.

Those who dared found a competitive market, but a lack of options.

« It was a feeding frenzy, but there was no food, no inventory, » said Catherine Dawe, a Montreal real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty.

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Noting that demand for housing in most of the area’s trendiest neighborhoods, including the Plateau, was high throughout January, she urged buyers to keep calm and not let the hot conditions overwhelm them.

Charles Brant, director of market research at QPAREB, also noted the frenzy.

« Condominiums and plexes saw record sales, including on Montreal Island, with the highest number of transactions ever seen since the early 2000s, » he said in a statement.

But there were also signs that the market was easing.

January was the first month since June 2020 that Quebec City revenue growth was well below the 40 percent mark.

This easing is likely due to the fact that active listings in the single-family home category have fallen by nearly two-thirds over the past 12 months and the Quebec City market saw a sharp rise in sales last January.

QPAREB said the number of active listings this January fell 48 percent to 3,848 in Quebec City and 25 percent to 11,176 in Montreal.

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The number of new registrations in Quebec City fell by 30 percent to 1,003 and in Montreal by 11 percent to 5,042.

In Quebec City, the price of a single family home rose 11 percent to $ 282,000, while the price of condominiums fell 2 percent to an average of $ 200,000.

In Montreal, the average single-family home price rose 23 percent to $ 434,000, while condominium prices rose 23 percent to $ 434,000.

« What is shocking is that prices keep rising, » said Dawe. « We restore our prices based on what we think is the new normal, and then people still get past it. »

She recently helped a client make a bid for $ 600,000 – $ 50,000 above list price – for a « middle of nowhere » home that she would have sold for $ 450,000 a year ago.

17 offers were generated and sold for $ 100,000.

Another property she was involved in needed a « total belly job » but was sold for what it would have if it had been renovated.

« There’s just no end to what’s going on, » said Dawe.

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« The only place that isn’t in so much demand is in a condo in the heart of downtown. »

QPAREB’s new numbers come a month after regions proved so resilient they had the best December for property sales across Montreal neighborhoods.

The association said agents sold 4,613 homes in Montreal in December, up 32 percent from 3,503 in December 2019.

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Home sales in Montreal, Quebec City, hit record highs in January, according to the Real Estate Agents Association
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