IS THE MONTRÉAL REAL ESTATE MARKET “RELAXING”?
At the beginning of the summer, the Montréal real estate market, and the multiple-offer-frenzy, seemed to calm down, and although property prices did not show any signs of decreasing, the tide seemed to be turning in favour of property buyers.
Now, as we move into the fall season, what does the last quarter of the year hold in store for the real estate market in Montréal?
LOOKING BACK OVER THE LAST THREE MONTHS OF THE REAL ESTATE MARKET:
We saw a decrease in demand (number of buyers) since the beginning of the summer. However, parallel to that, we also saw a decrease in supply (number of sellers).
In the last three months, fewer properties were listed on the market. This meant, practically, that the relatively equal change in the number of properties available, as well as buyers available, maintained the same type of supply/demand tension, and therefore selling prices remain healthy.
According to the Québec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB), the number of new listings dropped by approximately 30% last month, as compared to July 2020 *. The substantial downward supply trend that began in May has continued, and seems to signal that the market is moving towards a rebalancing. New listings totalled 4118 last month, down from 5918 in July 2020*.
HERE ARE THE TWO MAIN CONCERNS THAT HAVE EMERGED FROM OUR CONVERSATIONS WITH PROPERTY OWNERS INTERESTED IN SELLING THEIR PROPERTIES:
On the one hand, those who recently bought a property, in the last 3-4 years, found the process nervewracking. They are very happy to have found a home, and don’t plan to resell it for several years.
On the other hand, those who were thinking of selling to improve or expand their lifestyle are, unfortunately, often held back by the uncertainties around being able to find a property that suits their new needs, in their preferred area, and within their budget.
SOME FACTORS IN THE REBALANCING OF THE REAL ESTATE MARKET:
First off, the decrease in the number of listed single-family homes.
Second, the exhaustion of buyers with regard to the frantic pace of the market.
Third, the new post-pandemic distractions that have made their purchasing projects less of a priority.
Another set of factors are the shrinking pool of buyers able to afford a property at market prices, and the increase in the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured, and insured, mortgages. This “mortgage stress test” is now set at 5.25%, compared to 4.79%, just a few months ago.
The “mortgage stress test” is used to determine whether a borrower will remain able to make their mortgage payments in the event of a major increase in interest rates. If the borrower could be unable to make the payments, the lender will not be able to provide a mortgage, and will require a smaller mortgage. A higher stress test rate will therefore tend to disqualify a certain number of marginal buyers, who might otherwise secure a property in a higher market bracket.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
It would appear that the Montréal real estate market dropped into a post-pandemic transition period, during the summer; a sort of lull. This took place as we caught our breaths before the fall season, which is beginning now.
As anticipated at the beginning of the year, prices have continued to rise; at a less extreme pace, but the trend is upward.
The median price of a single-family home increased by an astonishing 18%, when compared to July of 2020, while condominium prices increased by 16%*.
On the Island of Montréal, Fall is traditionally the other busy period in real estate, with Spring being the peak of the market each year. During the fall, sellers and buyers alike carry out their real estate projects, ahead of winter.
During this last quarter of the year, we expect the market to remain balanced in favour of the sellers, until 2022.
For those who are considering putting their property on the market in the coming months, we remain available to guide you through your each step, exploring, assessing, and executing your successful transaction.
Speak to a member of your team, at ÉQUIPE MARK-ANDRÉ MARTEL.
*La Presse Canadienne, “Les ventes d’habitations ont chuté de 30% à Montréal en juillet”, Les Affaires,