The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB) reports there were 75,853 residential sales in Quebec last year, which is 13 per cent less than 2022 volume and slightly lower than the historical average.
“An orderly normalization of the Quebec market took place in 2023, despite a context that has been marked by a brutal hike in interest rates since 2022. Since the start of the pandemic, younger households have had to bear the brunt of sharply rising prices. However, the story is different for repeat buyers, who, thanks to their strong financial capacity, were able to weather the increase in property values. However, a reduction in the pool of qualified first-time homebuyers can adversely affect the transactional chain. For a market to be fluid, there must be a sufficient number of first-time homebuyers,” notes Charles Brant, QPAREB’s market analysis director.
Last year’s Q4 shows fewer first-time buyers, low sales and inventory
“The fourth quarter reflects a market with even fewer first-time homebuyers. Two factors are influencing the postponement of purchase plans: a climate of economic uncertainty and expectations of a drop in interest rates in 2024. The same behaviour is observed in sellers, who note that buyers are more cautious and hesitant. Sellers are therefore also likely to postpone their sales project until a future date,” Brant continues.
“The year thus ended with a low transaction level and relatively few properties available for sale. The result is a stagnation of the market which remains squarely in sellers’ territory. Consequently, prices are generally remaining under pressure, either increasing or remaining stable. Only rarely in certain markets with the highest property prices are they falling.”
Sales and active listings
Province-wide, all property types experienced a sales decline, varying from about -10 per cent and -21 per cent. Two-to-five-unti plexes sharply dropped by -21 per cent, while condominiums and single-family homes saw decreases of 15 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.
Gatineau, Montreal and Sherbrooke saw the largest metropolitan area declines: -15 per cent, -14 per cent and -14 per cent, respectively. Urban centres experienced greater sales decreases than other areas between 2022 and 2023.
La Tuque and Charlevoix dropped by 36 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, while the Sainte-Adèle and Montmagny markets were up, by 1 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.
2023 saw inventory rise by 24 per cent across the province, with the number of active listings at 32,154 (though still well below the historical average).
Quebec’s median single-family home price was $416,500, no change compared to 2022. The median price of condominiums dropped to $360,000, about 1 per cent less than it was in 2022.
The market remains in favour of sellers, despite slower activity and more active listings. The number of months required to sell inventory is up to 5.1 months.
The average selling time for single-family homes was 54 days in 2023, 13 days more than in 2022. Condominiums and small-income properties took 58 days and 75 days, respectively.
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