Despite pandemic, Montreal’s real estate market had a record year
Earlier this year, many were predicting that housing prices would dip in response to the economic uncertainty created by the pandemic. However, the Montreal market has proved resilient, with housing prices on and off the island steadily increasing.
Georges Gaucher, general manager of Royal Lepage Village, explained that for many, the restrictions imposed by the pandemic “pushed people’s boundaries” and incited a desire for more space.
“Imagine a young couple in their 20s, both working from home. They live in a 700 quare-foot condo in Griffintown. If you live alone in 700 square feet, sometimes you go out of your mind. Imagine being two,” he said.
He said the year started off strong, with an extremely busy sales season right after Christmas.
“We’ve never seen so much activity in the first 10 weeks of the year,” said Gaucher.
But then confinement put a stop to home visits and realtors were stuck trying to navigate alternative ways of doing business, including virtual visits and the use of drones to gather property video.
But following the height of the first wave, Gaucher said that people were eager to upsize, leaving the city for suburbs where they could continue to work from home or even investing in cottage properties.
“Brokers in the Laurentians had listing for one, two, three years sometimes and suddenly all that inventory was sold.” “It was like a rubber band. You stretch and stretch until it snaps.”
Gaucher explained that since demand was so high, the limited supply of houses going on the market drove up prices in the Greater Montreal Area.
However, the demand for suburban housing doesn’t mean the downtown core is being devalued.
“The downtown core is always the last one to be hit and the first one to recoup, historically,” said Gaucher.