26 Aug

Montreal house prices have gone up by 5.8% in last year: report

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Posted by: Frederic Pichette

Gains in Quebec helped to offset declining prices in Western Canada.

National house prices increased from a year ago by the smallest amount in a decade as Western Canadian declines were offset by gains in Ontario and Quebec, according to the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index.

The price tracker rose by 0.4 per cent in July compared with the same month in 2018, its lowest uptick since 2009, the study showed.

“That rise was pulled down by the three largest markets of Western Canada,” National Bank senior economist Eric Pinsonneault said in the report, referring to Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, which declined by 6.2 per cent, 3.1 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively.

“Advances from a year earlier were larger for Quebec City (1 per cent), Halifax (3.1 per cent), Toronto (3.2 per cent), Hamilton (5.1 per cent), Montreal (5.8 per cent) and Ottawa-Gatineau (6 per cent),” Pinsonneault said.

The gain from June this year to July was 0.7 per cent, less than the 21-year average of 1 per cent and only showing an increase at all because of seasonal pressure, the economist said.

The month-to-month index was held down in July by a 1 per cent decline in Vancouver, its 12th month without a rise and the only metropolitan area surveyed whose run of declines continued last month, Pinsonneault said.

The study showed the other 10 markets of the index were all up on the month: Quebec City 0.1 per cent, Edmonton 0.5 per cent, Victoria 0.6 per cent, Calgary 0.7 per cent, Toronto 1.3 per cent, Hamilton 1.3 per cent, Halifax 1.6 per cent, Montreal 1.7 per cent, Ottawa-Gatineau 2.0 per cent and Winnipeg 2.9 per cent.

The bank’s index is calculated using a repeat sales method of tracking house prices in public land registries of homes that have been sold at least twice.

13 Aug

Montreal real estate: Cloud-based brokerage comes to Quebec

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Posted by: Frederic Pichette

The company launched in Canada about a year ago and now has over 500 brokers operating in four Canadian provinces (Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Saskatchewan).

A new real estate brokerage launching in Quebec this month is betting that the future of the industry is in the cloud.

Although it’s in the property business, eXp Realty maintains no bricks-and-mortar offices. Brokers under the banner access all the tools of the trade online, including training sessions.

Competitors include redfin.com, which launched in Toronto and Vancouver earlier this year, and compass.com, which is only active in the United States.

According to information on its website, eXp was founded in 2009. In 2013 it had fewer than 280 brokers in the United States, but the company has aggressively expanded since then, growing to 8,000 brokers last year, and surpassing 20,000 in North America in June.

The company launched in Canada about a year ago and now has over 500 brokers operating in four Canadian provinces (Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Saskatchewan).

Leading the charge in this province is Quebec native Donna Dalonzo, a broker with over two decades of experience in real estate. She said eXp Realty recently began operations in Quebec at the end of July.

For Dalonzo, who previously co-owned and operated RE/MAX and Keller Williams franchises in Quebec, not having a bricks-and-mortar office to commute to was a key selling point. She said many brokers prefer to work out of a home office or to rent their own office space, and have come to prefer accessing materials and resources online.

“An agent does not have to go into the office these days,” she said. “We have coaching and training that goes on every single day, and an agent can join the live class from wherever he is in the world.”

The company’s rapid growth in North America and expansion into Canada is part of an ambitious plan to go global. Plans are in the works to launch the brand in three more Canadian provinces, as well as in Australia and the U.K. by the end of the year, Dalonzo said.

“I haven’t seen rapid growth like this ever, and I’ve been in the business 25 years,” she said.

Dalonzo said eXp offers realtors many of the same services and tools they would expect from other agencies, but at a much lower price because the company doesn’t have office expenses.

“In a nutshell, a broker that comes over to eXp pays way lower fees, gets daily live coaching if they want it, they receive stocks, revenue share, and a free website — a complete website, not just a page — and a lead generation system with a CRM (customer relationship management system) attached to it. There’s a lot of value,” Dalonzo said.

Details of the pricing for brokers are outlined on eXp’s broker recruitment website, buildingbetteragents.com, which claims that top-producing brokers could save tens of thousands in brokerage fees annually.

Looking at the incentives for brokers, it’s clear that broker-to-broker recruitment is driving much of this growth. When an eXp broker lures someone from another agency to the company, or recruits a new agent, he or she not only receives stock in the company but also earns a percentage of all the revenue earned by the new broker. The company also offers stock to brokers when they make their first transaction each year and hit their annual commission cap.

Like other real estate brokerages, eXp is subject to provincial regulations, which in Quebec are overseen by the OACIQ (the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec).

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6 Aug

A seller’s market: Home prices forecast to keep climbing in Montreal

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Posted by: Frederic Pichette

“Houses are selling quickly because there’s not enough of them to supply the demand, so there are a lot of people who are looking to purchase houses but there aren’t that many houses for sale,” says expert.

Expect another year of soaring prices in Montreal’s housing market, which might push buyers to the suburbs of the island, according to the latest real-estate forecast.

In December 2018, it was estimated that the median selling price of properties would increase by three per cent in the Montreal area, but Royal LePage’s house price survey released on Wednesday is estimating a 4.5-per-cent increase.

Dominic St-Pierre, vice-president of Royal LePage in Quebec, says the revision is somewhat conservative as the median selling price for homes might increase even more.

“It’s all about the offer and the demand,” St-Pierre said. “Two years ago, a property would sell within 90 and 100 days of being on the market, but in the last year properties have been selling within 70 to 75 days of being on the market.

“Houses are selling quickly because there’s not enough of them to supply the demand. So there are a lot of people who are looking to purchase houses, but there aren’t that many houses for sale,” St-Pierre said.

Since properties are staying on the market for shorter periods, buyers are jumping all at once with their offers on the same listing, which leaves less room for negotiations, St-Pierre said. He added many buyers are putting in offers above the asking price of a listing, which is their way of ensuring their offer is chosen by the seller.

In other words, the market is extremely competitive for buyers.

“Ten years ago, it was totally the opposite,” St-Pierre said. “There were a lot of houses on the market, but there weren’t that many potential buyers and that’s why prices were remaining pretty much flat.

“The market was pretty strong last year, and it’s hotter this year because the fundamentals are there to make the market really good.”

Extremely low interest rates and a great economy with a low unemployment rate are factors contributing to the hot market, St-Pierre said.

But the main difference between the market this year and last year is the smaller inventory.

“There are almost 20 per cent less properties on the market right now than there was at the same time last year,” he said.

The centre of Montreal is where the market is hottest — Ville-Marie, Outremont, Rosemont, Plateau-Mont-Royal and the Town of Mount Royal. However, the median selling price of properties in the west and the east parts of the island are also increasing.

“The REM is coming to town,” said St-Pierre, referring to the Réseau express métropolitain’s estimated impact on real estate in the suburbs of Montreal.

He said buyers will take into consideration the location of the future REM stations when looking for a property in the suburbs.

Time to sell or buy?

“You should not sell right now because the market is hot or buy because the market is hot,” St-Pierre said. “You should sell or buy if it’s the appropriate time for you to do so.”

If you’re in the market to buy, St-Pierre said you should assess your priorities and secure financing before you start looking.

“And the less conditions you put in the offer, the more chances you have for your offer to go through.”

And if you are thinking about selling a property, it is a seller’s market, St-Pierre added.

Foreign buyers

In April 2018, 3.4 per cent of buyers on the island were foreign buyers and St-Pierre estimates that statistic is now closer to four per cent. St-Pierre said the increase affects the market because the more properties foreign buyers purchase in Montreal, the fewer there will be for locals.

“They usually look at Vancouver and Toronto, but Montreal is becoming a real destination for them, too,” St-Pierre said. “Now Chinese buyers are the first (foreign) demographic that are purchasing homes in Montreal.”

Between January and August 2018, foreign buyers purchased almost 700 properties on the island.

manhoury@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/mia_anhoury