CORPIQ did a press review of the first two weeks of January by presenting the news that marked the real estate sector in the province.
The beginning of the year 2022 was discussed by the media with an overview of the real estate market in 2021. In particular, from the point of view of transactions, housing starts, and residential unit construction.
Some cities have seen record numbers in this regard. This is the case for the city of Trois-Rivières, where the number of new housing units was double that of the year 2020. As the Association professionnelle des courtiers immobiliers du Québec (APCIQ) mentioned, the Mauricie region was very affordable and necessarily created an interesting attraction to relocate outside of Montreal. Other cities also experienced an exceptional increase in sales such as the city of Saint-Georges en Beauce and Gaspé which broke records in terms of the quantity and total value of construction undertaken.
The year 2021 saw an average increase of 20% in the price of homes in the province thanks to the context of a market that favors sellers. As described in an article published in Les Affaires, the market was beneficial to sellers due to the decrease in real estate inventory (for the 6th year in a row), creating a scarcity effect that propelled prices upwards. In sum, for the year 2021, plexes with two to five units saw a 9% increase in median price compared to 2020.
Despite the exceptional numbers for 2021, the fourth quarter saw a significant decline in transactions across the province. The Toronto market was no exception to this trend as the Queen City saw a decline in listings this past December despite record sales and prices for all of 2021. Even though there is a slowdown in the number of transactions at the end of 2021, prices continue to jump thanks to the context of a rise in interest rates expected for the year 2022 and a phenomenon of overbidding by the scarcity of supply.
It should be noted that isolated cities outside of metropolitan areas have suffered more profoundly from the decline in single-family home transactions. In Granby, for example, there was a 17% drop in sales for the year 2021 compared to the record year of 2020.
In addition, some cities have announced that they will freeze their tax rates for 2022 in order to support the population. This is the case for Saint-Sauveur, Saint-Jérôme, and Joliette (for a 3rd year in a row) to name the main cities. On the other hand, let's remember that Quebec City has announced a tax increase of 8% to 15%, far from the 2% previously planned. Properties in the rental sector with 6 or more dwellings will see an average increase in their tax bill of 8.3%.
And speaking of taxes, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has promised a tax increase that would be limited to 2%. FM 98.5 compiled 205 promises made by Valérie Plante during the Montreal election race and found that to finance these election promises, other sources of revenue besides municipal taxes would have to be found. CORPIQ wonders if the "responsible landlord" certification project is one way to raise additional funds.
To see the sources mentioned in the text, please refer to the French version.