In my 11 years of selling real estate, 2013 was the year where I witnessed the highest percentage of sellers that were selling for the purpose of leaving the province of Quebec.
Clients of all ages, ethnicities, and classes were leaving. Professionals, retirees, newlyweds, people from all walks of life were “fed up” and “getting out of here”. Taxes, the cold, property values and politics were all a harsh reality, so the ROI was just not worth it anymore. According to the Montreal Gazette, a total of 28,439 people moved from the province of Quebec to another province from January to September 2013. This was the highest number of departures since the year 2000.
Although, the sudden trend was disturbing, I tried to keep a positive outlook. After all, the political issue here was nothing we hadn’t been through in the past and the weather had always been cold, so the sunny person that I’ve always tried to be, said “we just have to keep on marching”. January and February 2014 were business as usual vis-à-vis the real estate game. Then suddenly there was a sudden stop. In March we heard the news that the PQ was calling an early election. At this point everything stopped moving in the real estate market.
For the first time in my entire career I was afraid. What would happen?
What was Plan B? Would the market tank? How can we as Quebecers go through this once again? What the heck was the matter with the people running this province? I was livid. I was livid for me, my children, my house, my future, my parents and I could go on. I was not the only one upset. Everyone I ran into spoke about the same thing. All I heard on TV and the radio was politics.
Worst of all my buyers stopped buying and my sellers stopped selling.
Business was bad for the first time ever. The real estate market in Quebec was on hold as buyers and sellers were awaiting the outcome of the election.
The issue at hand was that if the PQ won, property values would plummet, and therefore buyers were waiting for a future “deal”. Sellers stopped putting their properties on the market because they did not want to lose out on their investments. It was a really scary time for realtors and many other businesses.
March came and went and election day arrived. April 7 was here. To everyone’s astonishment the Liberals won with a landslide majority that night. Amen! I jumped for joy and can honestly say I had tears in my eyes. I had taken for granted that I wasn’t the only one upset in this province and that the majority of Quebecers were finally fed up. What a relief! People were dancing in the streets in my neighborhood as they should have.
The next day the phones at Londono Realty Group headquarters were ringing again and offers started coming in. In the month of April (which isn’t over yet) I negotiated over 20 offers, of which 15 were accepted. The golden Jubilee of real estate has arrived. Consumer confidence is back again. Anglos, Francos and Alos alike had united together to accomplish the goal of living in a better Quebec and boy did it work wonders. So the big scare is over, the Liberals are in power, sunny days are here (or at least trying to break through) and people are smiling again. There’s a sense of relief in the air and by golly the world is at our fingertips. After all was said and done, the real estate market fared well in the greater Montréal area during the big scare. According to the latest statistics, sales only dropped by 1% And the news is even better for April. According to Global News, real estate sales are going up across the city with an increase of 2.5%. Prices are also increasing up by 3.6%.
My prediction is that the following months are going to be huge for real estate in Montreal and that high season will continue throughout the summer.
I can say without a doubt that it is the right time to put your property on the market and expect a good return. As for buyers who waited, it’s time to fork out more money.
Let the games begin because the market is strong and stable. Don’t stop believing, friends, because life might get scary sometimes but it also gets better.