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Teleworking will continue to impact the real estate market in the Montreal region

The effervescence of the residential market is fading, but teleworking is pushing buyers to move closer to the suburbs and the countryside, according to a survey by the firm Léger for the Association of professionals of construction and housing of Quebec ( APCHQ).

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The results indicate that the rise in prices reduced purchasing intentions. In fact, 32% of households in the Montreal area surveyed indicated that the pandemic had an impact on their real estate projects, either by delaying the purchase of a home or by postponing a move.

Only 27% plan to acquire a property in the next five years, compared to 30% in 2020 who want to buy. When we ask why households do not plan to buy a property, they cite the expectation of a drop in price, properties that are too expensive in their area or an unfavorable economic environment.

“The lack of supply of properties on the market is the biggest factor in buyers’ capitulation; over the next 24 months, the return of properties to the market from older people who were reluctant to put their homes up for sale during the pandemic or the increase in potential listings due to the deterioration in household financial capacity could participate to offer buying opportunities, ”explained Charles Brant, Director of the Market Analysis Service of the Professional Association of Quebec Brokers.

The number of future buyers who said they would move to another region increased by 25% in one year. Also, 66% of owners living on the Island of Montreal who want to sell wish to move to a suburb.

Telework has influenced this migration, since among those who practice it, 34% said that they would take the opportunity to settle where the cost of living is cheaper and to be closer to the countryside.

The survey tells us that already, 36% of households in greater Montreal who have bought in the past five years have left their work. In 2020, this percentage was 29%.

“The departure of households from the center of the CMA to the outskirts is not a new phenomenon, but teleworking represents a new challenge for the cities. There is a reflection to be made on urban sprawl for the whole of the metropolitan territory on how to allow the construction of affordable and attractive dwellings in the city, ”commented Paul Cardinal, Director of the Economic Department of the APCHQ.

In fact, teleworking is still as popular in Quebec in particular as it allows households across the province to save time by reducing their transportation (82%) and money (84%). For 28% of them, these savings are between $ 100 and $ 200 per month and 13% save more than $ 200 per month.

“This development represents a challenge for the real estate sector, but also opportunities, at a time when several companies are moving towards a hybrid working mode offering working days at home and working days in the office”, explained Normand Bélanger, President and CEO of the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ.

Despite the increase in prices, the survey shows that young households were active in 2021. They are 18% to have bought a property in the last five years. Twenty-six percent said they paid more than $ 350,000 for a property, compared to just 20% of households in 2020.

Purchasing intentions have also fallen, from 25% in 2020 to 23% in 2021.

It is the single-family home that makes these future buyers dream the most (81%). It is less popular among those 55 and over (70%) where condominiums represent 27% of purchase intentions.

Of all households in the Montreal CMA that have acquired a property in the past five years, 52% preferred to buy a single-family home, up from 42% in 2021.

The survey was conducted among 5,500 people.

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