Small is the new big in the real estate world, in case you hadn't heard. With the (not very tall) rise of micro-homes taking the real estate spotlight off and online, people are going super small when it comes to new homes. Even Montreal is getting with the small.
For those who aren't in the know, a micro-home is the result of the "small house movement," a recent real estate development that favours less square feet in a house, as they are inherently more affordable, practical, and environmentally friendly than a larger home. No clear definition exists to what makes a micro-home, but generally it's a title given to homes between 400 square feet and 1,000 square feet.
But even if the concept of a micro-home is totally foreign to you, and you're currently scratching your head asking "how the hell can someone live in a literal shoe box?" then you're in luck, because you can experience the micro-lifestyle this weekend at Montreal's pop-up Micro-Housing Village.
Put on as part of the ExpoHabitation (or Montreal HomeExpo for the Anglophones) at the Olympic Stadium, the Micro-Housing Village will feature five different micro-constructions created by five different architectural firms. Each home will vary in size and amenities, but all will showcase just how much one can get out of a home that isn't very large, with the end goal of persuading local municipalities, builders, and homeowners to be open to the micro-home movement.
There's a lot more than tiny houses going at ExpoHabitation, in case miniature real estate really isn't your thing. A huge "Flavours, Arts & Crafts Pavilion" will be on-site, allowing you to taste the delicious wares of local vendors, along with seminars, exhibitors, and presentations having to do with all things about owning and building a home.
The Micro-Housing Village and ExpoHabitation itself begins this Thursday, October 22nd and runs until Sunday, October 25th, ending at 5pm. For more information and details, head to ExpoHabitation's official website here.
Median condo prices in the Montreal area are up 20% compared to last August, according to a report by the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB). But some areas saw even bigger price increases.
The report looked at several general areas within the greater metro area, including Montreal Island, the North and South Shore, Laval, and the MRC of Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
Of these, the report shows the North Shore saw the biggest increase in median condo prices between August 2020 and August 2021 with a 27% jump.
The QPAREB used data from Centris for the report and calculated median prices by dividing "all transactions into two equal parts: 50 percent of transactions concluded at a lower price than the median price and 50 percent concluded at a higher price."
The association noted that "some transactions may be excluded from the calculation to obtain a more meaningful median price."
If you love the Gaspé Peninsula, you'll probably fall in love with this house for sale in the Quebec region, too. With the Gulf of the Saint Lawrence River passing directly through its backyard, this property makes you feel like you're on vacation all year round — and, at an asking price of $349,000, it's actually less expensive than a Montreal condo.
The charming one-and-a-half-storey home is located in the town of Cap d'Espoir on a lot of over 43,000 square feet.
On the main floor, there are two large living rooms as well as a kitchen and dining room that overlook the waterfront with their large windows. Upstairs, you'll find three bedrooms and a full bathroom. The house also has a powder room and wood stove.
Montreal’s real estate market is still going strong, and if home sales keep up to the same pace, owning property in Montreal will become increasingly difficult (or next to impossible) for a large number of Montrealers.
August was a record-breaking month for real estate, with more property sales occurring last month than any August before it, according to the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board.
Housing sales rose by 8%, with 2,899 transactions made.
A large number of property sales in August 2017 were for condos, accounting for about 19% of total sales.
Condos are generally cheaper than a standard, single-family home, so it makes sense that Montrealers are opting for the cheaper option. The fact that there’s more condo inventory nowadays probably doesn’t hurt.
But while condos are an affordable option for prospective property owners in Montreal, that might not always be the case.
Over the last 30 months, real estate sales in Montreal have steadily increased. February 2015 was the last time Montreal saw a decrease in property transactions, notes CTV News.
And when sales increase, so do prices. That’s what increased competition does to a real estate market.
Just look at Toronto, where housing prices skyrocketed due to intense competition between buyers.
Now Toronto is experiencing a downturn in sales (a drop between 25%-40%) which has resulted in a slightly less expensive market.
Montreal is still far more affordable than Toronto, mind you. The median price for a home in Montreal is set at about $325,000, whereas Toronto’s average is upwards of $700,000.
But Montreal’s prices are increasing. Montreal’s average home price went up by about 4.1% last month.
Eventually, if home prices keep going up, a lot of Montrealers may be priced out of the market.
That becomes an even greater possibility when you consider how home-sales for properties over $500,000 actually went down in Montreal and the major surge in condo sales.
Montrealers are buying cheaper housing units and, eventually, that inventory will dry up, leading to higher prices for those that are still available.
Foreign buyers may also influence Montreal’s real estate market. Well, more so than they already are.
Real estate agent David Mellor spoke to the Thompson Citizen and said how Chinese buyers are increasingly snatching up property in Montreal. Over the last year-and-a-half, Chinese buyers have been purchasing more and more homes in Montreal, particularly in the west end of the city.
According to Mellor, some of these foreign buyers are purchasing three or four homes, living in one then renting out the others. And more foreign buyers are likely to do the same.
Foreign buyers aren’t anything new to Canadian real estate (just look at the “foreign buyers tax” implemented in Ontario and B.C.) but foreign buyers do tend to have the same impact on a city’s housing market: they drive up prices.
Again, it’s the whole “competition increases prices” thing. With more foreign buyers coming into Montreal and buying up property, multiple properties in some cases, then there’s less inventory for Montrealers.
Less housing inventory with a higher number of prospective buyers results in a really hot housing market where prices will soar.
So if you’re one of the many Montrealers quietly saving up enough to purchase some property, you may be out of luck in a few years time when the market gets too hot for you to handle.
But if you’re one of the many other Montrealers who’s totally okay with renting forever, then carry on and sorry to bother you.