Despite the stricter mortgage rules that went into effect last fall, Quebec is seeing an overall increase in home sales for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year. This trend is also clearly visible in the Granby and Saint-Hyacinthe regions.
For the Granby region in the first three months of the year as compared to 2016, sales of single-family homes increased by 16%, and properties sold in an average of 144 days.
Note that in 2016, Granby had already seen its best performance in four years for all categories of home sales combined, according to figures published by the Haute Yamaska Real Estate Board. Based on the first-quarter results, 2017 seems to be shaping up as a very favourable year for sellers.
In Saint-Hyacinthe, meanwhile, sales of single-family homes increased by 17% for the same period, and properties sold in 100 days on average— significantly faster than the average time of 115 days for Quebec as a whole in this category of homes.
Conditions in the Saint-Hyacinthe market for the past twelve months have been generally favourable for sellers with regard to sales of single-family homes under $250,000.
The influence of mortgage rates
Relatively low and stable mortgage rates in both regions are an additional source of motivation for buyers getting ready to realize their dream of home ownership. Fixed mortgage rates for one- to five-year terms have remained identical to the rates offered in the same period in 2016, and a recent survey conducted for Scotia Bank also noted that 85% of Quebec residents looking to buy a house in the next 12 months consider the mortgage rate as the main factor in their decision.
In addition, the number of Quebec residents planning to buy a new house in the next year has increased by 6%, and is now 37%— higher than the average for the past five years.
For those who have decided to put their property up for sale this year, the key takeaway from the Desjardins report published this past March is that the Quebec resale market will continue to improve in 2017, despite the recent tightening of mortgage rules. A number of other factors, including an unemployment rate at its lowest level in four decades, the creation of new jobs in places like Saint-Hyacinthe, and an increase in after-tax income, will have a positive impact and help to boost the resale market.