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February 12th, 2019

Outaouais Real Estate Market Report - Feb 2019

Review of 2018 and 2019 projections

Real estate sales declined by 11% in Canada during 2018, however Quebec bucked this trend and posted positive results for most areas. Good news also for the Outaouais region as the number of real estate transactions were up by 7% in 2018 compared to 2017. There was also a reported drop in new listings in many areas of the Outaouais, meaning modestly fewer properties actively for sale. The Matane and Mont-Laurier regions of Quebec showed the most improvements in 2018 with 30% increase in sales, the only metropolitan area to lose ground in the province was Trois-Rivières with a decline of 1%.


The Outaouais region

Chelsea municipality saw a drop in the number of sales during 2018 by -14% in the single family home category and there were even fewer lot/land sales, this balancing out large increases in 2017. Inventory of properties for sale was also down in 2018 with 20% fewer new listings, much of this decrease was likewise in the lots and land category.

In La Pêche the overall number of sales in 2018 was up but actually it was the increase in the number of lot and land transactions of 46% which made up for a slight decline in the number of sales of residential units by 8%. The supply of new listings in the La Pêche municipality was also about the same as in 2017.

Cantley saw a great improvement of plus 20% in sales of residential single family properties with 8% fewer new listings.

Val-des-Monts also saw a nice increase of 23% in 2018 in number of properties sold but reversing the Outaouais downward trend of new listings last year by having a 12% increase.

The urban regions of Gatineau showed a similar gain of 6% increase in sales numbers of all property types. Aylmer sales showed growth of 10%, still doing very well but cooling off a bit from recent years. Gatineau City (up 12%) and Hull (up 16%) regions picked up the slack to support the total improvements in the urban areas. New listings were down a bit in 2018 falling by 3.7% from 2017 totals.


Predictions for 2019

So most forecasts for the real estate market over all of Canada call for very modest growth of sales into 2019; Quebec is expected to do far better driven by solid growth in Montreal and other regions. However with interest rates expected to rise in late 2019 and continued pressure from mortgage tightening regulations the second part of the coming year may see a cooling in number of sales and CMHC predicts that the pace of growth in sales for Gatineau region will remain strong but ease somewhat later in 2019.

According to the QFRB (Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards) the conditions of the real estate market, throughout 2018, for rural and outlying areas of the Gatineau region remained in favour of the buyer but with a continued slow turn towards a more balanced market. For the urban areas of Gatineau the trend in 2018 continued to favour the seller for single family detached homes, fewer properties are coming up for sale and sales are remaining brisk. Condos and Plex units are also gaining ground thus helping to reduce the amount of units for sale and therefore conditions have fallen into the balanced and sellers market level for these types of properties.


Property values and prices

So what is the effect of this activity on property values? Although data is often quoted from Centris statistics in Quebec the only available numbers are average and median price changes and these do not reflect an accurate price change gauge. For example if a higher number of more expensive properties sell it would increase the average price but may not mean that actual values for properties have increased by the same percentage.

That being said, to quote the data, the overall increase of the median selling price of a single family dwelling in the whole of the Outaouais increased by 3% in 2018. La Pêche saw an increase in the median selling price of the same type of properties by 9.5%, while in Chelsea it was up by 6.3%.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) National Price Map ( https://www.crea.ca/housing-market-stats/national-price-map ) shows that the Gatineau region had a 11.9% increase in prices in 2018 but does not separate the different areas within the region. Keeping everything else in mind mentioned above much of that increase is driven by strong demand and sales in the urban regions.