List low, sell high in Canada's hottest market

by Neil Sharma10 Oct 2018

Montreal has, without doubt, the hottest real estate market in Canada, and sales representatives are using a tried, tested and true method to extract maximum sale prices.

“Brokers are strategically listing at a price that will receive multiple offers, and the number of sales has gone up,” said Montreal-based chartered real estate broker Amy Assaad of Royal LePage. “They’re listing low in order to get multiple offers and then the properties sell much higher than the original prices.”

That’s just one of the ways savvy sales agents are taking advantage of the hottest real estate market in the country. Long overshadowed by sizzling activity in Toronto and Vancouver, where houses sold for unreasonably high prices—and usually without conditions—government intervention quelled the action almost overnight.

What emerged is a city that has quietly supplanted Toronto and Vancouver.

“Montreal has been a very healthy market for a number of years, but it’s been overshadowed by the historical performances of Vancouver and Toronto,” said Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s President and CEO Brad Henderson. “Enter the foreign buyer tax in 2016 for Vancouver and the Ontario Fair Housing Plan in 2017, and both the Vancouver and Toronto markets experienced considerable declines in activity, and as a result what became apparent is how healthy the Montreal market was. We expect this year that we’re going to see the largest number of homes bought and sold in the Montreal area. By that definition, it’s definitely the hottest market in Canada.”

Last week, a new provincial government was elected amid muted discussion about Quebec sovereignty—something that hasn’t happened in the province in over four decades. The Coalition Avenir Quebec, whose leader François Legault is expected to catalyze even more business development, won an historic majority and shouldn’t have difficulties executing his mandate.

These are factors that will continue impacting Montreal real estate, says Henderson.

“When you look at the value of real estate in Montreal compared to Toronto and Vancouver, people feel it is a real bargain and has the opportunity to increase over time,” he said. “I’d also say the new provincial government is very pro-business and will attract a lot more business development into the Montreal marketplace. As more investment comes in, more jobs mean more people wanting to buy homes, so we’re very bullish on the Montreal market.”

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