ÎLE-DES-SŒURS, QUÉBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 22, 2013) - According to the real estate brokers' provincial database, there were 77,463 residential sales transactions in the province of Québec in 2012, indicated the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB). This represents 292 more transactions than in 2011. For the first time since 2009, single-family homes registered the largest increase. In fact, it was the only property category that posted an increase in sales, as 54,079 single-family homes changed hands in 2012, up 1 per cent compared to 2011. Sales of condominiums fell by 2 per cent with 16,358 transactions, while plex sales decreased by 3 per cent with 6,607 transactions.

Geographically, the agglomerations that posted the best sales results in 2012 were those whose economy is primarily based on the mining and energy industry, such as the agglomerations of Amos, Thetford Mines, Val-d'Or, Sorel-Tracy, Baie-Comeau and Matane. All of these agglomerations registered a sales increase greater than 14 per cent. Elsewhere in the province, the agglomerations of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Mont-Tremblant, Saint-Lin-Laurentides, Victoriaville, Sainte-Marie, Montmagny and Cowansville all posted an increase in sales of 10 per cent or more in 2012.

The number of active listings increased sharply in Québec in 2012, where an average of close to 65,000 residential properties were for sale by a real estate broker, a 9 per cent increase compared to 2011. "With an increase in the supply of properties available, market conditions became relaxed in many areas of the province, particularly for condominiums, where buyers had the upper hand in negotiations in many areas of Québec," explained Paul Cardinal, Manager, Market Analysis, at the QFREB.
The median price of single-family homes continued to rise in 2012 in Québec. Half of all single-family homes sold at a price higher than $224,372, a 3 per cent increase compared to the median price of 2011. However, this was the slowest growth rate since the early 2000s. The province's six Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) all registered an increase in median price, and for all three property categories.

There were two phases to the province's real estate market in 2012: sales increased in the first two quarters of the year, and then decreased in the third and fourth quarters. "The year 2012 was marked by a tightening of mortgage insurance rules in which the maximum amortization period for new insured mortgages was reduced to 25 years. Qualifying for financing became more difficult for some first-time buyers in the second half of the year," explained Mr. Cardinal.

Sales Decrease in Fourth Quarter of 2012

There were 14,946 residential sales transactions in Québec in the final quarter of 2012, a 12 per cent drop compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. The number of active listings increased by 8 per cent and the median price of single-family homes grew by 1 per cent to reach $220,000.

4th quarter of 2012 Sales Median price (single-family)
Variation* Variation*
Province of Québec 14,946 -12% $220,000 1%
Metropolitan Areas
Gatineau 678 -15% $225,000 2%
Montréal 7,501 -15% $275,000 3%
Québec City 1,422 -13% $240,000 2%
Saguenay 245 -10% $175,000 2%
Sherbrooke 312 -21% $190,000 1%
Trois-Rivières 186 -14% $149,000 7%
*Variation compared to the same quarter last year
Source: QFREB by the Centris® system

More Information on centris.ca®

For more information, including quarterly statistics for the province of Québec, as well as its municipalities and regions, visit centris.ca®, Québec's real estate industry website.

About the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards

The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards is a non-profit organization composed of Québec's 12 real estate boards and close to 15,000 real estate brokers who are members. Its mission is to promote and protect the interests of Québec's real estate industry so that the boards and their members can successfully meet their business objectives.

For more information on statistics for each of the province's regions, don't miss the upcoming publication of the QFREB Barometer.

Contact Information:

Chantal de Repentigny
Assistant Director, Media Relations and Special Projects
Communications and Industry Relations
514-762-0212, ext. 130
Toll-free: 1-866-882-0212, ext. 130