Gatineau’s housing sector turned up the heat in 2018, as year-end figures from Quebec’s real estate board show the Franco side of the Ottawa River is quickly becoming one of the province’s fastest-growing markets.
Stats from the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards show Gatineau finished the year with 276 residential sales in the fourth quarter, an increase of 10 per cent from the same period last year.
The city saw annual sales growth of more than six per cent in 2018 as 1,469 properties changed hands over the course of the year. That’s good enough to position Gatineau as the second fastest-growing housing market in the province, behind only Saguenay, where sales were up 13 per cent.
Gatineau saw a six per cent increase on the year in single-detached home sales with 1,209 such properties sold. The median price of a single-family home in 2018 was $232,700, up three per cent year-over-year.
Gatineau’s condo sales fell off by six per cent in 2018, but multi-family home sales saw a 45 per cent surge. The median price for condos was down three per cent to $156,600, while the median price for multi-unit homes dropped just one per cent to $274,000.
Quebec itself had a strong 2018 on the whole, with sales rising five per cent on an annual basis and setting a record of 86,557 transactions. The province’s trends differed from Gatineau, however, with condo sales primarily driving the growth.
On the Ottawa side of the river, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reported earlier this month that the number of transactions rose 2.2 per cent in 2018. OREB said then that the region’s unemployment rate and relatively affordable housing market were offset by a shortage in the housing supply last year.
Real estate experts told OBJ recently that the demand for new housing units could send Ottawa’s condo market soaring in the new year.
National picture less rosy
The Canadian Real Estate Association also released its year-end national housing figures Tuesday.
CREA said the number of home sales in December was down for a fourth month in a row across Canada, capping the weakest annual sales since 2012.
On a month-over-month basis, home sales fell 2.5 per cent in December to 36,759 on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Sales were down in about 60 per cent of all local markets in December, led by Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Ottawa, London and St. Thomas, and Halifax-Dartmouth.
Compared with December 2017, home sales in the final month of 2018 were down 19 per cent. CREA attributed the drop to a rush of buyers at the end of 2017 ahead of tighter mortgage rules that came into force on Jan. 1, 2018.
CREA says the national average price for homes sold in December was down 4.9 per cent year-over-year to $472,000.
Excluding Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, two of Canada's most active and expensive markets, the average sale price was just under $375,000.
– With files from Canadian Press