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Quebec’s Vacation Home Market Skyrocketed in 2017, with Record Sales

Chalets, cottages, and other vacation properties are gaining popularity in Quebec, according to the latest Centris statistics

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It looks like Quebec’s vacation home market is heating up! QFREB’s latest data sourced from the Centris® database cites a 5% jump in vacation property transactions between 2016 and 2017, which is a new sales record. This is the fourth consecutive annual increase, after a slump in 2013. In total, 3,921 properties were sold in 2017 across the six administrative regions of Quebec.

A vacation property is defined as a detached home or a condominium outside the urban centre that includes “resort features,” such as proximity to a lake, ski hill, or hiking trails. Vacation properties can be lived in year round, but in most cases they are second homes that are occupied seasonally. It is increasingly common for homeowners to rent out their vacation homes on short term rentals platforms such as Airbnb.

The geographic area examined by the QFREB is limited to:

  • Laurentides
  • Lanaudière
  • Outaouais
  • Montérégie
  • Estrie
  • Capitale-Nationale

In the report, properties located in these territories that do not meet the criteria of a vacation property are referred to as “conventional” properties.

Quebec's Vacation Home Market Skyrocketed in 2017 with Record Sales
Vacation homes are classified by the report as properties situated near lakes, hiking trails, or ski routes.

How do vacation homes compare to vacation condos?

Single family homes fared better than condominiums in the vacation property market in 2017 when it came to total transactions. 3,354 single-family vacation properties were sold last year, compared to only 567 condominium vacation properties. However, condominium vacation home sales increased at a faster pace – 567 sales represented a 25% jump in the condo market whereas sales activity in the single family home market only increased by 3%.

Sales of conventional properties also increased in Quebec, but at a more modest rate of 2% (9,016 transactions).


Quebec's Vacation Home Market Skyrocketed in 2017 with Record Sales
Evolution of vacation property sales in Québec. Source: QFREB by the Centris® system

Which area saw the biggest jump in sales activity?

The vacation home market flourished in three administrative regions of Quebec: Quebec City, Laurentides and Estrie. Capitale-Nationale  (Quebec City) saw the biggest increase in property transactions at 17%, followed closely by the Laurentides at 11%. In Estrie, sales of vacation properties increased by 6%. All three markets hit property sales records in 2017.

Meanwhile, the number of vacation property transactions decreased in the areas of Lanaudière and Outaouais, by 4% and 3% respectively.

In the Montérégie area, sales activity remained unchanged between 2016 and 2017.

Quebec's Vacation Home Market Skyrocketed in 2017 with Record Sales
Evolution of vacation property sales by administrative region. Source: QFREB by the Centris® system

Which is the most affordable area to buy a vacation home in Quebec?

According to Centris data, Lanaudière was the most affordable area to buy a single family vacation home in 2017, while Montérégie recorded the highest average price at $265,050.

A comparison of median prices across vacation properties reveals that single family home vacation properties have added value in the eyes of buyers, in respect to conventional single family homes.

The price difference is probably due to the increase in square footage, the prime locations, and the availability of recreational activities nearby.

With the exception of the Lanaudière region, all other areas recorded a higher median price in their vacation property markets.

The difference between median prices was the highest in Montérégie, where the average vacation home costs $73,050 more than the average conventional property. In Estrie, the average price difference was $85,000.

The same can be said about the median price of condominiums sold in 2017 in the areas of Estrie, Laurentides and Montérégie. However, the price difference between vacation condos and conventional condos was less pronounced than in the single-family homes market.

Median price of single-family homes by administrative region* in 2017

Conventional Homes Vacation Homes Difference
Capitale-Nationale $209,000 $238,000 $29,000
Estrie $160,000 $245,000 $85,000
Lanaudière $163,000
Laurentides $182,000 $230,000 $48,000
Montérégie $192,000
Outaouais $180,000 $195,000 $15,000


Which is the hottest vacation home market for buyers? For sellers?

In all six areas, the average selling time of vacation properties was higher than conventional properties. Traditionally, market conditions favour buyers in resort areas. With inventory outpacing demand, the market is best for buyers in Montérégie, where the average condo takes 300 days to sell.

It takes six months to sell a single family vacation property in all areas except Outaouais. This was the best market for sellers in 2017, where the average conventional single family home sells within 128 days, and the average vacation home sells within 169.

Single Family (Conventional) Single Family (Vacation) Condominium (Conventional) Condominum (Vacation)
Capitale-Nationale 177 215 185 219
Estrie 161 188 192 175
Launadière 146 208 *** ***
Laurentides 155 193 219 272
Montérégie 153 205 202
Outaouais 128
*** ***


All in all, the vacation property market is viewed in a positive light by QFREB’s latest report. The upsurge in sales activity can be attributed to employment gains, low levels of unemployment, consumer confidence and low interest rates.

Experienced buyers (buyers who already own a first home) are the most prominent clientele for vacation properties. 13% of surveyed first time buyers intended to buy a second home (such as a vacation home) in the next five years. Particularly in the baby boomer cohort, it is common for homeowners to trade in their suburban home for a lakeside home or a property with other resort feautures.

Since the real estate market is performing better in Montreal than in other Quebec cities, it comes as no surprise that countryside areas closer to Montreal (Laurentides, Lanaudière, Montérégie and Estrie) are seeing the most demand.

With both temperatures and interest rates rising, it could be a good time to consider buying your dream chalet in Quebec!

This article, Quebec’s Vacation Home Market Skyrocketed in 2017 with Record Sales, appeared first on Shupilov News.

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