More Quebec residents opt for country homes

Monday, May 10, 2021

More Québecois prefer a home in the country, according to new insights on residents’ changing intentions since the pandemic began.

In the third phase of the RE/MAX Real Estate Index—the result of a large regional semiannual survey on Québec residents’ plans to buy or sell their homes—one in three people choose the country compared to one in five from a spring 2020 survey.

More specifically, the survey shows that 38 per cent of future home buyers preferred the suburbs. The country came in second (33 per cent) and the city third (25 per cent). That is a 12 per cent increase for the country and an 8 per cent drop for the suburbs. Preference for the city was up only slightly, by 3 per cent.

“Clearly, the country stands out for a growing share of future real estate buyers, especially older ones. Nearly 50 per cent of respondents aged 45 and over said they want to buy their next home in the country,” said Marc Cousineau, vice-president of marketing at RE/MAX Quebec. “Contrary to commonly held belief since the beginning of the pandemic, this increase is not at the expense of the city, whose popularity increased slightly in the past year.”

Regionally, Montréal and Gatineau were the two regions where respondents expressed the greatest interest in leaving big cities to move to the suburbs or the country.

The events of the last year do not seem to have had an impact on the confidence of future home buyers and sellers: 47 per cent of respondents said they planned to buy within five years, up 7 per cent over last year, while 41per cent of respondents planned to sell, up very slightly by 4 per cent. Meanwhile, 29 per cent decided to postpone buying a home, while 6 per cent decided to buy earlier during the pandemic. Given the current market, most future sellers remain confident they will get the asking price.

The Montréal area had the highest percentage of respondents who planned to buy or sell within five years. Home buyer confidence was lowest in Montérégie, with fewer interested sellers in Trois-Rivières/Drummondville.

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