Buying a condo is not like buying a bungalow or a “plex”. We must know why we want to live in co-ownership, assume that the management of the building is the business of all owners and well target its sector, issue to protect its investment.
David Guay was just 23 years old when he decided to leave Sainte-Thérèse, in the Lower Laurentians, to live on Nuns’ Island, in his brand new condo. Il a tellement aimé ce mode de vie qu’il a, depuis, acheté deux autres condos dans son île avec sa conjointe Mylène Prandi.
“We are at our third co-ownership in less than 15 years,” says the co-owner in his mid-thirties.
Needless to say, the couple, who has two daughters – aged 9 months and 3 years – has made its nest in real estate by focusing on the maintenance-free formula of the condominium.
“We do not have a lawn, no land to maintain, say the co-owners. If we want to play outside with the kids, we have a park in front of our building; if you want to go brunch downtown with friends, we take public transport. There is a bus stop nearby. And we have the pool! “
Both do not hide the fact that the decision to buy a condo in urban areas was strongly influenced by the proximity of services and the workplace. “We do not need to have a second car, and that makes us realize significant savings,” says the insurance broker, at the head of his own company. His wife teaches elementary school in L’Île-des-Sœurs.
“At the time, there was no question of beating me an hour and a half in the traffic between Sainte-Thérèse and downtown to get to work. It was the same for my wife. “
— David Guay
This determination to live with the least possible constraints led the couple to acquire, last year, a larger condo, so that the small family can find his account, and the space required.
“We have a great view! exclaims David. We can even see the Champlain Bridge and the heavy traffic during peak hours! The 1400 sq. Ft. Penthouse apartment is nestled on the 19th floor of a 140-unit building, “well managed and well maintained,” he says.
The couple put the price: $ 455,000, in addition to renovations that amounted to $ 50,000. “It was an apartment that lacked love, with pink carpets,” says the co-owner, laughing. Everything has been updated and we are really satisfied with the result. “
A profitable investment, the condo? “In my experience, David answers, that’s the case so far. It allows me to live in a very pleasant environment, for a lot less than a house. In L’Île-des-Sœurs, a single-family property is easily sold for $ 800,000. “
It must be understood that he went there in stages before arriving there. He acquired his first condo for $ 205,000 in 2004, which he sold five years later for $ 323,000. “I bought at the right time and in the right place,” he says, after the fact.
Targeting good neighborhoods
But here it is: all condo buyers do not necessarily make the right choices when it comes time to settle in the city or suburbs.
“That’s why it’s important,” says broker Robert Levy, of the MK Real Estate Group, “to buy in sought-after areas that will appreciate in value. “
However, like many other active brokers in the condominium market, it has found that developers have “built too much” in recent years, with the result that prices have fallen in these congested sectors.
“We can talk about saturation in some markets,” says the broker who sells condos in southwestern Montreal and Côte-Saint-Luc, in particular. It makes it harder for sellers to wait longer before they find a buyer. “
TOO MANY CONDOS FOR SALE?
In recent years, under the impetus of real estate developers, condos have mushroomed, both in major cities and suburbs, which has exploded the supply in the condominium market in Quebec.
This situation has turned to the advantage of buyers, who are spoiled for choice when negotiating the purchase. But for sellers, it’s a different story.
Although the market has recently shown encouraging signs, many co-owners continue to stomp their feet impatiently.
The condo market remains a market for the benefit of buyers. “It’s true that sales have picked up again in the fall,” says real estate broker Josée Raby of Sutton Group, “and that’s good news for my clients. But it’s still slow, especially in the suburbs. “
Supporting figures, she notes that in Sainte-Julie, south of Montreal, about fifty condos – registered on the Centris network – remain unsold. In Brossard, where developers have massively built condos around the DIX30, about 350 condos are on the resale market, at the beginning of winter. In Boucherville, there are nearly a hundred condos that are for sale.
Longer, more difficult
North of Montreal, and even in the Laurentians, the condo market is gaining momentum, “but it is still difficult,” says, for its part, the real estate broker Lysanne Légaré, at Royal LePage.
“There are still many condos built, and the supply remains high, which has an impact on the selling prices of existing condos. “
– Lysanne Légaré, broker
“In fact, in our region,” she adds, “there is definitely more demand for a single-storey bungalow than for a condo. Buyers are more cautious when it comes to buying a condo. They ask questions about co-ownership fees and the provident fund. “
This is encouraging, however: in the past year, the number of condominium apartments registered on the Centris network has decreased from 1843 to 1706, and sales times have been shortened by an average of 20 days. For example, it now takes 178 days to enter the word “sold” on its sign, if you own a condo in the Laurentians (to the limits of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts).
Very different markets
For its part, the broker Jean-Marc Léger, at Via Capitale, notes many variations of prices and time of sale in the vast market of the co-ownership.
“It’s difficult to draw a clear picture of the situation,” he agrees. In some areas of Montreal, it sells very well, and very quickly, especially if the condo is located near a metro station, while in other parts of the city, it idles without understanding Why. “
“It’s a real problem,” the broker raises. There has been too much construction, and sellers sometimes take two years to complete a deal. “
In the suburbs, it’s more complicated, says the broker. “I would even say that there are more condos for sale, per capita, than the entire island of Montreal, in some cities in the periphery,” notes Jean-Marc Léger.
In this context, he does not hesitate to conclude that the purchase of a condominium, in a sector where supply is overabundant, can be a negative investment, at least in the short and medium term.
This text from La Presse +