Royal LePage Ville-Marie joins Royal LePage Village

We are pleased to announce the merger of Royal LePage Ville-Marie with Royal LePage Village, effective today. The merged agency now operates under the name Royal LePage Village and primarily covers the western and central territories of Montreal.With this merger, Royal LePage Village will bring together 138 real estate brokers in five offices, making it the largest Royal LePage real estate agency in Quebec in the number of brokers. This will help the agency expand its reach in Montreal by presenting a more powerful image to potential buyers and sellers.

We would also like to announce that Paul D. Johnson has acquired shares in the company from Stewart Jones, Jan Engelsman and Grant Staley. Gregory Clarke will remain a shareholder in the newly-merged company. Jones, Engelsman and Staley will remain at the agency as brokers while Georges E. Gaucher, former owner-manager of Royal LePage Ville-Marie, will take on the role of general manager of the agency, assisted by Rachelle Sauvé.

Paul brings extensive management and business development experience to the agency, having spent several years running major international companies in various sectors. Having begun his career in law and as a current member of the Bar, Paul also brings his legal knowledge to the team.

Gregory has nearly 30 years of experience in real estate (both as a broker and an investor), including 15 years as co-owner of Royal LePage Village (Dollard-des-Ormeaux). As an experienced broker and businessman, he has received numerous distinctions, year after year.

“Customers are an essential part of the equation. That being said, to be able to serve them better, we must place our brokers at the heart of this business and give them the best sales support possible. We are confident that by doing this, we will develop the agency’s full potential,” stated Mr. Johnson.

We wish continued success to Paul and Greg, as well as to the entire Royal LePage Village team!

Montreal real estate market: Residential unit sales forecast revised upwards, could see an 8.0 per cent increase for 2015

Consumer confidence has reached a record high this quarter for the first time in several years

MONTREAL, July 14, 2015 /CNW/ – The Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released today shows that property sales volumes increased significantly in the Montreal area in the second quarter of 2015. The recovery of the residential market in Montreal has been supported by a slight decrease in prices for the majority of housing types and a continuation of historically low interest rates. These factors, combined with stronger economic performance in Quebec than many other markets in the country, have led to a record number of Quebecers making property purchases, when compared to activity levels in the last five years. Based on this, Royal LePage forecasts an overall increase in sales volumes of 8.0 per cent in 2015 for the Montreal area, when compared to 2014.

“Sellers have adapted to the reality of the market and have lowered their expectations for prices,” reported Dominic St-Pierre, Director, Royal LePage, for the Quebec Region. “The market has become more favourable for buyers and has seen a boost in sales volumes, supported by more competitive prices,” he added. Detached bungalows saw a slight decrease in average price of 0.2 per cent year-over-year to $295,786, while standard two-storey houses saw a decrease of 1.5 per cent to $398,214 in the second quarter. Meanwhile, standard condominiums saw their most significant price increase of the last ten years, up 2.1 per cent to$244,556.

One of the key trends this quarter is particularly robust growth in the luxury property market. The market for luxury homes continues to perform strongly in Greater Montreal, with an 11.0 per cent increase in unit sales for detached single-family luxury homes and a 12.0 per cent increase for luxury condominiums compared to this time last year. “We have recorded an increase in sales volumes for all housing types in the luxury category, but we have seen particularly strong performance for detached bungalows and standard two-storey homes,” noted St-Pierre. Meanwhile, sales of standard single-family homes surged 14.0 per cent in the second quarter of 2015, while standard condominiums saw an increase of 3.3 per cent.

“There is a direct correlation between higher prices for condominiums relative to single-family homes and lower increases in unit sales in the condominium segment, when compared to the detached home category,” added St-Pierre. This trend was most significant on the Island of Montreal, which saw unit sales increases of 24.0 per cent and 7.0 per cent year-over year for detached single-family homes and condominiums, respectively. Sales in Brossard, on the South Shore, saw an overall decrease of 9.6 per cent across all housing categories surveyed in the second quarter following a significant 57.0 per cent rise in the first quarter of 2015.

“The property market in Montreal continues to be favourable for buyers, and we remain optimistic that the market will stabilize further in the coming months,” noted St-Pierre. “This stability will be supported by the gentler increases in inventory seen in the second quarter, with the number of single-family homes coming on the market increasing a moderate 2.3 per cent and condominiums by 2.8 per cent, when compared to the second quarter of 2014.

Montreal Area House Price Survey for the Second Quarter of 2015

Average house prices

Detached bungalow
Q2 2015
Q2 2014
Beaconsfield $335,500 $336,875 $326,000 2.9%
Dorval $312,500 $314,900 $309,000 1.1%
Pierrefonds $294,250 $297,750 $298,250 -1.3%
Westmount  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce/Côte-des-Neiges  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Ville-Marie  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Le Plateau Mont-Royal  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Rosemont/La Petite Patrie  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Laval $285,000 $285,000 $290,000 -1.7%
Brossard $280,250 $282,150 $284,500 -1.5%
Longueuil $259,750 $259,500 $260,000 -0.1%
Boucherville $303,250 $299,650 $306,000 -0.9%
MONTREAL $295,786 $296,546 $296,250 -0.2%
Standard two-storey home
Q2 2015
Q2 2014
Beaconsfield  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Dorval $334,500 $315,000 $331,000 1.1%
Pierrefonds $377,750 $384,250 $382,250 -1.2%
Westmount  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce/Côte-des-Neiges $528,500 $543,500 $552,000 -4.3%
Ville-Marie  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Le Plateau Mont-Royal  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Rosemont/La Petite Patrie  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Laval $375,000 $375,000 $360,000 4.2%
Brossard $400,250 $399,000 $404,500 -1.1%
Longueuil $353,250 $366,500 $366,250 -3.5%
Boucherville $418,250 $416,500 $434,500 -3.7%
MONTREAL $398,214 $399,964 $404,357 -1.5%
Standard condominium

Q2 2015

Q2 2014
Beaconsfield  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Dorval  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Pierrefonds $220,000 $223,500 $219,000 0.5%
Westmount  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce/Côte-des-Neiges $266,500 $260,000 $255,000 4.5%
Ville-Marie $336,000 $323,000 $310,000 8.4%
Le Plateau Mont-Royal $320,000 $320,000 $319,000 0.3%
Rosemont/La Petite Patrie $285,000 $283,000 $272,000 4.8%
Laval $197,000 $199,000 $200,000 -1.5%
Brossard $199,000 $197,000 $192,000 3.6%
Longueuil $176,000 $175,000 $180,000 -2.2%
Boucherville $201,500 $204,500 $209,500 -3.8%
MONTREAL $244,556 $242,778 $239,611 2.1%

About the Royal LePage House Price Survey

The Royal LePage House Price Survey is the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind in Canada, with information on seven types of housing in over 250 neighbourhoods from coast to coast. This release references an abbreviated version of the survey which highlights house price trends for the three most common types of housing in Canada in 90 communities across the country. A complete database of past and present surveys is available on the Royal LePage website at Current figures will be updated following the complete tabulation of the data for the second quarter of 2015. A printable version of the second quarter 2015 survey will be available online on August 14, 2015. Housing values in the Royal LePage House Price Survey are Royal LePage opinions of fair market value in each location, based on local data and market knowledge provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts.

About Royal LePage

Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of over 16,000 real estate professionals in more than 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE.

It’s About the People: How Demographics are Driving Housing Demand

In the face of renewed economic turmoil around the world, Canada’s housing market continues to perform well. To what should we attribute this sustained strength? Low interest rates? Growth in full-time employment? Foreign investment? Yes to all, but how about demographics? Canada’s population is now aged ‘just right’ to be homebuyers.

Even if interest rates had been higher and regulations stiffer, the population factor would still have supported a strong housing market over the past couple of years. And, even with the turmoil emanating from China and elsewhere in the world, it is increasingly easy to understand why the housing market has been performing well in many cities across Canada and why there is room for continued growth in those markets.

Oh, we know: Canadians are old and getting older and that’s the story of our population. Actually though, that is only one story. The other is that there is a large cohort of ‘Millennials’, born since the 1980s, who are now prime aged to get into the housing market. Typical first-time buyers tend to be in their late 20s and early 30s, which is where those Millennials are now sitting. Since some studies have suggested that the typical first-time buyer is 29 years old, let’s look at that segment. For about a decade, as the Millennials started to hit that age, their numbers have been steadily increasing. After falling in number in the early 1990s, in 2004 there were 428,000 29 year olds in Canada. In contrast, that figure grew to 495,000 by 2014 – an increase of 16 per cent. Helped by mortgage rates that slid over that period, of course the number of homebuyers swelled and prices increased accordingly in many markets.

Prime Age to Buy

Vancouver and Toronto – the sites of bidding wars in many neighborhoods – are good illustrations of this demographic story. To get an idea of the young buyer segments in those cities, we looked at a slightly wider slice of the population, examining the trend in those aged 25 to 29 and 30 to 34.

PowerPoint Presentation

In the case of Toronto, the number of 25 to 29 year olds never dipped (presumably because the city attracted so many young people from elsewhere in the province and country) but the 30 to 34 year old segment was in decline until 2010. Since then though, it has been up sharply, creating a market of would-be homeowners. Interestingly, in Vancouver the situation was almost the reverse, with the number of 25 to 29 year olds falling between 2010 and 2013, before ticking up slightly in 2014.  The number of 30 to 34 year olds however has been sharply on the rise since 2008 –pretty much the exact same time period over which mortgage rates have been on a downtrend.

PowerPoint Presentation

The potential impact of Millennials does much to dispute any suggestion that Canada has a housing bubble that will burst anytime soon. What we have clearly seen in recent years is demographically-driven demand which boosted home sales and prices. Looking to the future, population projections suggest that the first-time buyer age segment will continue to grow for at least another decade.  That means housing demand will grow too – not because of speculators, but simply because more people will be prime aged to buy homes.

Looking Beyond the R-Word

A positive outlook for Canada and its housing market

It’s a lot to puzzle through: continuous buzz that Canada is in recession, a rate cut from the Bank of Canada, strong job creation and a hot housing market. Taking stock of the economic news that has come out of Canada over the past month has the power to confuse, certainly.  Take a good look at the data, however, and you come out with a positive, not negative, outlook for Canada and our housing market.

Let’s tackle the recession issue first. According to the gross domestic product (GDP) figures (the broadest measure of Canadian economic output), Canada has lost ground for five months in a row. If we make it six – or actually if we make it two quarters in a row, since Statistics Canada measures things on a quarterly basis as well as monthly – we’ve hit the technical definition of a ‘recession’, which is a contraction in gross domestic product for two quarters in a row. But have we really?

There are a couple of things to think about here. The first is that these days most economists prefer a more nuanced view of what a recession is and look at many different indicators besides just GDP. We know that jobs (more on that in a minute), spending and housing have all been doing well, so those factors need to be taken into consideration. We also know that the ‘recession’ (which, even if it existed may well be over since we are now into the second half of the year), has been all about the fall in oil prices and the subsequent pull-back in investment in the energy sector.  While the energy sector is critically important to Canada, of course, so far the impact of lower oil prices has been limited to specific regions.‎

That Canada, as a whole, continues to do well is evident from the jobs picture. Overall employment was essentially flat in July (up 6,600 or 0.0 per cent) and the unemployment rate stayed at 6.8 per cent for the sixth month in a row.  Still, compared to a year earlier Canada has added 161,000 jobs (a gain of 0.9 per cent) and the total number of hours worked has grown by 1.2 per cent. Things are even brighter in our most populous province. Employment in Ontario has increased by 67,000 over the past year (+1.0 per cent) and the unemployment rate has declined by 1.1 percentage points to 6.4 per cent – the lowest since September 2008.


As a guide to the housing market, we like to look at what is going on in full-time jobs, and there the news is even better.  Canada-wide, full-time jobs have risen by 1.8 per cent over the past year, and in Ontario they are up by 2.4 per cent. Even in Alberta, where the impact of lower oil prices has been felt most strongly, full-time jobs have risen by 1.2 per cent over the past year.  Different cities and different sectors may tell other stories, but the big picture is clear: Canada is creating jobs, which is creating income, which is creating demand for housing, amongst other things.

What we seem to be looking at is a Canada that has been boosted by interest rate cuts which are working the way that they are supposed to, by a low Canadian dollar, and by a decent expansion in the United States.  As all of those elements continue to boost activity in the second half of the year, we see a nice offset from the impact of the sluggish energy sector.

Often what is seen in a recession is a decline in jobs once GDP falls, followed by an increase in the unemployment rate. However, this time we have enough stimuli built into the system to provide some insurance against this happening.  The Canadian economy is fundamentally strong, and Canadians seem to realize that.

Why Home Ownership is Still (More or Less) A Bargain in Canada

Owning a home is a bargain, and carrying a mortgage is cheaper than ever, or at least cheaper than it was twenty-five years ago. Don’t believe it? The numbers, which come from Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), actually tell the story quite succinctly.

The CPI is the basket of goods and services surveyed by Statistics Canada in order to get a handle on the cost of living in Canada.  The year-over-year change in the CPI gives us the ‘inflation rate’, which is closely viewed by the Bank of Canada and others to understand whether price pressures are building.  The price of homes, of course, is an important part of that.

To get some perspective around how quickly home prices have been rising, we looked at CPI data back to 1990, ‘indexing’ the value of each month to January of that year.[1] What we found is that while the costs of homeownership increased over that period, they have actually increased less than the overall cost of living.  (All references to costs are for the average expenditures by a Canadian household during a given time period). Between 1990 and June of 2015 (the last month for which data is available) the cost of home ownership grew by 55 per cent.  In contrast, the overall cost of living was up by 66 per cent.  The city you live in will skew the homeownership number up or down, but the theme holds: owning a home has been relatively affordable over the decades. Transportation costs (up 90 per cent) and food costs (up 74 per cent) grew more quickly than the overall index.  The real bargain was clothing prices, which (influenced by relatively cheap imports from countries like China) were up by only 10 per cent over the period.


What is really interesting is looking at the way that the components of home ownership costs have changed over time. The overall homeownership index fell from 1990 through 2000 (in tandem with interest rates), rose in the years following until the start of the 2008 recession, and increased at a much slower pace since.  Mortgage interest costs (which reflect the size of the a household’s mortgage, as well as the interest rate paid on it), however, have followed a much more dramatic path. Although home prices have increased significantly in many markets, typical mortgage interest costs in fact declined by over 7 per cent between June of 2010 and June of 2015, and by 1 per cent since January 1990. That’s a powerful statistic: it means that despite sharp increases in home prices in many markets, in Canada as a whole it is cheaper to carry a mortgage now than it was in 1990.


Where costs have skyrocketed is in the category of property taxes.  Although they plateaued for a while between 2000 and 2005, in the years since they have climbed precipitously. In total, between 1990 and June of 2015, the property cost portion of home ownership has increased by an incredible 210 per cent.

A lot of attention is paid these days to the rising costs of homeownership, with good reason. In many larger markets, it can be difficult for some would-be buyers to enter the market, and difficult to meet the continuing costs of owning a home.  Then again, sometimes the picture gets blurred by what happens in a couple of major markets over short time periods. Given the above, the big picture for Canada is one of reasonably manageable home ownership costs – with the exception of those imposed in the form of taxes.

[1] To index a number you typically compare it to a base value which is set to 100. In this case, we set January 1990 to 100 and compared all other months of data to that base.

Royal LePage Ville-Marie organized a “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” event and collected $ 4,200 for a local shelter

Royal LePage Ville-Marie has organized its first event “Walk a Mile in her ShoesTM” yearly to raise funds and increase awareness of gender-based violence. The event, held on June 7, brought together 12 men wearing bright red shoes and their sympathizers. Together, they have traveled more than a mile through the streets of Monkland Village in Montreal, Quebec, and raised more than $ 4,200 in donations. Funds raised will be donated to a local shelter, Auberge Transition, through the Shelter Foundation Royal LePage.

Participants at the event “Walk a Mile in her Shoes MD” from left to right: Erin Montgomery, Sean Murphy (realtors, Royal LePage Ville-Marie), Normand Deshaies (real estate broker, Royal LePage Ville-Marie) Mohamed Maiga (mortgage specialist, National Bank), Georges Gaucher (owner-manager, Royal LePage Ville-Marie), Christophe Larouche (Branch Manager, RBC), Erik Hamon (Real Estate Broker, Royal LePage Ville-Marie), Demetri Marinakis (agency executive officer, Royal LePage Ville-Marie), Samuel Sun (mortgage broker, Desjardins), David Tardif (Real Estate Broker, Royal LePage Ville-Marie), and Nasr Abu Nasr (Royal LePage Ville-Marie).
Participants at the event “Walk a Mile in her Shoes MD” from left to right:
Erin Montgomery, Sean Murphy (realtors, Royal LePage Ville-Marie), Normand Deshaies (Real Estate Broker, Royal LePage Ville-Marie), Mohamed Maiga (mortgage specialist, National Bank), Georges Gaucher (owner-manager, Royal LePage Ville-Marie), Christophe Larouche (Branch Manager, RBC), Erik Hamon (Real Estate Broker, Royal LePage Ville-Marie), Demetri Marinakis (agency executive officer, Royal LePage Ville-Marie), Samuel Sun (mortgage broker Desjardins), David Tardif (Real Estate Broker, Royal LePage Ville-Marie), and Nasr Abu Nasr (Royal LePage Ville-Marie).

“We had a great time walking together to demonstrate our support for women in our community who have been victims of domestic violence, explains Georges Gaucher, manager-owner of Royal LePage Ville-Marie. We look forward to hosting this event again next year and hope to double our aid. ”

“When men lend their voices to help end violence against women, this sends a strong message says Shanan Spencer-Brown, Executive Director of the Shelter Foundation Royal LePage. I am delighted to see the first step “Walk a Mile in Her ShoesMD” held in Montreal and I thank the team at Royal LePage Ville-Marie for having taken this important event. ”

Royal LePage Ville Marie is Walking a Mile in Her Shoes

On June 7, 2015 Royal LePage Ville Marie is taking a stand and a walk to raise awareness and funds for women and children living with abuse.  Join us,  a group of courageous men wearing high heels, walking through N.D.G.  Cheer us on, walk with us and most importantly help them and Royal LePage Shelter Foundation make a difference.

100% of your donations will go directly to our local Women’s Shelter, Auberge Transition.

Please follow this link let’s make a difference – you and I – in the lives of people who need us.  Tax receipts will be sent for all donations of $20 and over.

6th Annual National Garage Sale

6th Annual National Garage Sale for Shelter attracts thousands of shoppers and brings safety and hope to women and children

After a long winter, Royal LePage agents, brokers, and staff were eager to celebrate milder weather and the Mother’s Day weekend by hosting the 6th Annual National Garage Sale for Shelter on Saturday, May 10.

This year’s event, held at 115 locations across Canada, raised more than $315,000 in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. The foundation funds 200 women’s shelters and assists more than 30,000 women and children escape abuse each year. With Royal LePage underwriting the administrative costs of the Shelter Foundation and sponsors covering event expenses, every dollar raised goes directly to the cause.

Since 2009, this annual event – believed to be the largest, multi-location charity garage sale in Canada – has generated $2 million. The National Garage Sale for Shelter highlights the commitment of Royal LePage to putting an end to violence in Canadian homes. “Royal LePage professionals are tireless in their efforts to help create safer homes and healthier communities through the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation,” says Phil Soper, Royal LePage’s President and CEO.

“Every day in Canada, more than 5,500 women and children are staying in a shelter to escape domestic violence and many more are currently in abusive relationships,” says Shanan Spencer-Brown, Executive Director of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. “The National Garage Sale for Shelter brings the community together to offer safety and hope to abused women and their children and the chance to rebuild their lives.”

A special thank you goes out to the event’s national sponsors: TD Canada Trust Mobile Mortgage Specialists, Atlas Van Lines Canada, Your Commission Today, Kaiser Lachance Communications, and Xerox, along with dozens of sponsors at the local level. Their generous support and unparalleled commitment to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation made this event possible.