Quebec City is a beautiful city located in the province of Quebec. With a strong French Canadian identity, a unique charm, and an extremely interesting history, Quebec City is no doubt one of the most picturesque and interesting places in Canada. The city has a population of around 531,000, and covers an area of 485 sq.km. It’s the capital city of Quebec and the largest city in the province after Montreal, known for its beautiful settlements and 17th century buildings. The city is fairly low-lying and sits on the Saint Lawrence River, with the Laurentian Mountains located to the north of the city. The climate is classed as humid continental, and the city experiences very distinct seasons, with hot and humid summers, and cold and snowy winters with temperatures regularly hitting the minuses.
Quebec City is one of the oldest settlements in North America, and was first inhabited by explorers in the 1500s. It offers an exciting environment for both business and leisure, with a huge range of recreational activities and a distinctive culture and heritage. The city is dotted with numerous parks and green spaces, and the architecture is unique to Quebec City. The most notable buildings include the Château Frontenac Hotel, and the whole city - especially Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - has a very distinctive and European feel with cobbled streets and charming stone buildings.
The city enjoys a strong economy, with the key industries being defence, commerce, services, tourism, transport, and public administration. Almost 10% of the jobs in the city are in manufacturing. Quebec City can be divided into 6 boroughs, and the majority of residents are primarily French speaking. Quebec City is a very desirable place to live, with its beautiful setting, range of cultural activities and festivals, and affordable real estate.
Popular areas in Quebec City include: Val-Belair, Sainte-Foy-Sillery-Cap-Rouge, La-Cite-Limoilou, Vieux-Quebec-Cap-Blanc-Colline-Parlementaire, Vieux-Limoilou, Sillery and Lairet.
Quebec City is displaying the traits of a buyer’s market and properties have been selling for around, or just below, their listing price. The market currently has a fairly high level of inventory, which creates favourable conditions for buyers and a good selection of properties to choose from. The average residential sale price was around $265,000 in 2015 and 2016, making Quebec City a very desirable place to buy a home due to its affordability.
Quebec City boasts a stable real estate market especially compared to Canada’s other big cities, and has fairly steady forecast levels of GDP growth and employment increase and high levels of predicted retail sales growth. Interest rates are also low and the job market is constant. Home prices are slightly higher than income growth levels; however, it’s still a very good market for millennials and first-time buyers looking to get on the property ladder.
Quebec City is expected to see continued economic growth this year especially in the manufacturing, finance, insurance, and real estate industries. Renovation projects and developments are planned for the city along with a multi-million-dollar development of the Aéroport de Québec.
While condominiums remain very popular and in-demand in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, Quebec City is displaying a different trend with little interest in condo purchases and a focus on renting rather than buying. For this reason, properties built specifically for the purpose of renting are seen as promising opportunities for investors and local buyers. This is due to a shift towards renting rather than buying, largely driven by increasing real estate prices and people desiring a more flexible lifestyle. Quebec City has been meeting its demand for rental properties and has been adding to its rental market in recent years, a trend which is expected to continue. Condo prices were down in 2016, averaging around $218,000, due to a higher than normal inventory level.
Thanks to its fairly stable economy and job market, Quebec City has experienced a good level of sales and activity in recent years. The luxury market remains healthy in Quebec City and the rest of the province, and it appears high-end purchases are led primarily by local buyers rather than foreign investors. Prestigious homes remain popular among locals, as well as luxury and high-end condo units which are well-liked among seniors looking to downsize.
Luxury properties are classed as those costing $1-million plus, and were in greater demand in the areas surrounding Quebec City than in the city proper. Baby boomers account for a portion of Quebec City’s luxury buyers, as people are downsizing from larger properties and opting for high-end condos or smaller spaces. With Quebec City’s high level of consumer confidence, the luxury real estate market is set to remain strong in the coming years. Wealthier areas with more high-end properties include neighbourhoods such as Montcalm, Sillery, Cap-Rouge and the southern part of Sainte-Foy, as well as areas along the Saint Lawrence River.