In Parc-Extension as well as all over Quebec real-estate brokers are feeling the effects of a slowdown in the market whish was predicted after the abnormal situation during the pandemic.
After a lean winter and a market that continues to slow down, a record number of real estate brokers across Quebec could soon make the difficult decision to leave the profession.
By the end of April, in less than two months, the province’s 17,000 brokers will have to renew their license to practice with the Organisme d’autoréglementation de courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ). Valid for one year, the fees for this license exceed $2,300 for a newcomer and $1,900 for an established broker who wishes to continue his practice. As the invoice is important, this deadline usually provokes a reflection – a sort of questioning – on the coming year, among most brokers in Quebec.
This is how on this date, every year, hundreds of brokers choose to withdraw. In the spring of 2020, for example, when the health measures linked to Covid did not bode well, no less than 600 permit holders decided to play it safe by storing their signs.
The following year, after the market had regained strength, they were half as many withdrawing, while the aspiring brokers flocked. For example, confirms Réjean Lavoie, from the Cégep de Chicoutimi, admissions to the residential real estate brokerage program had exploded by 16% that same year.
25% drop in sales expected
Things could turn out quite differently by the end of April, as the resale market continues to experience its worst tumble in twenty years, acknowledges the broker and chairman of the board of directors of the Professional Association of Brokers. real estate of Quebec (APCIQ), Marc Lacasse.
Last Thursday March 2nd, Desjardins economists also estimated that sales of existing properties will continue to slide by 25% in 2023, a decline similar to that of last year. In doing so, prices will also continue to dive, until a 17% gap widens from the April 2022 peak by January.
The unfavorable context may push many professionals to reassess their options, believes Mr. Lacasse, who notes in passing a decline of 10% in registrations at the College of Real Estate of Quebec.
And this movement of withdrawal is likely to be all the more remarkable as the profession has welcomed a large number of newcomers in recent years. From the 14,611 brokers it had at the end of 2018, the industry now has a record 16,755, a jump of 15%.
“Those who came for the wrong reasons, attracted by the perception of easily earned income, do not always have the mental or financial preparation to go through a slower period like today,” explains Mr. Lacasse.