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Montreal Real Estate News November 2018

Montreal Real Estate News November 2018

Some key highlights in and around Montreal real estate, as of November 2018 show that October home sales in Montreal up 11 per cent compared with 2017   While luxury home sales drop 35% in Toronto and Vancouver; high-end condo sales up,  Montreal was the only Canadian city to see it’s housing price index rise in October. According to the Montreal  CMHC report,  the Montreal housing market is stable. Market conditions for all housing types — including condos — are now favourable to sellers, according to the CMHC. This was especially true for the sales category of single family homes.

“Last quarter, condo sales increased 46 per cent year over year, according to Altus Group’s most recent market overview.” Millenials are opting to purchase condos not because they prefer the urban lifestyle, but for many, condos are more attainable from a price persepective, than a single family home.

Lifestyle technology trends are influencing some nice new features in new condo developments. Food deliveries sitting at the concierge will be a thing of the past as storage rooms are created to store food delivery services like Uber Eats, Foodora or grocery deliveries.  High tech shared workspaces can be incorporated into condo projects to make it even easier to go from home to work.  Experts are already expecting autonomous car, electric scooter and bike companies to invade Canada in the coming years, along with the increased adoption of drone delivery and autoshare car services are bound to change the landscape. Cannibus delivery, telemedicine, social and entertainment platforms.

“Car-sharing service Car2Go, for example, has eyed partnerships like one it struck with Knightsbridge Homes at Calgary’s first condo development without parking, the N3. The partnership involved Knightsbridge purchasing Car2Go minutes and splitting them amongst tenants in the building’s 120 units, eliminating the need to own a vehicle. Condo developers are also dabbling in the social media world when building new units. In 2014, condo developer Tridel partnered with Vancouver-based social networking business Bazinga, which runs a platform that lets residents chat with each other and building staff, book amenities, access important documents and receive news about their community. Bazinga said it is currently used in more than 1,000 buildings across Canada and close to 100,000 units in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario.” Read the full article here


Montreal Housing Market Boom Through 2020

Montreal Housing Market Boom Through 2020

It’s time for Montreal to shine!

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Fall Report was just released with good news for this city. According to their most recent forecast released Wednesday, the market here is far from peaking. Projected lower inventories of single family homes, and a continued strong job forcast, will keep real estate prices on an upward trajectory.

Although condo construction is booming with the launching of many new projects becoming available, certain hot sectors of the city like the downtown core are in high demand. “Data from Altus Group shows, a record-setting 3,000 new condo units went on the market in the greater Montreal area last quarter, but almost half are already sold.”

“According to Brad Henderson, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, there’s a lot of room left for prices to grow in Montreal. The median price of a single-family home in the Montreal area may have risen six per cent year over year, but it still remains at a relatively affordable $335,000.

“It’s a global city, a world-class city, that is continuing to come into its own. When people look at the price of real estate in Toronto and Vancouver and other cities around the world, people realize what a bargain it is in Montreal,” Henderson said.

The CMHC also reported that in certain sections of Montreal such as the south part of the West Island, the South West, Rosemont, Villeray, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Montreal West and Nun’s Island, there were four or fewer sellers for each buyer.

Despite projected sustained price increases in spite of higher interest rates and mortgage stress tests, the fact is, Montreal is still considered a relatively affordable market with a long way to go before it reaches Toronto or Vancouver price points.



Montreal Real Estate Predictions For 2019

Montreal Real Estate Predictions For 2019

Montreal real estate predictions for 2019 show that we’re increasingly in a digital world, amidst a rapidly changing landscape. Technology has been transforming many industries and real estate will be no exception.

“The intersection of real estate and technology is a major trend in real estate.”

“Fast-paced technological and social change will transform how people live and work, and the real estate sector will face rising pressure to respond with new ideas by accelerating digital transformation, being more innovative with deal strategy and rethinking how it addresses affordability. Those that embrace creativity may find themselves in a position to take advantage of the shifting environment and grow with confidence.”

Proptech, (property technology) trends like blockchain transactions, machine learning, predictive analytics and virtual reality, drones, autonomous vehicles, etc… are helping industry leaders—and emerging real estate start-ups—innovate boldly as they navigate market uncertainty.

Blockchain: “From land title registries to processing rental payments, this new technology has the potential to affect the value chain in real estate. While it’s still early days, real estate blockchain is widely anticipated blockchain will help cut costs and reduce fraud.”

AI (Artificial Intelligence): The power to automate manual, repetitive, mundane tasks like data entry, or help streamline the process of search, will free people from montonous work.

Drones: Can be used to create community docking stations to facilitate last mile delivery needs, or show progress on job site progress for larger scale development projects.

Self Driving Cars: Will redefine how developers think about parking spaces for both residential and retail, as well as urban planning needs and infrastructure.

VR (Virtual or Augmented Reality): Buyers can already view properties through VR head sets without actually having to visit a property. VR property stageing can  provide an interesting alternative to the costly investment in real estate staging such as renting furniture and paintings.

Fintech: New platforms for mortgage lending or the use of tokens in real estate transactions.

“Real estate companies that move too cautiously on implementing new technologies may find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for the best new talent with the diversity of skills and expertise needed to take full advantage of the benefits of proptech”

*Table via PWC Emerging Trends in Real Estate

Markets To Watch in 2019

Ten markets to watch across Canada:

After many years of suppressed demand, the Quebec market is now a popular target for investors and developers. “Montreal’s economic growth is forecasted to reach 2.2% in 2018 and 1.9% in 2019 after posting a 17-year high in 2017 of 3.7%, according to the CBoC. New construction continues to change the dynamic of Montreal’s central business districts and skyline.” Residential construction has remained healthy in 2018 and will continue this trend into 2019.  Builder’s are trying to keep up with a strong buyer demand and prices are still affordable compared to other Canadian markets like Toronto and Vancouver.

Property Category Outlook

Single Family Homes: Supply is tight, inventories low, prices are higher do to the economics of supply and demand.  It’s a seller’s market and overall affordability in this sector is a concern.

Condominiums: Highest performing category in the Montreal CMA. Sales and prices have increased year over year. Although there are a considerable amount of new developments and units to continually enter the market, demand is strong and the price point more attainable than single family homes. As long as the economic expansion continues in Montreal, the outlook for 2019 should continue to thrive. It’s a seller’s market, of course depending on the location of the condo.

Investment Properties:  Low rental inventories and high demand due to higher interest rates and tougher mortgage rules are sending rent yields increasingly higher. This has not gone unnoticed on developers and investors who are increasing looking for profitable investment vehicles.  Opportunities are still out there but face much competition from strong buyer demand.

Overall: Higher interest rates and tougher mortgage rules will effect affordability and lifestyle choices.

Housing Price Change Year Over Year

Information source: PWC Emerging Market Trends 2019



Montreal Real Estate Numbers September 2018

Montreal Real Estate Numbers September 2018

So what are the most recent Montreal Real Estate Numbers September 2018?

Residential sales rose eight per cent in September compared to the same month last year. Across the Montreal CMA, the category of condominium sales increased 23%, the most amongst other real estate categories. The number of single family home sales remained unchanged since this time last year. The median price point across all categories steadily increased since last year.  Inventory numbers continued to remain low with an overall percentage drop of 17% compared to a year ago.  The 3,220 home sales represent a nine-year high for the month of September.

“In Vancouver, year-over-year sales dropped from February through August. A 20 per cent foreign buyers’ tax, a heightened education tax on $3-million-plus properties and a proposed speculation tax have all put the brakes on home-buying, said Brad Henderson, chief executive of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.”

Read the full Centris report below:


Montreal Real Estate Numbers September 2018


Montreal real estate sales hit 9-year high for September, extending hot streak

The Montreal real estate market is on a roll. Residential sales rose eight per cent in September compared to the same month last year, with condominiums making up the bulk of the increase, according to the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board. The 3,220 home sales represent a nine-year high for the month of September.

Watch the video:


Centris Residential Sales Statistics – September 2018

Uploaded by on 2018-10-05.

Elimination of Transfer Taxes For First Time Home Buyers

Elimination of Transfer Taxes For First Time Home Buyers

Elimination of transfer taxes for first time home buyers was put on the table during the election campaign by the Parti Quebec.  According to the QFREB, (Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards), the homeownership rate in Quebec (61 per cent) remains considerably lower than the Canadian average (68 per cent), says the association.

The Government of Quebec, in 2018, took a first step in this direction by granting a $750 non-refundable tax credit for the purchase of a first home. “There is no question that real estate transfer taxes (known as the welcome tax) are an impediment to homeownership for many Quebecers. Quebec can do a lot better in helping first-time homebuyers,” says Patrick Juanéda, QFREB president.

With the election only days away, we’ll have to wait and see what the newly elected party will propose, come October 1st!

A snapshot of home ownership stats by province across Canada vis Statistics Canada

Homeownership rates by provinces and territories, 2006 and 2016



A snapshot of Land Transfer Taxes Across Canada Via Zoocasa:



WorldGBC Project To Advance To Net Zero

WorldGBC Project To Advance To Net Zero

WorldGBC Project To Advance To Net Zero is a project by the World Green Building Council which aims to promote and support the acceleration of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050. Since buildings account for over half of all emissions, they are a logical target for energy remediation.

“The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment) challenges companies, cities, states and regions to reach Net Zero operating emissions in their portfolios by 2030, and to advocate for all buildings to be Net Zero in operation by 2050.

By setting ambitious ‘absolute’ targets, the Commitment aims to maximise the chances of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees, and ideally below 1.5 degrees, by drastically reducing operating emissions from buildings.”

In 2017, in an effort to fight climate change, the (CAGBC) Canadian Green Building Council, set the Zero Carbon Building Standard. 

“Three Canadian mayors, alongside 16 mayors from around the world, representing 130 million urban citizens, have committed to significantly cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their cities by ensuring new buildings operate at net-zero carbon by 2030. By signing the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration, the leaders of Montréal, Toronto, and Vancouver pledged to ensure all buildings in the cities, old or new, will meet net-zero carbon standards by 2050.”

C40 is a global network of large cities taking action to address climate change.

WorldGBC – Advancing Net Zero’s Theory of Change

Uploaded by WorldGreenBuildingCouncil on 2017-09-21.

Crea’s Market Forcast For The Balance Of 2018 And 2019

Crea’s Market Forcast For The Balance Of 2018 And 2019

Crea’s market forcast for the balance of 2018 and 2019 expect that “Economic and demographic fundamentals remain supportive for housing demand in many parts of the country; however, policy headwinds have impacted home buyer sentiment and access to mortgage financing in many housing markets. Further expected interest rate increases, combined with this year’s new federal mortgage stress test are expected to continue to keep home sales activity in check over the rest of the year and into 2019,” says CREA in a statement, adding the latest mortgage stress test has had serious effects on markets across the country.

“When the new mortgage stress test was announced last October, it was expected that many home buyers would precipitate their purchases during the two-and-a-half-month window before it took effect this year. In reality, the response to the new policy was stronger than expected. In December 2017, seasonally adjusted national home sales surged to the highest on record before dropping sharply in early 2018.

“With much of 2018 now in the rear-view mirror, the stress-test on all new mortgages continues to weigh on home sales. National activity is on track to hit a five-year low in 2018.”

Interest rates will continue to rise making it more difficult for buyers to qualify. National sales are expected to decline by 9.8 percent to 462,900 units in 2018. Both Ontario and British Columbia are expected to post double digit declines this year. In Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, sales are expected to only decline slightly by 1.5%. Prices are expected to remain stable overall in Alberta, but decline slightly in Newfoundland, Saskatchewan & Labrador. Sales have increased by 7% over the past 4 quarters in Montreal, according the the latest Centris data. With a shortage of inventory, home prices will continue to increase.

  • The average home price in Montreal is $465,159, an 8% increase
  • The average condo price in Montreal is $304,000, a 5 % increase
  • The average ‘plex price in Montreal is $540,000, an 8 % increase

Some of the reasons cited for Montreal’s healthy real estate market are that Montreal remains affordable relative to other metropolitan cities, attracting buyers and investors from more expensive real estate markets. The recent rise of Montreal as a tech hub for major companies like Facebook, Google as well as the city’s leadership position in fields like AI are attracting investment and jobs. While Toronto & Vancouver have been hot markets for years, the surplus taxation imposed on these cities make Montreal a bargain. Last but not least, Montreal school systems offer many awesome universities and a great quality of life for students.


Montreal Real Estate Stories September 2018

Montreal Real Estate Stories September 2018

How was the Montreal real estate market in August 2018? The short answer is the market held it’s own. Despite lower inventories, sales of condominiums increased by 12% compared to this time last year while sales of single family homes rose 5%. The largest increase in sales was in the plexes categories. Read the Centris Report below to view all the numbers.

Montreal Real Estate Stories September 2018

Montreal Real Estate Stats September 2018

As for the full picture across some of the major markets across Canada, the National Bank Housing Index gives us a snapshot of Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and other cities in Canada. Ten of the eleven metropolitan areas recorded increases in the month with Montreal being somewhat in the middle of the spectrum. Read the full Teranet-National Bank House Price Index Report below:

Housing Price Index Teranet_E_180814_Page_1Housing Price Index Teranet_Page_2

Housing Price Index Teranet_Page_3

House Price Index – Developed by Teranet in alliance with National Bank of Canada

An independent representation of the rate of change of Canadian single-family home prices. NOTE: Your browser’s Javascript engine seems to be disabled. Some parts of this site will be difficult or impossible to use.

Watch the Centris Video on the Montreal Real Estate Market Sales for August 2018

Centris Residential Sales Statistics – August 2018

Uploaded by CIGM GMREB on 2018-09-11.

The Bank of Canada held it’s key interest rate at 1.5% but is expected to gradualy hike rates. The next rate announcement is expected on October 24th.

From Handbags To High End Luxury Real Estate

From Handbags To High End Luxury Real Estate

Years ago, after graduating Parsons School of Design, while living and working in New York City, I worked as a handbag designer for Bruce Makowsky designing handbags. It’s been many years since I left New York, settling back in my home town of Montreal, to get married and have a family. I never imagined after all those years of school in the U.S. that I would eventually meet my husband from Montreal in New York city. But then again, life always has it’s own plans.

It turns out my former boss, had an extremely successful career. A one time, CEO of Nine West he eventually started his own line of handbags, B. Makowsky,, which made a name for itself amongst retailers and the QVC Home Shopping Network. In 2008 Li & Fung in China purchased the Van Zeeland handbag importer for 330$ Million dollars. New York-based Van Zeeland was a leading importer of mid-tier and department store handbag brands including its flagship labels Kathy Van Zeeland Handbags, B. Makowsky and Tignanello which were sold at Macy’s and JC Penny, among other locations.

Since selling the Van Zeeland company, Bruce has been building and selling high end luxury homes of the finest quality. “Iin 2014, he sold a 22,300 square-foot Beverly Hills mansion to the creator of MinecraftMarkus Persson, for $70 million. The sale broke a price record in its Beverly Hills neighborhood. The mansion has an infinity pool, a candy wall, and a “car turntable”.

His latest creation is the ultimate in luxury high end real estate. The 38,000 square-foot house has four floors, 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, and three kitchens. It also features a 40-seat James Bond themed movie theater an infinity pool with swim-up bar and two stocked wine cellars. Inside the house, Makowsky has added 130 artworks including a helicopter on the roof which appeared in the 1980s television series Airwolf, and a Hobie Cat sailboat on a deck. The home includes a 12 car “auto gallery,” including a limited edition Bugatti Veyron, a Pagani Huayra, a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K, and a Rolls-Royce Dawn. The home took over four years to build and furnish. The mansion was built on a 1.2-acre lot which Makowsky bought from New York Giants football player Michael Strahan in 2013.  In 2017 the home was listed as the most expensive listing, but is now priced at $188 million. Bruce’s vision was to create the ultimate dream home featuring nothing less than the very best of everything!

The state of California and Governor Brown, despite leadership on climate change and legislation to adopt more earth friendly regulation, still remain controversial. None the less, “Brown aspires to lead Earth’s fight against climate change, having called a huge conference in autumn, in San Francisco, of governors, mayors, and other “subnational actors” from around the world. That could really be a turning point in the battle.” In Title 24, California has some of the strictest building code in the county when it comes to sustainable design. The $188 million dollar home is built to the highest standards of Title 24. The home is listed through agents Shawn Elliot of Nestseekers and husband and wife team Branden and Rayni Williams. 

Check out 924 Belair, a gorgeous work of art in the world of high end luxury real estate:

924 Bel Air Rd California

Wether you’re looking for a 250M$ proprierty like this one or a small apartment, don’t forget to choose the best people to work and support you. Don’t content with less. Choose a partner that will treat your house like a piece of art and you like royalty.


Questions about acquiring this dream home?


If I Had A Crystal Ball. But I Don’t…

If I Had A Crystal Ball. But I Don’t…

I can’t believe we are at the end of August.  I hope you have been having a wonderful summer.  Fall is now in our sights and a new wonderful season to be enjoyed.  So, I am going to share a little something on issues that arise during a Montreal home inspection and will use windows as a venue to explain my point.

One of the things we must understand when a home is inspected is that the inspection is a snapshot in time.  Let me explain by using a metaphor.  Imagine  going into the garden to inspect a plant.  At the time the plant is inspected it was evident that the plant would soon flower and some photos were taken.  Basically, the plant looked healthy at the time it was observed and as seen in the photo.

However, during the next two weeks the plant is attacked by insects that prevented it from flowering and the owner blames you for not warning him/her of the sickly plant and expects you to pay for the replacement of the plant. Well, inspectors don’t carry a crystal ball around with them.  Prediction is not part of a home inspection. 

Let’s now imagine the plant to be some other home material instead.  ”The inspection cannot identify conditions which are hidden or not visually determinable. The inspection cannot predict any future adverse conditions including, but not limited to, roof leaks, component failures, or the remaining service life of any applicable system or component. Any system or component, regardless of age, can fail catastrophically at any time and without any indication of impending failure.”

Now lets specifically target windows. That is, the client is blaming the inspector for not reporting fogging windows. 

Thermal pane or insulated glass windows have two or three panes of glass which are separated by layers of an inert gas argon, or krypton.  During the manufacturing process the moisture laden air is removed, the inert gas is inserted and the panes are sealed to prevent gas leakage.  However, due to many factors such as, thermal expansion, exterior wall movement, stress, poor installation and age, cause these seals to break.  Once broken, the inert gas leaks out, the moisture laden air seeps in and over time the window becomes cosmetically marred by condensation, foggy film or a smoky haze.  It can occur as early as 6 months to 6 years after manufacture or installation.  It is not a failure of the window, per se, since light is allowed in and weather is kept out.  However, many clients feel it is not an attractive feature to live with and often choose to have the window replaced, resulting in expensive replacement.

The inspection report is documenting a snap shot in time and the inspector can only write up what is seen.  If the inspectors report shows photos of windows that are clear, he or she cannot be held liable for windows that are discovered a month later to be fogged.

The window must be clearly and obviously degraded in relation to the conditions of light, the cleanliness of the windows, and the accessibility to view the window(s) during the short time period we are inspecting the house. When low light levels are present, the windows are covered in grime, located on tall walls, or concealed by window coverings; a slightly faded or fogged window may not be noted or reported. Therefore it is incumbent on the client to closely view the windows during their pre-closing walk-through to ensure the windows meet their satisfaction.

Conditions indicating a broken seal are not always visible or present and may not be apparent or visible at the time of inspection. Changing conditions such as temperature, humidity, and lighting limit the ability of the inspector to visually review these windows for broken seals. It is therefore recommended that for more complete information on the condition of all double glazed windows, the client should consult the seller as well as the Seller’s Declaration prior to closing.  

Inspectors would love nothing better than to have a crystal ball. But we don’t and that’s why we have the inspector’s agreement containing the conditions, exemptions and limitations during an inspection.  Inspectors provide a very valuable service to the home selling and buying community and do so in the client’s interest. When I inspect a property, I do so as if I were purchasing the house and or condo for myself.  If fogging shows up on the windows a month later, I can reason why and move on.  

I hope this sheds a little light on things.  Happy home hunting!

Should you require the services of a home inspector please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with me: Geoffrey Darwent at 514-233-1300 or by email to 

I am a Certified Professional Inspector® trained by InterNACHI the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors which is the world’s largest nonprofit association of residential and commercial property inspectors, and provides education, training, certification, benefits and support for its members. I am also a member of Internachi Québec 

InterNACHI-Certified Professional Inspectors® are required to pass an Inspector Exam, follow a comprehensive Standards of Practice, abide by a strict Code of Ethics, and take accredited Continuing Education courses each year in order to maintain their membership in good standing.

I have acquired extensive home inspector training through InterNACHI’s rigorous Continuing Education curriculum, which includes dozens of live classroom, online, and video training courses, written by experts in their field, which have received more than 1,400 accreditations by state and governmental agencies throughout North America.

In order to become certified, I was required to take inspection courses related to the interior and exterior of the home, including the common and major areas of concern for home buyers, such as the foundation, heating and cooling, roof, plumbing, and electrical systems.

Here is the list of InterNACHI courses required for initial certification:

    • Safe Practices for the Home Inspector
    • 25 Standards Every Inspector Should Know
    • Residential Plumbing Overview for Inspectors
    • How to Perform Residential Electrical Inspections
    • How to Perform Roof Inspections
    • How to Inspect HVAC Systems
    • Structural Issues for Home Inspectors
    • How to Inspect the Exterior
    • How to Inspect the Attic, Insulation, Ventilation and Interior
    • How to Perform Deck Inspections
    • How to Inspect for Moisture Intrusion
    • How to Inspect Fireplaces, Stoves, and Chimneys

The Province of Québec does not require licensing of home inspectors; however, the certifications and Continuing Education required by InterNACHI are more than adequate training as a certified inspector so that I can provide sufficient and accurate information regarding a home’s condition.