Fears PQ majority would hurt west Quebec housing market

Homeowners in west Quebec are concerned that a Parti Québécois majority could create a glut in the housing market as non-Francophones are driven out of the province.

Homeowners concerned another referendum would drive property values down like in 1995

Western Quebec homeowners worried about what a PQ victory would mean for property value 2:00

Some homeowners in west Quebec are concerned that a Parti Québécois majority could create a glut in the housing market as non-Francophones are driven out of the province.

The PQ has promised to make its controversial French-language bill a priority if re-elected. But there are also fears another referendum is around the corner as the separatist party leads in the polls in the run-up to the April 7 election

Sandro Santostefano said and his wife would not have bought a home in Aylmer three years ago if he knew there would be another referendum.

"How many homes would be for sale at the same time? Would it be 2,000 or 3,000 homes for sale at the same time, which obviously dilutes the market, brings home values down, and of course worries me that I'll be part of the thousands of homes that are for sale. Will it kill my investment?" he said.

After the 1995 referendum, housing prices in some Quebec regions dropped nearly 20 per cent, said John Plaskacz, who has been a real estate broker in Wakefield for nearly four decades.

"People were quite frightened after the referendum because it was so close. The real estate market was extremely difficult. There was basically no activity, and there were many, many people who went back to Ottawa and left the Outaouais," Plaskacz said. "Any time you have political instability of any kind, you know, business doesn't like that."

A recent CBC-Ekos poll suggested that half of Quebec's anglophone and allophone population have considered leaving the province in the past year.