MONTREAL -- The real estate market is booming in parts of Quebec, leading to many retirees to sell their homes sooner than they expected.

Lucie Bisaillon said she hasn't made the decision to sell yet, but the idea has been becoming increasingly attractive. While she originally planned to sell her condo in two years, she's now thinking of unloading it sooner.

“With what is happening now, no one is able to say what will happen in the next few years,” she said. “I tell myself that maybe it's a good time to rush the sale, move to an apartment and profit from my investment faster than I expected.”

Damien Meunier, a real estate agent focused on the Brossard area, said he's met more and more retirees who are thinking of changing from owning to renting.

“There is a possibility for them to get higher prices on the sale of their property,” he said.

Among his clients are a couple who sold their property in Montreal's North Shore to rent an apartment on the South Shore in order to be closer to their children.

The couple gave part of their sale proceeds to their kids to help them buy their own homes in an overheated market.

Meunier noted that more and more advertisements are encouraging active retirees to sell their homes to move into residences or rental condos.

Agent Nancy Forlini, who is based in the East End, has seen the opposite effect: many of the elderly are preferring to keep their homes and delay going into a seniors' residence.

She observed that if someone already has a plan in mind, they may move to implement it faster, but otherwise “not everyone wants to take advantage of a big payoff.”

She added that for people looking to swap a mortgage for rent, the decision to sell is easier than for those looking to buy another property.

With so few homes available, prices have been inflated and people wonder where they'll go if they decide to sell their home, she explained.

“They realize they can't always catch up with the increase.”

Like Meunier, she said she's seen that grandparents aren't hesitating to help their children or grandchildren in buying their first house. Some will free up liquidity by taking advantage of low interest rates to refinance their homes.

She said she observed something similar in the late 1980s.

“There was an incredible real estate boom. The difference is that the Internet didn't exist. Now, as soon as a house is put up for sale, there are 14,000 brokers who see it at the same time. With one click, you have access to thousands of potential buyers.”

This article was produced with financial assistance from the Facebook and The Canadian Press News Scholarships.