No slowdown pour Montreal

Despite predictions of a slowdown, Montreal and other Canadian cities racked up both price and volume gains in the first quarter.

Quebec’s largest city is the latest to report those gains, with sales activity up for a tenth consecutive month in March. Prices were also up, despite a rising supply that’s giving buyers an unusually wide range of choices.

Sales were up 4% from a year ago, making it the second-best March on record for the metropolitan area, according to the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB).

The composite home price index (HPI) for the Montreal Metropolitan Area was up 2.3% in March compared to a year earlier, and up 3.6% specifically on the Island of Montreal.

The median price of a condo was up 7% to $225,000 in March from a year earlier, marking the largest increase since May 2011.

Yet in terms of sales, even the remaining hot condo market in Montreal was outperformed in terms of increase in sales by plexes, which had 530 sales and were up 8% from March of 2011. Condos were up 2% to 1,657 transactions, while single-family homes were up 5% in sales, with 3,173 transactions.

Buyers have been especially convinced that now is a good time to sell, with active listings up 13% and new listings up 4%, according to the GMREB. The benefit to buyers is a large supply to choose from.

“In terms of active listings, real estate brokers have a very large supply of properties to present to their clients, as there are currently 29,000 homes for sale in the Montreal Metropolitan Area,” said Diane Menard, vice president of the GMREB Board of Directors.

By area, Laval showed the greatest gain in prices on the HPI, up 4.1%, while the North Shore and South Shore increase the least, up 0.5% and 0.9% respectively.

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