The real estate has reached a peak of 10 years in Montreal in 2017

Photo: Graham Hughes Archive The canadian Press
The sales growth exceeded 20% in five of the most popular areas of the metropolis.

Montreal has been one of the real estate markets in canada more vigorous in 2017, the weakness of the unemployment and the economic growth that generated the best sales growth in 10 years for the region.


The total sales in the Greater Montreal area rose 8 % to $ 44 448 transactions thanks to strong sales of condominiums and the solid level of activity on the island of Montreal.


The sales growth exceeded 20 % in five of the most popular areas of the metropolis.


In comparison, the annual sales decreased 18 % in the Greater Toronto area and 10 % in Greater Vancouver.


Unlike Toronto and Vancouver, the foreign buyers are not subject to a special tax in Montreal.


More than 14 000 condominiums have changed hands in the montréal region during the year, which represents an increase of 17 % compared to 2016.


“It was a very good year 2017 for the real estate market in montreal,” observed the director of market analysis of the Federation of real estate boards in Quebec, Paul Cardinal.


The growth of overall sales has far surpassed his expectations, he said. The last time that the growth in Montreal is greater than that of Toronto and Vancouver dates back to 1998.


Mr. Cardinal was believed that the new mortgage rules that came into force in the fall of 2016 would have been detrimental to first-time buyers and reduced the total number of transactions.


But the best level of confidence in 15 years of québec consumers and the high number of permanent residences have boosted demand and offset the new rules and the increase in mortgage interest rates of the summer.


Transactions for single-family homes rose 3 % for a total of 25 601, while the sales of buildings with two to five units rose by 6 % to 4336 transactions.


The demand was especially strong for the luxury residences. Sales of homes whose value is over a million dollars went up 20 % in the Greater Montreal area and those of blocks of flats of more than $ 500,000 have increased by 42 %.


The total value of sales climbed 13 per cent to 16.2 billion $. Approximately half of this amount was related to the real estate transactions on the island of Montreal.


The average price of housing units in the greater Montreal region, has advanced nearly 6 % to 364 510 $. It was its largest increase since 2010, and the single-family homes registered the greatest increases.


The price increased by 6.1 % to 467 496 $ on the island of Montreal.


Foreign buyers remain marginal


The number of foreign buyers has increased, especially on the side of the Chinese, but remains marginal in the whole, said Mr. Cardinal. They were mostly concentrated in the most desirable neighborhoods and in the city centre.


Montreal is an attractive market for foreign buyers since the city offers a high level of quality of life, affordable housing, low pollution and a number of universities.


The direct flights to two major chinese cities have also facilitated the visits of the families.


Mr. Cardinal expects 2018 to be another strong year, with growth of 5 % in the number of transactions. “It is anticipated further sales growth, probably even a new record of activity for the montréal region. The old record date of 2007 ; we should be the fight of little “, he estimated.


The average price of housing units is also expected to grow by nearly 5 %.


During the month of December, housing sales have advanced 10 % to $ 2781 transactions in the Greater Montreal area. This included a 35% increase in sales of condominiums. The housing units listed for sale decreased 9 % compared to the same month a year earlier.


Even if sales on the island of Montréal grew by 15 % last month — a performance matched by the South Shore, this rate has been surpassed by the transactions in the sector of Laval, which have jumped 20 %.