The Montreal real estate market is vastly different from the rest of Canada. Renters outnumber owners in Montreal and small residential multi-plexes are a unique type of property found in abundance. Along with small plexes, Montreal has row houses and townhouses which are in high demand as they are more affordable than single detached homes.
Despite the high demand for Montreal real estate since 2018, prices in Canada’s second-largest market are still the lowest when compared to other provinces and there is still room for appreciation. The median selling price of a single home in the first quarter of 2019 in the Montreal Metropolitan Area is $325 000 and for plexes it is $515 000.
Here are the highlights of the first quarter of 2019:
Sales: When compared to the first quarter of 2018, all of the main areas of the Montreal Metropolitan Area showed an increase in residential sales, except for the Island of Montreal where sales were down two per cent (-2%). The downward sales on the Island could be attributed to the fact that prices have gone up, demand is sky high, and there is very low inventory of available properties for sale; people are just not moving.
The North Shore and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu posted sales increases of twelve per cent (+12%), Laval sales went up eleven per cent( +11%), South Shore sales increased by ten per cent (+10%) and Vaudreuil-Soulanges area sales were up seven per cent (+7%). Condominiums were the most popluar type of property with ten per cent more purchases made in 2019. Younger first time buyers can more-easily afford a condo then a single home.
Price: Simply put, demand for Montreal real estate is up and supply is down therefore this pushes the prices upward. The median price of single family homes and plexes increased about five per cent (+5%) for the entire region since the first quarter of 2018. For condominum buyers, the Island of Montreal is the number one choice for immigrants and foreign workers and students; the result was an increase in condo prices of eight per cent (+8%).
The South Shore of Montreal has always been popular with immigrant communities for it’s proximity to the Island of Montreal, larger detached homes at a lower price as well the area has undergone extensive development over the last few years with large shopping malls and big stores like Costco, and trains going to Downtown. Due to the high demand and affordability factor, the median price increased by seven per cent (+7%) when compared to 2018.
Overall Market Conditions: It is no secret that sellers currently have the upper hand in most areas of Greater Montreal. A sellers market is when there are 6 months of inventory or less for sale on the market, which is the case for single homes, condos and plexes right now. That being said, there are known areas where the supply of a certain type of property is high and buyers still have a chance in a balanced market. For example, the median price of condos in the Vaudrueil area have decreased by three per cent (-3%), probably due to the over supply of resale condos in that area.
Again, the Island of Montreal (downtown and city center) stood out with the lowest number of months a property remains on the market for sale. This shows us that we have the highest demand and the lowest supply for Montreals’ city center. Both sellers and buyers need to adjust themselves accordingly and stategize when planning a move. You may need to buy first before selling for example. As a first time buyer, you may be priced out of the market and look to buying off-island, or turn to a small plex property to help cover your mortgage.
With an overall drop in active listings for sale by fifteen per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2018, you can understand why Montreal is so hot right now. Work with a professional realtor and mortgage broker to get the best advise for your situation. With our feet on the ground daily, we know the ins and outs of this market, don’t try to go it alone.
Source: Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards
Eleni Akrivos is a Chartered real estate broker and President of North East Realties, Real Estate Agency in Montreal. Eleni is a lecturer in the Residential Real Estate Program at College Lasalle and Co-Hosts The Real Estate Show on CJAD AM800 radio every Sunday at 1:00pm. To send her questions or comments please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.northeastrealties.ca for articles and videos.