Although the situation is not as bad as in the United States, foreclosures in Quebec were up 44 per cent in the first three months of 2010, compared with the first quarter of 2009, when the economy was in full recession.
Leading the way in foreclosures was the northeastern metropolitan area of Montreal, which is the fastest-growing part of greater Montreal.
From Jan. 1 to March 31, there were 74 foreclosures recorded in Terrebonne and 68 in L'Assomption, vs. just 59 for all of Montreal Island, which is more than 10 times more populous.
"What's happening is that some young families in the suburbs are having trouble coping," said Denis Pelletier, a veteran Remax real-estate agent in Laval.
Low interest rates have pushed up resale prices to the point where many first-time buyers are getting into the market at prices that are leaving them financially over-extended, Pelletier said.