Last year Montreal had the hottest real estate market in Canada. Low unemployment and economic growth led us to the best sales growth record in ten years; Total 44,448 sales shows eight percent increase in Greater Montreal, mostly caused by strength of condominium sales.
Average twenty percent sales growth in the five most popular cities versus 18 per cent sales decreases in Greater Toronto Area and 10 percent in Greater Vancouver, was shocking.
Montreal doesn't have a foreign buyers’ tax, unlike Toronto and Vancouver. More than 14,000 condos were sold in Montreal Island and nearby communities, like nuns’ island, during last year, with a record of 17 percent increase from 2016.
Paul Cardinal, manager market analyst for the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards said the market was booming and the growth of overall sales exceeded his expectations. He also said only in 1998 sales in Montreal outpaced Toronto and Vancouver.
Cardinal had been pessimistic that new mortgage rules in the fall of 2016 would deteriorate the number of first-time buyers and reduce the total number of transactions, but Quebec's best consumer confidence in 15 years and a high number of permanent residences increased the demand and compensated for the new rules and higher interest rates during last summer.
Single-family-home sales increased to 25,601, almost 3% growth, while buildings with two to five units with 4,336 sales showed a 6% increase.
More clients demanded particularly luxury houses; sales of homes more than $1 million grew by 20 percent in Greater Montreal and above $500,000 condos were up to 42%.
The total $16.2 billion of sales shown 13 percent grow which half of them were on the Island of Montreal.
In the Greater Montreal area the average price of homes increased almost six percent to $364,510. This was the biggest increase since 2010. Single-family homes had the most increases in the price.
In Montreal Island, which is the Canada's second largest city and suburb, prices grew up by 6.1% to $467,496.
Cardinal said the number of foreign buyers, especially the Chinese who are the greatest number of non-resident investors, has grown. They invested mostly in wealthier neighborhoods and near the downtown center. Now with direct flights from Montreal to two biggest cities in China, visits has been more convenient for families.
He said Montreal is more attractive for foreign buyers because of a high quality life-style, affordable property prices, low pollution and a good educational system that last year was honored to be the best city in the world for students.
Another strong year for Montreal with increasing the number of transactions by five percent is foreseen by Cardinal; prices are also expected to increase almost five percent. "That would lead us to a new record to beat the 2007 mark," he said.
Montreal passed a strong year with total sales increasing 10 percent to 2,781 in December including a 35 percent increase in condo sales although active listings dropped by nine percent from 2016.
Sales on the Island of Montreal increased 15% almost the same as south shore, while it was outpaced at 20% by Laval.